Atlanta, GA Bicycle Accident Lawyer
In crashes between bicycles and vehicles, the bikes always lose. Bicycles simply cannot withstand the forces of larger, heavier vehicles in collisions. Therefore, the bicyclist will almost always bear the brunt of the injuries in these accidents. Common bike accident injuries include bone fractures, head and neck injuries, and abrasions from road rash. If the vehicle rolls over the cyclist, injuries can be catastrophic. After a bicycle accident in Atlanta, call on Butler Prather LLP for help. It could be the best way to safeguard your financial future.
Atlanta Bicycle Laws
Bicycling in Atlanta, GA doesn’t give you free reign on the roads. There are laws and responsibilities you must obey as a cyclist. Learning what you can and cannot do can help you prevent accidents and avoid liability should you get into a collision. Breaking any of the city-specific rules can harm your eligibility for recovery in the event of an accident. Here are a few laws that may be relevant to crashes in the city:
- Bicycles are vehicles according to law. This means cyclists must obey all the same roadway and traffic rules as other motorists – stopping at intersections, yielding right of way when appropriate, and signaling their intentions.
- Bicyclists over 12 years of age cannot ride on sidewalks in Atlanta. It’s technically illegal to bike on sidewalks in business districts. Instead, cyclists must use the roadway or designated bike lanes.
- Bicyclists must ride with traffic. As a legal motor vehicle, a bicycle must follow the same directional flow as traffic. It may seem safer to ride on the opposite side of the road so you can see oncoming vehicles, but this is not legal in Atlanta.
- Bicycles must have proper lights and reflectors for operation at night. The law mandates that all bicycles in use at night must have a white front light, visible from at least 300 feet away, and a red rear light or reflector visible from 300 feet.
- Bicyclists over the age of 16 are not legally required to wear helmets. Atlanta municipal law only mandates helmet use for riders and passengers under the age of 16. Helmets must fit well, fasten securely, and meet federal safety standards.
Obeying bicycle laws can make your actions predictable to other drivers. This will improve your safety, as other roadway users will know what to expect from you as you navigate the roads. Breaking the law not only puts you in danger of serious injury or death, or any pedestrians in the area, but it may also restrict your eligibility for compensation in the event of a crash.
What to Do After an Atlanta Bicycle Accident
The steps you take in the aftermath of an Atlanta, GA bicycle accident can determine your future. It is important to know what you should and should not do following a serious bike crash in Atlanta. If at any time you want personalized counsel, speak to an attorney from Butler Prather LLP. In the meantime, the following steps can help you protect your rights.
- Stay calm and do not admit fault. Do not apologize to the driver or admit fault in any way. Remain calm and stay at the scene of the crash until police arrive.
- Call the police. You have to call the police in Georgia to report a crash if it causes injuries, deaths, or more than $500 in property damage. Always call 911 after a bicycle accident.
- Gather evidence. If you can, gather evidence surrounding your crash while at the scene. This can include the name and insurance information of the driver, photographs of the accident, and eyewitness contact information.
- Go to the hospital. Do not delay your medical care. Go immediately to the nearest hospital for an exam, even if you think you do not have injuries. You could have delayed symptoms or a hidden head injury. Keep copies of all medical records.
- Call the driver’s insurance company. The at-fault party will be responsible for car accident damages in Georgia. Call the driver’s insurer to report your accident. Then, contact an attorney.
Call (404) 321-1700 to discuss your bicycle accident with an attorney during a free consultation. Speak to an Atlanta bike accident lawyer before accepting a settlement from an insurance company. Insurance companies may not deal with your claim fairly, but a lawyer can walk you through the process successfully.
How an Insurance Company Might Handle Your Claim
When you call the driver’s insurance company, it will launch an investigation into your bicycle accident immediately. The insurer will assign a claims adjuster, or claims analyst, to your case. The adjuster will gather information about your accident, but his or her main goal is to get you to settle for as little as possible. It is the adjuster’s job to try to save the insurance company money – not to help you recover. For this reason, be wary when discussing your case or a settlement with a claims adjuster.
Insurance companies often use delay-or-deny tactics to avoid paying clients what they need. Insurers have created specific and elaborate processes to handle bicycle crash claims. Without a lawyer representing your best interests, you may settle your claim for less than it is worth – or settle for nothing at all. Do not agree to give a recorded statement to an insurance company. You do not legally have to give a statement, and its purpose is to try to trick you into saying something that could hurt your claim. Avoiding the traps an insurance company might set for you takes working with an attorney.
Why Work With Our Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyers?
Hiring a bicycle accident lawyer in Atlanta, GA can guarantee that you do not settle for less than the value of your claim. A lawyer can help you hold the at-fault party (and his or her insurance company) responsible for paying your past and future medical bills, lost wages, and property damages. If you need surgery or extensive medical care, the insurance company should pay the full value of your costs. A lawyer can negotiate your claim on your behalf so you do not end up saying yes to a lowball settlement offer.
Using a lawyer will also give you the power to take a defendant to court if necessary for fair compensation. Although attorneys can settle most bike accident claims without going to trial, having the ability to go to court can help you get the most for your claim. Taking an insurance company to trial could result in greater compensation for your losses, with available recovery for pain and suffering and punitive damages. A lawyer will be able to create a legal strategy tailored to your specific needs, injuries, and case goals.
An Atlanta bicycle accident attorney can give you advice about how to proceed in a way that ensures you receive fair compensation, from the beginning to the end of your case. A lawyer with experience handling bike accident claims can successfully recover damages for your economic and noneconomic injuries. Your attorney will take over negotiations and claim communications on your behalf, while you focus on your physical recovery. At our firm, if your lawyer does not recover any damages, you will not have to pay any legal fees.
Bicycle Accident FAQs
In our years of experience handling bicycle accidents in Atlanta and throughout Georgia, we have come to recognize some of the most common and pressing questions our clients ask in the aftermath of a serious bicycle accident. Our attorneys are here to openly and honestly answer your questions and acknowledge your concerns. If you do not see your question in these FAQs, contact us for a free legal consultation.
- What should I do if a car hits me in Atlanta? Treat your accident seriously, like you would a normal car accident. Document what happened, call 911, and get medical attention. Then, call an Atlanta personal injury attorney.
- What should I say to insurance companies? Less is more. Stick to the truth when answering questions, but say as little as possible. Remember, insurance companies are not on your side. They will be trying to find ways to dispute your claim in every conversation with you.
- What if the driver left the scene of the accident? If you are the victim of a hit-and-run bicycle accident in Atlanta, do not panic. Follow the same steps listed above. Instead of calling the driver’s insurance company, however, call your own. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, it will cover your damages. If not, a lawyer may be able to help you pursue an Atlanta injury claim against a third party.
- What if a road defect caused my accident? The defendant in your crash claim could be the City of Atlanta rather than a driver in these cases. It is the city’s legal responsibility to exercise reasonable care in the conditions of its roadways. A defect such as a pothole, loose gravel, or a broken traffic light could point to city liability for a bike accident.
- What if only my bicycle suffered damages? If you have an expensive bicycle that the crash wrecked, you can file a property damage claim even if you do not have physical injuries. The negligent driver or another party could owe you money to repair or replace your bicycle.
- I lost a loved one in a bicycle accident. Now what? Contact our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys. Your family could have the right to file a claim for damages such as medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and mental anguish from the at-fault party in the fatal accident.
At Butler Prather LLP, it is our mission to inform the people of Atlanta about their rights and legal options after serious accidents and personal injuries. We provide free case evaluations so you can receive tailored answers to your questions at no cost or obligation. Contact us now to request your free consultation. We can visit your home or hospital room if you cannot make it to our local law office.
If You've Been Hurt in an Atlanta Bike Accident, We Can Help
A bike accident can turn your life upside down. It can land you in the hospital, with hefty medical bills and income deficiencies due to lost time at work. It can destroy your expensive bicycle and lead to emotional harm such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It can even leave you permanently disabled. If you find yourself in any of these situations, take heart. We are a team of aggressive attorneys available to pursue justice and compensation on your behalf.
Contact Our Atlanta Bike Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation
The Atlanta accident attorneys at Butler Prather LLP want to help injured cyclists gain financial recovery after harmful accidents. Call us in Atlanta at (404) 321-1700 or toll-free (800) 242-2962 to discuss your case today!
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