Unfortunately, bicycle accidents regularly occur because drivers are not vigilant in maintaining a proper lookout for cyclists. This is despite the many safety precautions taken by cyclists when they are riding. When a collision between a bicycle and automobile occurs, the bicycle generally loses the fight. Unfortunately, these types of collisions are all too common on our roads today.
The severe, debilitating, and permanent injuries that arise from bicycle accidents with automobiles and trucks result in significant financial losses to the cyclist involved and their families. However, Georgia law protects injured cyclists with the right to recover compensation for their damages from the reckless driver. Such damages include, but may not be limited to, medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses, as well as other damages.
Injured cyclists are also entitled to recover for the pain and suffering caused by their injuries and treatment. Although a monetary recovery can never repair the damage that is done to the cyclist, it can at least ease the financial burdens created by injuries sustained in a bike accident.
The insurance company for the driver whose fault caused the bicycle accident will start an investigation immediately. It is the insurance company's responsibility to try to limit the compensation of the injured cyclist to the lowest possible amount in order to protect their profits. Insurance companies have established very specific and elaborate policies on handling bicycle accident claims, especially in the early stages.
The insurance company will take recorded statements from the persons involved in the bicycle accident, have the vehicles examined, have photographs taken, obtain the police report, and seek to limit the extent of the injuries that can be attributed to the bicycle collision. The insurance company usually completes these tasks within the first week after the bicycle collision and many of them within the first 24 to 48 hours after the bicycle collision.
Insurance companies try to reach a quick settlement with an injured cyclist. They often do this before the full extent of you injuries are known. Their purpose is to avoid responsibility for future medical expenses, lost wages and other damages that are likely to develop. This is a situation that an experienced Atlanta Bicycle Injury Attorney can help you avoid.
When a person is injured in a bicycle accident, it very often takes months to completely assess the cyclist 's injuries. At that point, the person may need surgery, physical therapy or other extensive treatment. The injuries may even leave the person permanently disabled. Therefore, the true value of a claim can only be assessed after most of the medical treatment has been completed. The State of Georgia provides in most, but not all, cases a two-year period of time in which to file a lawsuit on a claim. Accordingly, there is no need to rush to a settlement with an insurance company.
There are other significant issues that can occur for individuals injured in a bicycle accident. For instance, if your health insurance company pays for your medical bills they will very often seek reimbursement from your settlement with the other driver's insurance company. There are several legal limitations on these rights to reimbursement. An experienced Atlanta Bicycle Injury Attorney can use Georgia law to maximize the amount of recovery that you, the injured cyclist, gets to keep.
If you were on the job when injured, the workers' compensation insurance company will try to obtain reimbursement of their payments for medical expenses and lost wages. There are several legal limitations on these rights to reimbursement as well. An experienced Atlanta Bicycle Injury Attorney can use Georgia law to maximize the amount of recovery that you, the injured cyclist, gets to keep. These are important issues that you need to understand prior to agreeing to any settlement.
Experienced Atlanta Bicycle Injury Attorneys can often find additional insurance coverage to help you be completely compensated.
Georgia law requires individuals to maintain liability insurance coverage for their automobiles. The minimum requirements for bodily injury liability insurance coverage in Georgia are $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 per accident. Since these insurance limits may be insufficient to completely compensate you, very often an experienced Georgia Bicycle Injury Attorney must explore what other insurance is available to the responsible driver or the extent of the driver's personal assets. The responsible driver may have the right to coverage from insurance policies of family members, an employer, a rental car company or from an "umbrella" policy.
In addition, other unknown persons or entities may also have liability for the auto collision. For instance, if the road or a light was defective, a government agency may share responsibility for the collision. In addition, your own insurance policy may provide you with coverage for your injuries.
An experienced Atlanta Bicycle Injury Attorney can also determine whether or not your “uninsured” or “underinsured motorist” insurance coverage can be utilized to help completely compensate you.
Insurance companies have teams of attorneys whose goal is to minimize the compensation paid to you. We have the energy and confidence to take on the toughest adversaries and we back this claim with the experience and expertise critical to winning your case. We have taken many cases to trial when we felt that an insurance company was acting unreasonable and not truly recognizing the value of a claim.