In Kennesaw, cyclists know that inattentive or aggressive car drivers are their number one threat—and the law knows it, too. When you get in an accident as a cyclist, you are protected by the same personal injury laws that cover any other type of vehicle accident. That means that if the accident is no fault of your own, you likely have a right to recover money for your injuries, your bicycle damages and more. But neither police nor insurance companies are quick to take cyclists seriously. You need to talk to a Kennesaw bicycle accident lawyer.
Our law group is able to help you. We offer more than other law firms:
- More than 20 years of experience with bicycle accident cases
- We understand cyclists, the threats that you face, and why the system is biased in favor of drivers
- We have a history of winning bicycle claims and getting the victims the money they deserve—even when the driver is trying to blame the bicyclist
Don’t risk losing out on the settlement that is your legal right. Let give you a FREE consultation and help you make the right decisions early in your case. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
How do bicycle accident claims work in Kennesaw?
Many cyclists don’t know that they have the same rights as car accident victims, and that they can file an insurance claim to recover money. Most bicycle accidents happen for one of two reasons: being hit by a motor vehicle, or hitting some kind of obstacle like a pothole or sewer grate.
If you were hit by a motor vehicle:
- The best thing to do is call the police (even if the driver doesn’t want to), and exchange information with the driver, including their insurance info. If the driver doesn’t pull over, get as many details as you can—especially the license plate. Call the police immediately.
- Ask the police to file a police report. This is their duty if the accident involved injuries or property damage, including a damaged bike. Explain exactly what happened and be sure to remind them that cyclists have a right to be in the road, even with no bike lane. In fact, if you’re over the age of 12, you are required by law to ride in the road with traffic.
- You’ll then need to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. We can do this for you.
- The insurance company will make a determination of who is at fault, often following the determination in the police report. Their decision is not In fact, much of the claim process involves your lawyer putting together hard evidence and negotiating with the insurance company to prove your case.
- If the driver was at fault, you’ll likely be offered a settlement. The initial offer is rarely the full amount you deserve, and we negotiate hard to get the most possible. In most cases, your case will never go to trial.
If you hit an obstacle:
- Always take pictures or video immediately if possible
- On private property, such as a shopping center, go and report what happened to the store. Talk to a manager. Tell them you were injured and explain the hazard. If they tell you a different company manages the property, ask for contact info and report it to them immediately. Get names and a phone number for everyone you talk to.
- On roads, the city, county or state may be responsible in some cases. Document everything, especially the location of the hazard. Photos are very important.
- In either kind of case, talk to a lawyer to help you file a claim with the appropriate entities.
Is the cyclist ever the one at fault?
It’s possible. From our experience, cyclists are much more likely to bike defensively because they know they are at risk. Drivers, on the other hand, often exhibit aggressive or careless behavior to cyclists. In other words, fault usually lies with the motorist, not the cyclist.
But there are cases where you could be found at fault, or partially at fault. For example:
- Aggressive biking. Just as motorists can be aggressive, it’s easy for cyclists to overreact when a driver does something wrong. Trying to block a car from passing, closely follow a car, or pulling alongside a moving car to yell at them are all reckless tactics. In less confrontational cases, cyclists who weave suddenly out into traffic or don’t signal turns could also be found at fault.
- Riding where you shouldn’t. This depends on the case. For example, Georgia prohibits you from biking on interstate highways in most cases, but if you do so and you were safely off on the shoulder, you might not be at fault. Technically, the accident was still caused by a careless driver, even though you were breaking a law. On the other hand, if you were biking on a sidewalk (over the age of 12), you could be at fault for any accident.
- Simple carelessness. Like any other “driver,” you have a duty to be careful and attentive. Cyclists who zip through intersections without looking will likely be at fault for an accident—but be aware you will often be accused of this even if you were the one in the right.
There are also some situations that can go either way:
- No lights. At dusk and nighttime, you’re required by law to have working front and back lights. But if you don’t, it doesn’t mean you’re at fault. You might or might not be depending on whether visibility was the issue.
- No helmet. Drivers love to point out when a cyclist didn’t have a helmet on. But in most cases, it’s irrelevant. Wearing a helmet does not change whether you would have been hit, and it does not change who caused the accident. If you are seeking damages for a head injury, however, you may not be able to recover as much because your lack of helmet contributed to the injuries.
Don’t let these examples scare you. Bicycle cases are complex. The majority of bicycle cases are the driver’s fault, even if some of these factors were present. Get a legal opinion as early in your case as possible.
Talk to a Kennesaw Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free
Let us put you in touch with a top bicycle accident lawyer and give you a FREE consultation. You pay nothing, ever, unless we get you money. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.