The number of bicyclists is rising, and so is the number of people injured or even killed while riding. Cities can be especially dangerous for bicyclists–according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 78% of bicycle accidents happened in urban areas in 2019.
A bike accident is no minor occurrence. It requires legal representation to get what is necessary for you to recover physically and financially. An Atlanta bicycle accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Even a minor bicycle accident requires knowledge of a complicated obstacle course of insurance companies, liabilities, and even medical care. That’s why it’s important to hire a bicycle accident specialist. John Foy & Associates has been practicing personal injury law in Atlanta for more than 20 years.
What Should You Do if You’re in a Bike Accident?
If a car has hit your bicycle, treat your accident as seriously as you would a car wreck.
Document what happened. If your phone is still working, call 911. The police will write a report, they’ll also help you get the necessary medical help. Get 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 as soon as possible.
We’ll work with our own investigators and specialists to prove liability. We will communicate with the insurance company so you don’t have to.
Do not sign any paperwork from the insurance company. Do not give a recorded statement. Remember that an insurance company’s first goal is to settle quickly and for as little money as possible. Our clients often say, “Well, you know, I’m just telling the truth.” Just because something is the truth, doesn’t mean that the insurance company has a right to that information.
Legally in Georgia, no one has the right to know if you have health insurance. Your long-ago medical history can be unfairly held against you. That’s why it’s so important to have John Foy & Associates by your side.
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Can You Sue for a Bike Accident?
If someone else was to blame for your crash, then yes, you can file a bicycle accident claim. By doing so, you may be able to recover money for the damages that the other party caused.
Any accident has two types of claims:
- Property Damage Claims will help you reclaim the cost of replacing or repairing your damaged bicycle.
- Bodily Injury Claim will help you recover any medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you’re not sure whether you have a valid claim, an Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer can sit down with you to look at your case. At your free initial consultation, they will let you know what your options are.
Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 404-400-4000
Is It Worth Hiring a Bicycle Accident Attorney?
Many people who are injured in a bicycle accident find that it is well worth hiring a bicycle accident attorney to help them with their claim. Part of that is because law firms like ours use contingency fees, which means we don’t charge anything upfront. In fact, we only get paid if you get compensation.
People who try to take on a claim by themselves, though, often find that the challenges are too hard for them. Without the help of an experienced lawyer, the process of negotiating with the insurance company and finding evidence is incredibly difficult. There’s no harm in asking for help, and there’s no risk of paying for a lawyer who won’t get you results.
A consultation with a bike accident lawyer in Atlanta may help you decide whether it’s worth pursuing your claim. Don’t hesitate to talk to one of our attorneys for free.
Hit-and-Run Bicycle Accidents
The key in a hit-and-run accident is to stay calm. That may be difficult because your adrenaline is flowing, you may be hurt and you’re probably very angry that anyone would leave an accident.
Gather as much information as possible – for example, the make, model, and color of the vehicle? Did anyone get a license number? Were there any witnesses? Any information may prove valuable later. Hit-and-runs in any type of vehicular accident is a criminal act in Georgia. Call the Atlanta police department. And call John Foy & Associates, we’ll help you maneuver the difficult road ahead.
For a free legal consultation with a bicycle accidents lawyer serving Atlanta, call 404-400-4000
Who Is Liable in a Bicycle Accident?
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.
If a driver, through any act of negligence like distracted driving, road hogging, or breaking traffic laws, caused your crash, they could be liable for your damages.
A more insidious way that 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
If your accident was a result of negligence or code violation by a city or municipality, you may be eligible for compensation. If you were hurt on private property, then the liable party would be the property owner or business owner.
These defects can 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 happened in front of a business, the owner may be aware of how long this problem has been going on. If other people have been hurt because of the same problem, your case becomes stronger.
Will an Auto Policy Cover Your Bike Accident?
If another vehicle caused you injury, then you would be entitled to pursue the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. If a hit-and-run driver injured you or your bike, your uninsured motorist coverage may apply.
A bicycle accident is, in many ways, similar to a car accident. Remember that insurance companies want to settle and they want to make the best deal for the insurance company – not you. Do not talk to any representative, including your own insurance company, without legal representation. Do not agree to a taped conversation without legal representation.
What Happens If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
You may be able to file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance company if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Your auto policy coverage should apply because you were on a vehicle during the accident.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, or “UM coverage” as it is commonly called, is not required under Georgia law. You are only required to purchase liability coverage, which means if you are at fault, the other party is protected. We strongly recommend that everyone purchase “UM” coverage so that you will be protected from these drivers.
The process of filing a claim against an uninsured driver can be more complicated than other claims. If you’ve been in such an accident, contact an Atlanta uninsured motorist accident lawyer to learn more.
Can You Sue for Property Damage After a Bike Accident?
You can absolutely file a property damage claim if your bike was damaged due to a negligent driver, business or private owner, or municipality. That is considered a “property damage” claim. The goal is specifically to get your property – in this case, a bicycle – repaired. If your bike is a total loss, Georgia law states that you are eligible to get the fair market value of that bicycle.
John Foy does not generally charge for property damages claims. Our goal is to help you get back in – or in this case back on – your vehicle.
What Happens If a Dog Bites You While You’re Riding a Bike?
If an animal attacks you, you have the right to make a claim against that property owner or the dog’s owner. Dogs are covered under homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies. However, to sue in Georgia, the dog must be considered a vicious dog. That is true if:
- It is a breed that is known to be vicious
- There is some sort of knowledge that this dog was vicious or aggressive in the past.
The generic rule in Georgia is the “one-bite rule.” If a dog is not a known aggressive breed such as a pit bull or Rottweiler, the dog can get away with one bite before the owner is liable. Our investigators will research any prior complaints about the dog or dog owner.
Can You Sue for Wrongful Death in a Bike Accident?
Absolutely you can sue on behalf of a family member if there is a wrongful death cause of action. Nothing can replace a loved one’s life, but the law allows you to be compensated financially.
If another party is at fault for a relative’s death, you have the right to recover, under Georgia law, what is called the “full value of the life of the decedent” – this is based on your loved one’s age, education, and professional status. Our goal is to recover any accrued medical expenses, any future income that we can prove that they would have earned, and for pain and suffering.
How Much Does a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Atlanta Cost?
John Foy & Associates doesn’t take payment until there is a recovery for you. Since our firm is a bit larger, we can afford to take our time getting you the best recovery possible. We’ll help you get the best medical care and that your bicycle is repaired or replaced. In that rare case where there is no settlement, there will be no fee for you.
Contingency fees come out of a portion of your compensation. When you hire your bicycle accident lawyer, they will come to an agreement with you as to how much of your settlement will go to them. The size of that portion will depend on the difficulty of your case, as well as how much you’re likely to get in damages.
Talk to an Atlanta Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
As one of Atlanta’s largest and most notable personal injury law firms, we have seen an increase in bicycle accidents, as more and more serious and recreational bicyclists are sharing the road with cars and trucks. Your well-being is crucial to us whether you are injured in a car or a bike.
The Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates are available to talk to you 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas. Give us a call or contact us online for your FREE initial consultation.