Bicyclists in Valdosta have as much right to use the road as cars and other vehicles do. Unfortunately, drivers do not always treat bicyclists with the care they might give other drivers on the road.
Victims injured in a bicycle accident caused by another person’s negligence can recover compensation for the injuries they caused. Suing the responsible driver will not be difficult if they stop after the accident. However, recovering damages could take more time and effort if the driver fled after injuring you. The pursuit is worth it since the damages you could recover in a bicycle accident lawsuit could be significant, and you might need every bit of it to treat your injuries fully.
If a negligent driver injured you while on your bicycle, our Valdosta bicycle accident attorneys can help you determine the right legal options to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 for a free case review.
Filing a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in Valdosta, GA
If a driver stopped after striking a bicyclist, determining who to sue later should not prove difficult. A responsible driver will provide their license and insurance information to a victim so the matter can be handled properly. If a driver stops but refuses to provide their information, do not push to get it. Simply wait for the police to arrive to obtain that information for their report. You will be able to obtain the police report later.
However, knowing who to hold responsible for a bicycle accident can be more challenging than some might think. Some cyclists are the victims of a hit-and-run accidents. Victims of a hit-and-run driver should absolutely report their accident to the police. Fleeing the scene of a car accident is a crime, and law enforcement can use any information you have to help track the driver down. Our Valdosta bicycle accident lawyers can also work with local and state police through our own investigation to help identify the driver and sue them for the compensation they owe you.
Time Limit to File a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in Valdosta, GA
Georgia’s time limit to file a lawsuit for a bicycle accident is known as the statute of limitations. O.C.G.A.§ 9-3-33 typically provides two years from the date of the accident for victims of a Valdosta bicycle accident to file a lawsuit.
Most cases cannot be filed after the statute of limitations. One exception, however, is for children under the age of 18 who were injured in a bicycle accident. If a cyclist was younger than 18 when injured, the statute of limitations begins to run on the victim’s 18th birthday. Children injured in a bicycle accident usually have until just before their 20th birthday to file a claim for damages. Our Valdosta bicycle accident lawyers can help identify the last day to file your case and prepare your lawsuit so that it is filed before then.
Determining Fault in a Valdosta, GA Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
It is common for insurance companies to try to place the blame for a bicycle accident on the rider in an attempt to escape paying for their policyholder’s negligence. Fortunately, Georgia has modified comparative negligence rules to determine fault in a Valdosta bicycle accident lawsuit, allowing victims to recover compensation even if they were partially to blame for causing their injuries. As long as a cyclist is not found 50% or more at fault for causing their injuries, they can recover compensation, only reduced by the percentage they were found to be at fault.
For example, you will still recover 80% of the damages you suffered if the court finds you were 20% at fault for causing the accident. However, if you are found exactly 50% or more to blame, you will be barred from recovering compensation. Our Valdosta bicycle accident attorneys can review your case to determine if any of your conduct during the accident could be used against you and fight the accusations.
Compensation Available in a Valdosta, GA Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
Bicyclists have very little protection when they are hit in an accident. Fortunately, victims in a Valdosta bicycle accident can recover compensation for the economic and non-economic damages they have suffered. An award for damages is intended to compensate a victim for the financial losses their injuries have caused, as well as the psychological and physical impact their injuries have had on their lives.
Bike accident victims often sustain serious injuries that could require expensive medical treatment. Victims not only can recover damages for their current and past medical expenses but also for future medical costs they will spend to heal fully.
Serious injuries can also prevent injured cyclists from returning to work for a significant amount of time, resulting in lost wages that they can ill afford. In addition, any out-of-pocket expenses associated with treating your injuries can be claimed. For example, transportation costs to medical appointments or childcare can be claimed as part of your economic damages.
When bicycle accident victims suffer devastating injuries, they often sustain emotional damage in addition to their physical injuries. Because of this, victims can recover non-economic damages for the impact their bicycle accident injuries have caused on their life. Non-economic damages are also known as pain and suffering and can compensate victims for their reduced quality of life, humiliation, and other emotional distress they have endured.
Pain and suffering damages can be difficult to prove since they are subjective in nature, which also makes them challenging to calculate. Fortunately, Georgia does not cap the amount of non-economic damages the court can award a bicycle accident victim.
In the most egregious cases, a victim could be awarded punitive damages. These are special types of damages intended to punish a negligent driver for their appalling conduct. Under Ga. Code § 51-12-5.1(b), a bicycle accident victim must show with clear and convincing evidence that the driver’s actions showed willful misconduct, malice, wantonness, or it was clear that they were indifferent to the consequences of their conduct. Unfortunately, Georgia does cap punitive damages. According to Ga. Code § 51-12-5.1(g), punitive damages are capped at $250,000. Our Valdosta bicycle accident attorneys can help you determine the value of your case to ensure you claim every dollar you are owed.
Our Valdosta, GA Bicycle Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, our Valdosta bicycle accident attorneys can help you hold the driver that injured you responsible. For a free case evaluation, call Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.