According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 857 bicyclists died in U.S. traffic accidents in 2018. When a bike accident happens, the cyclist is likely to suffer severe injuries. After the crash, you might need a bicycle accident lawyer to help you seek compensation. Here is what you need to know about finding an excellent attorney.
Five Steps for Finding the Best Bicycle Accident Lawyer for You
Most injured cyclists have never had to look for a lawyer before. The entire process might seem daunting. However, there are some simple steps to help you find a good attorney for you.
A good bicycle accident lawyer is one who can get you results. After your accident, you will have costs like medical treatment and lost wages. If you did not cause your accident, you shouldn’t have to pay. A lawyer should help you seek the fullest financial recovery possible.
Here are some ways you can begin your search.
1. Search Directories for Local Lawyers
You might start by looking for trusted lawyers in your area. A Google search will bring up results, but be wary of advertisements. If a law firm seems appealing, consider their experience and knowledge above all.
Some law firms are what we call “settlement mills.” They focus on lots of advertising and rushing through a high amount of cases. This type of lawyer will almost certainly leave money on the table.
It’s best to use trusted sites, such as the American Bar Association (ABA), for lawyer-related information. You can also contact friends and family for recommendations. Most people know someone who has had to retain a lawyer for something.
2. Focus on Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Bicycle accident lawyers are a type of personal injury lawyer. If someone identifies as a bicycle accident lawyer, it means they have experience in bike crashes. It’s best to work with someone who has experience with your type of case.
Any personal injury lawyer will be knowledgable in tort law (Georgia Code Section 51-1-1). However, it’s even better if they are familiar with the challenges of bicycle accident cases. A bicycle accident lawyer is more likely to have the experience needed for your claim.
3. Check the Attorney’s Licensing
Make sure the lawyer meets all licensing requirements for where you live. Each state can have different laws on licensing. For example, there are relatively complex requirements to qualify as a lawyer in Georgia.
Many directories will tell you if a lawyer is currently licensed to practice. If you’re unsure, you can contact the law firm’s office for more information.
4. Schedule a Free Consultation
Once you’ve found a lawyer that seems like a possible fit, call them to schedule a consultation. Most bicycle accident lawyers will provide a free initial consultation. During the first meeting, you can ask them questions and discuss your case.
During the consultation, you can determine whether the lawyer meets your needs. Before sitting down with them, think about what you need most from your case.
5. Ask the Lawyer Good Questions
Come to the consultation with a list of questions. Some good examples include:
- How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
- How much experience do you have with bicycle accident cases?
- Have you worked on cases similar to mine?
- Do you always represent injury victims? Or do you work for defendants, as well?
- Will you be handling my case personally? Will someone else be taking on my case?
- Can I see references from clients with similar cases to mine?
- How will I receive updates about my case’s progress?
You generally do not want a lawyer who works mostly for insurance companies or defendants. They are more likely to see your case from the other side. There’s a risk of them not fighting as hard as they could for your recovery.
Also, the lawyer you meet with is not always the one handling your case. Get clear on who will be working your case. It’s not uncommon for more than one attorney to help with a case. However, you’ll want to be informed about their experience and communication style.
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Other Qualities You Should Look for in a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
There are some other things to keep in mind when finding a bicycle accident lawyer. The attorney you choose should have the following.
Excellent Communication with You
Many lawyers are busy people. However, they should be focused and attentive during the consultation. You should feel comfortable telling the lawyer about your case details. You’ll also want to feel like they care about getting you the best compensation.
Detailed Case Knowledge
Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about bike accident cases. Your lawyer should be familiar with the ins and outs of this type of situation. That includes communicating and negotiating with the insurance company.
Your lawyer should always follow state guidelines and ethics. That includes maintaining attorney-client privilege at all times. Again, you want to feel safe telling your lawyer anything about your accident.
After a bicycle accident, a good lawyer can make all the difference. Your attorney should be knowledgeable and prepared to fight for your recovery. Start looking for a bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after your crash.
Talk to a Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping injured cyclists for over 20 years. We’ve grown to become one of the largest and most respected firms in Georgia.
Our attorneys always work for injury victims — never insurance companies. We can help you build the most persuasive case for compensation possible. We are not afraid to stand up to the insurance companies and negotiate.
Contact us today for a FREE consultation. We do not charge a fee unless we win you compensation. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started for FREE today.