Riding a bicycle around Atlanta can be energy-efficient and enjoyable, but it can also be dangerous when motor vehicle drivers fail to check their blinds spots or give you adequate space on the road. If you were injured in a bike wreck caused by an irresponsible driver, you may have grounds to demand compensation from their insurance company.
Effectively pursuing a lawsuit can be difficult without legal help. The process is much easier if you retain an experienced Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer. There are numerous procedural steps to civil litigation and several possible roadblocks that could keep you from getting the compensation you deserve, but a skilled personal injury attorney’s guidance can significantly even the odds in your case.
What Type of Compensation is Available After a Bicycle Crash in Atlanta?
To recover compensation in a legal claim, injured cyclists must prove that another party directly caused the accident through their reckless or careless actions. Once fault is established, the injured cyclist may demand compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. The recoverable damages in an accident case may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Damage to personal property
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Psychological and emotional trauma
Punitive damages may also be available in cases involving egregious negligence, intentional malice, or fundamental disrespect for human life by the defendant. However, the Official Code of Georgia §51-12-5.1 limits this type of compensation to $250,000 per case in most instances. A skilled lawyer can help injured parties determine what types of damages are available in your bike wreck case.
Legal Statutes Governing Bike Crash Claims
There are many state laws governing personal injury claims. These statutes dictate when injured parties may file a lawsuit and who is entitled to compensation.
Deadline for Filing a Claim
Like all other prospective civil plaintiffs, bicycle accident victims have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Under O.C.G.A. §9-3-33, individuals generally have no more than two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit over an accident caused by the negligence of another. There are very limited exceptions to this rule, so it is critical to take legal action as soon as possible.
How Partial Fault Can Impact Compensation
Any amount of fault by the plaintiff could impact how much compensation they are entitled to. Plaintiffs who bear an equal amount or the majority of the fault for their accident compared to the defendant in their claim do not have the standing to pursue civil compensation.
If an injured party bears some fault for the accident, but the defendant is still primarily responsible, O.C.G.A. §51-12-33 allows the court to reduce the plaintiff’s compensation based on the percentage of total fault assigned to them. A knowledgeable bicycle wreck attorney can help you understand these laws, decrease the amount of fault a jury may apportion to you and maximize your available restitution.
Get Help from an Atlanta Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
Seeking fair compensation following a severe bicycle crash can be a complicated endeavor in many respects, especially if you have little experience with personal injury law. Seeking help from a legal professional is often key to getting the most out of a claim.
Our Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers can discuss your options and explain your legal rights in detail during a private consultation. Call us today to schedule your meeting.