Every bicyclist in McDonough has a right to be on the road with car, truck and bus drivers. Unfortunately, many bicyclists have had close-calls with motorists who failed to give them enough room, drove aggressively around them, or otherwise did not respect their rights. When other drivers are not careful enough, bicycle accidents can happen that typically warrant help from a McDonough bicycle accident lawyer.
Bicycle accidents can be incredibly dangerous for bike riders. If you were injured during an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical costs, missed work time, and more. Our lawyers have been helping bicyclists like you for over 20 years, and we know what it takes to win cases.
Call us today for a FREE consultation and case evaluation to discuss your options. Call (404) 341-6555 or contact us online now to get started with your FREE consultation.
Determining Who Was at Fault in Your Bicycle Accident
In Georgia, the outcome of every personal injury begins with determining who was at fault. That’s because the at-fault individual (or company) in an injury accident is legally liable for all damages. The injured party has the right to seek compensation for their losses, also known as damages (Georgia Code § 51-1-6).
If you did not cause your accident, you already know the other party’s at fault. However, the burden is on you to prove their fault in your injury claim. You will need to gather evidence to demonstrate what happened, such as:
- The police report of the accident
- Pictures of the scene, the damage, and your injuries
- Witness testimony
- Video surveillance or traffic images from the area where your accident happened, if applicable
- Your testimony of what happened
It’s best to work with a McDonough bicycle accident lawyer as you build your injury claim. They will know what is required to provide the best evidence and fight for full compensation.
Never Accept the First Settlement Offer
Before you even file your claim, the at-fault driver’s insurance company might try reaching out to you. They may offer you a lump sum of money right away. Or, they might offer you money right after you file your claim. While this money is often tempting—especially as you deal with mounting medical bills and missed workdays—you should never accept the first offer from the insurance company.
Insurance companies are skilled at making it seem like they care about your well-being, when in reality they care most about their bottom line. They are hoping you’ll take the first offer and end your case without a fight. The main problem with doing this is that you likely deserve way more for what you’ve lost.
If you take the first offer without evaluating the value of your damages, you could end up paying for a lot of the current and/or future costs from your accident. Instead, get a motorcycle accident lawyer on your side as soon as possible. They can:
- Help you build a strong insurance claim demonstrating all of your damages
- Communicate with the insurance company on your behalf so you don’t get taken advantage of
- Negotiate with the insurer for a settlement that is actually fair to you
- Be your biggest ally and support through this lengthy (and often confusing) process
Cyclists Are Rarely At-Fault for Accidents in McDonough
Many drivers are not aware of the laws related to bikes in McDonough. The truth is, Georgia Code defines bicycles are vehicles. Bicyclists have the same rights to be on the road (especially if there is no bike lane), and must follow the same traffic laws, like all other motor vehicles.
Despite the above fact, a lot of drivers do not treat bicycles as if they are equal. They are quick to blame cyclists in an accident, assuming that the fault falls on them. In reality, cyclists are rarely at fault for auto accidents. Cyclists are also often left with the worst injuries and “vehicle” damage in an accident.
It’s vital to protect your legal rights after getting into an accident. If you are worried about others believing you about what happened after the collision, get an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer on the phone right away. They can help you prove what actually happened and remind the important parties of your rights.
What to Do After Getting Hit on Your Bike in McDonough
There are several ways you can begin building your case and protecting your rights after a bicycle accident in McDonough. If you’re able, here are steps you can take after the collision.
Report the Accident to the Police
In Georgia, you must report an accident if there are injuries or more than $500 worth of property damage. So, in almost all situations, you should call the police department to tell them what happened.
Officers will likely respond to the scene. When they do, tell them what happened. You might also remind them that bikes have a right to be on the road like other drivers. Also, avoid apologizing or admitting any blame in the accident.
Responding officers will ask for information too, but it’s always a good idea to exchange with the other driver as you wait. Get their full name, contact information, and their auto insurance policy information. If you are worried about them leaving the scene (which unfortunately can happen), note their license plate and vehicle description.
Although you do not need to carry insurance to ride a bike, motorists are required to hold active insurance while operating their vehicles. If they are at fault for the accident, their insurance company will ultimately be responsible for the costs.
Use your phone or a camera to take pictures of:
- The entire accident scene, including any relevant landmarks to show the location
- All vehicle and bicycle damage
- Your injuries
- Anything else you think might be relevant in your case
Get Medical Attention
If you have injuries that are very serious or life-threatening, this should be your first step. Otherwise, make sure you get medical attention as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the insurance company may use it as an excuse to pay you less.
Talk to a McDonough Bicycle Accident Lawyer
It’s best to get an experienced lawyer on the phone as soon as you can after your accident. They can immediately help you start building your claim and fighting for your rights.
Talk to a McDonough Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free Today
As a bicyclist in an accident, it’s important to know your rights. Our lawyers have 20 plus years of experience helping injured cyclists win the money they need to pay their costs and move on. Let us help you, too, starting with a FREE consultation. Call (404) 341-6555 or contact us online now for your FREE consultation.