Motorcyclists have almost no room for error when they are on the road, and the slightest miscalculation can cause an accident that can leave them with serious injuries.

A motorcyclist has little to no protection from direct impact by a car or the pavement. Even if they wear a helmet and sophisticated safety gear, motorcyclists will likely suffer an injury in a crash.

A motorcyclist must do everything within their power to stay safe. However, there is only so much they can control, and they rely on drivers to exercise due care and follow traffic laws. If a driver makes a momentary mistake, it will endanger a motorcyclist’s life.

Suppose you have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident caused by a driver’s mistake. In that case, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation when you can prove that the driver was to blame for what happened.

Your first step should be to contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Since you may have suffered severe injuries, you may be eligible for a substantial settlement check. You do not want to take unnecessary chances, such as dealing with the insurance company alone.

Georgia drivers are required to follow an extensive set of traffic laws. Many of these laws exist to keep motorcyclists safe, recognizing that they are also entitled to be out on the road, just like any other driver. Here are some Georgia motorcycle laws that drivers must observe to keep you safe while on your bike.

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Drunk Driving Laws

Georgia law strictly prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle when they are intoxicated. If a driver has a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher, they are presumed to be drunk, regardless of whether they are affected by the alcohol.

Drunk driving makes motorists a menace to motorcyclists around them in traffic. A driver will have altered perceptions and slower reactions, not allowing them to see a motorcyclist in time.

They may also engage in risky behavior, making them drive more aggressively. Weaving in and out of lanes and tailgating can jeopardize a motorcyclist’s safety.

Allowing Motorcyclists Their Lane in Traffic

Motorcyclists are entitled to their own lane in traffic, just like any other vehicle, such as a car, truck, or bike. A driver cannot veer into a motorcyclist’s lane or do anything to force them from their lane. Further, drivers must yield the right-of-way to a motorcyclist as they would to any other driver when required to by law.

Awareness of Motorcyclists on the Road

Drivers must always notice motorcyclists. The motorcyclist is usually off eye level with the driver, making it harder for the motorist to see them. However, the driver must continuously scan the road, looking to see where others are around them.

It is a proper driving technique for motorists to check their mirrors and blind spots on the road periodically. Things can change at a moment’s notice when driving, so the motorist needs to notice what is happening in their vicinity. The driver may change lanes or move to avoid a hazard, and they need situational awareness of their surroundings.

Signal When Changing Lanes

Motorcyclists need to know other drivers’ intentions because they will govern themselves accordingly. If a driver does not signal before turning or lane change, it will startle the motorcyclist. They may need to make a sudden reaction or move, which may cause the biker to lose control or fall from their bike.

Drivers must engage their turn signals before changing lanes. According to Georgia Code 40-6-123:

“A signal of intention to turn right or left or change lanes when required shall be given continuously for a time sufficient to alert the driver of a vehicle proceeding from the rear in the same direction or a driver of a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.”

Do Not Cut Across Traffic When Turning

When drivers make a left-hand turn, they may do so from the far left lane unless there are two or more left-turn lanes. Even when there are, the driver must remain in their lane when turning. The driver cannot cut off the motorcyclist, who is in the left lane and intends to keep going straight ahead as they were.

One type of motorcycle accident occurs when a driver illegally cuts across the left lane when making a turn. The motorcyclist, left with nowhere to go, will crash into the broadside of the driver’s car. Illegal left-hand turns are perhaps the most common cause of serious motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities.

No Use of Mobile Devices While Driving

No Use of Mobile Devices While Driving

Drivers are not allowed to use handheld mobile devices while behind the wheel, yet the scourge of distracted driving has caused an increase in the number of serious accidents.

Drivers looking down on their phones will not see a motorcyclist nearby, mainly because they must look harder to find a biker. They may be more likely to rear-end a stopped motorcycle or one traveling slower in front of them.

Distracted driving is not just limited to cell phones. Even though no law prevents their use, more sophisticated infotainment systems in cars now compete for drivers’ attention.

These screens often have a similar effect to using a cell phone, taking the driver’s eyes off the road for an extended period. In those few seconds, they may not see a motorcyclist near them in traffic.

No Harassment of Motorcyclists

Drivers cannot harass motorcyclists on the road, and many of these prohibitions will fall under the umbrella of reckless driving laws. For example, a driver cannot tailgate too closely behind another vehicle or weave in and out of traffic to cause dangerous conditions.

Motorists also cannot intentionally cut off or in front of a motorcyclist to either harass them or retaliate for something that they think they did. Harassment can cause a motorcyclist to lose control or fall from their bike, suffering a severe injury in the process.

How Police Enforce Laws to Protect Motorcyclists

How Police Enforce Laws to Protect Motorcyclists

Georgia police are on patrol and looking for drivers who break these traffic laws. They may pull drivers over and give them a traffic citation when they violate the law.

Motorists can face fines and points on their license when they have committed a moving violation.

After a motorcycle accident, a police officer will show up at the accident scene. They may issue a citation to the responsible driver if there is evidence that their failure to follow traffic laws was the cause of the accident. The traffic citation and the accident report can be vital to your motorcycle accident claim.

Proving Fault in a Motorcycle Accident

To qualify for financial compensation in a motorcycle accident, you must show that the driver was negligent. In a motorcycle accident case, negligence means that the driver did something unreasonable under the circumstances. Any actions described above qualify as negligence when you file a motorcycle accident claim.

You need to do more than tell your side of the story to win your case. You need evidence that shows what the driver did when you file a claim or lawsuit.

Breaking a Law Could Be Enough to Prove That a Driver Was Liable

In personal injury law, if someone breaks a law, it can make them negligent in a personal injury case. If the driver violated a traffic law in a motorcycle accident, they can be deemed responsible for the accident. If the driver pleads guilty to a traffic violation, it can be evidence in your civil case for financial compensation. Even if the officer did not issue a ticket, proving that the other driver was breaking the law may still be possible.

The Insurance Company May Still Try to Blame the Motorcyclist

The Insurance Company May Still Try to Blame the Motorcyclist

Insurance companies have long been padding their profits by pointing the finger at the motorcyclist for the accident, regardless of what their driver did. If the insurance companies can manipulate you to their advantage, it will not hesitate to do so to avoid paying any compensation or lowering the amount it owes you.

If you do not have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side, the insurance companies can get away with unfairly and wrongfully blaming you for the accident. They can deny your claim entirely, stating that you were more than half to blame for the accident, or they can try to reduce the amount of the claim they pay by the percentage of fault they say you bear.

Your attorney’s job may be as much about defending you and your actions as it is about showing that the driver was to blame for the accident. Otherwise, the insurance company can get away with running roughshod over you during the claims process.

Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Immediately After the Accident

If you have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident, you must do everything right to maximize your financial compensation. You certainly cannot afford to make mistakes that will compromise your legal case, such as trusting the driver’s insurance company to do the right thing for you.

When you hire an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, they immediately go to work to protect your legal right to total compensation. First, they will establish that you have the legal right in the first place by investigating the accident and showing that the other driver was to blame for the accident. Then, your lawyer will work to get the money you are entitled to, fighting the insurance company when necessary.

In a motorcycle accident case, if you do not fight, you do not get the compensation you deserve. You will need to pry every single dollar from the hands of an insurance company that tries to frustrate you throughout the process.

What to Expect from a Consultation with a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Always consult a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. During this consultation, you can expect to receive valuable information and guidance regarding your case.

Here’s what you can anticipate from a consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney:

  • Thorough Case Evaluation: A consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney will typically begin with a detailed evaluation of your case. The attorney will ask you a series of questions to gather information about the accident, your injuries, and any other relevant details. This evaluation is crucial for the attorney to understand the strength of your case and determine the best course of action.
  • Clear Explanation of Legal Process: One of the benefits of consulting with a motorcycle accident attorney is gaining a clear understanding of the legal process ahead. Your attorney will explain the necessary steps involved in pursuing a personal injury claim, such as gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and potentially filing a lawsuit. This information will help you feel more informed and prepared as you move forward with your case.
  • Personalized Legal Advice: Every motorcycle accident case is unique, and your attorney will provide you with personalized legal advice based on the specifics of your situation. They will explain your rights and options, including the potential compensation you may be entitled to for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. This advice will help you make informed decisions regarding your case and choose the best path forward.
Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Augusta, Jacque Hawk
Jacque Hawk, Motorcycle Accident lawyer

Consulting a motorcycle accident attorney is an essential step in seeking justice and protecting your rights. It provides an opportunity to receive guidance, understand the legal process, and receive personalized advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a Georgia personal injury law firm today to schedule your consultation and get the support you need.