Bicycle accidents in Carrollton can result in very serious injuries. But, many drivers don’t take them seriously because these collisions don’t involve another car or truck. Instead, they may think that the biker is just “on their own” to deal with their injuries and damages as if the bicyclist was the one that caused the crash. This generally isn’t the case. If another driver caused your bike accident, then they will usually be legally responsible for your damages and injuries. You could also have a case if you were injured because of a pothole or other hazard. You need a Carrollton bicycle accident lawyer help you.
Our lawyers have over 20 years of experience helping victims of car accident cases, including situations that involve pedestrians and bicyclists. We can put that experience and knowledge to work for you in your bicycle accident case. Our lawyers provide compassionate, individualized legal services that you can count on. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
What happens if the driver leaves the scene of a bike accident?
Getting in an accident with a bicyclist is treated as if the crash was with another car or truck. That means that leaving the scene of a crash with a bicyclist is illegal under Georgia law. Staying at the scene and cooperating with police is a legal requirement in Georgia. That type of action will also look very bad in a civil lawsuit as well.
Determining who was responsible for the accident can be much harder when a driver leaves the scene. Identifying the driver is often the only way that you can get money damages from the driver or their insurance company. You might be able to find out who was driving the vehicle by taking the following actions:
- Reporting the incident to the police so they can be on the lookout for a car that matches your description
- Providing the license plate number to the police so they can locate the driver by looking them up in their database
- Asking nearby witnesses what they remember about the vehicle
Be sure to tell the police everything you know about the car so they can attempt to find the at-fault driver. The police have an interest in locating this person to prosecute them for leaving the scene as well.
If you cannot determine who caused the accident, you may be able to use your own insurance coverage to help you deal with costs related to the incident. Your uninsured motorist coverage should apply in these situations. But, not everyone has purchased this type of coverage. Check your insurance policy to determine if this option is available to you.
The insurance company is claiming I’m partially at fault for the accident. Is that right?
Many accidents are caused because more than one person made a mistake. Perhaps you ran through a stop sign as a bicyclist when you were hit. In those situations, you can still sue the driver if they were also partially to blame for the accident.
In legal language, Georgia is a “modified comparative negligence” state. That means that as long as you are less than 50% at fault for the accident, you can still sue the other driver for your injuries, damages, and other losses from the crash. Your final money award from a judge or jury will be decreased by the percentage of fault assigned to you for the accident. Your settlement will also be affected by the insurance company’s assessment of responsibility as well.
Here’s an example:
- Imagine that you are on your bike and you speed up to make it through a yellow light at an A car is trying to make a left-hand turn before the light turns red as well.
- The car doesn’t see you and hits you in the middle of the intersection.
- In that case, you shouldn’t have sped up to make it through the light, but the car also shouldn’t have turned into you. You are both at fault.
- A jury may assign you 10% fault and 90% fault to the driver. If your damages are $10,000, then you will be awarded $9,000 to account for your percentage of the blame.
You shouldn’t let the possibility that you are partially at fault keep you from talking to an attorney about your legal options. You may be surprised to learn that your minor error could have little to no effect on your case.
How much money can I win for my bike accident case?
Although this question is very common, it’s difficult to answer. Every case is different, which means that every value will vary as well. The factors that often affect the value of a bicycle accident case include:
- The extent of your injuries
- The type of injuries you have
- Whether you were also at fault for the accident
- What kind of effect your injuries will have on your future
- Your total medical expenses
- Whether you will need future medical care
- Whether your injuries will affect your ability to provide care or support to family members or loved ones
- Whether you will have any long-term effects of your injuries, such as scarring or disfigurement
- The property damage that your bike sustained
- The total amount of time you have taken away from work to recover
Damages provided in a bike accident case are directly related to your losses. This is because the money you are given is designed to put you back in the place that you would be as if the accident had never happened.
It’s hard to say how much a serious accident will affect you in the future, but your future medical treatment, pain and suffering, and working life will play a big role in determining what your case is worth. Your attorney will be able to help you estimate these difficult categories of damages.
Talk to a Carrollton Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free
Don’t wait to get your bike accident case started. There are time limitations that apply to your claim based on Georgia law—and involving an attorney right away significantly increases your chances of getting the money damages you need. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.