In this segment of Do I Need a Lawyer, Gary Martin Hays answers a question from a viewer who was in an accident that wasn't their fault.
Welcome to "Do I Need A Lawyer?"
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I'm Gary Martin Hays.
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Now let's go to the next question from one of our viewers.
"Gary - I'd love to have your advice on this. I was riding on my motorcycle on Pleasant Hill Road. It was about 2:00 p.m. - early afternoon. The roads were dry. The weather was sunny and there was not a cloud in the sky. It was a great day for me to be riding my Harley. And then it happened. This elderly woman pulls out of a fast food restaurant's parking lot. She was trying to turn left and pulled out in front of me. She didn't even look - or wasn't paying attention when she pulled out. I couldn't swerve to avoid hitting her. I laid down the bike as best I could but still crashed into the rear driver's side of her car. I broke my right ankle and actually had to have surgery on it because it was really messed up.
Do I need a lawyer? And can you help me???"
-Glenn in Norcross.
Glenn - thanks for the question.
I am so sorry to hear about your wreck - and to answer your questions - yes and yes!
You need a lawyer and I would be happy to help you.
And I'll answer this in a little more detail in a moment.
But let me give our viewers some alarming statistics from government studies about motorcycle accidents:
* In 2010, 4,502 people were killed in the United States in accidents involving motorcycles.
* Over 80 percent of all reported motorcycle accidents resulted in injury or death to the motorcyclist.
* In 2011 in Georgia, there were 149 motorcycle accident fatalities.
* Most of the motorcycle accidents in Georgia occur within the metro-Atlanta area.
* But the majority of the motorcycle related deaths in Georgia occur on rural roads versus city streets.
* Motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to experience a deadly accident on the road than those in passenger cars.
* A 2009 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that 42% of fatal motorcycle crashes involved a vehicle turning left while the motorcycle was going straight, passing, or overtaking the vehicle.
And Glenn - that is what you said happened in your wreck. The at fault driver was attempting to turn left out of the fast food restaurant driveway when she pulled out in front of you.
Now what is the main reason these motorcycle accidents happened?
The driver of the other vehicle did not see the motorcycle before the collision,
or did not see the motorcycle until it was too late to avoid a collision.
So let's look at how we can prevent these wrecks from ever happening in two ways:
First - from the perspective of the person riding the motorcycle.