Every bicyclist in Norcross has had the experience of being crowded by a car, passed aggressively, tailgated, or nearly driven off the road. Unfortunately, all too often these aggressive behaviors from drivers turn into severe bicycle accidents. And as every cyclist knows, in a collision between a bike and a car, the bike rarely comes out ahead. But that doesn’t change the legal rights that cyclists have—including the right to recover money for accidents that were not your fault. If you were injured while cycling, don’t wait. You need to talk to a Norcross bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Let us help. We can connect you to some of the most respected bicycle accident attorneys in the state, with a long history of winning cases in and around Norcross. Our attorneys are different:
- 20+ years working on bicycle accidents and related cases
- Passionate about the rights of cyclists
- We understand how vulnerable cyclists can be—and how they often get short shrift in accident cases
We will give you a FREE consultation to help you determine your legal rights—and make smart choices. Don’t accept less money than you deserve, and never take the insurance company (or the driver) at their word. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
Do I need insurance to get a bicycle accident settlement in Norcross?
No. Unlike cars, bicyclists are not required to carry insurance in Georgia and it’s almost unheard of for any cyclist to have a policy. That doesn’t mean you don’t have rights.
In Norcross, and throughout Georgia, vehicle accidents are based on fault. This includes accidents where a motor vehicle hits a bicyclist. Generally speaking, whichever person caused the accident is the one considered to be at fault, and any costs coming from the accident are that person’s responsibility. In theory, that means that either the cyclist or the car driver could end up being liable.
In reality, however, there are a number of factors that tend to work in a cyclist’s favor:
- Cyclists are rarely at fault for accidents with motor vehicles. The law in Georgia says that cyclists can be on most roads and, if there is not a bicycle lane, they should be in the main lane of traffic, staying to the right as much as possible. That means you were right to be out where the cars were, and if a vehicle hit you, it’s often the driver’s fault.
- Damage to the motor vehicle is usually minimal—and so are injuries to those inside. Sometimes the driver will be upset about a dent from where the bicycle hit. But the truth is, most of the damage, and injuries, ends up on the bicyclist’s side of the equation. That means there is little incentive for a driver to seek any damages from you.
- Juries are unpredictable in bicycle accident cases. Insurance companies like to bet on a sure thing. They will usually avoid going to trial if they can, because it’s hard to know how a jury will decide any given case. That’s especially true in bicycle accident cases, where the jury can swing widely either way. Some jurors may blame the cyclist for being “unsafe,” but others will see a badly injured cyclist and a nearly-unscathed driver, and make a gut decision on who the real victim is. Insurance companies would rather settle that face that kind of risk.
As a result, it’s usually in your best interest to call the police, get an accident report, and file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. Your lawyer can help you decide whether this is a smart move in your specific case. They can also file the claim for you and negotiate with the insurance company so you don’t have to.
What if the driver didn’t stop—a “hit and run”?
Tragically, this is common in bicycle accident cases. It’s also a source of frustration and outrage for anyone who is passionate about cycling and the rights of cyclists to use the road safely. Legally, however, it doesn’t change the rights you have—and there are ways to find the offending driver.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Any information helps. If you didn’t get the license plate, a partial plate helps. If you’re not sure the make and model, simple adjectives (“it was a white pickup truck”) make a difference. And, if you’re physically able to after the accident, it helps if you talk to anyone else nearby. A single witness can make all the difference.
- There are multiple ways to locate the driver. Depending on the info available, we may be able to run a license plate, a partial plate, or even work from a description. We can look for other witnesses who may have seen what happened, even if you didn’t talk to them at the time. In some cases, simply publicizing what happened with a description of the vehicle can get neighbors or family to turn in the hit and run driver. We have our own investigators who can track down drivers even when they hit and run!
- The driver will say they didn’t know they hit you. This isn’t true in every case, but it’s so common we expect it. This does not change their liability for your injuries, although it is a possible defense against hit and run charges. We will look for evidence, such as the dent on their car or any report from witnesses that they swerved, to disprove their statement. And, if they truly never saw you or heard the impact of hitting a bicyclist, that can work against them—it is cold hard proof that they were driving inattentively, which is negligence.
- Hit and run drivers are often drunk. They don’t want a DUI charge so they’re afraid to pull over. This also ends up working in your favor, especially if the police are able to pull them over that same night. A drunk driver is almost always at fault for an accident, and you are entitled to recover additional money (“punitive damages”) if we can show that they were drunk.
You need to talk to a lawyer. Not all bicycle accidents are hit and runs, but many are. No matter what the specifics of your accident, remember that drivers, insurers and police all tend not to take bike accidents as seriously as car accidents—until it becomes a legal matter. You need legal help to enforce your rights.
Talk to a Norcross Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free
It doesn’t have to cost you money to get a legal opinion. We offer a FREE consultation to help you decide if you have a case. And if you do, our attorneys charge nothing unless we win you money—we only get paid as a percentage of what we recover for you. Get the help you need. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.