As a young city, Peachtree Corners really listens to its citizens. As a result of a livability study, the city is working on a multi-use trail plan to help bicyclists and pedestrians get around without using their cars. But it’s not a reality yet, so if you are a bicyclist, you already know that sometimes you have to negotiate traffic to get to where you’re going. And even if you use the bike lanes, you’re still at risk of an accident. Let’s face it — there are a lot of drivers who don’t think they have to share the road with cyclists, even though it’s the law.
If you’re in an accident while riding your bike, you could suffer serious injuries. Wearing a helmet will help protect you from head injuries, but depending on the speed of the vehicle that hits you, you could suffer broken bones, internal injuries, head injuries, or even death. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, it’s in your best interests to consult an experienced bicycle accident lawyer. Our accident firm has experienced lawyers who can go over your case with you to help you determine the best course of action.
Bicycle Accidents Are Different Than Other Accidents
When you’re in an auto accident, you have the steel frame, seatbelts and airbags to protect you. And other drivers can see you coming. But bicycles are smaller and weigh less than other types of vehicles, which means a bicyclist nearly always comes out on the losing end of any accident. When you fall or are thrown from your bike, your body hits the pavement directly, increasing the chance of broken bones, skin injuries, head injuries and even death.
If you are seriously injured, you will likely go to the hospital via ambulance. If you are able to walk away from the accident, be sure to go to the emergency room or an urgent care facility to be checked out. This is important not only for your health, but to ensure that the driver’s insurance company can’t claim your injuries are not related to the accident.
If a family member died as a result of a bicycle accident, we can help you file a wrongful death claim.
Who Is at Fault in a Bicycle Accident?
Determining who is at fault is important, because the driver who is at fault must pay for damages the other person suffers in the accident. Many times, a driver is at fault, because they weren’t paying attention and didn’t see a cyclist until it was too late. Drivers may not yield, even if you legally have the right of way.
Many drivers will try and blame you, the cyclist. If you are injured in a bicycle accident, do not accept the blame or apologize. The driver of the vehicle that hit you could use that against you when it comes time to file an insurance claim. You or a friend should call the police if you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, even if you don’t think you’ve suffered a serious injury. That way there will be a police report detailing what happened.
What Types of Damages Can I Claim in a Bicycle Accident?
If you are less than 51% at fault in the accident, you can claim damages. These can include:
You can claim damages for any medical costs associated with your accident that you pay out of pocket. Medical bills can run into the tens of thousands of dollars and above, depending on the severity of your injuries. Medical costs can include:
- Ambulance fees
- Hospital bills
- Doctor’s bills
- Physical therapy and occupational therapy
- The cost of prescription drugs
- Future medical costs as estimated by medical professionals
You can also seek monetary damages for the cost of fixing or replacing your bike. Unless the accident was very minor, your bike was probably totaled, and will need to be replaced. Property damage costs also cover the replacement cost of your helmet, bike cleats, bike accessories and any special cycling clothing you may have been wearing that was damaged.
If you were out of 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 may be able to help with this. If you’re self-employed, be sure you or a family member keeps a record of days missed. You may also be entitled to claim loss of future wages, depending on the severity of your injuries and if you disabled and unable to perform your previous job.
The Insurance Company Already Offered a Settlement. Should I Take It?
Some insurance companies make a quick settlement offer in the hopes that you will accept it without doing your homework. We would strongly advise that you speak with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer before you accept any settlement offer. Remember that insurance companies are not in business to help you — they’re in business to make money for their shareholders.
Working with a lawyer puts you on equal footing with the insurance company. A bicycle accident lawyer can refer you to medical specialists who know how to fully diagnose your injuries and estimate what your recovery and care will really cost. A lawyer can investigate the cause of your accident and build a strong case proving what really happened. The money you receive with a lawyer on your side is often significantly more than that first insurance settlement offer.
Talk to a Peachtree Corners Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free
If someone crashed into you while you were riding your bike, consulting with a Peachtree Corners bicycle accident lawyer may be the smartest move you make. Our lawyers have helped numerous bicycle accident victims over the years. Let us put our experience to work for you. With a FREE case evaluation to help you decide what the next steps are in your case. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or use our contact form to schedule your free consultation.