Hopping on your bicycle helps you avoid Atlanta traffic and get a little exercise in at the same time. It seems like a great idea, right? Until that one negligent driver causes a crash and leaves you with serious injuries.
And when that happens, we know your life is affected in multiple ways:
- You may not be able to get around as easily – because your bicycle is ruined and/or your body is hurt
- You’re facing medical bills that you weren’t anticipating
- You can’t get to work or you have to work fewer hours because of your injuries, so your income is not what it was before
Because the laws in Georgia afford accident victims – including cyclists and their families – to file personal injury claims, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost income, and in some cases the loss of enjoyment of life. If your loved one was the victim of an aggressive or negligent driver and was killed, you may be entitled to wrongful death compensation. Above all else, you deserve to be made whole. To find out how a bicycle accident lawyer can help you, call or text 404-491-7561 to schedule your complimentary case consultation now.
Here are five things you need to do if you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident
If you can, call 911. Tell them that you were hit by a car while riding your bike, whether you’re injured, the location of the crash, and if the car that hit you fled the scene.
Treat your health as your priority. Seek medical attention immediately, even if you feel “fine.” Between your increased heart rate and the adrenaline rush, your pain might not feel as severe as it will in a few hours. If medical care is offered at the scene, say yes. Tell the paramedics every single thing you notice, even if it seems insignificant. This isn’t the time to be “tough.” If you’re seriously injured, go to the ER.
If you’re able to gather evidence while you’re at the scene, here’s what you want to look out for [side note – You may not be able to do any of these things if your injuries are severe, so ask for help if you need to]:
Get the at-fault driver’s information. Take a picture of their driver’s license and their auto insurance card (make sure you get the policy number).
Get the at-fault driver’s vehicle information. Take a picture or video of the car, their license plate, and any damage their vehicle may have sustained when they hit you.
Watch what you say. Oftentimes, victims will say something like, “I should have been more careful.” Other things to avoid saying include: I’m OK; It’s fine; It’s OK; I’m alright. Insurance companies can and will use whatever you say against you. Other than asking the other driver for their name and insurance information, keep your comments to yourself until you meet with a medical provider and a bicycle accident attorney.
Record your account of the crash, including anything the driver says. Use the voice memo app on your phone or write down everything you notice and remember as soon as possible. Don’t worry about information overload – in this case, it’s better to have too much than too little. Details slip away quickly, so capture them as they come to you. Your case could take some time to resolve, so having real-time records can be valuable as time passes.
Look for witnesses at the scene. Record their contact information and their version of what happened at the scene. Again, this is where your smartphone can come in super handy, assuming it’s intact after your collision.
Check out the road – was there broken pavement or a pothole that led to your crash? Take pictures or video. Any mile markers or road signs can help us establish if the city or state was responsible for maintenance. Be quick about this – some municipalities require claims to be filed within 30 days of injury.
Take pictures and video of your injuries, your bicycle, the at-fault vehicle, the scene, any objects (like street signs or guard rails, for example), and your torn or bloody clothes.
Follow up with prescribed medical treatment. If you went to the emergency room, make sure you follow the guidance provided by the doctor. They’ll typically tell you to follow up with your primary care physician. Do it. It will trip up your case if you have breaks in your treatment. If you’re having trouble finding someone to treat you, call or text 404-491-7561 and we’ll hook you up with someone who’s experienced in treating injuries like yours.
Bruises and swelling may occur a few days after injury. Road rash scabs and weeps, but that takes a little time. Ask someone to take a photo of you in your treatment setting. Injury photos can help us tell your story more effectively to a jury if we go to court.
we're ready to fight for you
The other driver was so apologetic. They seemed to really care.
Why do I need a lawyer?
Whether the driver cares or is apologetic doesn’t indicate their insurance company’s interest. The insurance company wants to resolve your case quickly. While that can seem caring, it’s more about protecting their profit than it is ensuring you’re made whole. And we think that’s a poor way to do business.
Having us fight for you can take a great deal of stress off your shoulders.
- Insurance companies have huge legal teams to protect their profit. They’re skilled at asking questions to elicit answers from you that they’ll use to minimize the value of your case. Can you imagine – being hit in a bicycle accident, being the injured party, and then having what you say used against you? Yeah, it’s gross and borders on victim blaming. We think you deserve better. We’ll talk to the insurance companies for you so that you don’t have to deal with the stress and frustration of having your words used against you.
- And look, medical treatment is expensive. Your injuries weren’t your fault, so why should you have to pay for their treatment? We’ll work to hold the insurance company responsible for the at-fault driver’s negligence so you can focus on your recovery.
- You’re probably not able to work as much, if at all, so you might not be able to make your bills. We can go after the insurance company for lost wages, too. We’ll exhaust every possible avenue of recovery we can for you.
That’s a lot to think about. So what do you think my case is worth?
The standard lawyer answer is It depends. We don’t say that to frustrate you; it’s just that every case is different. We want to evaluate the circumstances, the parties involved, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, and more before we offer an opinion. That’s why we offer the complimentary case consultation – to get to know you and your case and offer our expertise with your personal injury claim.
But I don’t have the money to hire a bicycle accident attorney. Can you still help?
Don’t worry – we don’t get paid until we win for you. Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, so we have a vested interest in fighting for the care and compensation you deserve. Everything we do in the litigation process – up to and including appearing in court – we do without asking for a penny from you.
If you’re ready to hear how we can help you after your bicycle accident, call or text 404-491-7561 to schedule your complimentary case consultation.
OK, what should I look for if I’m going to hire an attorney to represent me?
Great question! These are three key qualities to look for in a lawyer:
- Your gut response. The attorney-client relationship is one that requires high trust. You’re experiencing major trauma. Your healing and recovery is a lengthy process, and you’ll be in relationship with your lawyer for quite some time while your case is in litigation. So listen in and trust your gut when it says “yes!”
- How your lawyer communicates with you. Does your attorney talk over you or leave you feeling like you’re getting run over (no pun intended)? Or does your lawyer talk with you like you matter—as if you’re a valuable friend or family member they truly care for? Pay attention to this, as you’re going to be communicating to make decisions about your case at multiple points along the way and you’ll want to work with someone who respects you and your case.
- The level of confidence your lawyer instills in you. We’ve been in nearly every courtroom in Georgia, and we’ve brought home wins when others said it was impossible. That allows us to help you understand the choices you have and the ripple effects each one could bring. We will equip you with the information you need to make the best decisions possible for your treatment today and what may come in the future.
I think I do need a lawyer. What happens when you take my case?
Our process is pretty simple:
We’ll meet for the initial consultation. After we hear your story, we’ll share our opinion on what your case is worth and how we think we should move forward. If you agree, we’ll both sign an agreement that outlines what your bicycle accident lawyer is responsible for doing and what you’re responsible for doing.
We’ll initiate and investigation, collecting police reports, insurance information, witness statements, and medical reports. You’ll be treating during this time; please attend all your medical appointments and follow all care instructions. This might be where things slow down.
Why might your case move slowly at this time? Because your body will heal at its own pace. We aren’t trying to rush you to complete care, so we’re collaborating with your providers to make sure you’re seeing improvement and momentum in recovery. You may have heard that personal injury cases take “forever” to resolve, and we know that the long timeframe can be frustrating for many people. We’re not trying to slow things down; we’re being patient for you to get well.
Personal injury cases have deadlines and time limits, so we’ll make sure we’re within the confines of the law while you’re recovering. We’ll keep track of these things and let you know when it’s time to make some choices.
The insurance company may offer a small settlement amount early on. Again, their goal is to resolve this case quickly not to make sure you’re all better. We’ll let them know whether this offer works for you. If it doesn’t, we’ll demand what we think your case is worth. And if your story needs to be heard by a jury, we’ll take the insurance company to court.
But I don’t know if I want to go to court. Do we have to?
We’re preparing your case from day one as if we’re going to stand before a jury and tell your story. But we won’t go to court without your consent. It takes many steps to build your case, and we simply want to present the strongest case possible. We’ve seen insurance companies offer $0 and after our demand come back with $1,000,000 for our clients.
We’ll do all we can to resolve your case quickly and fairly, and if we think the insurance company is still refusing to do the right thing, we’ll let you know. You can decide, based on how your case unfolds, which direction you want to go. But you’ll have the peace of mind that along the way, we knew this day could come and we’re ready for it.
Find out how our aggressive bicycle accident lawyers will stand up for what you deserve by booking a complimentary case evaluation with us now. Call or text 404-491-7561, and we’ll see you at our place or on Zoom, whatever works best for you.