When bicyclists and motorists share the road, collisions are inevitable. Many bicycle accidents cause serious injuries or fatalities. Bicycle accidents impact the victim’s entire family because the victim typically cannot work for an extended period of time. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, our legal team and the Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC can provide the advocacy you need to pursue just compensation for your injuries.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
As recently as 2015, 5,376 pedestrians and 818 bicyclists lost their lives as a result of crashes involving motor vehicles, according to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration. Pedestrian and bicyclist deaths were responsible for 17.4 percent of the 35,092 total auto collision fatalities that year.
Rules of the Road and Bicycle Laws
Many states have adopted laws that require cyclists and motorists to obey the same roadway laws. That means that motorists and bicyclists have equal rights and responsibilities on the road. Cyclists need to follow the same traffic rules as motorists. Also, motorists should always proceed with caution when there is a bicyclist in their vicinity.
The rules of the road dictate that bicyclists should use designated bike lanes when they are available. When bike lanes are not available, cyclists are required to use the far-right-hand traffic lane—not the sidewalk. There is an exception to this rule if the traffic conditions in the designated riding lanes expose you to danger. For instance, if a parked car is blocking the bike lane or if there are giant potholes or other obstacles, cyclists are justified in moving onto the motorists’ side of the road for safety purposes.
Compensation in Bicycle Accident Cases
Bicycle accidents can cause permanent debilitating injuries and considerable financial losses. Anyone involved in a bicycle accident can sue the at fault driver for damages.
These damages include but are not limited to the following:
- Lost actual and potential income
- Past, present, and future medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Property damage
Insurance Claims in Bicycle Accident Cases
Insurance companies always try to reach an early settlement with the injured bicyclist in case of an accident. They do this because they want to avoid paying for your medical bills, lost wages, and other unforeseen damages that may develop. As a bicycle rider, you should be careful not to fall into this trap. It will take months to a year to fully assess your injuries depending upon the severity of the collision. Initially, it might look like your injuries will health with conservative treatment, such as chiropractic treatment and physical therapy. A year out, surgery might be necessary. It is only after you’ve completed all of these procedures and testing that you will be able to calculate your complete medical costs and other social and economic costs. By accepting a quick settlement offer, you will not be eligible to receive any additional compensation even if your injuries require surgery in the future.
The State of Georgia requires all drivers to maintain liability insurance with at least $25,000 coverage per individual and $50,000 coverage per accident. Most drivers choose to only purchase that minimum coverage. In nearly every case, that minimum coverage won’t be sufficient to compensate an injured bicyclist for his or her injuries. As a result, the injured bicyclist might be forced to seek additional compensation from the at fault driver’s personal assets. In order to have any chance of recovering compensation from the at fault driver’s assets, the bicyclist will need to be prepared to litigate his or her case in court. We have six decades of experience recovering compensation from at fault drivers’ personal assets. We are glad to explain how that process works during our free consultation.
Do You Need a Bicycle Injury Lawyer After an Accident?
After an accident, you might be inclined to handle your insurance claim on your own. Don’t make that mistake. As experienced bicycle injury lawyers, we will help you evaluate the appropriate value of your claim to ensure your claim includes your complete economic and non-economic losses that you and your family have suffered as a result of the accident.
We also will vigorously challenge the insurance carriers’ schemes that attempt to pay you the minimum value for your claim. For instance, we will thoroughly investigate the factual circumstances of the collision to overcome the insurance carrier’s argument that you were partially, or completely at fault for causing the collision. We will make sure that you obtain the very best medical treatment for your injuries. We won’t negotiate with the insurance carrier until we are confident that we’ve fully evaluated the value of your claim.
We will also determine whether there was damage to the road that might have contributed to your accident, or if there was a defective traffic light. In those instances, we might sue the responsible government agency because they partially share fault for the accident. If the at fault driver’s insurance isn’t enough to cover your injuries, we can also seek additional coverage from your own insurance carrier if you purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If your bicycle accident occurred while you were performing your job duties, then we might file a claim against your employer’s insurance.
Call an Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyer If You’re Injured
Contact Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC at (404) 419-6674 or via our online form for a free initial legal consultation. We will completely investigate the details of your accident and guide you through the insurance claims process so that you can recover the compensation that you deserve.