Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions

Every accident is unique, but many clients have similar questions about personal injury law. Read some of the most commonly asked personal injury questions—and answers to those questions—here.
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  • Can a Motorcycle Accident Cause PTSD?

    Can a motorcycle accident cause PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)? Yes, you can develop this psychiatric disorder after experiencing a traumatic event, such as a motorcycle accident. People involved in motorcycle crashes can suffer physical injuries, such as road rash or burns, pain, anxiety, PTSD, and other emotional and psychological distress.

    Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC at 404-474-0804 to schedule a free consultation.

    What is PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

    People often misuse the term PTSD as a catch-all for any emotional distress that follows a traumatic event. Generally, a PTSD diagnosis after a motorcycle accident may require meeting these criteria:

    • Exposure to death, threat of death, serious injury, or threat of severe injury. The exposure can be direct or indirect.
    • Persistently re-experiencing the traumatic event as a reaction to things that trigger memories of the event. Nightmares and flashbacks are common qualifying re-experiences.
    • Avoidance of things that one fears could trigger a reaction to the traumatic event.
    • New or worse feelings of negative emotions or social withdrawal.
    • Sleep, mood or behavior changes.
    • Symptoms last longer than a month and affect your ability to work or socialize. The signs must have no other known cause.

    Can a Motorcycle Accident Cause PTSD?

    The human psyche is capable of sustaining damage from traumatic events. About one out of four people who suffered injuries in crashes developed PTSD in the months after a motor vehicle accident, one study found.

    How PTSD Can Impact Your Life

    PTSD may contribute to a range life changes, including:

    • Divorce
    • Job loss
    • Financial crisis
    • Depression
    • Substance abuse
    • Inability to maintain relationships and employment

    Getting Compensation for PTSD

    If you suffered injuries and PTSD in a motorcycle accident, you may qualify to get compensation for damages. Typical accident damages include:

    • Medical expenses
    • Lost wages
    • Pain and suffering
    • Disability or decreased earning potential
    • Ongoing costs related to physical injuries

    The mental anguish and emotional distress of your condition can also be part of your settlement. Another category of damages is the loss of enjoyment of life, for people who can no longer do things – like ride a motorcycle – that used to bring them joy.

    People at the Highest Risk for PTSD

    According to a 2009 study, the groups most at risk of PTSD after a motor vehicle accident were:

    • People with a history of depression
    • People who experienced a previous violent injury
    • Those in a crash in which someone died
    • Women

    Call Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

    Yes, a motorcycle accident can cause PTSD. Contact the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC and we will evaluate the circumstances of your motorcycle accident. We will also review your claim with you and help you pursue a claim for PTSD and other damages. Call us today at 404-474-0804 for a free consultation.

  • What Is the Average Settlement for a Motorcycle Accident?

    The facts of every motorcycle accident are different, so do not get hung up on the average settlement for a motorcycle accident. The value of your case is based on the circumstances of your accident and injuries. The amount you are likely to recover in your motorcycle injury claim will depend on the damages you suffered.

    To discuss the details around your claim, call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC at 404-474-0804, for a free consultation.

    Measuring the Physical Harm to Determine Compensation

    The value of your motorcycle accident case depends largely on the physical harm you suffered and your medical treatment. Here are some examples of types of medical damages that may be recoverable after a motorcycle accident:

    • Ambulance
    • Emergency room
    • Hospital
    • Surgery
    • Doctor
    • Prescription drugs
    • Physical therapy
    • Diagnostic imaging (X-rays, CAT scans)

    We Will Help You Recover the Financial Losses You Suffered

    If you missed work because of your injuries, we can add the lost wages to your settlement demand.

    We can also pursue a claim for decreased earning potential if you cannot earn as much money after the motorcycle wreck due to your injuries.

    If you need long-term care or will need ongoing medical treatments because of the crash, we can seek compensation for those costs as part of your settlement.

    We can help you better understand your options. Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC at 404-474-0804 for a free consultation.

    The Emotional and Psychological Damages You Endured

    Your motorcycle accident case may include compensation for emotional and psychological impacts, such as:

    • Pain and suffering for the physical discomfort and emotional anguish you endured.
    • Disfigurement from amputations or significant and permanent scarring.
    • Depression and other mental health issues.
    • Loss of enjoyment of life if your injuries prohibit you from doing things you used to enjoy, such as walking, riding your motorcycle, or leading an active lifestyle.

    We Will Speak to the Insurance Company for You

    Insurance companies usually call people who have been in crashes and ask them to give a recorded statement. When the insurance company contacts you about giving a recorded statement, tell them to speak to your motorcycle accident lawyer.

    The purpose of this phone call is to retrieve information they could use against you so they can lower the amount they pay you for your motorcycle accident. Before you give a statement, discuss it with your attorney.

    How Partial Fault Will Affect the Amount of Your Motorcycle Accident Settlement

    Georgia follows the law of comparative negligence, which lets you get some money for your losses even if you were partially at fault for the accident. Some people mistakenly think that if they were negligent in any way, they cannot recover compensation for their injuries. This assumption is incorrect.

    The law will reduce your settlement by your percentage of fault. For example, if you made a mistake that was 10 percent of the reason for the crash, comparative negligence means that you will still get 90 percent of your losses.

    Since Georgia is a modified comparative fault state, you will get nothing for your damages if you were 50 percent or more at fault.

    The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC will investigate the circumstances of your case to discuss the value of your motorcycle accident case. Call us at 404-474-0804 for a free consultation.

    How to Get Help with Your Motorcycle Accident Case

    Talk with a personal injury lawyer right after your motorcycle accident. We will investigate the crash and file a claim to hold the negligent parties responsible. We handle the adjustor and insurance company for you.

    We will collect the police report, medical records, and other evidence to establish liability and show the amount of harm you suffered. We will calculate a fair amount for your settlement and work hard to get you all the compensation you deserve.

    Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today at 404-474-0804 to schedule your free consultation. There is no obligation, and we will not get paid until you get compensation.

  • I Was in a Motorcycle Accident. Can I Sue?

    If someone else was negligent and caused your motorcycle accident injuries, you can sue for your damages. Your case must establish the defendant’s liability for your damages.

    To establish liability, you must prove four things:

    • Duty of care
    • Negligence
    • Causation
    • Damages

    Step One: Defendant Owed You a Duty of Care

    Every driver owes a duty of care to other road users, including motorcyclists. So, if another driver caused your accident, that driver owed you a duty of care.

    Keep in mind that not all defendants in motorcycle accident cases are other drivers. If the driver who caused your accident was working at the time of the wreck, the driver’s employer may be vicariously liable for its employee’s actions. In that case, the employer may be liable for your injuries.

    Step Two: The Defendant Was Negligent

    Drivers who drive recklessly or negligently breach their duty of care. That is, they are acting negligently. Some common types of negligence include:

    Step Three: Defendant’s Negligence Caused the Motorcycle Accident

    Simply proving the defendant was negligent is not enough to prove liability; you must also show that the defendant’s negligence caused your motorcycle accident and injuries. We may rely on accident reconstruction specialists, medical experts, accident reports, and other evidence to establish causation.

    Step Four: You Suffered Damages

    We must show that you sustained damages. Once we establish that you suffered physical injury, we can seek additional damages for noneconomic losses, like pain and suffering. We can also pursue compensation for your economic losses, including:

    • The cost of medical care. Examples include the ambulance, emergency room, doctors, hospital, surgery, physical therapy, and prescription drugs.
    • Lost income to reimburse you for wages, salary, and other income you lost while recuperating from your injuries.
    • Long-term care and assistance if your injuries render you unable to perform daily functions without assistance, or you need ongoing medical care.
    • Decreased earning potential to compensate you if you are unable to earn as much money after the wreck because of your injuries, or disability if you cannot maintain gainful employment.

    Every motorcycle accident settlement is different and depends on the specific physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered because of your accident.

    Who We Can Sue for a Motorcycle Accident

    People often make the mistake of thinking that they can only sue the other driver in an accident. If they do so, they might miss out on valuable compensation from another party who might have legal liability for the harm they suffered.

    Some other parties we might be able to sue for a motorcycle accident may include:

    • The manufacturer of brakes, tires, or other vehicle parts in either vehicle, if defects contributed to the crash.
    • A passenger inside the vehicle, if that person’s negligence caused the wreck.
    • The government agency responsible for building and maintaining the roadways, if unsafe design or conditions caused your wreck.
    • Any other person, company, or entity whose negligence was at least partly to blame for your motorcycle accident.

    Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz for help identifying the liable party. We offer free case consultations.

    Do Not Sit on Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident

    If you wait too long after the accident, the law will not allow you to file suit, and you will lose your right to compensation for your injuries. Georgia law imposes deadlines for lawsuits, and if you miss the deadline, no one can help you.

    Do not delay. Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today, and we will set up your free consultation to discuss your motorcycle accident and help you take legal action. You can reach us at 404-474-0804.

  • What Are the Requirements to Get a Motorcycle License in Georgia

    You must have either a Class M (motorcycle) license or a Class MP (motorcycle learner’s permit) to operate a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle on Georgia roadways. Your age determines what kind of license you can get:

    • If you are 16 years old, you can only get a Class MP permit.
    • If you are 17, you can get a regular Class M motorcycle license, but your parents must sign your application.
    • If you are 18 or older, you can get a Class M license.

    The requirements for a Class MP and Class M motorcycle license differ, though generally require submitting proper documents, passing written exams, and passing a road test.

    How Do I Get a Class MP Motorcycle Learner’s Permit?

    You must pass these tests to get your Class MP license:

    • Vision test
    • Motorcycle Knowledge Exam. You take this exam after successfully completing a motorcycle Basic Riders Course (BAC), which includes classroom time, a knowledge exam, and a skills test. The course currently costs $250 for Georgia residents.

    You must provide these documents:

    • Official documents showing your name, Social Security number, home address, and either U.S. citizenship or lawful status in the United States.
    • A Certificate of School Enrollment (DS-1), high school diploma, or GED.
    • Proof of the successful completion of an Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program (ADAP/eADAP).
    • The documentation from your Behind the Wheel program.
    • You must surrender any driver’s license, permit, or ID card you have from another state.
    • Signature of a parent, guardian, authorized driver training instructor, or authorized responsible adult. Be aware that they can also request that the state of Georgia revoke your license at any time until you turn 18.

    If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must also comply with all the requirements of Senate Bill 226, also known as Joshua’s Law. This law mandates the completion of an approved driver education course, plus at least 40 hours of supervised driving, including six hours of night driving. Your parent or guardian must sign an affidavit that you completed the supervised driving requirements.

    With a Class MP permit, you can ride your motorcycle during daylight hours, but may not have have passengers or ride on limited access highways. You must wear a helmet and windshield or other eye protection, such as goggles.

    How Do I Get a Class M Motorcycle License?

    You must be at least 17 years old to get a Class M licenses in Georgia. If you are 17, you must get the signature of a parent or other authorized person, just as for a Class MP permit, and the person who signs for you may ask that your license be revoked at any time until you are 18.

    You must submit these documents to get your Class M license:

    • Official documents showing your name, Social Security number, home address, and either U.S. citizenship or lawful status in the United States.
    • You must surrender any driver’s license, permit, or ID card from another state. If you can no longer find your out-of-state license, permit, or ID card, you will have to submit a certified driving record from that state.
    • A Certificate of School Enrollment (DS-1), high school diploma, or GED, if you are 17 years old.

    You must pass these tests:

    • Vision exam.
    • EITHER a Knowledge Exam and Road Skills Test OR a Georgia Motorcycle Program Basic Course.

    If you are 17 years old, you must satisfy all the requirements of Joshua’s Law. Regardless of your age, you are required to wear a motorcycle helmet when operating a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle in Georgia.

    Which Vehicles Require a Class M or Class MP Motorcycle License?

    The following vehicles require a Class M or Class MP motorcycle license to operate:

    • Vehicle is a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle; and
    • It has a saddle instead of a seat like you would find in a car or truck; and
    • It is designed to travel with two or three wheels on the ground; and
    • It is not a tractor; and
    • It is not a moped having a 50 cc or smaller engine.

    To ride a moped (50 cc or smaller engine motor-driven cycle) on Georgia roads, you must:

    • Be at least 15 years old and carry a current driver’s license, instructional permit, or limited permit.
    • Wear a motorcycle helmet.
    • Follow the rules of the road.

    Your moped does not need a tag, but you are not allowed to ride it on roads with a minimum speed limit over 35 miles per hour.

    You should always take your safety seriously when riding a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle. Be aware of and adhere to all motorcycle laws in Georgia. If you suffer an injury in a motorcycle accident, call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. at 404-474-0804 for a free consultation.

  • How does motorcycle insurance work in Georgia?

    Motorcycle insurance works the same way as car insurance after an accident in Georgia. The insurer investigates the accident and pays out depending on the injuries, property damage, and coverage limits.

    Is motorcycle insurance mandatory in Georgia?

    Yes. Georgia law requires owners of all motor vehicles to maintain certain minimum amounts of insurance to cover injuries or property damage they cause. These requirements apply to motorcycles the same as they do for any other motor vehicle.

    These minimums include:

    • $25,000 bodily injury liability for one person;
    • $50,000 bodily injury liability for everyone in an accident; and
    • $25,000 property damage liability

    IMPORTANT: Your liability coverage only pays claims to people when you are at fault. It does not cover your damages if the other driver is at fault. When the other driver causes the accident, you make a claim against his liability insurance.

    What kinds of motorcycle insurance does Georgia law not require?

    Georgia law does not require you to buy motorcycle insurance that exceeds the minimum required coverage, also called 25/50/25 coverage. The law also gives you the option to decline uninsured motorist coverage or medical payments coverage.

    What happens if the damages are higher than the limits of the insurance policy?

    If you are at fault and the damages exceed the limits of your insurance coverage, the people you injured in the accident can sue you and try to take your personal assets. If the other driver is at fault and does not have enough coverage to pay all the damages, we can seek a judgment for the difference, and go after the at-fault driver’s assets.

    What optional types of insurance covers motorcyclists?

    Yes. Multiple types of optional motor vehicle coverage can protect motorcyclists in the event of a wreck, including:

    • Higher limits
    • Uninsured/Underinsured coverage
    • Collision coverage
    • Comprehensive
    • Medical payments
    • Accessories coverage

    What can I expect from my insurance after a motorcycle wreck?

    Once you file a claim with your insurer, a claims adjuster will begin investigating your accident. If you also filed a claim against another driver, his insurer will launch its own investigation. You will likely receive calls from both insurers asking for your side of the story. The insurance adjusters will also likely request a recorded statement. It is imperative that you do not grant a request for a recorded statement and instead direct any questions to us.

    Insurance adjusters are notorious for using what accident victims say in these statements against them. And do not assume that your own insurer has your best interests in mind. Insurance companies are only concerned with one thing: saving money. And they will use some nefarious tactics to do so.

    For example, you were riding your motorcycle when you had a collision with a car turning left at an intersection. It is clear the other driver was at-fault; however, you admitted in your recorded statement that you might have been riding a few miles over the speed limit. The insurer will use that to reduce your compensation and assign liability to you.

    Consider another example: you were riding through an intersection when you collided with a car turning left. You admit you saw the car turning left in front of you but did nothing to slow down or avoid the crash. The insurer will likely try to assign significant liability to you. This means that you will only be able to recover a certain percentage of your injury settlement and you could be liable for a portion of the other person’s injuries.

    Depending on the severity of the injuries the other driver suffered, you could end up paying for a portion of your and his injuries out of pocket.

    If you have optional coverage above the minimum required coverage, it could help with the payment of damages. If the other driver is uninsured, your insurance will pay the costs if you carry uninsured motorist coverage. If the other driver is insured but your damages are greater than the amount of the other driver’s insurance, your policy will cover your excess damages if you purchased underinsured motorist coverage.

    Get help from an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer.

    Recovering compensation from the other driver’s insurer or your own can be difficult. The motorcycle accident team at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. is ready to help you. Call 404-474-0804 for your free consultation.

  • What should I pack for a motorcycle road trip?

    If you're getting ready for a long-distance motorcycle road trip, you'll need to pack smart. Aside from ensuring your bike is loaded evenly to distribute the weight of your gear, you'll also want to stick to just the essentials. In addition to your personal needs like clothing and toiletries, there are several items that can make your road trip easier, safer, and more enjoyable no matter what circumstances you encounter.

    A safe motorcyclist will keep an emergency kit on his or her bike at all times with the essentials for most roadside emergencies. Plus, knowing the rules of the road preps you mentally for the trip.

    Make sure you have the following items packed.

    • Toolkit
    • Critical spare parts (bulbs, spark plugs, fuses) and chain oil
    • Tire repair kit
    • Flashlight
    • Duct tape
    • First aid kit
    • Rain gear or poncho
    • Spare phone battery or portable charger
    • Bottled water
    • Non-perishable snacks

    These items will help you through most minor roadside emergencies, or at least keep you safe and comfortable until help arrives. Before you set out, it's a good idea to get the number for roadside assistance in your area. If you are a AAA member, make sure you have your card on you at all times. It's also a good idea to pre-plan your route and identify places to stop for gas and to rest.

    Make sure you have your bike checked out by a professional mechanic and get any tune-ups or fixes necessary to keep it safe on long journeys. If you notice anything odd about how your bike handles during your trip, pull off the road and locate the nearest mechanic to have your motorcycle checked for any damages.

    Even with all this preparation, accidents still happen, even to experienced riders.  The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. is here to help Peachtree City residents recover damages after they've been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for a FREE consultation regarding your legal options. 404-474-0804.

     

  • Can I wear a novelty motorcycle helmet legally in Peachtree City?

    When it comes to purchasing a motorcycle helmet in Peachtree City, the last thing to consider should be fashion. Sure, novelty motorcycle helmets with horns or mohawks are cool, but if they're not up to the proper safety standards, they could be putting your life at risk.

    According to Georgia law, all motorcycle riders must wear a helmet that meets the standards as set by the Georgia Commissioner of Public Safety. The Commissioner has set its standards to mirror those of the Code of Federal Regulations.

    While there is no rule explicitly stating that a novelty helmet is illegal, there are rules in the federal regulations that prohibit the after-market modification of the helmet. This means that if you purchase a DOT-compliant helmet, you cannot modify it in any way including attaching decorations, cutting or removing parts.

    In the end, it's best to simply buy a pre-decorated helmet at a retail store with the appropriate DOT compliancy labels. That is the only way to ensure you are getting the recommended standard of protection from your helmet.

    Don't Let Details Like Helmet Decorations Ruin Your Injury Claim

    A common defense tactic in motorcycle accident claims is where the defendant claims the motorcyclist was being reckless, such as not wearing a helmet or wearing one that is unsafe. It is possible that the defense may describe your choice of helmet as a sign of recklessness. However, a competent lawyer should be able to place fault where it belongs.

    The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. is here to help Peachtree City residents seek justice when they have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for a FREE consultation regarding your legal options and what to expect when filing a claim for damages after a motorcycle crash: 404-474-0804.