4 Bicycle Accident Tips That May Help Your Case

Were you hit while riding your bike? Check out these 4 bicycle accident tips that may help your case, then contact our Atlanta attorney now.

1) Recorded Statement

4 Bicycle Accident Tips That May Help Your CaseWe are sometimes asked whether a person should give a recorded statement to an insurance company after they have been injured while riding a bicycle. The answer is always no. The insurance company for the at-fault party will often ask for a recorded statement from the injured party. The injured party often believes that it is good for their case to tell their story, but generally, the exact opposite is true. While you don’t know the process, the insurance company will utilize a trained claims examiner to ask questions in a way that will give you the opportunity to give misleading answers, and will harm your claim going forward. If you are not represented by an attorney and you’re asked to give a recorded statement by the insurance company, always decline to do so.

2) Claim with Minimal Medical Bills

When we have clients come in who have been injured in bicycle collisions, one of the things they want to know is if there is a minimum amount of medical expenses they need to have incurred in order to file a personal injury claim. The answer to that is it really depends. We can’t get too caught up on the amount of medical expenses in evaluating a good personal injury claim. One example of a personal injury claim that would be a good claim that did not have a lot of medical expenses, especially in a bicycle matter, would be where someone had sustained a significant amount of road rash or cuts that required stitching. Scarring, especially substantial scarring, can be very valuable cases, but they don’t incur a lot of medical expenses because it doesn’t cost a lot of money to get medical treatment for road rash or stitches.

There are also other instances where you may have a million dollars in medical expenses, but it’s unclear who was responsible for the wreck. There’s dispute over liability. That case may have no value at all. It’s important not to get caught up on worrying about what the amount of the medical expenses incurred is and evaluate the injuries themselves, especially when those are permanent injuries. Even if they’re relatively minor, permanent injuries certainly have more compensable value than temporary injuries.

3) Settlement Timeline

We have had many clients who have been injured when a motor vehicle hit them on their bicycle. One of the first things they always want to know is how long their case will take to resolve. The answer to that, as with any other personal injury case, is it’s really hard to tell. There are a lot of things that go into determining how long it will take to resolve a personal injury case.
Some of the most important details are how significant the injuries are and how much insurance coverage the at-fault driver has. If the insurance amount is relatively low and the medical expenses are relatively high, those cases will resolve pretty quickly. They can be resolved usually within a couple of months after the injured party has finished medical treatment. If there’s a lot of coverage and injuries are less significant, those are the type of cases that can draw on longer because the parties don’t agree on the value of the injuries, and a lawsuit may need to be filed.

In Georgia, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the incident, the date of the accident. At the point when you have to file the lawsuit, there’s a lot of work discovering information and presenting the claim, and it may actually have to be presented to a jury at the end. When you file one of those claims, it’s fair to assume that it’s probably going to take somewhere between one and three years after the filing of the lawsuit to resolve it.

4) Case Value

When we have people come into our office who have been injured because of a bicycle accident, one of the first things they want to know is the value of their case. That is something that, unfortunately, can be determined at the beginning of a case. The reason for that is that the value of your claim is dependent upon how you recover. If you have an injury that you never recover from, that is a more valuable claim than an injury that you fully recover from. The first thing that has to happen before value is determined is to have you get medical treatment and determine if you are going to make a full recovery.

The next step would be then evaluating what ways your life has been disrupted, and looking at what you’re entitled to recover in damages. Under Georgia law, you can first recover damages that are called special damages. These generally are lost wages and medical expenses that you’ve incurred as a result of your treatment. Those are pretty easy to determine. The harder category is what’s called non-economic damages. Those are things that you can’t get a receipt for, such as pain and suffering. They are things like the disruption and loss of enjoyment in your daily life.

Now, looking at those categories, that’s how they determine to some extent the value of your case, but you also have to take into consideration what the available insurance coverage may be because these cases all become about insurance money. How much liability coverage does the person that harmed you have? You have to look at that to determine value. Under Georgia law, a driver is only required to have at minimum $25,000 of liability coverage. That severely limits a case if you have several hundred thousand dollars of medical expenses and the at-fault driver only has $25,000 worth of coverage. That also significantly drives the value of your claim. Even though you’re on a bicycle, it is the liability insurance of the driver that is required to compensate you for your claim.

Were you or a loved one seriously injured while riding a bike in Georgia and have questions?
After reading our 4 bicycle accident tips that may help your case, contact the experienced Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers at Gunnels Injury Law today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation.
Let our experience work for you.

Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel