Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

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police-car-1515955The outcome of virtually every auto accident case depends in large part on the relevancy and reliability of the evidence presented. In many instances, the parties will provide “experts” whose testimony serves to shed light on certain integral aspects of the case. Georgia law sets forth restrictions on the use of expert testimony in a civil proceeding. Parties must adhere to these standards or otherwise run the risk of losing the opportunity to present the testimony. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, it is important to talk with an experienced injury attorney from the Atlanta area – someone who is fully aware of the laws applicable to negligence cases.

A section of the statute mentioned above governs the admission of scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge. If such knowledge will assist a juror to determine a fact at issue or to understand the evidence, a witness qualified as an expert may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise. Under the statute, the testimony must be based upon sufficient facts or data, it must be the product of reliable principles and methods, and the witness must have applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case that have been or will be admitted into evidence before the trier of fact.

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motorcycle-stunter-tyre-burnout-1301096-mIf you have been injured in a car accident with a negligent driver who was operating the vehicle while working within the scope of his or her employment, you may be entitled to recover damages from both the driver and the employer. Keep in mind, however, that under Georgia law, an employer typically will not be responsible for the torts (negligent acts) committed by an employee who exercises an “independent business” and is not subject to the immediate “direction and control” of the employer. But what this truly means, under the facts and circumstances of any one particular case, is often subject to a court’s interpretation.

State courts are guided by earlier case law, within the same jurisdiction, under a similar set of facts. Because each and every car accident case is unique, it is important to understand how a local court would be inclined to view your negligence case. In order to get a clear sense of how a court would rule on your car accident claim, you are encouraged to speak with an experienced injury attorney from the Atlanta area.

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motorcycle-stunter-tyre-burnout-1301095-mAccidents involving vehicles such as motorcycles, cars, and trucks occur with great frequency on Atlanta roadways. Unfortunately, vehicle accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries and even death to the people involved. In many cases, injured victims may be entitled to bring a lawsuit to recover compensation for any pain and suffering sustained. One of the fundamental issues to plead and prove in a personal injury case is negligence. Once a case makes it to trial, there are many legal steps to follow in order to successfully “try” the case. If you have been in a car or other vehicle accident, you may be entitled to recover for your losses. The best course of action is to contact an experienced injury attorney who will know the most effective approach and strategy under the circumstances of your case.

In a recent case, Young v. Griffin (Ga. Ct. of App. 2014), the plaintiff was riding a motorcycle when he crashed into the defendant, who was driving a truck. The plaintiff brought an action against the defendant for his personal injuries. At trial, the plaintiff testified that he had been riding his motorcycle as he approached a railroad crossing. As he reached the tracks, the lights began flashing, and he crossed the tracks and crashed into the defendant’s truck on the opposite side of the tracks. The defendant testified that as he was heading toward the railroad tracks he saw the lights begin to flash and decided to make a U-turn to avoid waiting for the train to pass. Once he almost completed his turn, almost completely blocking the lane, he felt the impact of the plaintiff’s motorcycle crashing into his truck.

An eyewitness who was behind the truck at the railroad crossing testified that the crossing gate and flashing lights started before the defendant initiated his U-turn. Neither the defendant nor the witness saw the plaintiff crossing the tracks before the defendant started to make the turn. A police officer investigated the accident, saw skid marks left by the motorcycle, and testified that both the defendant and the witness said the plaintiff crossed the tracks as the “arm” was descending. He also determined that both parties were at fault.

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speed-of-motorcycle-1016169-sMany personal injury actions involve car or other motor vehicle accidents.  Typically, the drivers’ insurance companies get involved to help settle and resolve the matter.  The importance of knowing and understanding the local laws applicable to a personal injury claim cannot be overstated.  In a recent case, Kemper v. Brown, Ga. Ct. App. (2014), the court threw out a purported settlement agreement, concluding that the insurance company’s response to the settlement offer constituted a counteroffer, instead of a mutually agreed upon settlement.  To ensure that someone with experience and dedication handles your case, you are encouraged to contact a local Atlanta personal injury attorney with a proven success record representing victims in car accident cases.

In the case mentioned above, the plaintiff, Kemper, was injured when a vehicle driven by Brown struck her motorcycle. Kemper sustained serious injuries and was taken to Atlanta Medical Center to receive emergency treatment for her injuries.  Law enforcement charged Brown with several traffic violations, including driving under the influence and reckless driving.  Each party had automobile insurance: Kemper was insured by Progressive Insurance Company and Brown was insured by Equity Insurance Company, who later assigned the claim to its third-party carrier (claims administrator), Statewide Claims Services.  The policy under Equity contained a $25,000 per person bodily coverage limit.

Kemper sent a demand letter to Statewide, requesting that it send the maximum amount under the insurance policy, and in response, Kemper promised to sign a limited release.  She set forth a deadline and information concerning to whom the check should be made payable. In response, Statewide sent the $25,000 check attached to a letter to Kemper, agreeing to settle the claims, but adding a demand that the money received be placed in an escrow account with respect to any liens pending.  Due to this language in the letter, Kemper considered it a counteroffer, rejected the terms and filed suit against Brown. Continue reading

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While riding a motorcycle is fun, being involved in an accident can result in serious injuries or death.

State by state, the number of bikers meeting their death on the road is on the rise. In fact, one state, Indiana, recently completed a comprehensive survey of the number of motorcycle accidents in 2012.

In 2011, 118 were killed on the road. In 2012, that number was 152 – a cause for concern for traffic safety officials in Indiana, but also a bellwether for other states. Across the nation the death toll for bikers was 2,850 in 2011 and 2,935 in 2012.

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Riding a motorcycle is dangerous – period. However, some locations are worse than others for wrecks.

It’s depressing to discover that there are roughly 4,800 bikers killed each year and approximately 88,000 injured while riding that live to tell about it. And yet, bikers still hit the road in the hopes that they will not become one of those numbers. They may not. However, the fact is that the number of bikers maimed and killed is completely skewed when considering other traffic accidents.

The fact is that motorcycle riders are five times more likely to end up dead in a bike wreck that those in a passenger vehicle, which makes sense, since the vehicle has more protection going for it. While wearing a helmet does help save lives, it is still not the be-all end-all, or magic bullet to avoid death or serious injury. Riding in certain locations is also something a biker needs to keep in mind. For instance you might want to take extra care or avoid riding your bike in West Palm Beach, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada, New Orleans, Louisiana, Baltimore, Maryland, and Atlanta, Georgia.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says sports bikes are more likely to be involved in accidents than others.

Why sports bikes? It has to do with their size and construction, meaning they are typically lighter and smaller than the traditional “ride,” thus making them an easier target. In terms of handling, sports bikes are also considered to be more skittish, making them harder to handle in a dangerous situation.

There are a large number of cons to riding a motorcycle of any kind, not the least being death, but this does not seem to stop bikers from taking to the roads. Many have a sense that nothing could happen to them, that they are good bikers, safe drivers and know the ropes. They may well be all those things, but that does not mean the other guy on the road is safe. These days, with more and more people texting while driving, and even surfing the web while behind the wheel, safety is an issue for everyone on the road.

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It is not often that two bikers are involved in a head-on collision with each other. It was a clear day and the group of riders headed out the popular, scenic highway to take in the sights. The first group had four riders, all of who were very experienced with bikes and affiliated with a church. The second group of four riders was not so experienced and was also younger too.

Just because the second group of riders was younger and not as experienced does not necessarily mean they lacked good judgment. Unfortunately, however, one rider did not follow the rules of the road and was speeding while heading south on the highway. He lost control of his bike, crossed the median into opposing traffic and hit the lead biker from the church group. Both riders died an unnecessary death, because of the negligence of the biker who was speeding.

Certainly the 19-year-old rider likely thought he could do anything and be just fine, no matter what. Chances are he had never seen a bike accident and had no concept of death. However, he miscalculated on this ride and lost his life because of it. The tragedy is a double one because two lives were lost due to speeding when the young man did not having the skills to handle a bike at such high speeds.

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Drinking and driving is ridiculously stupid, but drinking and driving on a motorcycle is even riskier.

You would think that someone who was drunk and could not walk straight, let alone see properly, would not go ahead and hop on his motorcycle, invite a passenger to travel with him and then take off figuring nothing could possibly happen to him. Yet this biker did just that and caused his passenger severe, life-altering injuries, including brain shearing, a dislocated shoulder and a broken femur.

As it turned out, the biker in this reported case, had a lengthy rap sheet when it came to having his name on the police blotter. At 32 years old, the man had already been charged by police, just a month prior to this wreck, with three counts of DUI involving crashes that resulted in the death or injury of another and aggravated assault with a vehicle.

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The debate over whether to wear a helmet on a motorcycle never ends. Some want wind-tousled hair, others desire safety. It does not matter who you talk to as everyone has an opinion about motorcycle helmets. They save lives. They do not save lives. Largely, the question boils down to what kind of helmet the biker was wearing and the nature of the accident, because honestly there will be some accidents that leave a biker dead, helmet or not. The most important thing to remember though is that there are solid statistics that show helmets do reduce the severity of brain trauma if they are the safety rated and approved ones.

This great helmet debate has been around just about as long as motorbikes have been, although some states do not have helmet laws or age based helmet laws. Michigan, for example, just passed a law that would make it illegal for bikers under the age of 21 to ride without a helmet. The ramifications of that will certainly make an impact in ERs across the state.

What is at the root of this debate? On one side are the bikers who see being forced to wear a helmet as a personal affront, treating it as their right to strike a blow against insurance companies and medical groups who both insist that repealing the helmet law would result in more fatalities. In actual fact, the number of accidents may remain the same, but the outcome of those accidents may vary according to the safety orientation of the biker.