Bicyclists face serious injuries from even the most minor collisions with cars. If you were injured, you may be left with pain, big medical bills and questions: How long will my recovery take? Can I get insurance money to pay for my injuries and my bicycle?
Let us put you in touch with a lawyer for free. Our Atlanta bicycle accident attorneys will give you a FREE phone consultation get you the answers you need—and help you understand if you have a case. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
How are bicycle accidents different than other types of accidents?
Bicycles are smaller and weigh less than other types of vehicles, and that makes accidents both more common and more serious. While cars have safety gear such as bumpers, seat belts and air bags, a helmet is typically the only protection a cyclist has in an accident. When you fall or are thrown from your bike, your body hits the pavement directly, increasing the chance of broken bones, skin injuries and even head injuries.
Because of their slim profile, bicycles can also be harder to see than other types of vehicles, increasing the chance of accidents. But one of the key ways that bicycle accidents are different than other accidents is the way many drivers think of cyclists. Although Georgia law requires bicycles and other vehicles to “share the road,” many drivers don’t treat cyclists the same way they treat other vehicles. When sharing the road with bicycles, drivers may be more likely to use risky behavior like tailgating or passing when it isn’t safe.
Who is “at fault” in a bicycle accident in Atlanta?
Determining who is “at fault” in an accident in Georgia is important because the party who is at fault is legally liable and must pay all the costs and damages suffered by everyone involved. If a car driver was not paying attention, not following traffic laws, or not yielding to a bicyclist who had the right of way, that driver is legally at fault and their insurance company must pay.
The law gives bicyclists the same rights and responsibilities on the road as other drivers, but many drivers think bicycles shouldn’t be on the road. In an accident, that may lead another driver to blame you for what happened, even when the accident was clearly the other driver’s fault. Be wary of this behavior, and never accept the blame for an accident or apologize if it wasn’t your fault. Your innocent statements can be used against you in an insurance claim.
Sometimes, a bicycle accident isn’t caused by another driver, but by hazards on the roadway itself. If you fall because of poorly maintained pavement, debris or other hazards, you may still have a claim. A lawyer can help you get answers.
What kinds of injuries will a bicycle accident claim pay for?
You can recover money for almost any kind of injury, as long as it was caused by your accident. Some of the most common types of bike accident injuries include:
- Head injuries ranging from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries that will last for life. The risk of a head injury is highest for cyclists who do not wear helmets.
- Broken bones.
- Neck and back injuries.
- Scrapes, “road rash” and other skin injuries.
Always see a doctor as soon as possible after a bike accident, even if you think your injuries will heal without medical treatment. Many injuries that seem minor at first grow worse over time, and early treatment is key to a shorter recovery. Seeing a doctor also helps you get an early medical evaluation that will help you make a stronger claim.
How much money can I collect in a bicycle accident claim?
Georgia law allows you to recover ALL the costs and damages that result from your accident. You could also get extra money to offset the impact of the accident on your life.
In most cases, you can expect to recover money for these types of costs:
- Medical bills
- The cost of prescription drugs
- Physical therapy or other rehabilitative therapies
- The cost of fixing or replacing your bike
- Lost wages, if the accident caused you to miss time from work
Some people recover significantly more in Atlanta, Georgia car accident lawsuits. Larger financial awards are available if you have severe losses like a disability or ongoing pain, or if you have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident. We know that money can never make up for a severe loss, but it can relieve the crushing financial stress that often goes along with a serious injury.
The insurance company already offered me money, so why do I need a lawyer?
The problem with the insurance company’s offer is that it is almost certainly not enough money to truly compensate you for your injuries. Insurance companies are trying to make a profit, so they offer a relatively small amount right away, in hopes that you’ll take it and give up your right to recover anything else.
A lawyer puts you on an equal footing with the insurance company. A lawyer can refer you to doctors who know how to fully diagnose your injury and estimate what your recovery and care will really cost. A lawyer can investigate the cause of your accident and build a strong case proving what happened and what you will need to recover. The money you receive with a lawyer on your side is often significantly more than that first insurance company offer.
How can I tell if I have a valid bicycle accident claim?
The short answer is that it is hard for an injured person to objectively evaluate a claim. Accidents are over in an instant and many times accident victims remember little of what happened. It’s common to question your own observations or judgment and wonder whether you were at fault. The best way to tell whether you have a valid claim is to schedule a free consultation with a bicycle accident lawyer.
A lawyer can evaluate the facts and whether someone else’s negligence caused your accident. Negligence means that someone was not as careful as they should have been, or was distracted or not following traffic laws. A negligent driver may not have meant to hurt you, but if their negligence caused your accident, they are at fault and you have a valid claim.
Talk to an Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free
Our lawyers have spent decades helping accident victims get the money they need. You won’t pay us anything unless we win money for you. Let us offer you a free, no obligation consultation to show you what we can do for you. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.