Bike Accidents & Compensation: What To Know

Cycling is a very common form of transportation, especially in cities. Atlanta is not as bike-friendly as some cities, but there are still a large number of people who ride bicycles for exercise or as an alternative mode of transportation.  Unfortunately, bike accidents happen frequently due to the number of cars on the road and inattentive drivers.  In 2019, 17% of all motor vehicle crash fatalities in Atlanta involved pedestrians or bicycles.  Unfortunately, bicycle accidents usually result in severe injuries, paralysis, or death due to the lack of protection and differences in size, speed, and weight.  When a person is injured in a bicycle accident, they are often faced with substantial medical bills, loss of income, and severe injuries.  If you are a victim of a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Please continue reading to learn what you need to know about bicycle accident cases.

First, it is important to know who is liable to determine if you are eligible for compensation. As the cyclist, if you are at fault for causing an accident, it’s unlikely you will be able to receive any compensation. A few ways you could have caused the bike accident are:

  • Losing control of your bike
  • Riding recklessly
  • Not following traffic laws
  • Going too fast
  • Failing to keep your bike in good working order

However, if you were following all traffic laws and operating your bike safely but are injured because of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation if you are involved in a bike accident.  A few examples of bicycle accident cases where a cyclist made be entitled to compensation include:

  • A driver hit you with their car or pulled out in front of you
  • A dog or another animal attacked you
  • An issue with the road caused you to crash
  • Your bicycle was improperly assembled or repaired by a business

In cases where another person caused you to suffer injuries from a bicycle accident, there are several different types of compensation you can receive if you are injured and it was not your fault. These damages include:

  • Medical Costs

Any medical costs that you have incurred that were related to the injuries you suffered in the bike accident could be recovered. No matter if you had minor or severe injuries, you could recover these damages for the past and future.  A few medical costs you could recover include emergency room visits, procedures, hospital stays, and follow-up doctors’ visits.  In those cases involving severe injuries or long-term medical needs, a good bicycle accident attorney will also work to make sure you receive compensation for any future medical care you may require.

  • Lost Wages

Compensation for lost wages can include lost earnings for the past and future and loss of earning capacity. Compensation for lost earnings seeks to replace the income you would have made but couldn’t since you had to take time off of work to recover from your accident or go to doctors’ appointments for medical treatment related to your bicycle accident.  Compensation for loss of earning capacity is money that you receive if you suffer a permanent injury or disability that limits your ability to work in the future.  This could be for either a total loss of ability to work or the difference in what you earned before your bicycle accident and after if you are earning less than before.

  • Property Damage

If any personal property was damaged in the bike accident, you could recover physical property damages. A few examples of items you could receive this type of compensation for include a cell phone, watch, bicycle, helmet, clothing, sunglasses, and backpack. With physical property damage compensation, you receive the fair market value of the damaged items at the time of the bicycle accident.

  • Pain And Suffering

Pain and suffering damages include the physical and emotional suffering you have experienced from the bicycle accident and seeks to compensate you for the way your life is different now due to someone else’s negligence.  Being the victim of an accident can be a life-changing experience and may affect you for the rest of your life.  In some cases, you may suffer persistent anxiety, fear, scarring or other disfigurements, and other lingering physical, emotional, and mental health problems that were caused by the accident.  Compensation for pain and suffering for the past, present and future seeks to balance these harms and losses.  

  • Punitive Damages

In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded in the event that the at-fault party was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or intentionally caused your accident.  These damages are rare but can be awarded in a civil lawsuit to punish, penalize, or deter the at-fault party.

To recover damages, you will either have to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company or file a civil lawsuit. In the State of Georgia, you have to prove that the other party caused the accident to receive compensation according to the negligence laws.

Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not treat unrepresented people fairly and will seek to settle the claim without paying full compensation to the victim.  A personal injury lawyer will be able to assist in proving the cause of the crash to allow you to receive the compensation you deserve.

The attorneys at Glass & Robson have a long track record of representing people who suffer injuries in bike accident cases and holding wrongdoers accountable for negligence.  Our personal injury attorneys fight for the compensation our clients deserve and provide personalized attention to our clients by limiting the number of cases we take on so that we can devote 100% of our resources to fighting for our clients.  By hiring Glass & Robson, you can focus on recovery and healing while we focus on your case.  If you or a loved one were injured in a bike accident, please call our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers to discuss your potential case.