You can sue someone personally after a bicycle accident in Georgia to seek compensation for damages you or your loved one suffered. Winning a court award requires proving that the defendant caused or contributed to the accident, resulting in injuries and other damages.
If there’s inconclusive evidence or no eyewitnesses to the bicycle accident, proving fault can be difficult. Hiring a bicycle accident lawyer can take the pressure off you, as you will have someone fighting in your corner and handling the necessary steps. They have the knowledge and experience to build a strong case against another party.
Grounds for Making a Claim After a Bicycle Accident
As with any form of transportation, bicycling has its own risk factors. The most considerable risk is colliding with an inattentive or negligent driver or another party. If you’ve been injured under these circumstances, you’re entitled to sue for compensation.
Below are some of the damages from a bicycle accident that you can be compensated for:
- Any medical expenses incurred
- Lost earnings due to inability to work (You could even be compensated for the sick days or personal time you had to use while recuperating from a bicycle accident.)
- Loss of potential future earnings due to a long-term injury or disability resulting from the accident
- Physical and emotional pain
- Damage to your bicycle
An attorney can review the damages your bicycle accident caused and calculate their value before seeking a settlement or court award.
Proving Liability for Accident Damages
There are four elements to establishing liability in a bicycle accident case. These involve proving:
- The at-fault driver’s responsibility to protect your well-being (or “duty of care”).
- The driver violated this duty of care.
- This violation triggered the bicycle accident.
- As a result, you were physically injured, leading to medical bills, lost wages, long-term trauma, etc.
Such evidence can support an insurance claim or lawsuit against the responsible party.
Reasons to Sue for a Bicycle Accident
With a lawyer by your side, you can sue the at-fault driver for compensation in a court of law. However, many personal injury cases lead to a settlement and don’t require a trial—this path generally saves both sides time and money.
Still, some reasons you and your attorney may decide to take the case all the way to court include:
- The insurance company denied your claim against their policyholder.
- The insurer offered a low settlement and refused to negotiate.
- Settlement negotiations have stalled.
Filing a lawsuit may encourage insurance companies to offer higher settlements that better address your damages. If you do file a lawsuit and proceed to court, it’s vital to know some suits can be extensive and costly. As such, your lawyer will ensure that you have a solid case before filing a lawsuit.
What to Do if I Am the Victim of a Bicycle Accident?
If possible based on your injuries, follow these steps after a bicycle accident:
- Call 911 and ask for the police as well as EMS. You or the other party may require emergency medical care.
- Don’t leave the scene (except if you’re being taken to the hospital by EMS). Staying at the location allows you to maintain your rights.
- If there are witnesses nearby, ask for their contact information (name, phone, email).
- Take pictures of the scene from all angles with your cell phone. Photograph any damage to the car and your bicycle.
- Record the driver’s contact, insurance, and vehicle information
- Find out where to obtain a copy of the police report once it’s finalized.
- Don’t speculate about what happened or put anything on social media about the accident.
Finally, you can call for a free consultation with an accident firm before placing any claim against the driver’s insurance policy. A bicycle accident lawyer can explain your rights and represent you in a claim or lawsuit against the liable party.
What if My Accident Was a Hit and Run?
Some drivers will flee the scene of the accident after hitting a bicyclist. They may do this because they lack insurance coverage or hope to avoid the consequences. If this happened to you, it’s important to provide all the details you can recall to the authorities. They may be able to locate the driver using this information along with surveillance footage and eyewitness statements.
If the driver is unidentifiable, the accident report and other evidence can still help you seek coverage from an uninsured motorist (UM) policy, if you have one.
Get a Free Review of Your Bicycle Accident Case
Call George Sink, P. A. Injury Lawyers for support from any one of their three convenient Georgia offices. Our lawyers will help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
We will provide a free consultation and explore your options for seeking damages when you contact us.