Believe it or not, bicycle accidents account for two percent of all traffic fatalities as well as two percent of all people injured in auto accidents. 662 riders were killed in bicycle accidents and an additional 48,000 were injured in the year 2002. Since 1932, approximately 47,000 riders have died in accidents in the United States.
The majority of bicycle accidents occur because an automobile driver is distracted or drives irresponsibly around a cyclist. This comes despite most cyclists taking safety precautions to prevent an accident from occurring. In also does not take much time to realize that in a bicycle accident, the cyclist normally takes the brunt of the damage. Thanks to a lack of public support and a bias from law enforcement officers, it is extremely hard to determine the cause of the majority of bicycle accidents.
Cyclists that are injured in bicycle accidents can sustain severe and permanent injuries. They can also sustain horrible financial loses, which can affect their lives as well as their families’ lives. The law does provide an injured person the right to try to recover damages if another person is responsible for their injury. Damages include: lost wages, funeral expenses, medical expenses, pain and suffering, among other things. If a cyclist is killed, the spouse is entitled to attempt to recover damages from the offending party. Monetary compensation cannot bring a loved one back but it can ease the financial suffering that the accident caused.
Generally speaking, the insurance company for the automobile will immediately start an investigation. Their goal will be to limit the damages of the injured cyclist to the lowest possible amount. These companies will try to lowball the cyclist to get them to settle out of court. They have special procedures to save them money, so be on the lookout for the insurance company trying to do this to you.
They will try to settle immediately to avoid future expenses such as lost wages, future medical expenses, and many more things. Do not fall for this trap. Contact an attorney immediately and do not speak to the insurance company without your attorney with you.
The insurance company will also record statements from both parties, take photographs, have both vehicles examined, and obtain the police report to determine the extent of the injuries. They normally should be able to go through anything within a week. It may be best to find a Georgia attorney that specializes in bicycle accidents.
Before injuries can be determined, a physician must properly diagnose all injuries. This is to make sure all future injuries be taken in to account, as well as any permanent injuries or disabilities. Do not rush to settle with the insurance company. The state of Georgia allows for a civil lawsuit to be filed up to two years after a bicycle accident. If you settle too early, you will regret it once all your injuries get worse.
There are also other issues you will need to deal with if you are injured in a bicycle accident. If your health insurance company covers your medical bills then they will most likely seek reimbursement from you when you settle with the offending party. There are many limitations on their right to attempt to collect reimbursement and an attorney will be able to protect you from this. Another common issue is the insurance company that pays your worker’s compensation. Once again, your attorney should be able to help you with this.
The state of Georgia only requires that drivers maintain liability insurance coverage in the amounts of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Therefore, it may be difficult to collect enough compensation to cover all the injuries in an accident. In cases like these, the injured party can explore other options to compensate them for their injuries such as the personal assets of the offending party.
It is extremely complicated to determine the actual value of a claim for the injuries sustained from a bike accident. Everything needs to be taken into account and this can take some time. It is best to contact a personal injury attorney who is experienced in bike accidents. This way, you have someone who knows the legality and complications of bicycle accidents. They can use this knowledge to better serve you and hopefully get you the highest award possible for your injuries.
If you have been injured in an accident, call Atlanta Bicycle Accident Attorney Bryce Angell at 770-217-4954 for a free consultation.