Bicycle accidents are common in any city. When a bicyclist crashes, the damage is often severe. If someone else caused your bicycle accident, it’s time to speak with a bicycle accident lawyer.
Bicyclists do not have the same protection as motorists during an accident. A car or truck driver has the benefit of a metal vehicle with modern safety features. However, a bicyclist is always exposed to the open road — even with a helmet.
At John Foy & Associates, we have 20-plus years of experience helping injured bicyclists. We know how to build a strong case and fight for your rights. Plus, we do not collect a fee unless we win you compensation. To schedule a FREE, no-risk consultation, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
Is It Worth Hiring a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
While you don’t have to hire a bicycle accident lawyer, it’s nearly always worth it. There are some vital reasons to consider working with a lawyer who specializes in bicycle accidents. A bicycle accident lawyer can benefit you by:
- Bringing the right skill and experience to your case
- Gathering evidence to support your claim
- Determining your accident damages
- Negotiating a fair settlement for you
If you’ve never dealt with the personal injury process before, it can be hard to know where to start. You’ll need someone who can handle the insurance company and fight for your rights. Without a professional on your side, you could end up with a settlement that is far too low.
If you have a lot of damages from your accident, hiring a lawyer is especially worth it. You deserve to recover any costs you did not cause. If another party was at fault for the crash, a bicycle accident lawyer can make all the difference.
If you’re worried about hiring a lawyer, call for a FREE consultation. You can ask the attorney questions and learn more about your legal options. Plus, if you work with John Foy & Associates, you don’t have to pay us unless we win you compensation.
How Long Does a Bicycle Accident Claim Take to Settle?
Many bicycle accident claims can take around one to two years to settle. However, it depends on the details of each case. Every situation is unique, so yours could take less time, longer, or somewhere in between.
It’s normal to wonder how long it’ll take for your case to settle. After a bicycle accident, you probably have medical bills, lost wages, and more. You need compensation to cover your costs. To understand how long a claim can take to settle, it’s important to look at an average timeline:
- Initial investigation: After your accident, you’ll need to gather evidence if you can. Pictures from the scene, witness information, and medical attention are important. However, you might have very severe injuries. If so, getting treatment is your first priority.
- Getting treatment for your injuries: See a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. You’ll need medical records of your treatment costs. Also, it’s best to wait until you’ve completed treatment to begin your case. You’ll need to know your full medical expenses before seeking a settlement.
- Consulting with a bicycle accident lawyer: Talk to a trusted bicycle accident lawyer after your crash. You’ll need to take some time to discuss the accident. If you and the lawyer are a good fit, it’s best to get their help right away.
- Gathering evidence: You and your lawyer will need to compile more evidence of your injuries and damages.
- Filing your claim: Your lawyer will help you submit a claim to the insurance company.
- Negotiation: You and the insurance company will go back-and-forth in negotiations. Your lawyer will work to get a fair settlement offer, which can take time.
- Filing a lawsuit: If you cannot settle, you might consider filing a lawsuit. Bringing a suit will significantly increase the time it takes to reach a settlement.
Many factors can affect how long you wait for a settlement. Contact a bicycle accident lawyer to discuss the possible timeline for your case.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Bicycle Accident?
The truth is, there is no accurate “average” settlement for all bicycle accidents. That’s because each case varies so much. However, there are factors to give you an idea of how your settlement might look. If another party injured you in a bike accident, your settlement could be worth more than you realize.
When building your accident case, consider questions like:
- How serious are my damages?
- Did I have any fault in the bicycle accident?
- How strong is my personal injury claim?
The above factors will help determine your settlement. You will also need to deal with the other party’s insurance company. When you file your claim, the insurer might offer a low-ball settlement. You’ll need to be prepared to negotiate higher compensation.
Bicycle accident damages tend to be very severe. Also, the cyclist is rarely at fault. Chances are good that you deserve full compensation for your injuries and other damages. However, you’ll need to prepare a strong claim to fight for your rights.
Your settlement will depend on the above questions and more. To know your options, talk to a bicycle accident lawyer today. A lawyer can look at the details and determine what type of settlement you deserve.
What Damages Can I Collect for a Bicycle Accident?
You can collect both economic and non-economic damages. The specific damages you can collect will depend on your accident. Collecting damages should “make you whole” as closely as possible. If you did not cause your accident, you can file a claim for compensation from the at-fault party.
The most common types of economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medications
- Future medical costs
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
Medical costs often make up the largest portion of economic losses. You’ll need to consider both current and future medical expenses. You can collect damages for all treatment related to your bicycle accident.
Non-economic damages can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Anxiety or depression
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
It’s much harder to calculate non-economic damages. You’ll want to hire a bicycle accident lawyer if you have a lot of these losses. Your lawyer will use a formula to assign a dollar amount to emotional damages.
If a loved one died in a bicycle accident, you might be eligible for wrongful death damages. You can file a claim on behalf of your loved one. Wrongful death damages include loss of consortium or companionship, pain and suffering, and more.
You might also be entitled to punitive damages. These costs punish the wrongdoer and help prevent future wrongdoing. Talk to your lawyer about the possibility of punitive damages.
Who Can Be Sued in a Bicycle Accident Case?
You can sue the party who caused your bicycle accident case. You can bring a legal case to hopefully recover medical bills, lost wages, and more. However, you might not have to file a lawsuit for compensation. It’s important to know for sure who was at fault and what options you have.
In Georgia, you can seek damages from the person or party who caused your accident (Georgia Code Section 51-1-6). Most of the time, the first step is to file a personal injury claim. You’ll submit the claim to the at-fault party’s insurance company.
The at-fault party in a bicycle accident is usually a driver. When a driver is negligent and hits you, they are at fault for your injuries. In this case, the driver is responsible for your damages like:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
If you cannot settle through an insurance claim, then you might need to sue the driver. Talk to a bicycle accident lawyer about whether this is a good option for you.
Sometimes, the at-fault party is not a driver. The responsible party could be a government entity, maintenance company, or manufacturer. In these cases, bringing a lawsuit might be possible, but more difficult. Your lawyer can investigate your crash to determine your best options for financial recovery.
Can I Sue Someone Personally After a Bicycle Accident?
Yes, suing someone is possible after a bicycle accident. However, you might not have to bring a lawsuit to get compensation. You can file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. To know what’s best for you, speak with a bicycle accident lawyer.
Drivers must purchase car insurance to cover accident scenarios. If a driver caused your accident, their insurance company should pay the costs. You can seek recovery by filing a claim with the driver’s insurer.
Before filing your injury claim, you can build your case by:
- Compiling evidence from the accident
- Gathering proof of your damages
- Documenting your injuries
- Talking to a bicycle accident lawyer
A lawyer will know how to handle your injury claim. They can work to negotiate with the insurance company if they offer a low settlement. Thankfully, most bicycle accident cases resolve in this way. If you settle, you probably won’t need to sue anyone personally.
Sometimes, an insurance company will not negotiate. If you cannot settle, you might need to sue the driver. You can file a personal injury lawsuit. Since lawsuits take time and money, discuss the pros and cons with your lawyer first.
Whether you sue or file a claim, you can seek compensation for:
- Medical costs
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Do You Have to Go to Court for a Bicycle Accident?
Many bicycle accident cases do not have to go to court. A lot of times, the claims settle without needing to go all the way to court. But every situation is unique, and some people will decide to file a lawsuit.
There are some common reasons why you might need to go to court, including:
- You cannot agree to a settlement with the insurance company.
- You have very severe injuries from the accident.
- The driver does not have insurance (or is underinsured).
- The driver’s insurance company has denied your claim.
In the above scenarios, you might need to bring a lawsuit for compensation. Otherwise, you will struggle to get the financial recovery you deserve. To know for sure what is the best option for you, contact a bicycle accident lawyer.
Before going to court, you will have chances to negotiate. Hopefully, your lawyer can negotiate a settlement before you even file a suit. But if you file a lawsuit, there are several stages before the trial. The insurance company will likely offer settlements during these steps.
You can also decrease your chances of going to court by:
- Reporting the accident to the police
- Taking pictures at the scene
- Getting prompt medical treatment
- Getting contact information for witnesses
- Saving bills, quotes, and other evidence of your damages
- Talking to a bicycle accident lawyer
Your lawyer can help you build a strong case to fight for what you deserve.
What Should I Do in the Days Following a Bicycle Accident?
Right after the accident, if you can, you should:
- Report the accident to the police.
- Remain at the scene until the police arrive.
- Report all of your injuries, even minor ones.
- Get the name, contact information, and insurance information for the driver.
- Get the contact information for any eyewitnesses.
- Document the scene as well as possible.
If you cannot perform these actions, there are other steps you can take in the days following the bicycle accident. You might be able to go back to the scene to gather evidence. Your lawyer can also do that for you.
In the days after the crash, here are some actions to take:
- Keep all evidence from the crash in the same condition. This includes your bicycle and the clothes you were wearing.
- See a doctor who can check out your injuries. If you wait too long to do this, it will hurt your legal options.
- Inspect your bicycle for any damage. Make a record of that damage.
- Call a bicycle accident lawyer who can help you with your case.
The more evidence you can gather, the better. Also, be careful with the driver’s insurance company after the accident. The insurer will look for ways to undermine your claim. They might try to blame you or downplay your injuries.
It’s best to avoid talking to the insurer until you have a lawyer. Your bicycle accident attorney can communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.
What Should I Do at the Scene of a Bicycle Accident?
If you need emergency medical treatment, get that first. Call for an ambulance to come to the scene. Your well-being is the number one priority. If you are well enough, here are some things you should do at the scene:
- Call 911. Always call the police if there are injuries, deaths, or property damage. Try to stay as calm as possible, and wait for the police to arrive.
- Take pictures. Get photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and your bike damage. Document anything you can about the crash.
- Be careful what you say. Avoid admitting any blame or fault in the accident. If you talk to the other party, don’t discuss the accident details. Wait until you have a bicycle accident lawyer.
- Ask about the crash report. After a bike accident, the police should create an accident report. Make sure this happens and that you get to give your side. You’ll also need a copy of this report for your case.
- Talk to eyewitnesses. If anyone saw the accident happen, talk to them. Ask for their name and contact information. Their statements can help your case later.
- Contact a bicycle accident lawyer. Reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Also, avoid talking to the insurance company until you have a lawyer. Otherwise, the insurer might try taking advantage of you.
What Can I Do to Protect My Rights After a Bicycle Accident?
A bicycle accident can leave you with painful injuries and expensive costs. If you did not cause your accident, you have rights. You could be entitled to full compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Here are some actions you can take after the crash to protect your rights.
Report the Accident
Call 911 to report the accident to the police. Make sure the police create an accident report on what occurred. You’ll need a copy of this report for your records.
Watch What You Say
Avoid talking about the accident with anyone except the police and your lawyer. Do not apologize or admit blame for the crash.
Take pictures of your injuries, bike damage, and the entire accident scene.
Document the Scene
After taking pictures of the scene, note anything else that could be helpful to remember. Look for any eyewitnesses. Ask for their names and contact information.
Keep your bicycle in the same state as it was after the accident. Save any clothes you were wearing, and do not wash them. Also, save all medical records, receipts, and other evidence of damages.
Even if you feel okay, see a doctor after the accident. If you wait too long, it will hurt your rights.
Talk to a Lawyer
Contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you protect your rights at every stage of your case.
What Lawyer Deals with Bicycle Accidents?
Personal injury lawyers deal with bicycle accidents where someone else is at fault. It’s best to work with an attorney who has good experience with bike accidents. They will best understand relevant laws and common scenarios with bicycle accident claims.
Personal injury lawyers who work on bicycle accidents might call themselves bicycle accident lawyers. They should have a successful track record of working on bike accident claims. A bicycle accident lawyer can help your case by:
- Handling the insurance company for you.
- Calculating the full value of your damages.
- Negotiating for a fair settlement offer.
Insurance companies do not make the claims process easy. When you file an insurance claim, the company will spring into action. You might hear from an insurance adjuster within the same day, and they’ll be looking for ways to pay you less.
A bicycle accident lawyer can deal with the insurance company for you. Plus, insurers are more likely to take you seriously if they see you have an attorney. While your lawyer handles your case, you can focus on healing.
At John Foy & Associates, our bicycle accident lawyers are here to help. To schedule a FREE consultation today, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
What Percentage Do Bicycle Accident Lawyers Take?
Bicycle accident lawyers work on contingency, which means:
- You and your lawyer will agree to a fixed percentage of your settlement.
- If your lawyer wins your case, they receive a percentage of what you win as their fee.
- If your lawyer does not win your case, you do not pay them anything.
The average percentage for contingency fees is usually 33% (or ⅓) of your settlement.
If your case requires more work from your lawyer, the fee is sometimes higher. For example, minimal or standard work could be 33%. If you file a lawsuit or your case goes to trial, the fee could be around 40%.
Schedule a consultation with a lawyer to ask about their fee structure. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer will be straightforward about how they charge. You can also discuss whether or not your case could go to trial. A lawsuit is more likely if:
- Your damages are high.
- You’re not sure who was at fault.
- You cannot settle with the insurance company.
A low percentage does not necessarily mean better. An experienced lawyer is more likely to win you an excellent outcome. Even if the percentage is higher, you could win more than if you worked with a less-experienced lawyer.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
Upfront, it costs nothing to hire a bicycle accident lawyer. Most bicycle accident lawyers work on contingency, which means:
- There is no charge to begin working with your lawyer.
- You only pay a fee if your lawyer wins your case.
- Your lawyer gets a percentage of whatever they win for you.
- If your lawyer does not win you compensation, you don’t pay them any fee.
So, hiring a bicycle accident lawyer does not cost anything. Your lawyer only receives payment after your case ends — and only if they win for you. The average contingency fee for bicycle accident lawyers is 33% of what they win you.
Most bicycle accident claims settle out of court. If your case needs to go to trial, the lawyer’s fee will typically be higher. A higher fee makes sense because your attorney will do a lot more work to prepare for court.
If you do not settle outside of court, the fee could be around 40% of what you win. Keep in mind that you can get full compensation if you win at trial. Your recovery potential could be much higher. You’ll want to discuss how much a lawyer charges during their consultation. Get clear on how they handle payment and whether they work on contingency.
How Much Do Lawyers Charge for Bicycle Accident Claims?
It’s crucial to know what a lawyer charges before hiring them. Schedule a consultation to learn about what a lawyer might charge for a bicycle accident claim. If the lawyer works on contingency, they won’t charge you anything upfront.
Most personal injury lawyers who work bicycle accident claims take a contingency fee. Here’s how the contingency fee works:
- You only pay the lawyer’s fee if they win your case.
- If the lawyer wins you a settlement, they get a percentage. That percentage is their fee.
- If your lawyer does not win your case, you do not pay their fee at all.
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), the most standard contingency fee is 33% of your recovery. If you end up filing a lawsuit or going to trial, the fee will typically be higher. A lawyer might charge around 33% to 40% of your compensation based on your case.
Other Possible Case Costs
Besides the lawyer’s fee, there are other costs related to a bicycle accident claim. Most lawyers will pay for costs as they come. If they win your case, they’ll deduct the costs from your settlement before you get the rest.
Examples of case-related expenses can include:
- Medical records fees
- Filing fees
- Investigator fees
- Postage costs
- Crash report costs
- Exhibit costs
- Printing or copying fees
Talk to your lawyer about how they handle all charges for your case.
How Much Should You Settle for After a Bicycle Accident?
Your settlement should cover all of your bicycle accident damages. The amount you should settle for will depend on your case. Settlement can range anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars. You can know how a fair settlement looks for you by talking to a lawyer.
Factors that affect a settlement include:
- Bicycle accident damages
- Percentage of fault in the accident
- The insurance company’s willingness to negotiate
Your bicycle accident lawyer can evaluate your damages. They’ll calculate the total of your accident costs. From there, they’ll help you build a strong insurance claim seeking compensation.
Your damages can include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
After you file your claim, the insurance company will usually respond with a lowball offer. Your lawyer will work to negotiate a settlement that covers your damages. If the insurance company agrees, you can get compensation for all of your costs.
You can also strengthen your case by gathering as much information as possible. Save what you can from the accident scene. Keep records of your damages. Also, contact an experienced lawyer immediately so that they can help with each step.
Your lawyer can determine what you should settle for after your accident. You might be surprised how much your bicycle accident claim is worth.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Bicycle Accident?
According to the statute of limitations for Georgia, you have two years to file a lawsuit after your bicycle accident. If you try to recover damages after two years, the courts will likely bar you from any legal action.
Statutes of limitations provide time limits for injury cases. The deadline varies by state, but it’s usually two years for Georgia. It’s best to get started on your case immediately so that you have plenty of time.
The statute of limitations is different in specific situations:
- Property damage lawsuit: If you had no injuries from your bicycle accident, you can file a property damage claim. You have four years to seek compensation for property damage only.
- Suing a government entity: If a government body was responsible for your bicycle accident, it’s more complicated. First, you must provide a warning to the government that you plan to sue. Then, you only have six months to file your lawsuit.
- Wrongful death lawsuit: Some bicycle accidents result in death. If a loved one died in a bicycle accident, you could have a wrongful death lawsuit. The deadline for a wrongful death case is two years.
When you file your lawsuit is essential. Talk to an experienced bicycle accident lawyer for the best timeline. You might also be able to get compensation through a personal injury settlement. If you receive a fair settlement, you won’t need to file a lawsuit.
When Should You Get a Lawyer for a Bicycle Accident?
It’s best to get a lawyer for your bicycle accident right away. If you wait too long, it can hurt your compensation rights. Mainly, the at-fault party’s insurance company could take advantage of your vulnerable situation.
The insurance company might use tactics like:
- Offering a lowball settlement
- Denying your claim
- Downplaying your injuries
- Getting you to say something that works against you
The moments after a bicycle accident are stressful. If you’re not a lawyer, you won’t know how to deal with the insurer’s pressure. To protect yourself from the beginning, get a lawyer on your side as soon as possible.
A bicycle accident lawyer will know how to protect your rights. They can help you:
- Calculate all current and future medical costs
- Determine general damages like pain and suffering
- Build a strong personal injury claim
- Negotiate for the fullest settlement possible
Before accepting any money from the insurance company, get an experienced lawyer. If you can, contact them within a day or two of your accident.
Look for a personal injury lawyer who specializes in bicycle accident claims. Also, make sure your lawyer is known for more than just their advertising. Some firms work as “settlement mills,” churning out cases without fighting for the best deal.
Schedule a consultation with a trusted bicycle accident lawyer, and ask questions. Find out what experience they have working cases similar to yours.
How Do I Find a Good Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
After a bicycle accident, you might not know where to start with finding a good lawyer. Here are some steps you can take to find the best attorney for your needs.
1. Search for Local Lawyers
You can search for experienced lawyers in your area. Keep in mind that search results are not everything. Make sure any lawyer you choose has the knowledge and experience to back up their website.
2. Focus on Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Most personal injury lawyers will take on bicycle accident cases. However, you want someone with experience working on bike accident claims. Make sure your lawyer has worked on similar cases to yours.
Schedule a consultation to learn more about the lawyer’s experience and past work.
3. Check the Attorney’s Licensing
Make sure your attorney is licensed in your state. You can usually find this out just from an online search.
4. Schedule a Free Consultation
If you find a lawyer who you might hire, call them to set up a consultation. Most lawyers will give you a FREE consultation. During this time, you can learn more about the attorney and how they work.
5. Ask Questions
Bring specific questions to the initial meeting with the lawyer. You might ask them things like:
- What experience do you have working on bicycle accident claims?
- What cases have you worked on that are similar to mine?
- How long have you been in practice?
- Do you always work for accident victims?
- Will you be personally handling my case?
- Can I see references or testimonials from past clients?
What Does a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Do?
Bicycle accident lawyers represent injured cyclists after accidents. If another person caused your bicycle accident, a lawyer can help you seek compensation. A bicycle accident lawyer will also help protect your legal rights.
Here are some things a bicycle accident lawyer typically does.
Evaluating Your Accident
A lawyer will begin by looking at your case. They’ll find out what happened and how it has impacted you. They might ask specific questions about your costs and injuries.
After getting information, a bicycle accident lawyer can advise you on what to do next. You can also choose whether you want to hire them.
Investigating Your Case
If you hire the lawyer, they’ll start investigating right away. That can include:
- Taking pictures at the bicycle accident scene
- Interviewing eyewitnesses
- Documenting your damages
- Determining what type of settlement you deserve
Your lawyer will also determine who caused the accident. They’ll gather evidence to show fault in the crash.
Notifying All Involved Parties
A bicycle accident lawyer will let the other side know that you’re seeking compensation. That can include sending the demand letter to the insurance company.
Dealing with the Insurance Companies
The at-fault party’s insurance company will try to reduce what they have to pay. Your lawyer will protect your rights by communicating with the insurance company for you.
Preparing for Trial
You can usually settle outside of court. But if the insurance company will not settle, your lawyer can prepare for a lawsuit.
Talk to a Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free Today
You should not have to pay for another person’s fault in your bicycle accident. Contact John Foy & Associates today to learn your legal options. We will not charge you unless we win you money.
During your FREE consultation, we’ll discuss the details of your case and how we can help. We are here to answer your questions and fight for your rights.
To get started with your FREE, no-risk consultation, call us at (404) 400-4000, or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist you.