Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Were you recently injured in a bicycle accident in Atlanta? Contact Steinger, Greene & Feiner today to see what your case is worth. Our Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers have the experience and expertise it takes to achieve the outcome you deserve so you can make a full recovery.

Georgia’s Bicycle Laws

Understanding Georgia’s bicycle laws is crucial for protecting your rights as a cyclist. These are the laws you should know before getting on the road.

  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-56: Motorists must leave three feet or more between their vehicle and a bicycle.
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-291: Bicyclists can ride on a paved shoulder.
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-55: Motorists must yield to bicyclists riding in a designated bike lane.
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-290: Motorists and bicyclists must abide by all general rules of the road.
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-294(b): Bicyclists can only ride on the right side of the road.
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-144: Bicyclists cannot ride on pedestrian sidewalks.
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-296: Bicycles must be equipped with certain safety features.
  • O.C.G.A. § 40-6-292: Bicycles cannot carry more passengers than they’re intended to. This includes people riding on handlebars and axle footbars. There are some exceptions for young children.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Atlanta

While various factors can cause a bicycle accident to occur, certain factors are more common culprits than others. These are the six most common causes our Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers see.

  • A motorist was following a bicyclist too closely
  • A motorist didn’t yield the right of way to a bicyclist
  • A road was designed poorly, making bicyclists more susceptible to accidents
  • A bicycle part was defective
  • A motorist engaged in reckless driving behaviors
  • A motorist drove while under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Motorist Negligence and Cyclist Vulnerability

Cyclists have a right to use public roads as a means of transportation. Unfortunately, not all motorists recognize or respect this right. Motorists who drive recklessly or negligently without yielding to cyclists can cause accidents that range from minor to major.

Even when equipped with safety gear such as helmets and gloves, cyclists are highly vulnerable to their surroundings. Even a minor run-in with a vehicle can cause serious injuries, whereas injuries caused by a more severe accident can be catastrophic.

The Role of Negligence

Determining negligence is a crucial step in any bicycle accident case. Whoever acted negligently and caused the accident—whether a motorist or a cyclist—often ends up paying for the resulting damages. While one party may be fully responsible for the accident, it’s more common for parties to share liability. This is known as comparative negligence.

Comparative negligence is a legal principle that allows a partially at-fault plaintiff to seek compensation from a defendant. Georgia, for example, practices modified comparative negligence, which allows the plaintiff to be up to 50% at fault for the accident and still seek compensation. However, if the plaintiff is 51% or more at fault, they cannot seek compensation for any damages.

What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in Atlanta

Here’s what you should do after getting in a bicycle accident:

  1. Get to Safety: Your safety is the top priority in an accident situation. If the accident occurred on a busy road or at an intersection, move to the shoulder or a nearby parking lot to get out of the way of oncoming traffic.
  2. Call 911: If you sustained any major injuries, call 911 for emergency medical assistance. First responders will assess your injuries and provide proper care.
  3. Call the Police: Call the local police to report the accident. Officers will arrive to interview witnesses and fill out a police report. Ask for a copy of this report.
  4. Exchange Information: Exchange your name, address, phone number, and policy information with the other parties involved. If a motorist was involved, be sure to get their driver’s license number, vehicle information, and photos of their insurance and registration.
  5. Gather Evidence: Take photos and videos of the scene to document the damages.
  6. Seek Medical Care: Even if you don’t need emergency medical care, you should still see a doctor before heading home. Whether it’s your primary care doctor or an urgent care physician, the medical professional who treats you will assess your injuries and provide medical documentation that will serve as evidence for your claim.
  7. Contact an Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyer: No matter how confident you are that you had no part in causing the accident, don’t put it past the other parties involved—or even your insurance company—to blame you for what happened. Contact a trusted bicycle accident lawyer in your area to protect yourself.
  8. Notify Your Insurance Carrier: Once you’ve consulted with a bicycle accident attorney, notify your insurance provider about the accident. This step will initiate the claims process, putting you one step closer to securing compensation for your losses.

The Importance of Gathering and Documenting Evidence

You can’t win a case without sufficient evidence—it’s that simple. If you can’t prove what happened and how it happened, no insurance company or jury will compensate you fairly. Things like photos and videos of the scene, witness statements, medical records, and more help recreate the accident to determine liability, which is the first step to getting justice.

Medical evidence is especially important in bicycle accident cases because it establishes causation between your injuries and the events that occurred. These records outline what injuries you sustained, their severity, and what medical care was rendered to treat them. They also show how much those services cost, which will help you get the compensation you need to cover them.

The Burden of Proof

The plaintiff in a bicycle accident case bears the burden of proof, which requires them to establish a chain of events that proves their claims to be true. This is where evidence comes into play.

Insurance Claims and Bicycle Accidents

Dealing with your insurance company after a bicycle accident is one of the most frustrating parts of the process. Insurance companies can make it unnecessarily difficult to claim the compensation you need to recover financially. That’s because insurance is a profit-driven industry. Carriers will do whatever it takes to minimize their payout.

Be honest with your insurance provider about what happened without telling them too much. And never, under any circumstances, admit fault. They can and will use your words against you down the line.

You should also provide your insurance company with any evidence you’ve gathered since the accident. They’ll use medical records, video surveillance, pharmacy receipts, and more to calculate your losses.

Insurance Coverage for Cyclists and At-Fault Drivers

In Georgia, drivers must have an insurance policy while cyclists are not required to. If you get in an accident with a motorist due to their negligence or recklessness, their insurance will cover your losses up to their policy limit. All you have to do is file a claim against the driver.

However, if you’re partially or fully responsible for causing the accident, you could foot the bill. The driver’s insurance company would likely deny your claim, leaving you without the compensation you need. In this case, you would file a claim with your insurance company to be covered by your policy.

Cyclists involved in an accident have the right to:

  • File a lawsuit against the responsible party
  • Pursue a claim in court
  • Seek fair compensation

Compensation Available for Bicycle Accident Victims

If you were injured in a bicycle accident someone else caused, you deserve to be compensated fairly. You can seek compensation for two types of damages: economic and non-economic. Here’s a breakdown of each type along with some common examples.

Economic Damages

Economic damages compensate victims for monetary losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and rehabilitative care. They’re quantifiable and more objective than non-economic damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate victims for losses that can’t be calculated in monetary terms. This may include pain and suffering, reduced earning capacity, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. Since they aren’t quantifiable, they’re more subjective than economic damages.

A Note on Punitive Damages

Punitive damages may be awarded in cases involving a defendant whose actions are considered egregious. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages don’t compensate victims for their losses. Instead, they serve to punish the defendant and discourage such behavior in the future.

Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accident Claims in Georgia

Georgia’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years under normal circumstances. This means you must file a claim within two years from the date of the accident; the claim doesn’t have to be resolved within those two years.

Exceptions and Special Considerations

As with any rule, there are always exceptions. Here are a few exceptions you should be aware of:

  • If the cyclist is not yet 18 years old, the statute of limitations begins when they turn 18. This exception allows minors to safeguard their rights as an adult.
  • If an active county employee files a claim against the county they work for, the statute of limitations is reduced to one year.
  • Any claims against the state must be filed within the first year after an accident, and the local government must receive notice of the claim within six months of the accident.

Choosing the Right Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Choosing the right Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer is key to the success of your case. The attorney you select should:

  • Know local, state, and federal laws relevant to bicycle accidents
  • Know the medical industry and common injuries caused by bicycle accidents
  • Specialize in bicycle accident cases
  • Have extensive litigation experience
  • Have a track record of successful cases
  • Have strong communication and negotiation skills

While these qualities don’t guarantee a win, they significantly increase your chances of securing maximum compensation.

The Role of a Lawyer in Maximizing Compensation

Receiving fair compensation is essential to your recovery and financial well-being. Without it, you’re stuck with out-of-pocket expenses you likely can’t afford. When you have an experienced bicycle accident lawyer on your side, you can rest easy knowing you’ll receive the compensation you deserve. Here’s how our attorneys help bicycle accident victims maximize their compensation and navigate other legal challenges:

  • Schedule a consultation to discuss case details
  • Gather evidence to start building a claim
  • Evaluate evidence to determine liability
  • File all necessary paperwork
  • Negotiate a fair settlement with insurance companies
  • Take the case to court to fight for maximum compensation

Steinger, Greene & Feiner won’t stop until justice is served for our clients. From the initial consultation to litigation, we’ll be there for you every step of the way so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Hear From Satisfied Clients

“Right from the beginning of contacting Steinger, Greene & Feiner every step of the legal process was and is swift, accurate, and concise. No time was or has been wasted as they have commenced steadily through the process of gathering information and making contact with me regarding all aspects of my case.”

-Steve Gonzalez

“Went above and beyond. Life-changing experience. Worked with another lawyer and they were inept. These guys were with me all the way and got me the max I deserve. Outstanding caring people. I can’t thank them enough.”

-Joe Davis

“I love how they treat me as a client!! When I call they answer, if they’re not available they reach back out. They are straightforward if you have a case they let you know, if you don’t they let you know that as well. The lawyers here don’t beat around the bush. I will continue to do business with them in the near future!!! Anytime I think of a law firm to represent me it will be them. As for my lawyers and the paralegals who have assisted me in my case became more like family!! I love how they want to see you do good outside of just being their client and I love that about them.”

-Nicole Vucinac

“I had a fantastic experience with Steinger, Greene & Feiner Injury Law Firm. From the moment I reached out to them, they were incredibly responsive and attentive. They took the time to listen to my concerns and were quick to accept my case. The entire team showed a high level of professionalism and expertise throughout the process. I felt supported and well-informed at every step. I couldn’t be happier with their service, and I highly recommend them to anyone in need of legal assistance. Thank you, Steinger, Greene & Feiner!”

-Toni Scott

“My two major team players Christina McDonald and Mia Sansur were so compassionate, professional detailed, and patient. I would highly recommend Steinger Green and Finer without a doubt. You’re not just a case number but a person to them.”

-Andrea Glanville

Safety Tips for Preventing Bicycle Accidents

Preventing the number of bicycle accidents that occur in Atlanta starts with proper bike safety. Following recommended safety tips will help you protect yourself, other cyclists, and motorists when you go for a ride. Whether you’re new to cycling or have been riding your bike to work for decades, it’s never too late to practice bike safety. Here are our top tips:

  • Always ride in the direction of traffic
  • Stop at stop signs and obey traffic signals
  • Be aware of vehicular blind spots
  • Sidewalk riding often violates local law and can be unsafe
  • Use bike lanes when it is safe to do so
  • Always wear a helmet
  • Have lights on your bike when riding at night

Contact an Experienced Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyer

When your circumstances are uncertain, Steinger, Greene & Feiner provides the peace of mind you need. You can count on our Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers to fight for your rights from start to finish. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.