Motorcycle Collisions in Georgia
Motorcycle wrecks claimed an average of 152 lives in Georgia every year between 2007-2011. Because motorcycles are smaller and more agile than most other vehicles, they are harder for drivers to spot on the road. Unlike drivers of cars, motorcyclists are completely unprotected when they get into a wreck. They don’t have airbags or any other protection between them and the other vehicle or the road. Even an wreck at slow speeds can cause a serious or permanent injury. Moreover, the full extent of the injury may not be immediately clear. Michael Braun, an experienced Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer, may be able to help you recover compensation if you are hurt while riding a motorcycle in Atlanta and surrounding areas.
Negligence and Wrongful Death in Georgia
Most Georgia motorcycle wreck cases are the result of negligence. To show that a defendant was negligent, a motorcyclist must show: (1) the defendant owed him a duty, (2) breach of the duty, (3) proximate and actual cause, and (4) damages. Damages are often substantial in motorcycle cases.
A motorcyclist injured on the road may miss time from work, and face enormous medical bills. For a personal injury case, he may be able to recover damages that include past, present and future medical expenses; past, present and future wage loss; emotional damages; physical disfigurement; disability; out-of-pocket expenses; and household assistance.
A jury may also award an injured plaintiff non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. For example, before a motorcycle wreck, a plaintiff may have enjoyed snowboarding and bungee jumping. But after suffering serious injuries due to a motorcycle wreck, he may not be able to do these activities at all. The jury will try to quantify these losses.
If your loved one dies as a result of a motorcycle wreck, his own claims for personal injury may also survive his death. In Georgia, a decedent’s estate can continue a personal injury action under Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) §§ 9-2-40 and 9-2-41. This action seeks compensation for losses suffered by the motorcyclist before his death.
However, spouses and children also have a wrongful death claim under Georgia’s wrongful death statutes as detailed in § 51-4-1. A surviving spouse is first in line to be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. His or her recovery is shared with the decedent’s children. If there is no spouse, the decedent’s children may bring a wrongful death action. When a decedent has neither a spouse nor children, the decedent’s parents may sue for wrongful death. Last in line is the decedent’s estate.
A wrongful death claimant recovers lost income, out-of-pocket expenses like funeral costs and medical bills and loss of companionship and protection. The claim for loss of companionship and protection depends on the relationship between the decedent and the survivor bringing or benefiting from the action.
Seek the Counsel of an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycle accidents are often the result of careless drivers. In a split second, your whole life can change because somebody was distracted. We understand how difficult the aftermath of an accident is and how important it is for you and your family to recover the greatest possible compensation for what you’ve lost. Michael Braun, an experienced Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney, serves clients who have been injured in Atlanta and surrounding areas. Contact us at (770) 421-6888 or via our online form.