Savannah Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
The warm weather and beautiful beaches make Savannah the perfect place to take the motorcycle out on the road, and many do. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, there were 203,922 total motorcycle registrations in 2017. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to severe injuries and fatalities if an accident occurs. There were 139 motorcyclist fatalities in 2017 and 154 in 2018.
If you were the victim of a motorcycle accident in Savannah, call Chris Hudson Law Group for help with your injury claim. You might be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and losses. You have a right to hold the at-fault party responsible for the suffering you experienced.
The Savannah motorcycle accident lawyers from Chris Hudson Law Group understand what you’re going through, and we want to help. We’ll be by your side to fight for justice and get the maximum settlement from an insurance claim. If we need to file a lawsuit against the negligent party, we’ll aggressively pursue the money they owe you for the injuries you sustained. Call us at 706-863-6600 for a free consultation, and we’ll start working on your case immediately.
Why Are Motorcycles So Dangerous?
Although motorcycles provide an exhilarating sense of freedom, they offer very little protection to the rider. The only thing protecting you is a helmet, and even that doesn’t always prevent serious trauma. Even if you’re safe on the road and pay attention to your surroundings, other motorists might not be as responsible.
Crashing on a bike can result in various injuries that require extensive medical treatment. Unlike a car, there’s no seatbelt or airbag to protect you from an impact. If you get ejected from your motorcycle, you could suffer crush injuries or severe road rashes that lead to an infection. It’s almost impossible to walk away from a motorcycle crash with minor physical harm.
Most drivers that cause motorcycle accidents exhibit negligent behavior. They’re either not paying attention or don’t notice you in their blind spot. The most common examples of negligence include:
- Reckless driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Distracted driving
- Failure to check blind spots
Traffic laws are supposed to protect you, but many people become distracted by their cell phones or rush to get to work and blow through a stoplight. Actions like these typically cause devastating injuries and property damage. It’s crucial that you understand the risks and adequately prepare for hazardous conditions before getting on your motorcycle.
Should I File an Insurance Claim or a Lawsuit?
The major similarity between an insurance claim and a lawsuit is that the goal is to recover compensation from the party that caused the motorcycle accident. However, there are some fundamental differences you should know about before deciding which one you would like to pursue.
When you file an insurance claim, you’re seeking a settlement from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. Georgia follows a traditional fault system in terms of injuries and property damage that occur after an accident. Whoever caused the crash automatically becomes responsible for the injured victim’s damages, and their liability insurance typically provides the compensation.
It’s a legal requirement for all drivers to carry auto insurance with minimum limits for bodily injury and property damage. The minimum required limit is $25,000 each, with the option to purchase higher coverage. When you get hurt in a motorcycle accident, you can pursue a settlement up to the limit listed on the at-fault driver’s policy.
If you have sufficient evidence that proves fault, the insurance company could pay you the maximum settlement available. Typically, the settlement check gets disbursed upon completion of medical treatment. In cases where there’s clear liability, some insurance companies will immediately issue the check for the full liability limit listed on the policy.
If you choose to file a lawsuit, you’ll seek the full coverage from the insurance company plus additional compensation directly from the at-fault driver. In cases where the actions were especially egregious, a jury might require the negligent party to pay out of pocket for the damages the victim suffered.
The procedure of filing a lawsuit often occurs after a failed attempt at negotiating a settlement with the liability insurance company. If they deny your claim or offer compensation much lower than you deserve, you can sue for a fair amount.
There’s a statute of limitations in injury cases that the victim must follow if they want to recover compensation from a lawsuit. For motorcycle accident cases that result in injuries, the statute in Georgia is two years. That means you have two years from the crash date to pursue action in the civil court system against the negligent driver. If you want to seek compensation for damage to your motorcycle, you’ll have to follow a four-year statute of limitations.
Pursuing Compensation for Damages After a Motorcycle Accident
Damages are the total losses associated with an accident or injury that another party caused. There are two categories of damages that most injured victims pursue when filing an insurance claim or lawsuit: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are the expenses related to the injury sustained and its negative impact on the victim’s lifestyle. Non-economic damages are the losses associated with pain and suffering, which are more difficult to quantify.
Our Savannah motorcycle accident lawyers have experience calculating an appropriate value for our clients’ damages. Depending on various factors, you could potentially recover full compensation for your total economic and non-economic damages. We’ll review all the details of your case to determine a fair amount.
Common damages individuals injured in a motorcycle accident pursue include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income and benefits
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
Economic and non-economic damages are available in lawsuits and insurance claims. A third option is known as punitive damages, only available in a lawsuit. It doesn’t compensate injured parties for their expenses and suffering but attempts to punish the other driver for their negligent actions.
Punitive damages are rare in lawsuits. A jury will only award them under special circumstances. There must be clear evidence that the at-fault party exhibited malice, oppression, willful misconduct, fraud, or a complete disregard of another person’s safety.
Turn to the Experienced Savannah Motorcycle Accident Lawyers from Chris Hudson Law Group
It’s overwhelming to try to handle a motorcycle accident case alone. You should seek legal representation immediately so we can begin our investigation. When you hire us, we’ll take care of each step on your behalf. Our extensive resources allow us to locate important evidence that can help prove the other party was at fault for the crash, such as:
- Traffic crash report
- Eyewitness statements
- Photos of the accident scene
- Pictures of your injuries
- Video surveillance of the crash
- Motorcycle repair estimates
- Copies of all available insurance policies
- Your medical records and medical bills
We understand the procedures we need to follow after a motorcycle accident. We’ll aggressively pursue the maximum settlement from the liability insurance company. If they deny the claim or provide a low offer, we will take them to court and aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve.
We want to ensure you walk away from this traumatic experience with enough money to cover the damages you incurred and any future damages due to ongoing medical treatment.
You Can File a Claim With Your Insurance
If you get hurt in a motorcycle accident and discover the other driver doesn’t carry liability auto insurance, you can file a claim with your insurance company. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage is available for injured victims when the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance, or the limits aren’t high enough to cover all damages.
Georgia law doesn’t require motorcyclists to hold UM insurance on their policies; however, all insurance companies must offer it as optional coverage. The minimum UM limit is $25,000, and you can choose stacked coverage if there are multiple vehicles listed on the policy.
To clarify, let’s say you have $25,000 that covers your motorcycle and another $25,000 that covers your spouse’s vehicle on the same policy. If necessary, you can combine them and use $50,000 to cover your damages.
Under UM, you could recover compensation for the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost income and future earnings
- Pain and suffering
UM does not cover property damage. If you opted for collision coverage on your policy, you could receive reimbursement for any motorcycle repair costs after first paying a deductible. Much like UM, collision coverage isn’t a legal requirement; however, insurance companies are supposed to offer it to all vehicle owners and operators.
At Chris Hudson Law Group, our Savannah personal injury lawyers understand the trauma you experienced. When you’re in pain and trying to recover from injuries, the last thing you want to deal with is a legal case. You can hire us to relieve your burden and handle everything for you.
We’ll work diligently to collect evidence that proves the other driver was at fault for the crash. Using our effective tactics, we can negotiate with insurance companies for the maximum settlement or convince a jury that you deserve a financial award for your damages. You can depend on us to be there for you throughout your entire case and fight hard for the justice you deserve.
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident and need help with your case, call Chris Hudson Law Group at 706-863-6600 and schedule a free consultation.