Even minor accidents in Stockbridge can become serious or even deadly for bicyclists. Bicycles don’t provide the same degree of protection as auto vehicles—plus, bicyclists are more prone to being blamed for accidents they didn’t cause. If you were hurt on your bike, a Stockbridge bicycle accident lawyer can help protect your rights to compensation for your costs.
Our bicycle accident lawyers know how to legally support bicyclists after a collision. We understand how hard the aftermath of an accident can be—both physically and emotionally. We can help you build a strong injury claim that accounts for all your medical bills, missed work time, and other damages. To schedule a FREE consultation today, call (404) 948-4815 or contact us online.
How Fault Works in a Stockbridge Bicycle Accident
In Stockbridge and all of Georgia, if someone causes an accident that leads to injuries, that at-fault person is responsible for all damages. Someone is “at fault” when their negligence (or carelessness) has led to the accident. The victims of an accident are legally entitled to seek compensation from the at-fault party for their damages (Georgia Code section 51-1-6).
Bicyclists are rarely at fault when an accident happens. Bicycle accidents are often caused by a driver doing any of the following:
- Not yielding to a bicycle
- Failing to pay attention
- Not following traffic laws
- Assuming a bicycle shouldn’t be on the road (when they have every right to be)
Many motorists do not realize that bikes have a right to be on Stockbridge roads just like anyone else. If you were hurt on your bicycle because someone else was negligent, you have the legal right to file a personal injury claim with their auto insurance company.
Sometimes fault is not easy to determine right away. This is where a Stockbridge bicycle accident lawyer can be invaluable. They can begin gathering evidence from the crash, investigating all the details, and demonstrating how the other person was at fault for your accident.
Partial Fault in a Stockbridge Bicycle Accident
Although a motorist is usually at fault for a bicycle accident, there are situations where both parties share some fault in the crash. If this is the case, you may still be able to recover for your damages.
In Georgia, you can still seek compensation as long as you were less than 50% at fault for the accident (Georgia Code section 51-12-33). Your damages would just be reduced by the percentage of fault you hold. For example, if your total damages are $10,000 and you are found to be 10% at fault for the accident (while a driver is 90% at fault), your damages be reduced by 10% of the total ($1,000) and you would receive $9,000.
Bicycle Accidents Versus Other Accidents in Stockbridge
Compared with cars, trucks, or buses, bicycles are very small and light. They don’t provide the rider with much protection, even if they have on body gear and a helmet. If a collision happens, a bicyclist can get thrown from their bike without any padding, airbags, or bumpers to slow them down.
Plus, you can’t control how other people act on the roads. This leaves bicyclists more vulnerable to accidents and serious injuries. Although bikes have every right to share the road, some motorists don’t treat them as if they do.
For all of these reasons, we highly recommend talking to a Stockbridge bicycle accident lawyer after an accident. A lawyer who understands bicycle cases will know how to make sure you aren’t taken advantage of or left with a bad settlement offer just because you were on a bicycle.
How to Protect Your Rights After a Bicycle Accident
Under Georgia law, bicycle riders have the same rights on the road as drivers. Unfortunately, many people don’t know that. Bicyclists are more likely to get blamed for an accident, even if they had no fault in it. After the accident happens, you will need to keep this in mind and begin legally protecting yourself.
Here are some ways you can protect your rights after a bicycle accident:
- Calling the Stockbridge police department to report the accident.
- Take pictures of the scene, your injuries, and damage to your bike.
- Talk to any witnesses and get their names and contact information.
- Ask the other party for their name and contact information.
- Do not admit any blame or apologize for the accident.
- See a doctor as soon as possible after the accident.
- Call a Stockbridge bicycle accident lawyer.
It’s best to contact a lawyer before discussing the details of the accident with the at-fault driver or their insurance company. If you say anything that could suggest fault, it may be used against you later.
Never Accept the First Insurance Settlement Offer
A common tactic that the at-fault party’s insurance company may use is offering you a settlement right away after your bicycle accident. This may be tempting to accept. An accident can leave you in a lot of pain, worried about your medical costs and other expenses. Plus, you might have to miss a lot of work time as you get treated, and that can add extra stress to your situation.
However, you should never accept the first offer from the insurance company. Any time they offer something upfront, it is a lowball amount that won’t even come close to covering your full damages. The insurer knows you may be tempted to accept it to pay for your immediate costs, but you should remember that you have the potential to recover full compensation.
If you get an offer from the insurance company or they try to contact you, consult with a bicycle accident lawyer immediately. They can look at the situation and calculate what is actually a fair settlement. Then, they can help you negotiate for a higher offer.
Talk to a Stockbridge Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free
Our lawyers have spent the last two decades helping bicycle accident victims win what they need to recover their costs and move on from the accident. Working with us is risk-free because we don’t get paid unless we win you money.
To schedule a FREE, no-obligation consultation with the best bicycle accident lawyer for your case, call us today at (404) 948-4815 or contact us online to get started.