After a bicycle accident, you might need a lawyer’s help in getting compensation. If you’ve never dealt with an injury case before, you might wonder, “What does a bicycle accident lawyer do?”
A bicycle accident lawyer works for those injured by the negligence of another party. Under Georgia Code Section 51-1-2, negligence means the actions of the person (or their inaction) lack care that reasonable people would have in a similar situation. When someone’s negligence causes an injury, that person is liable for the damages.
Bicycle accident lawyers represent injury victims in bike accidents. Many bicycle accident lawyers work on other types of injury cases too.
How Does a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help Clients?
A bicycle accident lawyer protects your legal rights in many ways. They work to get you compensation for your damages. Here is how a bicycle accident lawyer’s process typically goes.
Discussing Your Accident Details
A bicycle accident lawyer will start by evaluating your case. They’ll ask questions about your accident and how it has affected you. The lawyer will listen for specific information they can use to build your case. If they need more facts, they ask some follow-up questions.
A bicycle accident lawyer will get details about:
- Who caused the accident
- Your injuries and other damages
- How the accident has impacted your life
- Your current and future costs
- What insurance policies apply to the crash
If you have pictures or other information from the accident scene, the lawyer will examine them. They’ll use what you already have to start building a case.
Investigating Your Case
A bike accident lawyer will start investigating immediately. They’ll do some of the investigation themselves or hire experts if they need additional information.
The investigation can include:
- Returning to the accident scene
- Take pictures of the scene and your damages
- Interviewing any witnesses
- Getting copies of medical records and the crash report
- Looking at your accident damages
Your lawyer will use the evidence to determine who was at fault. In most cases, another driver is at fault for a bike accident.
A lawyer will use many steps from above to gather evidence. They’ll know the importance of proof in your injury claim. You will need to show how the accident has impacted you.
Your lawyer will obtain evidence of your damages like:
- Treatment costs
- Prescription medications
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Many injury victims underestimate their total accident costs. A lawyer will consider future medical expenses and other “hidden” damages that are not immediately obvious.
Notifying All Involved Parties
When you hire a bicycle accident lawyer, they will let the other side know that they’re representing you.
Suppose a car driver was at fault for your accident. Your lawyer would contact the driver’s insurance company so that the insurer knows who’s representing you. The insurer would have to communicate with your lawyer instead of you. This helps prevent the insurer from taking advantage of you.
Sending the Demand Letter
After investigation, your lawyer will send a demand letter to the insurer. The demand letter begins your injury claim for compensation. It will contain details about the accident and how many damages you’re seeking.
Handling the Insurance Companies
After a bicycle accident, the insurance company will probably try to contact you. While it might seem harmless, insurers will use tactics like:
- Getting you to say something the insurer can use against you later
- Asking you to give a recorded statement
- Downplaying your injuries and getting you to agree
- Feigning concern for you to earn your trust
It’s best to let your bicycle accident lawyer handle the insurer. They can control all communication and protect your rights.
After you file your insurance claim, the insurer will respond. Most of the time, you’ll get a lowball settlement offer. Your lawyer will respond by negotiating for a higher settlement. Thankfully, most bicycle accident claims resolve here.
If your lawyer is successful, they’ll negotiate a settlement that covers your damages.
Preparing for Trial (if Necessary)
Sometimes, the insurance company refuses to negotiate a fair settlement. Your lawyer might then advise filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer will prepare the complaint letter and start the discovery process.
Before the trial, your attorney will try to negotiate. If negotiation is unsuccessful, then your lawyer should represent you in the litigation.
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What Does Someone Do to Become a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
To become a lawyer, someone must obtain a bachelor’s degree and then a law degree. Then, they must pass the bar exam. In almost all U.S. states, the lawyer must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)
A bicycle accident lawyer must be qualified to practice in the area where they live. Some lawyers might also:
- Pass a written exam on ethics
- Attend continuing legal education (CLE) classes
- Obtain certifications in their legal field
To be a bicycle accident lawyer specifically, an attorney must have experience working on bicycle accident cases.
When looking for a lawyer, make sure they have experience with your type of case. Any personal injury lawyer can accept a bike accident claim. However, you will probably have the most success with someone who understands personal injury law for cyclists.
Talk to a Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free Today
If someone else caused your bicycle accident, you have legal rights. You might be entitled to full compensation for your damages. A bicycle accident lawyer can help you fight for that recovery.
At John Foy & Associates, we have over 20 years of experience helping injured cyclists. Our bicycle accident lawyers know what it takes to win cases. We will take your case as far as it needs to go.
Contact us today for a FREE consultation. We do not charge a fee unless we win you compensation. To get your FREE consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.