Bicyclists in Duluth have a high risk of serious injury if they get into an accident. Bicycles just don’t provide the same degree of protection as cars and trucks—even with a helmet. Plus, cyclists are often blamed for auto accidents, even if they were not at fault. If you were hurt on your bike in an accident you didn’t cause, a Duluth bicycle accident lawyer can help you seek compensation.
Our team of bicycle accident lawyers can help you pursue financial recovery for medical bills, lost wages, repairs for your bike, and more. You may have more options than you think. Call us today for a FREE consultation. We’ll go over the details of your accident, your legal rights, and the best options for you. Call (404) 948-4815 for your FREE consultation.
What to Know About Your Legal Rights After a Bicycle Accident in Duluth
As a bicycle rider in Duluth, you have the same right to be on the road as motorists. You also have the same right to seek compensation if you were not at fault.
In Georgia, someone is at fault in an accident if they have been negligent, which is another word for careless. If someone is fully at fault, they are responsible for all damages. As outlined in Georgia Code § 51-1-6, you as an injured party have a right to recover damages from a driver that causes your accident (and their insurance company). You have the same right to file a claim for compensation as any other victim in an auto accident.
Motorists are usually to blame in a bicycle accident because they don’t realize cyclists have a right to be on the road. They may fail to give you enough room on the road or not check to see if you’re riding in a bike lane, for example. These are careless decisions that can easily lead to an accident.
Insurance Companies Don’t Play Fair
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that care about their bottom line above all else. Unfortunately, they know they have power—and they can use that against you as a bicyclist.
They may look for ways to put the blame on you for the accident, saying you were riding your bike unsafely or not following laws. Since there are many biases against bicycle riders, and many people do not understand biking laws, it’s easy for insurers to play on these unfair judgments.
This is why it’s so beneficial to consult with a Duluth bicycle accident lawyer who can help you protect your rights. The insurance company will likely offer you a lowball settlement—but it’s never enough to cover your damages. Never accept the first offer. Fight for the recovery you actually deserve.
Damages You Can Recover After a Duluth Bicycle Accident
“Damages” are costs or losses you face because of the accident. Common bicycle accident damages include:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medications
- Long-term treatments like physical therapy
- Lost wages from missed work time
- Repair or replacement costs for your bicycle
- Pain and suffering
Even if your injuries seem minor, treatment costs can add up quickly. It’s your legal right to make a claim for these costs. You wouldn’t be dealing with them if the accident hadn’t happened, so the at-fault party should be held responsible. That being said injuries from bicycle accidents can be extremely serious, ranging from broken bones and head injuries to spinal injuries or even death.
Even if others are making you feel like you can’t seek damages for your accident, contact a lawyer who understands how the law actually works and can fight for you.
How Fault Works if You Get Doored or Hit an Obstacle
Most bicycle accidents involve collisions with a car, truck, or another motor vehicle. However, some bike accidents happen if you get doored or collide with an obstacle in the road. Handling these situations may be slightly different than a typical claim, but the responsible party is still liable.
How Liability Works if You Get Doored
“Doored” means you collide with a driver’s open car door. This is more common in narrow streets where you don’t see the door until you’re almost upon it. At that point, it’s often too late and you crash.
If you were riding your bicycle legally, such as in a bike lane or on the street, the person who had their door open is typically at fault. People getting out of vehicles should check the road for traffic (which includes bicyclists) before they open their door and get out. If the person exiting the vehicle is at fault, you should be able to file an injury claim with their car insurance.
On the other hand, you may lose some rights if you were riding your bicycle in an illegal location. Don’t trust just anyone’s opinion on this, though. The driver might try to say you were in the wrong location, but they likely know little about local bicycle laws. Instead, ask a lawyer who works on bicycle accident cases.
How Liability Works if You Hit an Obstacle on Your Bike
Common obstacles that may cause an accident on your bike include sewer grates, potholes, or uneven pavement. There are two places in Duluth you may get hurt from colliding with one of these obstacles on your bike:
- On public property, such as road or street
- On private property, such as at a business or someone’s home
If you crashed on a road or street, the local government is likely at fault. Unfortunately, seeking compensation may be tricky if the city, county, or state tries to deny liability. You will want to contact a Duluth bicycle accident lawyer for help.
If you were hurt on private property, the property owner or business owner is likely liable. Consulting with a lawyer is also a good idea in this situation. Large companies will have powerful insurance companies who don’t like paying out bicycle accident injury claims.
Talk to a Duluth Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free
Don’t let drivers or their insurance companies try to deny your rights to compensation. Our lawyers can help you build a strong injury claim that demonstrates how the at-fault party was negligent, that they caused your injuries, and the damages you now face. The goal is full compensation for what you lost.
We have been helping injury cyclists win the money they need for over 20 years. Working with us is risk-free because we don’t take a fee unless we win you money. For a FREE consultation and case evaluation, call us at (404) 948-4815 or contact us online today.