Bike Accidents Are Expensive and Life Changing
For those who want to avoid living in a big city like Atlanta, a community like McDonough can be the perfect mix of city amenities with a comfortable rural feel.
Bicycling is a popular way to get around here. Nevertheless, bicyclists can be as vulnerable here to accidents caused by careless drivers just as in the city.. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in or around McDonough, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
At The Millar Law Firm we understand the challenges that cyclists face in places like McDonough. We have a proven track record of success in representing bicycle accident victims, and we are committed to getting our clients the justice they deserve.
Bike Accidents Happen All Around Henry County
Unfortunately, many suburban communities have not yet invested in the infrastructure that can make bicycling safer. In growing communities like McDonough the infrastructure necessary for traffic control – wider streets, bike lanes, may not have been planned, let alone been built. This means bicycle accidents can be more likely.
Here are a few of the factors that can contribute to bicycle accidents in suburban and semi-rural communities:
- The city’s location. McDonough is located in a semi-rural area, which means that there are a lot of narrow roads with limited visibility. This can make it difficult for drivers to see cyclists, especially at night or in bad weather.
- The city’s growth. McDonough is a growing city, and this has led to an increase in traffic. More traffic means more opportunities for accidents, including bicycle accidents.
- Narrower roads with poor visibility.
- The lack of bike lanes. McDonough does not have a comprehensive network of bike lanes. This forces cyclists to share the road with cars, which can increase the risk of accidents.
- Driver distractions. Drivers in McDonough are often distracted by their phones, food, or other activities. This can lead to them not paying attention to the road, which can increase the risk of accidents involving cyclists.
- Cyclist errors. Cyclists can also make mistakes that contribute to accidents. Some common mistakes include riding against traffic, not wearing a helmet, and not obeying traffic laws.
Injured Bicyclists Often Face More Significant Financial Consequences
In many ways, car accidents can be less impactful to victims than bicycle accidents. Cars are manufactured with many safety features that protect the driver and passengers in the event of an accident, such as airbags, seatbelts, and crumple zones. Cyclists, on the other hand, have very little protection. They are not surrounded by a metal cage, and they do not have airbags or seatbelts to protect them. This means that they are more likely to be injured in an accident, and their injuries are more likely to be severe.
Some of the most common injuries sustained by cyclists in accidents include:
Head injuries are the most common type of injury sustained by cyclists in accidents. This is because the head is not protected by a helmet, and it is the most vulnerable part of the body. Head injuries can range from mild concussions to fatal brain injuries.
Broken bones are also common in bicycle accidents. The most common broken bones are those in the arms and legs, but cyclists can also break their ribs, pelvis, and spine.
Internal injuries are not as visible as broken bones, but they can be just as serious. Internal injuries can include organ damage, bleeding, and bruising.
Lacerations and abrasions are cuts and scrapes to the skin. They are often the least serious type of injury sustained in a bicycle accident, but they can still be painful and require medical attention
Additional Factors that can increase Bicycle Accident Losses
- The severity of the injuries. Bicycle accidents often result in serious injuries, such as broken bones, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries. These injuries can require extensive medical care, which can be very expensive.
- The cost of lost wages. If a cyclist is unable to work due to their injuries, they may lose wages. This can be a significant financial burden, especially if they are the primary breadwinner for their household.
- The cost of pain and suffering. Bicycle accidents can cause a great deal of pain and suffering, both physical and emotional. This can be difficult to quantify, but it is often a significant factor in the overall cost of the accident.
- The cost of property damage. Bicycle accidents can also damage property, such as the bicycle itself, the driver’s vehicle, or other property. This can also be a significant financial burden.
In addition to the direct costs like those above, bicycle accidents can also have indirect costs that can be left out of settlement negotiations. These costs include the cost of transportation, child care, and household assistance. These costs can add up quickly, making bicycle accidents a very expensive proposition. Fortunately, these factors and costs can be made part of a claim for settlement, enabling victims to recover all of their losses.
If You Were Injured, Here’s What You Should Do Next
Here are the first steps you should take to protect your rights if you are injured in a bicycle accident:
- Seek medical attention immediately. Even if you don’t think you are injured, it is important to get checked out by a doctor. Some injuries, such as head injuries, or internal bleeding may not show symptoms immediately.
- Call the police and file a report. The police report will document the accident and can be used as evidence in your case.
- Get the contact information of the other driver and any witnesses. This information will be important if you need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
- Take pictures of the accident scene. This includes the damage to your bicycle, the damage to the other vehicle, and any other evidence of the accident.
- Save all medical records and bills. These records will document your injuries and the cost of your treatment.
- Get a copy of your bicycle’s serial number. This will be important if your bicycle is stolen or damaged in the accident.
- Consult with an attorney. Many bicyclists don’t immediately consider consulting with a personal injury attorney after an accident. For this reason, they can be left with little or no compensation for their losses. An attorney who understands your legal rights and options can represent and guide you in negotiations with the insurance company or in court.
You Have Legal Rights – Protect Them
Remember to take your bicycle collision as seriously as you would any other vehicular accident. You have legal rights guaranteed by the State of Georgia. Be mindful of those rights and safeguard them by speaking with an attorney who understands those rights. This will ensure that you have a better chance of winning the full and fair compensation you deserve for your injuries as provided by law.
At The Millar Law Firm we’ve been successfully representing accident victims for three decades. This means we’ve developed an expertise that can give our clients the edge over insurance company lawyers.
Here are some additional tips for protecting your rights after a bicycle accident:
- Be careful what you say to the other driver or to witnesses. Even little things you say can later be twisted by the other side to suggest you were at fault. Remember, anything you say can be used against you in court.
- Don’t sign anything from the other driver’s insurance company without first talking to an attorney. Insurance company adjustors and lawyers want to pay you as little as possible, so they will often offer low-ball settlement terms and try to push you into settling. This often happens even before you understand the full extent of your damages.
- Do not post pictures or details about your accident on social media
- Don’t let the other driver or their insurance company push you into early settlement. You have rights, and you should fight for them.
- As soon as possible, write down your recollection of EVERYTHING that happened immediately before, during, and after your accident. Memories fade as time passes, which can complicate your settlement process.
- Make an appointment with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases. A professional legal team, like the ones at The Millar Law Firm know and understand Georgia law as it relates to accidents like yours. Having a legal team onboard can make the process of getting the best possible outcome easier and more certain.
Bike Accident Victims Will Likely Need a Lawyer – Here’s Why
We often tend to down-play the importance of a bicycle accident. All too often, bicycle accident victims don’t consider their accident serious enough or important enough to warrant hiring a lawyer. Somehow, victims think because it was ‘just’ a bike accident, they should handle it on our own.
Another complicating factor is that we human beings always want to believe others will treat us fairly. That is not always the case.
Insurance companies often try to take advantage of our natural tendency to minimize bicycle accidents and our own injuries. Insurance companies try to convince bicycle accident victims to settle for very small amounts by down-playing everything about the accident. They do this because they are in the business of making money, and they want pay out as little as possible on any claim.
They are well aware that many people who have been injured in accidents may not be familiar with their legal rights, and may be tempted to accept a low offer just to get the matter over with.
There are a few reasons how insurance companies can successfully in offering a lowball settlement offer in a bicycle accident case:
First, if possible, they try to take advantage of the fact that the victim is not represented by an attorney. An attorney can help the victim understand their legal rights and negotiate a fair settlement offer. Victims who are not lawyers or represented by one, are often unsure of what their claim is worth or unable to articulate a convincing case.
Secondly, the insurance company may try to minimize the extent of the victim’s injuries. Again, if the victim is not well-versed in personal injury law, they don’t know the factors that make up a successful claim and cannot negotiate from a position of knowledge and power. The insurance company will try to cast doubt on the victim’s medical condition or will sometimes hire an independent medical examiner to give a second opinion that minimizes your injuries.
Thirdly, the insurance company may try to blame the victim for the accident. They will often argue that the victim was not riding safely or that they were not paying attention. This is a particularly effective tool when the victim is still trying to process the accident and/or recovering from injuries and they are at their most vulnerable.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and work to negotiate a fair settlement offer. They can also help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case, such as medical records, police reports, and witness statements – evidence you might have trouble gathering on your own.
How to Protect Yourself from Greedy Insurance Companies
Here are a few tips for dealing with an insurance company following a bicycle accident:
- Do not speak to the insurance company or its representatives without an attorney present.. If they come to see you while you’re in the hospital or recovering at home, tell them you’ll have your attorney contact them. When they do this, they are hoping to take advantage of your injured state and your unfamiliarity with accident law to get you to settle quickly
- Document everything, including your injuries, medical treatment, and lost wages. Also, the cost of bandages, pain medication, and or devices like braces or splints should be included in this list. It will be critically important that every last bandage is accounted for when you present a claim.
- Get copies of all police reports, medical records, witness statements and other relevant documents. Your attorney can obtain these for you.
- Take and keep photographs of the accident scene and accident scenes get cleaned up and your wounds and injuries may heal quickly. These images will be useful for negotiation purposes or for a jury if a lawsuit is necessary.
- Be prepared to negotiate. Negotiations over a settlement can drag on and be aggressively contested by the insurance company. Negotiating from a position of knowledge and power is the best way to proceed. The good news is, if you have retained a lawyer, he or she will do all of that negotiating for you. That’s one of the critical skills they are trained to do.
- If you cannot reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company, it will probably be necessary to file a lawsuit. Actually, very few of these claims actually make it to the courtroom, but sometimes filing a lawsuit helps the insurance company know the accident victim means business.
Why Choose Our McDonough Bike Injury Lawyers
- Is our main attorney Bruce Millar an avid bicyclist?
- Do we mainly focus on cases that are involving vehicles?
- Have we been doing this for 30 years?
- Why does experience matter when it comes to bike accident claims?
- Do we know the laws fairly well for bicyclists because our experience is centered around the road?
- Are we the type of law firm that settles for less?
- Do we offer the small law firm experience? What makes the small law firm experience amazing?
Note: we are more detailed with each case we take on, and how much time we spend on cases.
Legal Challenges Bike Accident Victims Will Experience
Here are some of the common legal challenges that a bicycle accident victim can face:
- Identifying the at-fault party. In order to recover compensation, the victim must first identify the party who was at fault for the accident. This can be difficult, as there may be multiple parties involved, such as the driver of the vehicle, the city or municipality, or even the victim themselves.
- Gathering evidence. The victim will need to gather evidence to support their claim, such as police reports, medical records, and witness statements. This evidence can be used to prove that the other party was negligent and that the victim was injured as a result.
- Negotiating with the insurance company. The victim’s first step should be to try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company of the at-fault party. However, insurance companies are often reluctant to pay out large sums of money, and they may try to lowball the victim.
- Filing a lawsuit. If the victim is unable to reach a settlement with the insurance company, they may need to file a lawsuit. This can be a complex and time-consuming process, and the victim will need to hire an attorney to represent them.
- Providing proof of damages. The victim will need to provide proof of their damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This can be difficult, as it can be hard to quantify the value of pain and suffering.
- Going to trial. If the case cannot be settled, it may go to trial. This is a last resort, as it is a lengthy and expensive process.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options, and they can represent you in negotiations with the insurance company or in court.Will the policy limits be a big factor?
Can evidence be difficult if there are no other drivers around?
Since there’s no motor vehicle can it be more challenging to show how the car hit the bike?