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US injuries and deaths from bicycle accidents have been on the rise since 2011, but an even larger increase since 2020 has been associated with more people taking up biking during the pandemic.
This is partly because more individuals are riding bicycles in the first place, but reckless drivers and streets designed solely for motor vehicles are also believed to contribute to the problem.
Closer to home, Georgia saw an increase of 150 percent in fatal accidents involving bicyclists or pedestrians from 2020 to 2021. The state has attempted to make biking safer for riders with legislation addressing the interaction of bicycles and motor vehicles on roads.
In 2021, the state’s “Three Feet Law,” which required drivers passing a bicycle to allow at least three feet of space, was updated to require the driver to move into an adjacent lane if possible. If it’s not possible to safely move into an adjacent lane, the driver should slow down to at least ten miles an hour below the speed limit and proceed cautiously around the bicyclist.
If a driver ignores the Three Feet Law or other bicycle laws and causes an accident, the bicyclist is likely to suffer more severe injuries than the driver. Cars have safety features like seatbelts and airbags that work to keep the driver safe, while a bicyclist may be thrown off their bike, leading to broken bones, head injuries, back or spine injuries, or internal injuries.
If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle accident, you may have severe and painful injuries, expensive medical bills, and a loss of income while you recover. You need help with these damages, but the driver might claim no responsibility for the accident and could even blame you.
How can you get the compensation you need to recover?
Your bicycle accident attorney understands how devastating a bike accident can be and will work to secure compensation for your damages. We’ll carefully calculate all your losses to determine your claim’s worth and seek that amount from the driver’s insurance company.
Potential damages in a bicycle accident include:
This is a prevalent problem in bicycle accident cases. Often, the driver will claim that they had the right of way, that the bicyclist cut in front of them, etc.
Rest assured, their insurance company will agree because if you were at fault, then they don’t have to pay your claim. In fact, the insurance adjuster may place blame on you even if the car driver admits fault due to Georgia’s modified comparative negligence statutes.
Sometimes, people think of fault in a car accident as being a very black-and-white situation: one person is at fault, and the other is not. But reality is often much more complicated, and it’s possible for both parties to make mistakes that contribute to an accident.
Modified comparative negligence statutes seek to set out rules for handling these situations of shared fault.
In Georgia, you can recover damages as long as you are less than 50 percent responsible for an accident or injury. The party who was more than 50 percent at fault will have to pay damages (although, in most cases, their insurance carrier will pay on their behalf).
But there’s one other aspect of modified comparative negligence that’s essential to understand: If you were more than 0 percent at fault, you would lose whatever portion of responsibility you had from your final award. So, if you were 10 percent responsible for the accident, you would lose 10 percent of your damages.
Keeping that in mind, you can understand why an insurance adjuster would argue that you had at least some fault – if they can’t completely evade responsibility for paying your claim, they hope to at least lower the amount they have to pay.
Most people assume it’s either the police, a responding law enforcement agency, or a jury in a court case. While a police report is a valuable piece of evidence in a bicycle accident, it doesn’t definitively prove what happened.
Police generally arrive after an accident is over and base their report on the evidence they observe, plus interviews with the involved parties and witnesses. In many cases, the driver and bicyclist have different explanations of how the accident happened.
When the responding officer writes a report, they make an educated guess, giving their opinion of how the crash occurred and who was at fault based on the available evidence. However, because the available evidence may be limited and conflicting, this opinion can be challenged in court.
One of the first things we do when reviewing a bicycle accident case is read the police report and discuss it with the client. If you feel anything in the report is inaccurate, we can have an investigator search for additional evidence we might use to challenge the report.
For instance, we may look for video evidence of the collision, witnesses who may not have been interviewed at the scene, or event data recorder (EDR) data from the vehicle that hit you.
So, does a jury decide fault? In most cases, no.
If your case goes to trial, then yes, a jury or judge will be asked to determine who is at fault. Because of modified comparative negligence laws, they will have to assign a percentage of fault to each party – in this situation, the driver and the cyclist.
But most cases don’t go to trial. Trials can be lengthy, stressful, and time-consuming, and we don’t want to put an injured person through that if it isn’t necessary.
The good news is that in most of these cases, we can work out a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company so you get the compensation you need. However, we won’t advise you to accept a settlement that doesn’t adequately cover all your damages, and if the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement, we are prepared to pursue your case in court.
The final point to understand is that while most cases don’t go to trial, the perception of how a trial might go is crucial to the negotiation process. In other words, the more evidence we have that the vehicle driver was all or mostly at fault, the less the insurance company adjuster will want to go to trial, and the more motivated they will be to make a reasonable offer.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming you’re completely out of luck in this situation. A bicycle accident lawyer can examine the details of your case and explain any other options for recovering your damages, such as:
Please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation about your accident. We’ll review your case, answer any questions you have, and explain your options. If we take your case, you won’t owe us anything until we win or settle it.
Founder and lead attorney Ali Awad established the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm just a few short years ago, and it quickly became one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country. Mr. Awad and his team have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured people and their families.
When he’s not fighting for clients in the boardroom or the courtroom, Mr. Awad gives accessible legal advice to more than a million followers on social media. Work with him today by calling 833-254-2923.
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After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.