A bike accident is no minor occurrence. It requires legal representation to obtain compensatory damages to help you recover physically and financially. Engaging the services of an Atlanta bicycle accident attorney can significantly increase your chances of obtaining money to offset accident-related costs such as medical bills and bicycle repairs.
Even a minor bicycle accident requires knowledge of insurance companies, liabilities, and medical care. That’s why having an experienced injury accident lawyer with experience with your case type is important. Our law firm has practiced personal injury law in Atlanta for over 20 years.
Why Hire a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Atlanta?
Many people injured in a bicycle accident find it’s worth hiring a bicycle accident attorney to help them with their claims and other legal steps.
However, people who try to take on a claim themselves are often overwhelmed by the challenges. Without an experienced lawyer’s help, negotiating with the insurance company and finding evidence is incredibly difficult. So there’s no harm in asking for help and no risk of paying for a lawyer who won’t get you results.
In addition, our firm works on a contingency fee basis. That means we charge nothing upfront and only get paid if you earn compensation.
A consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta may help you decide whether it’s worth pursuing your claim. Don’t hesitate to talk to one of our bicycle accident attorneys in Atlanta for free.
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Injuries the At-Fault Party’s Negligence Can Cause
After you get into a bike crash, you likely have severe injuries that can impact the quality of your life, whether temporarily or for a lifetime. Common injuries bicycle riders suffer in accidents are:
- Fractured vertebrae
- Loss of limbs through accidental amputation
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Chipped teeth
- Deep cuts
You should seek medical help immediately to prevent your injuries from worsening or missing a crucial diagnosis.
If you have a valid bike accident case, our bicycle accident lawyer in Atlanta can use your medical records as evidence to show the injuries the negligent party caused.
Atlanta’s Bike Laws and Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim
Under Georgia law, anyone under 16 must wear a safety helmet approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) when riding a bicycle. However, anyone aged 16 or older can choose to wear a bicycle helmet.
You could file a bicycle accident claim if someone else were to blame for your crash. As an injured bicyclist, you must file a claim two years after the accident. By filing within two years, you could recover money for the damages the liable party caused.
If you are unsure whether you have a valid claim, a bicycle accident attorney in Atlanta can look at your case. They will then inform you of the best course of action to take for your case.
Exceptions to Georgia’s Statute of Limitations
There are two common exceptions when you file a bicycle accident claim: the bike rider’s age and the party you’re filing against. First, if the person who suffered injuries in the bike accident is under 18, the statute of limitations will start on the person’s 18th birthday.
The other exception to the statute of limitations is if you’re filing a claim against a city. For example, let’s say you crashed your bike because of poor road conditions like potholes; in this case, the city would be liable. When filing against the city in which your bicycle accident injury occurred, you only have six months from the accident date to notify the city in writing.
You should also be prepared to provide strong evidence when you file your claim.
Of course, there may be slight changes in your filing deadline, depending on your situation. A bicycle accident lawyer in Atlanta can help you understand exactly how long you have to file.
Economic damages encompass the financial losses you suffered from your bicycle accident and resulting injuries. Many assume they can only get compensation for their medical expenses, such as hospital bills, ambulance fees, transportation costs, and medical equipment fees, but this is false.
You may also be able to recover compensation for your loss of income and other damages that affect your financial situation. These could include:
- Loss of earning potential
- Loss of household services
- Loss of employment
You can also file a property damage claim if your bike was damaged due to a negligent driver, business or private owner, or municipality. If your bike is a total loss, Georgia law states that you are eligible to get the fair market value of that bicycle.
We do not generally charge for bicycle accident claims; our goal is to help you get back on your bike and return to your normal life.
Non-economic damages do not have financial worth. However, since they likely have impacted your life considerably, you can still receive financial compensation for them. Some examples of non-economic damages you may be entitled to recover in your Atlanta bicycle accident claim include:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of society
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
Hit and Run Bicycle Accidents
The key to a hit-and-run accident is to stay calm. This may be difficult because your adrenaline is flowing, you may be hurt, and you’re probably angry that anyone would leave an accident scene.
You should gather as much information as possible, for example, the motor vehicle’s make, model, and color. If there are witnesses, you should ask them if they can provide additional information, such as the car’s license plate number.
Any information you compile may prove valuable later. Hit-and-runs in any vehicular accident are a criminal act in Georgia. Call the Atlanta police department and then get in touch with us.
Liability for Bicycle Accidents in Atlanta
It may seem like bicycle accident claims are only for simple, clear-cut accidents where a driver or biker is negligent and causes someone else to be injured. That’s not always the case, though. Even if it may seem like a random accident, someone may be liable for your crash.
Liable parties in a bicycle accident may include:
The most noticeable type of bicycle accident is when a driver negligently hits a biker or otherwise causes them to crash. This is unfortunately common, as bicyclists are hard to see, and drivers often give them less space on the road and fail to respect the rights of bicyclists.
If a driver caused your crash through acts of negligence like distracted driving, road hogging, or breaking traffic laws, they could be liable for your damages.
A more insidious way bike crashes happen is through faulty or dangerous equipment. Sometimes, a parts manufacturer or bike factory can negligently produce something that shouldn’t be used or fail to warn bikers about a dangerous product.
If you were in an accident because of failed brakes or any other faulty part, you could be able to file a claim against the manufacturer. A bicycle accident attorney in Atlanta can tell you more about your options for a possible product liability case.
Cities or Municipalities
You may be eligible for compensation if your bicycle accident resulted from negligence or a city or municipality’s code violation. If you were hurt on private property, the liable party would be the property owner or business owner. Defects that could be the reason for your accident include:
- Malfunctioning traffic lights
- Foliage obstructing traffic signs
- An uncovered drain or meter
The key, again, is to document as much of the information as possible. Take photos of what you hit. If a traffic light is malfunctioning, videotape the sequence and timing of the light.
Talk to witnesses. If this happens in front of a business, the owner may know how long this problem has been going on. Your case becomes stronger if the same problem has hurt other people.
What if I Am Partly To Blame for the Bike Wreck?
Being partially to blame will not prevent you from recovering compensation for your damages as long as your portion of fault does not exceed 50%. Georgia operates based on a modified comparative negligence system. Therefore, your portion of fault cannot be greater than 50%, or you lose your chance to have your case hurt in the civil courts.
Furthermore, you can expect your compensation to be reduced to account for your portion of the liability. For this reason, you must have a dedicated Atlanta bicycle accident attorney who will accurately evaluate liability in your insurance and several claims.
What To Do After a Bicycle Accident in Atlanta
If a car has hit your bicycle, treat your accident as serious as a car wreck. Document what happened. If your phone is still working, call 911.
The police will write a report and help you get medical help. Take as many photos as possible of all the vehicles involved, the condition of your bike, the scene, and anything that you think might be relevant to the accident.
Photograph your bruises and scrapes; if there are witnesses, try to get their names and numbers. And, of course, follow up on whatever medical care you need. Your next step should be to call a personal injury attorney immediately.
We’ll work with our investigators and specialists to prove liability. We will communicate with the insurance company so you don’t have to. Do not sign paperwork from the insurance company or give a recorded statement. Remember that an insurance company’s first goal is to settle quickly and for as little money as possible, which can make medical expenses overwhelming.
Hire an Atlanta Bicycle Accident Attorney from Our Firm
As one of Atlanta’s largest personal injury law firms, we have seen increased bicycle accidents as more serious and recreational bicyclists share the road with cars and trucks. We understand your pain, and your well-being is crucial to us whether you are injured in a car or a bike.
The bicycle accident attorneys in Atlanta at John Foy & Associates are available to talk to you 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas. So call or contact us online for your FREE initial consultation.