As a cyclist in Woodstock, you deserve to share the roads just as much as car and other motor vehicles. When a bicycle accident happens, the rights of bicycle riders can be overlooked or misunderstood. But you deserve to recover money for your damages, medical bills, and pain and suffering as much as any driver—and you’re protected by the exact same personal injury laws. Unfortunately, other drivers may not understand this or fail to take cyclists seriously during an accident. This is why you need a Woodstock bicycle accident lawyer on your side.
Our attorneys can help you. With over 20 years of experience working with victims in bicycle accident cases, we understand your position as a cyclist and are ready to stand by your side against any biases or threats, or blame. We have a long track record of winning bicycle claims for our clients and recovering the money you need to move forward.
Give us a call today and let us offer you a FREE consultation so you can start making the right decisions. Call (404) 341-6555 or complete the form to the right for your FREE consultation today.
I was hit by a car on my bike. What are my rights?
Under Georgia law, cyclists have the same rights on the road as car drivers. If you’re a victim of a bicycle accident, you can file an insurance claim to recover money just like a car accident victim. In fact, if you’re over the age of 12, the law requires you to ride your bike on the road with other traffic.
To understand how bicycle accident claims work, you should know there are typically two main ways bicycle accidents happen:
- A bicycle getting hit by a motor vehicle on the road
- A bicycle hitting an obstacle in the road, such as a pothole or sewer grate.
If you were hit by a motor vehicle on your bike, you’ll want to:
- Call the police. Ask them to file a police report and explain exactly what happened in the accident. The report will document injuries and property damage that occurred. You’ll also want to remind police that cyclists have the same right to be on the road, even if there wasn’t a bike lane present.
- Exchange information with the driver. This includes their license plate and insurance information. If they hit-and-run, try to get all the details you can in the moment, even if it’s just the license plate, and call police right away.
- File an insurance claim with the driver’s insurer. The insurance company will determine who was at fault in the accident and will often use the information in the police report. However, know that what they decide is not the final decision and you should not feel pressure to take a settlement amount they may offer you right away. That first offer is usually a low-ball that doesn’t cover what you deserve for the accident.
Your lawyer can help you with the claims process, putting together evidence and negotiating with the insurance company for you.
If you second scenario happens and you hit an obstacle on your bike:
- First of all, take pictures and video of the obstacle and any injuries or damages that happen as a result of hitting it.
- If the obstacle is on private property, tell a manager of the property what happened. For example, this could be the store manager inside a shopping center. Let them know you were hurt and why it happened. If they don’t manage the property, ask for the contact information of the company that does manage it and contact them right away. Ask for the names and phone numbers of each person you talk to. This can be important information in gathering evidence for your case.
- If the accident happened on roads where a city, county, or state is responsible, documentation is most important—especially photos of the hazard, its location, and injuries or damages that result from it.
In any of these cases, contact your lawyer to help you with the claims process.
Who is at fault when a car hits a bicycle?
More often than not, the fault will lie with the car driver. This is because cyclists are often more careful on the road because they have a higher risk. Drivers tend to be more careless and aggressive in comparison, making decisions that can lead to an accident.
However, there are some cases where the cyclist could be found partially or fully at fault. Those include:
- Riding in the wrong location. In Georgia, cyclists are prohibited from biking on most interstate highways. A careless driver could still cause the accident in this case, even if you were riding an illegal location, as long as you were riding safely away from traffic on the shoulder. You’re more likely to be at fault if you were riding on a sidewalk.
- Biking aggressively. Although car drivers are more likely to be aggressive on the road, it’s still possible to overreact and be aggressive on the bike. Examples could be following a car too closely, trying to block a car trying to pass, weaving suddenly in or out of traffic, or riding beside a moving car and yelling at them. These are all reckless tactics that could lead to an accident and may leave you at least partially as fault.
- Since cyclists have the same rights are drivers, they also have a legal duty to ride on the road attentively and carefully. Any type of careless bike riding can lead you to be at fault.
Other situations that could possibly leave you at fault involve not wearing a helmet or not having working front or back lights when the accident occurs.
Know that bicycle cases can be complex and involve a lot of details. In most cases, the driver is at fault, even if some of these situations are involved. That’s why speaking with a lawyer experienced in bicycle accidents can provide helpful legal opinions and make the right decisions in your case.
Talk to a Woodstock Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free
There can be a lot involved in bicycle accidents. Don’t go it alone. Let us connect you with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer who knows how to work these types of cases. For a FREE consultation, call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to speak with one of our attorneys about your situation.