LEGAL GUIDANCE FOR INJURED ATLANTA MOTORCYCLISTS
Broadside accidents pose great risk to motorcycle riders, who are more vulnerable than drivers or passengers protected by a car. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, about 1,000 motorcycles are broadsided each year in this state. Many of these collisions would not have happened if drivers simply acted reasonably on the road. Since 1997, motorcycle crash attorney Terrence R. Bethune has helped people in the Atlanta area seek compensation for broadside accidents caused by a driver’s careless conduct.
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS AFTER A GEORGIA CRASH
Georgia law provides a remedy for anyone hurt by another person’s unreasonable behavior. A motorcycle rider injured in a broadside collision might choose to file a negligence claim against the driver responsible for the accident. To succeed in this type of lawsuit, the rider must show:
- The driver owed the rider a duty of reasonable care;
- The driver failed to live up to this duty;
- The rider’s injuries were caused by the driver’s actions; and
- The rider incurred economic or non-economic damages because of the injuries.
Everyone in Georgia has a duty to avoid unreasonable behavior that might foreseeably injure another person. This is a duty owed by every driver to every motorcyclist on the road.
A breach is any action or non-action that fails to comply with this duty. A driver who fails to yield the right of way, texts while driving, or runs a red light has likely breached the duty of care because a motorcyclist’s injury is a foreseeable consequence of any of these actions. An ordinary driver would not have engaged in this conduct, aware of the risk that it poses.
Proving causation requires that the victim show that the defendant was both a factual cause and a legal cause of his or her injuries. Factual cause is sometimes known as “but for” cause because the idea is that the victim would have not been injured “but for” the defendant’s actions. Moreover, the defendant must also be the legal, or proximate, cause of the harm. A driver whose actions were a substantial factor in causing the motorcyclist’s injuries is likely a proximate cause. This is determined based on the facts of each case.
If the victim can proceed through all four elements of a negligence claim, the defendant may be liable for damages. These can range from lost wages and medical expenses to pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, and emotional distress. You should know that O.C.G.A. § 9-3-31 requires that an injury case be filed within two years of the date of the accident. Failure to meet this deadline may result in the case being dismissed permanently from court. It is therefore important to consult an attorney as soon as you can after a crash.
ENLIST AN ATLANTA INJURY ATTORNEY TO PURSUE COMPENSATION
A motorcycle accident can have long-lasting effects on a person’s life. Medical expenses, lost wages, and psychological harm are just a few possible consequences of a wreck. If you were injured in a broadside collision, Atlanta injury lawyer Terrence R. Bethune can help you seek compensation to smooth your recovery. Call (404) 875-7800 or email us to arrange a free case evaluation.