Bicycles are a great form of exercise, recreation, and transportation—especially when the weather improves. Unfortunately, bicycles also have the potential to be dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 475,000 people suffer bicycle-related injuries every year. A disproportionate share of these injuries occurs during the summer months. Here, our Conyers bicycle accident attorneys highlight the most important things you should know about bike accidents as we enter the summer.
Bicycle Accidents are More Common During the Summer Months
You should always take proper safety precautions when riding a bicycle. Even if you are an experienced and skilled rider, an accident can still happen. According to data from the National Safety Council (NSC), the number of serious bicycle accidents jumps significantly in June and remains high through July and August, before finally peaking in September. Once summer winds down, the number of bicycle accidents begins to decline again.
The primary reason why more bicycle accidents occur in the summer is simply a matter of volume—more people are riding bikes on the road and more collisions occur as a result. Though, there is also a secondary issue that many less-frequent users only ride bikes during the summer. With less experience, they may be more susceptible to being injured in an accident.
You Can Hold Careless Drivers Liable for Your Injuries
Georgia is a fault-based auto accident state. You should know that the state’s comparative negligence rules apply to collisions between cyclists and passenger vehicles. Motorists have a legal responsibility to look out for the safety and well-being of cyclists. Should they fail to do so, they may be held liable for the resulting damages.
As an example, imagine that you were injured in a bicycle accident in Covington. While you are riding during the summer, an inattentive driver changes lanes directly into your path, thereby striking your bicycle in the process. Their negligence caused your crash. In Georgia, bicyclists have the right to control a lane. Thus, the at-fault driver can be held legally responsible for your injuries. The collision should be reported to the police and you should get their name, license plate number, vehicle information, and insurance policy details.
Bicycle Accident Victims Deserve Fair Financial Compensation
In Georgia, injured cyclists can seek compensation for monetary and non-monetary losses. Unfortunately, defendants and insurers are rarely willing to pay out full and fair personal injury settlements without a fight. At MG Law, our bicycle accident lawyers know how to help our clients maximize their recovery. You may be entitled to recover monetary damages for:
- Bicycle replacement;
- Emergency medical care;
- Other medical bills/expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Diminished earning potential;
- Pain and suffering;
- Scarring and disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death damages.
The Timeline After a Bicycle Accident in Georgia
You may be wondering how long it takes to resolve a bicycle accident claim in Georgia. You may be wondering: If I am injured in a bicycle accident this summer, will my case be resolved by the end of the season? The short answer is ‘it depends’—the length of a bicycle accident claim can vary widely. Serious injuries and complicated accidents tend to take longer. Here is a brief over of the timeline after bicycle collision in Georgia:
- You must give all defendants (and their insurers) notice that a bicycle accident has occurred. Please know that you do not need all of the details at this point, but written notice is important.
- Bicycle accidents should be carefully investigated by an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your attorney will ensure that you have all of the evidence you need to bring an effective, successful claim.
- Make sure you see a doctor and attend all follow-up appointments. You must get medical treatment to bring a claim. As a general rule, the claims process cannot move forward until your condition has stabilized and your medical bills are known.
- After retrieving your medical records, your Georgia bicycle accident attorney can make a formal demand for financial compensation. A demand letter should be professionally prepared.
- Many bicycle accident claims are settled after negotiations with defendants/insurers. How long negotiation takes will vary based on the complexity of the case. If negotiations are not effective, it is time to file a lawsuit and pursue financial compensation in court.
You Can Use Your car Insurance Policy’s Uninsured Motorist Coverage in a Bicycle Accident
Remember if you have car insurance, that coverage can help you if a car hits you and that driver is uninsured or doesn’t have enough to cover all your damages. That is why it is important to maintain uninsured and underinsured coverage(UM or UIM) in appropriate amounts. This coverage helps you even if you are on a bike or on foot when hit.
Call Our Georgia Bicycle Accident Lawyers for Immediate Assistance
At MG Law, our Georgia bicycle accident attorneys fight tirelessly to get injured victims justice and financial compensation. If you or someone you know was hurt in a bicycle collision, we are here to help. For a free review of your claim, please contact us today. We represent injured victims throughout the region.