No matter how careful a bicyclist may be, there’s always the chance that they will be involved in an accident. Bicycle accidents are common in Stone Mountain—a fact that won’t surprise most cyclists, especially if you’ve had near-misses with careless drivers in the past. And, like all types of accidents, they can be stressful and overwhelming. A thousand questions may pop up at once: How severe are my injuries? Should I see a lawyer? Who is at fault? Whose insurance will pay for my medical bills? Help is available. You need a Stone Mountain bicycle accident lawyer.
Our lawyers have over twenty years of experience handling cases and working with victims just like you. Whether it’s negotiating with insurance companies, determining who’s at fault, or arguing a case before a judge, our experienced lawyers know what it takes to get you results. In fact, we won’t charge you anything unless you receive a financial recovery. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call us at (404) 341-6555 for your free consultation today.
Who will pay for my costs after my bicycle accident?
The short answer is: if you were hit by a car, and the car driver was the one being careless, the driver and their insurance will pay for your damages. But it isn’t always that simple in every case.
Most bicycle accidents involve a vehicle hitting a cyclist. These accidents are generally treated like car accidents in Stone Mountain, and it is a fault state. This means that whoever is proven to have caused the accident is responsible for paying damages. In most cases, this is based on which party was considered “negligent,” meaning they were either breaking the rules of the road, or simply acting carelessly.
As a bicyclist, there are several things you should know about fault in your claim:
- In Georgia, cyclists DO have the right to be in the road in most cases. Many drivers don’t realize this and will attempt to blame you for “being in their way,” but they don’t usually have a legal argument.
- Most motorists don’t understand bicycle laws. The don’t know when to yield to you, they don’t know when you are supposed to be out in the lane as opposed to on the shoulder or a bike trail, and they don’t know how much room they are supposed to give you when passing you. This means that many, perhaps the majority of bicycle accidents are the vehicle driver’s fault—not the bicyclists.
- If you were breaking a road rule, it may affect your claim. For example, most cyclists know that it’s easier to glide through a stop sign than to stop like a car, but if the accident happened when you ran a stop sign, it may mean you share some of the fault or are found entirely at fault. Or, if you were going the wrong way on a one-way, you may be at fault if this created a visibility issue that caused the accident.
- Even if you are partly at fault, you may still be able to recover money. Georgia allows drivers and cyclists to be found partly at fault for an accident (to “share fault”). As long as you are only 50% at fault or less, you can still recover some money; it will just be less than you would get otherwise.
In other cases, you may be able to get damages paid by local government (if you were injured by a pothole or road hazard) or even by your own car insurance (even on your bike!) depending on what happened.
Our lawyers can help you determine whether you have a claim in your specific case, and who is at fault.
What if I collided with a pedestrian while on my bicycle?
These cases can be very tense because both parties feel like the other one is at fault. Additionally, since there is no car insurance involved, it can be high-stakes for both sides, who fear having to pay damages out of pocket.
The simple answer is: if you were biking where you were supposed to, and you followed biking laws, the pedestrian is likely at fault. If you weren’t, however, it quickly becomes complicated.
Factors in bike-on-pedestrian accidents include:
- Did the accident happen on the sidewalk? In Georgia, young bicyclists can stay on the sidewalk, while teens and adults are supposed to use the road in most cases. While adult cyclists often use the sidewalk because it’s safer, pedestrians generally have the right of way and the cyclist may be at fault.
- Was the pedestrian crossing the street? Many pedestrians don’t look for bicycles before crossing. If they don’t see or hear a car, they go. That means that pedestrians may pop out “out of nowhere” in front of a bicycle that can’t stop in time. If that’s the case, the pedestrian is likely at fault. However, if they were crossing legally and you didn’t slow or stop, they may have a case against you.
- Did you do anything to warn the pedestrian? While a bicycle bell is not required by law, if you rang your bell or called out to the pedestrian, that may help establish that the pedestrian was the one not paying attention.
As you can see, these cases can be complicated. There is no way to say for sure which side is at fault—or whether you can recover money—without going over the specifics of what happened. Our lawyers are happy to do this for you for free at an initial consultation.
Talk to a Stone Mountain Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free
Bicycle accidents can be a stressful time for victims. You shouldn’t have to deal with legal hassle on top of the pain. Let us give you a FREE consultation and help you get the answers you need. We charge you nothing, ever, if we can’t get you money. Fill out the form to the right or call us at (404) 341-6555 for your free consultation today.