People often don’t think of bicycle accidents in the same way they think of other vehicle accidents. However, bike accident victims in Dunwoody often suffer from the same serious injuries and high medical bills as car accident victims—and in many cases, they get hurt even worse. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you may have a right to compensation for your injuries, pain, suffering and more. A Dunwoody bicycle accident lawyer can help you.
Our lawyers have over twenty years of experience helping bicycle accident victims just like you get results. While an insurance company’s priority is their bottom line, our priority is you. We will work day and night to get you the financial compensation you deserve, and won’t charge you a penny unless you do get that reward. Fill out the form to the right or call us at (404) 341-6555 for a free consultation.
Is it true that my car insurance will cover me even if I’m hit on a bike?
Many people are surprised that yes, in some cases your auto insurance will cover damages for your bicycle accident—even though you were on your bike. However, it depends. In most cases where a car hits a cyclist, the car driver will be at fault, and it’s their insurance (not yours) that pays for your injuries. However, if they don’t have insurance, or if it’s not enough to cover your costs, then your own auto insurance may kick in—if you have the right kind of coverage (which many Georgians do, often without knowing it).
To be covered by your own policy, you need to have a type of insurance called Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. If you do, then your own policy can help cover you if the at-fault driver’s policy isn’t enough (or if they’re uninsured). It does not matter that you were riding a bike and not driving a car when you were hit.
Who is at fault in a bicycle accident?
Georgia is a fault state. This means that whoever caused the accident is liable for covering the costs of damages. A driver may be at fault if any of the following apply:
- The driver did not obey traffic laws: Though many drivers resent sharing the road with bicyclists, bicyclists enjoy the same rights under the law as drivers. If a driver hits a bicyclist because the driver did not follow a traffic law (such as stopping at a stop sign), the driver is at fault and liable for any damages.
- The driver failed to properly yield to a bicyclist who had the right of way: Many cities have designated biking lanes. A driver who hits a bicyclist riding in a designated biking lane is at fault and can be liable for damages. The same is true for cars that pass too close to a cyclist.
- The driver hit you while under the influence: As with drunk driving car accidents, if a driver hits a bicyclist while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, they are still held liable for any damages.
These are just some of the ways a person can be at fault in Dunwoody. The truth is, any sort of negligence (carelessness) can count as fault, and potentially make the driver liable for the accident.
In some cases, bicyclists are injured by hazardous road conditions. This may include inclement weather (rain or snow) or dangerous roadways (potholes or obstacles/debris). If this situation applies to you, you may still be legally owed financial compensation, but it depend on the details of what happened. A Dunwoody lawyer can help you build a case no matter who or what is at fault.
Can I still recover money if I wasn’t wearing a helmet?
The legal answer is yes, but with caveats. Bicycle accident victims not wearing a helmet may still get coverage from their insurance companies. If the accident wasn’t your fault, it wasn’t your fault—whether you were wearing a helmet of not. However, besides the obvious health risks of not wearing a helmet, there are legal consequences as well. An insurance company may place partial blame on you if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of an accident. This may be the case even if the other driver is completely at fault. Insurance companies may partially blame you even if you were following all other traffic laws and the driver was not, such as running a red light.
The reasoning behind this is simple: the insurance company will argue that your injuries would have been less severe if you had a helmet on. So, they don’t think they should have to pay all the costs of the accident for you, because at least some of them are “your fault.”
To resolve this, the insurer may try to assign a percentage of fault to you. This can be negotiated between your lawyer and the insurer, or if need be, it can be decided by the court. That percentage will then affect how much of your damages actually get paid.
For example, if an insurance company places 50% of the blame on you, then they may reduce their compensation by 50%. In some cases, a 50% reduction in compensation may apply across the board—not only to your medical bills, but to any compensation due to lost wages or pain and suffering as well. Be aware that an insurer will always seek to assign the highest share of blame to you possible, even if it leaves you with too little money for your medical costs.
If you weren’t wearing a helmet, don’t let yourself be taken advantage of. A Dunwoody lawyer can help negotiate with the insurance company and get you the financial compensation you deserve.
Talk to a Dunwoody Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free
Bicycle accidents are serious and can often be life-changing. Don’t put your financial compensation at risk. Let our our lawyers, with over twenty years of experience, go to work for you—and give you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call us at (404) 341-6555 to get your free consultation today.