Cycling is a great way to stay in shape, and a good way to get around that doesn’t pollute the environment or cost you money at the gas pump. Here in Mableton, a lot of people take advantage of the scenic and safe Silver Comet Trail. But if you participate in road cycling, or you use your bike as your main mode of transportation, you know drivers don’t always share the road.
Unfortunately, bicycle accidents happen. And the motorist will likely not suffer any injuries. But as a cyclist, even if you’re wearing a helmet, you can suffer serious injuries, including head injuries, broken bones, and internal injuries — injuries a lot more serious than road rash. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to pay for all of your medical bills. You’ve got a lot of questions.
After your accident, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced Mableton bicycle accident lawyer. Our accident firm has experienced lawyers who can review your case and help you deal with the insurance companies. The consultation is free, and we can meet with you wherever you would like — in your hospital room, at home, at the local Starbucks.
Whose Insurance Will Pay My Medical Bills?
Your first concern as you’re recovering from your injuries, is whose insurance will pay for your medical bills. Every driver in Georgia is required to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance to cover the costs if they injure someone in an accident. The insurance also covers damage to other vehicles, which in this case, would be your bike.
Who pays for your medical bills depends on who was at fault in the accident. In the vast majority of bicycle accidents, the driver is at fault. Many drivers don’t even see a cyclist because they are focused on other traffic, or looking ahead trying to beat the light. By the time they see see a cyclist until it’s too late, and they have turned in front of you. Drivers may not yield, even if you legally have the right of way.
After an accident, many drivers will try and say you caused the accident. If you are injured in a bicycle accident, do not accept the blame or apologize. You or a friend should call the police, even if you don’t think you’ve suffered a serious injury. That way there will be a police report detailing what happened.
Ultimately, it is up to the insurance companies to assign fault. The bottom line is, if the driver is at fault in the accident, their insurance will have to pay for your injuries. But keep in mind, they are in business to make a profit, and will try to avoid paying a claim, or paying the least amount possible. This is one of the many reasons it’s helpful to have an experienced bicycle accident lawyer on your side.
What If the Driver Is Uninsured?
By law, drivers are required to carry auto insurance. If the driver is uninsured, they are breaking the law, and you are allowed to sue them personally for damages. They may not be able to pay the amount all at once, but if you will, a judge could order them to pay you over a period of time.
If there was another driver involved in the accident, you can also file a claim with their insurance company. And even your own auto insurance policy may come into play, if you have uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage. A good bicycle accident lawyer can help figure out which insurance policies actually exist, and what coverage they provide.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover?
You are allowed to seek damages for more than just your medical bills, and you are allowed to seek the full amount of damages, no matter how much that is. Types of Damages include:
Medical Costs Now and in the Future
You can claim damages for any medical costs associated with your accident that you had to pay for yourself — as in, your medical insurance didn’t pay the bill. Your bills can run into the tens of thousands of dollars pretty easily, depending on how badly you were injured. Common medical costs include:
- Ambulance fees
- Hospital bills
- Doctor bills
- Physical therapy and occupational therapy
- Mental health treatment if you’re suffering from PTSD
- The cost of prescription drugs
- Future medical costs (Your lawyer will hire medical professionals to provide an estimate)
If the accident caused you to miss work for any length of time, you can claim damages for your lost wages. You will need to keep track of how many days you missed work. Your HR department will be able to help with this. If you’re self-employed, be sure you or a family member keeps a record of days lost due to your injuries.
You can also get the insurance company to pay for the cost of fixing or replacing your bike. Unless your accident was very minor, your bike was probably totaled, and will need to be replaced. Property damage costs also include the replacement cost of your bike helmet, bike cleats, bike computer and any special cycling clothing you may have been wearing that was damaged.
Should I Take the Insurance Company’s Offer?
If the insurance company called you, or even sent someone to your hospital room to make an offer, say you need to speak with your lawyer first before accepting any offer. Many times, a quick offer from an insurance company is also a low ball offer. Your best move is to speak with an experienced accident lawyer, and have them review your case and the offer.
Chances are, the insurance company is not taking all of your costs into consideration. Having a bicycle accident lawyer working with you gives you equal standing with the insurance company. You can bet they have plenty of lawyers working to figure out how to pay out the least amount of money.
Talk to a Mableton Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free
If someone crashed into you while you were riding your bike, speaking with a Mableton bicycle accident lawyer may be the smartest move you make. Our lawyers have been helping bicycle accident victims for decades, and we’d like to put our experience to work for you. A FREE review of your case will help you understand the right next steps to take. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or use our contact form to schedule your free consultation.