For many motorcyclists in Kennesaw, being on their bike is the ultimate feeling of freedom. Riding on open stretches of road with the wind in your face can feel amazing. But, all of those good feelings can end abruptly if a motorcyclist is involved in an accident. While many motorcycle accidents occur when a driver loses control of their bike, they often happen because someone else is at fault. In those situations, bikers need to talk to a Kennesaw motorcycle accident lawyer and figure out their legal options after a crash.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers know that motorcycle crashes can be serious. They may affect you for the rest of your life. You may never be able to get back on a bike again or do a number of other things that you once loved. We have seen these terrible accidents occur time and time again throughout the state of Georgia—and we want to help. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
How does the law handle motorcycle accidents in Kennesaw?
Motorcyclists are subject to all of the same rules of the road as other vehicles. But, they also have quite a few additional requirements and restrictions as well. Below is a sampling of the unique laws that affect motorcycle riders in Georgia.
- Motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet that meets state safety standards
- Eyewear is also required by law unless you have a windscreen
- Bikers should have a windshield on their bike unless they are using eye protection
- Daytime headlights should always be used
- Handlebars cannot be taller than 15 inches above the seat
- Footrests are required if you are carrying a passenger that isn’t in a sidecar
- Every motorcycle must have a driver’s seat
- Each bike must have either a left or right mirror (but both is preferred)
- Turn signals are required unless the motorcycle was manufactured before 1972
- Brake lights are also required; if the bike has two brake lights, then both should work
- Mufflers are needed, but there are no noise restrictions
You should follow these rules and restrictions every time you get on your bike. But, there are some situations where you may be in violation of the law, and you didn’t realize it—such as when you brake lights are out. You may receive a citation for an offense, but that doesn’t inhibit your ability to start a lawsuit against the other driver.
Failing to follow motorcycle laws can affect your personal injury case. But, the effect is often minimal. In some situations, a violation may not do anything to your civil suit. Consider an example. Imagine you are on your bike heading toward an intersection. A car doesn’t see you at all and turns into you just as you enter the intersection. The fact that your brake lights weren’t working doesn’t have anything to do with how the accident happened. In that type of scenario, your bad brake lights likely won’t have any effect on your lawsuit against the at-fault driver. But, if the reason the other driver didn’t see you was because you weren’t using your daytime lights as you are required to do, that changes things.
If you violate a law and that violation is partially to blame for the accident, then that could decrease the amount of damages you receive from your case. In the light example above, you may be assigned 10% fault for the crash, and the other driver has 90% of the fault. Under Georgia’s comparative fault laws, the total damages you receive will be reduced by 10%. A judge or jury will determine the fault percentage, but it’s certainly something you should consider as you work with your attorney to discuss settlement options with the insurance company.
What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Kennesaw?
Motorcycle accidents can occur for a wide variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons is simply that a biker loses control of their bike. But, when this type of situation occurs it is far more likely that the biker only injures himself—these accidents are often called single-vehicle crashes.
When a motorcycle accident involves more than just the biker, the person driving the other vehicle is far more likely to be at fault compared to the biker. Failing to watch for motorcyclists is by far the most common reason that these collisions occur. Crashes occur when other drivers:
Even parked cars can be dangerous for motorcyclists. A driver can open their door in front of a motorcyclist, causing the biker to hit the door. They may even flip their bike if they are going fast enough. Everyone, even those parking their cars, should be on the lookout for motorcycle riders in Georgia.
Hazards in the road are also far more likely to affect motorcyclists negatively. Simple things like rocks, bags, paper products, and potholes can cause a rider to lose control of their bike. When gravel, stone, and other debris is left behind from nearby construction, a construction company may be liable for a motorcycle accident even when the crash only involved the motorcyclist. Private contractors are legally required to keep the work site and nearby areas clean, which often includes ensuring that gravel and debris aren’t on the road.
Motorcyclists can also be significantly affected by defects in parts of their bike or how the maintenance was done. In those situations, a rider may have a legal claim against the bike manufacturer or against the company that last did maintenance on their bike. Even minor defects can mean serious injuries for motorcyclists.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Kennesaw
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating. Our lawyers have the experience and compassion you need to deal with these complex situations. Explore your legal options with one of the top motorcycle accident lawyers in the state. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.