Can I sue an old lady who pulled out in front of my motorcycle?
Sometimes I have represented injured motorcyclists in litigation. Here’s a question that hit my desk this week about a motorcycle accident in Geogia.
Q. I live in Ga. An 83 yo woman turned left in front of me, I was on a motorcycle. Had to hit her in the passenger side rear wheel. Broke leg at knee and broke foot, lots of road pizza. Spent 3 days in hospital for surgeries and then an additional week about 2 months later for blood clots and blood infection. Ins adjuster says he can only offer me 50,000 as that is all she is covered for. My question is:
If I retain a lawyer and sue will the fact that I had an out of date motorcycle learners permit have an effect on the case or should I just settle for the 50 grand?
A. If she only had $50,000 coverage, that may be as much you are going to get. If you file suit and the case goes to trial, some jurors will sympathize with the elderly lady, some will either like or dislike motorcyclists, and some will just be skeptical of any personal injury claim. You didn’t mention how much your medical bills are, but it would not be surprising for a jury to award no more than what appears to be a $50,000 policy limit. You should request an affidavit from the insurance company as to the policy limits before you settle for that.
Ken Shigley is a trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia who has been listed as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale), and is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy,. Mr. Shigley has extensive experience representing parties in trucking and bus accidents, products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is Secretary of the 40,000 member State Bar of Georgia.