It is not uncommon for bicyclists to sustain serious injuries in accidents caused by cars in Columbus. Most cyclists do not expect to be involved in an accident and might not know how to proceed after.
Fortunately, a skilled Columbus bicycle accident attorney can help victims recover compensation for their injuries. Bicycle accidents are often chaotic, but there are steps you can take following one that can help you take control of the situation early. After receiving medical care, we can take your case from there and work to collect the evidence you will need to prove your claim. Our firm can also help you fight any accusations you were responsible for causing your accident.
If you were injured while riding your bike, our Columbus bicycle accident attorneys can help you hold the driver that injured you responsible. For a free case review, call Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.
What You Can Do After a Bicycle Accident in Columbus, GA
Most bicycle accident victims will require compensation to treat the injuries caused by a negligent driver in Columbus. The are numerous steps you can take after a bicycle accident that can be immensely helpful to your chances of recovery. Once you have received medical treatment and feel able, our Columbus bicycle accident attorneys can help you file your lawsuit against the driver who injured you.
Call the Police
One of the most important things to do following a bicycle accident in Columbus is to call 911. If you are injured, emergency medical services will be dispatched, and police officers will come to the scene to investigate the accident. In fact, Georgia requires any accident involving injury, death, or property damage over $500 to be reported to the police.
It is critical to obtain a police report of your accident for a few reasons. First, the police report will include important details about the accident, as well as the at-fault driver’s personal and insurance information. In some cases, the report will also contain the investigating officer’s conclusion about how the accident occurred and whether any citations were issued. This can serve as a vital piece of evidence and is incredibly useful for discovering more evidence to gather in your case.
Document the Accident
Be sure to document as much of the scene of your accident as your injuries allow. If an insurance company tries to deny your claim or fight it in court, photos of the scene and your injuries can go a long way in corroborating your case. Also, take photographs and video of any property damage to your bike and how the scene appeared just after the accident. This will help preserve important details about your accident, like the weather, time of day, and other relevant facts that could be forgotten later.
If the driver that hit you stops and seems cooperative, get their personal and insurance information. At the very least, you will need their name and address to file a lawsuit and serve them notice of the impending litigation. However, some drivers might be too worked up after an accident and be unwilling to talk to you. In some cases, they might not want to exchange information because they lack insurance. In these situations, wait for the police to arrive and question the driver. The driver cannot refuse to speak to the police, and their information can be obtained from the police report later.
Seek Medical Treatment
Whether you are transported there by an ambulance or check yourself in, be sure to receive medical treatment after your Columbus bicycle accident. Some injuries might not be noticeable right after an accident but will be revealed upon medical examination. Your medical records will also serve as the bulk of your evidence showing the medical damages your accident caused. If you wait even days to seek treatment, insurance companies can use that to argue that your injuries were not that bad, which could limit the compensation you recover.
Call Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys
The steps mentioned will already have your case at an advantage. Once you speak with our experienced Columbus bicycle accident attorneys, you will be that much further along to get the compensation you deserve for the harm you suffered. We can help you properly evaluate your case so that an insurance company cannot undervalue the offer they might make you. Our firm can also collect evidence and reach out to potential witnesses on your behalf. If settlement negotiations prove unsuccessful, our Columbus bicycle accident attorneys are ready to take your case to trial.
Determining Fault in a Columbus, GA Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
Many bicycle accident victims might wonder if any conduct on their part during the accident will affect their chances of recovering compensation. Fortunately, Georgia follows “comparative negligence” rules, meaning that bicycle accident victims can recover damages for their injuries even if they were found partially responsible for causing their accidents. However, plaintiffs will be barred from recovering compensation if they are found 50% or more at fault.
If you are found to have contributed to the accident but can still recover damages, your award will be reduced by the percentage you were found to be at fault. For instance, if you were awarded $100,000 in your lawsuit but were found 10% responsible for causing the accident, your award would be reduced by $10,000, and you would still recover the remaining $90,000.
It should be noted that Georgia does not consider riding a bicycle without a helmet contributory negligence unless they are 16 years old or younger. However, not wearing a helmet can still impact your case. An insurance company will likely use the fact that you were not wearing a helmet to reduce the amount it offers as a settlement. Jurors will also be less sympathetic to cyclists not wearing helmets when determining an amount to award at trial. Our Columbus bicycle accident attorneys can help you get ahead of any claims you contributed to your injuries.
Our Columbus, GA Bicycle Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you were injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver, our Columbus bicycle accident attorneys can help recover damages for your injuries. Contact Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 for a free case evaluation.