All Drivers Owe a Duty of Care
As a basic legal premise, all drivers owe one another a duty of care. In Georgia, this standard is referred to as “ordinary diligence,” and is further explained in Section 51-1-2 of the Georgia Code. This concept applies to automobile drivers, truckers, bicyclists, and motorcyclists alike – and is meant to help increase the mutual protection of all who share the road. Moreover, drivers and bikers owe one another a duty to operate their vehicles in a reasonable manner at all times. They must take all necessary precautions and keep a watchful eye for hazards and harmful risks.
Accordingly, negligence can occur anytime this standard is not followed, resulting in injury to another driver. In the context of a motorcycle versus automobile, negligence may arise when a driver fails to operate his vehicle in a way that upholds the safety of motorcyclists in surrounding lanes – which can occur either due to distraction or basic carelessness.
Examples of Driver Negligence That Causes Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident cases hinge on whether – at the time of the crash – the alleged inattentive driver was acting reasonably under the circumstances. Always a difficult standard to define, deciding what is “reasonable under the circumstances” usually comes down to generally-accepted societal norms, shared mutual experiences as drivers, and the global understanding of what is safe versus careless.
When a driver decides to change lanes, for example, there is a general protocol to this maneuver, beginning with a quick scan of the adjacent lane to determine whether it is a good time to make the lane change. However, some drivers fail to take even this step, resulting in an abrupt, haphazard transition from one lane to the other. For the unsuspecting motorcyclist tucked into the driver’s blind spot, this abrupt decision can – and often does – lead to a sideswipe collision, which can be fatal to a motorcyclist.
In addition to the sideswipe collision, driver inattentiveness is also to blame in the familiar left-hand turn accident. By way of example, a number of accidents happen when a driver is positioned to turn left and fails to see an oncoming motorcycle approaching from the intersection. Tragically, these accidents often lead to head-on collisions and severe injury or fatality.
Proving negligence in these situations is vital to getting compensation for you or your loved one.
How do I prove driver negligence?
Evidence, such as police reports, eyewitness statements, etc., is vital in these situations. Evidence can help you prove that the driver was not diligent and that his actions directly caused the accident and, in turn, your injuries. For example, an eyewitness can testify that the driver did not signal before changing lanes and sideswiped the motorcyclist.
Proving negligence can be difficult and frustrating; contact a motorcycle accident attorney for help. If you were recently injured in a motorcycle accident and believe driver inattentiveness may be to blame, do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of John Morrison, LLC in Gwinnett County, Georgia today: 770-951-8900.