Common Questions About
Georgia Bike Accident Claims
Answered On This Page:
- How will we know when it’s time to file a lawsuit?
- In Georgia, is it against the law to ride a bicycle without a helmet?
- Can I sue for money to penalize or punish the at-fault driver?
- If my case isn’t settled right away, how will I pay the medical bills?
- Where can I find the laws and rules about bike riding in Georgia?
- What if the driver who hit me was drunk?
Just in case you hadn’t noticed, bicycles are everywhere these days. They are not relegated to small children in quiet neighborhood streets anymore. Today, for a hundred reasons, bicycling is a popular way to get to work, to the mega-mart, or even to take a weekend vacation. People use bicycles in just about all the ways they use cars these days, and while they have their limitations, they can serve to save money, clean up our air, and keep us a bit healthier. But not always.
Bicycles and motorcycles are involved in life-threatening accidents with motorized vehicles every day. Perhaps it’s because they are smaller and less obvious in the rear-view mirror of cars and trucks. Maybe it’s because we are all in a hurry. Maybe it’s because we’re simply not trained to watch for them. Here’s the fact, though; he more of them there are on the road, the more common accidents become.
Do you know somebody who has been injured in a bicycle accident? If so, you probably understand that of all accident scenarios, an unprotected bike rider is usually the least prepared to survive a collision with a delivery truck. Between a bicycle and another vehicle, there really is no level playing field.
When an accident happens, it can turn the world upside down for the family of the bicyclist. The victim’s family can be faced with enormous medical bills for which they are not prepared. It matters little if the victim is a college student or a Baby Boomer out to save the environment. Bodies bruise and break in countless ways when they are crashed into, tossed across intersections, and mashed by oncoming vehicles.
People who must pick up the pieces when a family member is at the receiving end of such injuries know it’s no walk in the park. Dealing with the consequences of a bicycle accident can feel like the end of the world. If you’ve ever been there, you know what helplessness and hopelessness feel like.
At times like these, when you are sitting in the waiting room of a hospital surgery floor waiting for an update on your loved one’s condition, you are probably overwhelmed. You not only have no idea whether or not your child or wife will survive – you are also painfully aware that these surgical services don’t come cheap. In those dark hours, everything in life is one big, scary question mark.
It’s doubly bad when your loved one followed the rules of the road and is still in critical condition. How does it happen that even when you do all the right things, you can still be victimized by people who break the rules?
Jeremy is a second-year college student. His family is paying for his education, so he conserves money every way he can. He rides his bike everywhere. He has no parking hassles. He carries his transportation up the stairs to his apartment at the end of the day, and back down again in the morning. He carries his things in a back pack and, most of the time, wears the safety helmet his mother made him promise to use. Jeremy has transportation handled.
That is, until one Friday morning as he hurries to catch his Biology Lab, Jeremy shoots through the intersection where he has the green light. An elderly woman coming the other way is late for her regular beauty shop appointment. She runs the red light to Jeremy’s left. She is traveling at 40 mph when she hits him broadside. She doesn’t even hit the brake until after the collision.
Jeremy is treated for his trauma at the hospital. The emergency room doctors diagnose a closed head injury – at least a concussion and maybe worse, but the total damage can’t be evaluated until Jeremy is awake and stable. After x-rays, it’s obvious that Jeremy has suffered a broken collar bone, five broken ribs. The doctors can see that his abdomen is swelling and rigid, so they suspect internal injuries. He also has a broken ankle.
Jeremy is given an MRI to check for internal injuries and the doctors find that part of his liver has been crushed. He is in surgery within the first hour of his arrival.
But Jeremy isn’t dead.
His widowed mother is deeply grateful for that fact as she sits alone in the waiting room. Livers re-grow themselves. Concussions and broken bones heal. But where will she find the money to pay for all of this? She has many questions and not the first answer. She has never felt so small and powerless.
On day three of Jeremy’s recovery from his successful surgery, an insurance adjuster arrives at the hospital. At first he seems pleasant enough but he quickly convinces Ms. Jenkins that he is not the kind, benevolent man he pretends to be.
He tells her that he represents the woman whose car hit Jeremy. The insurance company is prepared to settle the matter right away to make life easier for the family. Nevertheless, he has questions:
Why was Jeremy not paying more attention to where he was going?
When will Jeremy be awake to sign the release?
Jeremy’s mother stands up to her full height of five feet and two inches and tells the nurse to “Get this vulture out of my son’s room.”
When she is once again alone with her sedated son, she searches her phone for the number of an attorney.
Jeremy’s mother is not altogether savvy about the ways of the world. Insurance matters baffle her, but she is pretty sure that Jeremy did nothing wrong. Nevertheless, she senses that she’s already outnumbered. She knows that she needs a powerful ally in what is shaping up as a big battle. She searches her phone for the number of an attorney.
“Dear Mr. Millar: Thank you so much for the professional way you handled my son’s case. You were compassionate, thorough, and unrelenting. The monetary compensation you obtained for my son will give him a new chance in life. May God Bless you. Sincerely,”– P.R. Harris