Almost half of all motorcycle accidents in Georgia (42%) happen in the Atlanta area. Unfortunately, a large percentage of those motorcycle crashes are fatal.
If your loved one was recently involved in a fatal motorcycle crash, then you already know first-hand how devastating an unexpected wrongful death situation can be. On top of dealing with the emotional grief of losing your loved one, you might also unexpectedly face a whole host of financial expenses. From burial and funeral costs to expenses associated with navigating your loved one’s estate, the financial losses you’re experiencing can be overwhelming.
If you find yourself in that type of situation, then it makes the most sense to talk to an Atlanta fatal motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you unpack your legal options moving forward. Depending on the specific facts surrounding your loved one’s crash, you could be entitled to compensation.
Find out more about motorcycle accidents in Georgia, what causes them, and how our law firm can help you navigate your situation below.
The Complexity of Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are almost always more complex than other types of accidents, and this is especially true when a wrongful death occurs as a result of the collision. One of the biggest factors that makes motorcycle claims different than traditional car accident claims is the severity of the injuries sustained.
When injuries are more serious, the claim is going to be more complicated. The injured party (or the family of the deceased) will expect a higher level of compensation to match the severity of the situation and the extent of the losses. In general, bigger settlement claims mean a more complicated case. The other party will be more likely to challenge your claims since the payout is bigger, and this will mean you’ll have to build up a solid case with plenty of documentation and evidence to prove your losses.
Motorcycle collisions often result in more serious injuries because bikers have far less protection than those riding in traditional cars. Even with the right safety gear, a minor collision can cause a biker to get thrown from their bike, which can lead to severe injuries.
Another factor that can make a motorcycle accident more difficult to litigate is an existing anti-motorcycle bias. Too many people falsely assume that motorcycle riders are reckless, speeding, or disregarding traffic laws when an accident happens. While that’s surely the cause of many accidents, it’s not always the case. Often, it’s the car rider who is at fault in these accidents, but it will take specific evidence to convince a judge or the other party of that fact.
Causes of Most Motorcycle Deaths
When a fatality does occur as a result of a motorcycle accident, it’s necessary to identify what happened and what caused the accident. This factor will play a huge role in how the case proceeds, as the loved ones of the victim, will only be able to file a claim against another party if that other party caused the crash. Below, we’ll go over some of the most common causes of motorcycle deaths.
One of the leading causes of motorcycle fatalities is speeding. Speed limits are meant to help dictate the flow of traffic and help keep all motorists safe. When one or more motorists decide to speed, it can lead to accidents in several ways.
For one, a speeding motorcycle has less time to slow down and stop when it encounters an obstacle or unexpected move from another motorist. This reduction in available reaction time can easily cause a crash. A motorcycle can get out of control the faster it’s going.
For another, speeding impacts all motorists’ ability to judge where other cars are on the road. When one vehicle or motorcycle is speeding, it can lead to incorrect judgments and assumptions about the best options for other cars. For example, if you see a biker in the distance and want to swap lanes, you may assume you have plenty of time to do so.
If that biker is speeding, however, then you might end up hitting them when you go to make your move because you didn’t expect them to reach you so fast and assumed they were going the proper speed. In general, the faster someone is speeding, the more serious the impacts of the collision will be. The speeding party is typically considered to be at fault for the accident.
Collisions With Other Vehicles
Another way that many motorcycle fatalities happen is when a bike and a vehicle collide. Traditional cars are much heavier than motorcycles, and a biker is very likely to get thrown off their bike in any type of crash with a car.
These types of accidents could be caused by negligence on the part of the motorcyclist, car driver, or another liable third party.
Lane splitting happens when a motorcycle rider goes in between two rows of stopped or slow-moving vehicles. Rather than using a traffic lane, the motorcycle rider takes advantage of their small size to squeeze in between lanes.
Lane splitting is illegal in Georgia. It’s also extremely dangerous. Lane splitting could cause a biker to strike a car’s side mirror or get hit by a car that’s not directly in the middle of their lane.
Left-Turn Accidents at Intersections
One of the biggest causes of motorcycle accidents is left hand-turns. This includes intersections where the vehicle in front of them is making a left-hand turn. When a motorcycle is following a car that’s turning, they usually don’t have to stop but continue moving forward as the leading car turns. Sadly, other vehicles at the intersection may not see the biker, causing an accident.
When a biker is making a left-hand turn, they usually have to cross traffic, so that also poses a hazard if other motorists don’t see the motorcycle.
Can You Sue Someone for the Death of a Loved One in a Motorcycle Accident?
If your loved one recently passed away as a result of a motorcycle accident, then it’s important to get informed about your options. In some cases, you may be able to sue someone for the wrongful death of your loved one, but that will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the crash.
In general, you’ll only be able to sue someone else if that party was negligent and at-fault for the accident in some way. Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, which means you can still sue for compensation even if you think your loved one may have been partially responsible for the accident, too.
The best way to learn more about your legal options is to consult directly with an attorney about your situation.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit arises when one party’s negligence or recklessness causes the untimely death of someone else. When that death causes the victim’s loved ones to suffer losses, the at-fault party may be held legally and financially responsible for those losses.
In the context of a motorcycle accident, a wrongful death case must have the following elements to be successful:
• The other party was at-fault (or at least 51% at fault) for the crash
• The crash caused your loved one’s death
• Your loved one’s death led to losses like burial costs, funeral expenses, a loss of financial support, or more
Filing a Claim: Your First Steps
Are you considering filing a claim? If so, then your first step should be to start documenting your losses with evidence. Contact an attorney as soon as possible. Here at Singleton Law Firm, our attorneys will handle the next steps for you while you focus on grieving and taking care of your family.
Determining the Value of Your Fatal Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
In a fatal motorcycle accident lawsuit, you can seek damages in the form of medical costs prior to your loved one’s passing, a loss of financial support, burial costs, funeral expenses, and more. You can also seek damages in the form of non-economic losses, like emotional distress. To determine the value of your claim, add up all your economic losses and consider the impact of your non-economic losses. If you need more guidance, contact a wrongful death attorney.
Other Parties Liable for Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Most motorcycle accidents are centered around two parties – the driver of the vehicle and the driver of the motorcycle. Depending on what exactly caused the crash, there could be other third parties that are at fault. For instance, if a defective motorcycle part caused the crash, then the part manufacturer could be held responsible. If a business or company had hired the driver of the vehicle that caused the crash, then that entity might be held liable. If you believe another party could be partially at fault for your loved one’s accident, then it’s best to talk to an attorney about your options.
How Our Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help You
The right Atlanta fatal motorcycle accident lawyer knows how distressing your loss is, and they’ll provide you with the compassionate, caring legal help that you need. Here at Singleton Law Firm, our lawyers are prepared to help you evaluate your losses, document your claims, identify liable parties, build up a strong claim, negotiate with the responsible parties, and guide you every step of the way.
Count on Us for Your Motorcycle Accident Case
When your loved one is involved in a fatal motorcycle crash, the impacts are devastating. Sadly, you may have to cope with unexpected financial losses on top of the emotional distress. Considering the severity of the situation, it’s usually in your best interests to hire an Atlanta fatal motorcycle accident lawyer to help handle the legal aspects of your case while you deal with what’s most important – grieving the loss of your loved one.
You can count on us to help you seek justice after your loss. We invite you to take a look at testimonials from our former clients to get a better idea of our quality of service. Our team strives to provide compassionate legal care to every client we serve, and we want to help you get the financial compensation you’re entitled to so that you can move on from what happened.
Let us help you secure justice for your loved one and your family!