Voted Best Personal Injury Law Firm By Georgia Lawyers
Marietta Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Matt Wetherington with Wetherington Law Firm,P.C. is the hardest working attorney I have ever worked with. He went above and beyond our expectations. Calls and emails are returned promptly and by Mr. Wetherington himself.
5 Stars is nowhere near enough to rate how awesome Matt and his colleagues were. They took my case even when I didn’t think there was anything we could do. I was in a bad situation at the time and Matt, Robert, and Sarah were there for me every step of the way.
I’m so grateful to Ben Levy and everything he did for me. He was truly dedicated to helping my case. Throughout the process, Ben was very thoughtful, responsive, organized, and made sure I was fully informed along the way.
Free Injury Lawyer Consultation
Bicycle accidents can turn a fun ride into a nightmare in seconds. Riders often suffer from big injuries like broken bones or even brain damage because bikes don’t protect like cars do. In Georgia, the law treats bicycles as vehicles, which means cyclists must follow road rules, and they have the same rights as car drivers.
When a bike crash happens, Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-294) says that if the biker wasn’t breaking the rules and got hurt because someone else was careless, they can ask for money to help with their injuries.
Getting money after an accident isn’t simple, though. You have to show that the other person messed up and caused the crash. This might include things like proving the driver wasn’t watching the road or went into the bike lane. Georgia’s time limit for filing a claim (called the statute of limitations) gives you up to two years to start your case (O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33). But, if you wait too long, you could lose your chance to get help with medical bills or for the pain you went through.
At Wetherington Law Firm, we’re experts at helping Marietta cyclists hit by cars. We understand bike laws and fight hard to get our clients what they deserve. We’ll sort through the accident mess, stand up to insurance companies, and help you understand everything. If you’ve been in a bike crash and you need someone on your side, call us. Let Wetherington Law Firm work for you so you can get back on your feet and back on your bike.
Understanding Your Rights as a Cyclist in Marietta
Biking in Marietta can be great, but it’s important to know your rights in case you get into a crash. In Marietta, cyclists have the same rights as drivers of cars. That means you’re allowed to ride on the road, just like cars, and other drivers must treat you with respect.
You have the right to pedal safely. This means cars should give you enough room and shouldn’t honk at you just for being on the road. When you follow the rules, like signaling when you’re turning and stopping at red lights, you’re doing your part. If someone else breaks the rules and causes an accident, they might have to help pay for your doctor’s bills or fix your bike.
It’s also good to remember that if you’re under 16, you’ve got to wear a helmet in Marietta—it’s the law. If you ever get into a bike crash, remember it’s not your job to figure out if you were right or wrong at that moment. That’s what lawyers are for. We look at everything that happened and help protect your rights.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents happen for a bunch of reasons, but some are more common than others. At Wetherington Law Firm, We’ve seen too many that could have been avoided. One big cause is drivers not paying attention and bumping into someone on a bike. This can happen when a driver is texting, changing the radio station, or just not looking out for cyclists.
Another reason for these crashes is when drivers don’t follow the rules, like speeding or not stopping at stop signs. Sometimes, drivers don’t give cyclists enough room on the road or they open their car door without checking for a biker, which can cause a nasty accident. Bad road conditions, like potholes or broken traffic signals, can also cause trouble for someone riding a bike.
Weather, like rain or fog, can make it tricky for cars to see bikes and for cyclists to see where they’re going. And even though it’s not as common, sometimes equipment problems with the bike itself, like bad brakes or a busted tire, can lead to a crash. No matter what causes a bicycle accident, it’s important to find out who or what is to blame so that the cyclist can get help to recover from any injuries or damage to their bike.
Steps to Take Following a Bicycle Accident in Marietta
If you’re ever in a bike accident in Marietta, here’s what to do. First, make sure you’re safe. Move to a safe spot if you can, but don’t leave the place where the crash happened. If you’re hurt, or even if you feel fine, it’s smart to call 911. They can check you out and write a report, which helps later. Get the name and insurance info from the car driver, and see if there were people around who saw what happened. They can be witnesses, which really helps.
Next, try to take pictures of your bike, the car, and the place where you got hit. This shows what happened and can help a lot when you tell your side of the story. Don’t try to fix your bike or do anything to change how things look after the crash.
Finally, even if you think your injuries are small, go see a doctor quick. Some injuries, like ones to your head, might not show right away. Then, talk to a bike accident lawyer in Marietta. Our lawyers are experienced about bike accidents can help you understand what you can do next, especially when it comes to talking to insurance companies or if you need to go to court. Remember, you don’t have to figure this all out alone. We know the rules and how to help bikers like you.
Compensation for Bicycle Accident Victims in Marietta
If you’ve been in a bike accident, you might be able to get help, which we call compensation, for the tough time you’re going through. This compensation can cover different things. For example, it can help pay your doctor and hospital bills if you got hurt. If you miss work because you’re healing, you can get money for the work days you lost. If your bike or gear got messed up, the money can help fix or replace them.
Sometimes, you feel pain or you’re really upset after the crash. The law says you can get money for that, too. And if you have to see doctors a lot or need to buy medicine for a long time because of your accident, you might get money to cover those future bills too.
Getting this compensation usually starts with filing a claim, that’s like telling the insurance company or the person who caused the accident that you need help because of what happened. Having a lawyer by your side can make this step easier. They’ll talk to the insurance companies for you and make sure you’re asking for the right amount of money.
Remember, each bike accident is different, and the amount of money you can get depends on what happened in your special case. So, talking to a lawyer who knows lots about bike accidents can help you figure out what compensation you can get.
Does wearing a helmet affect my bicycle accident claim in Marietta?
In Marietta, just like in most places, wearing a helmet can really matter for your bicycle accident claim. If you’re under 16, Georgia law says you must wear a helmet. For adults, it’s not a must by law, but it’s still a good idea. If you get into an accident and you weren’t wearing a helmet, this doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help or money for your injuries. But, the other side might try to say that some of your injuries wouldn’t be so bad if you had a helmet on.
This is what’s called “comparative fault.” It’s like saying both you and the person who hit you share a bit of the blame. In Georgia, as long as you’re not found to be 50% or more responsible for the accident, you can still get money to help with your injuries. But the amount might be less because you didn’t have a helmet on.
What types of compensation can I recover from a bicycle accident claim?
In a bicycle accident claim, you can go after different types of compensation to help you deal with all the trouble that comes after a crash. These can include:
- Medical Costs: This is for the money you spend on doctors, hospital stays, treatments, and any other health care you need because of the accident.
- Lost Wages: If you can’t go to work while you’re healing, you can ask for money that you would’ve made if you weren’t hurt.
- Property Damage: If your bike or any of your gear got broken or ruined in the accident, you can get money to fix or replace them.
- Pain and Suffering: Accidents can really hurt, and not just physically. They can make you feel a lot of pain or leave you feeling really down. You can get money for these tough times.
- Emotional Distress: Sometimes, after an accident, you might feel scared, anxious, or have a hard time sleeping. This is for the stress and emotional pain you go through after a crash.
- Loss of Enjoyment: If your injuries stop you from doing things you love, like biking or playing sports, you can ask for compensation.
- Future Medical Expenses: If you need medical care down the road because of your accident, like surgeries or physical therapy, you can include these in your claim.
- Future Lost Earnings: This is if your injuries are so serious that they affect your ability to make money in the future.
How is fault determined in a bicycle versus car accident scenario?
Determining fault in a bicycle versus car accident, as in most traffic accidents, involves evaluating several factors and adhering to the law. The process generally includes the following steps:
- Examining Traffic Laws: The first thing to check is whether any traffic laws were broken. For instance, if a driver failed to yield the right-of-way to a cyclist at an intersection, this could indicate fault on the part of the driver.
- Police Reports: Officers responding to the accident scene will normally file a report, which can be a critical piece of evidence when determining fault. The police report may include the officer’s assessment of the accident, a diagram, statements from witnesses, and whether any traffic citations were issued.
- Witness Statements: Witnesses can provide objective accounts of the accident, which can help piece together the events leading up to the collision and help determine who was at fault.
- Physical Evidence: Skid marks, vehicle damage, bike damage, and injuries can provide clues about how the accident happened and who was at fault. For example, damage to the rear of a bicycle might suggest that the cyclist was hit from behind while lawfully riding in the bike lane.
- Traffic Surveillance Footage: If the accident was captured on traffic cameras or business security cameras, that footage could be decisive in determining fault.
- Determining Negligence: Both the cyclist and the driver have a duty to exercise reasonable care on the road. If either party acted negligently, they could be at fault. For example, if a cyclist was riding against traffic or a driver was texting while driving, they could be deemed negligent.
- Comparative Fault: Some jurisdictions use a comparative fault system, which means that if both the cyclist and the driver were partially at fault, the compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to the cyclist.
- State and Local Laws: Specific state and local laws can also impact how fault is determined. For instance, some areas have laws that specifically protect cyclists, such as the “three-feet rule,” requiring drivers to maintain a certain distance when passing a bicycle.
Legal representation can be very beneficial in these scenarios. Our personal injury lawyers or accident attorneys who are well-versed in bicycle accidents can navigate the complexities of the case and help you understand your rights and how best to pursue appropriate compensation.
We will collect and analyze the evidence, consult with experts as necessary, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent the your interests throughout the legal process.
How long does the process of a bicycle accident claim typically take?
The duration of a bicycle accident claim process can vary greatly depending on several factors, and it’s difficult to provide a precise timeline without knowing specific details of the case. Here are some factors that influence the length of the claims process:
- Complexity of the Accident: Simple accidents with clear fault and minor injuries can sometimes be resolved in a matter of weeks or a few months. More complex cases involving severe injuries, disputed liability, or multiple parties can take a year or more.
- Severity of Injuries: The extent of the injuries can significantly affect the timeline. It’s often prudent to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) before settling a claim, to ensure all medical expenses and the impact of injuries are fully understood and accounted for.
- Liability Disputes: If liability is not clear and the parties involved disagree on who was at fault, additional investigation and negotiation will be needed, which can extend the process.
- Insurance Company Cooperation: Sometimes, insurance companies may respond quickly to a claim and offer a settlement, but more often, there can be delays in communication, or the insurance company may dispute the claim.
- Settlement Negotiations: The back-and-forth between negotiating a fair settlement can be lengthy. If both sides have different views on the worth of the claim, this stage alone can add to the timeline.
- Legal Proceedings: If the claim cannot be settled out of court, filing a lawsuit becomes necessary. The litigation process can be lengthy due to the complexity of legal procedures, discovery, and possible trial dates.
- Case Backlog and Court Schedules: The court’s schedule and backlog can also affect how long it takes. Different jurisdictions have different wait times for a case to be heard.
How Our Marietta Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Our Marietta bicycle accident lawyer can provide specialized assistance for individuals involved in cycling accidents in or around Marietta, Georgia. Here’s how we can help you navigate your incident and pursue any compensation to which you may be entitled:
- Expertise in Local Laws: A local attorney will be familiar with Marietta and Georgia-specific traffic laws and statutes that pertain to bicycle accidents. They can apply this specialized knowledge to your case, ensuring all local legal nuances are considered.
- Investigating the Accident: They can conduct a thorough investigation of your accident to gather evidence, which may involve interviewing witnesses, working with accident reconstruction experts, and obtaining traffic camera footage.
- Determining Liability: Your lawyer will help establish fault by applying the evidence to Georgia law. They will determine whether any local ordinances were breached and what impact this has on the liability of the drivers involved.
- Assessing Damages: An experienced lawyer will accurately calculate both economic and non-economic damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, bike repairs or replacement, pain and suffering, and any long-term effects of your injuries.
- Dealing with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies often try to settle quickly for the lowest amount possible. Your lawyer will handle all communication with them, ensuring you don’t accept a lowball offer and negotiating for fair compensation on your behalf.
- Representation in Court: If your case goes to court, a Marietta bicycle accident lawyer will represent you throughout the legal proceedings, present your case effectively, and advocate for your rights in front of a judge or jury.
- Navigating Comparative Fault: Georgia employs a modified comparative fault system. Your lawyer will fight against any attempts to unfairly assign you a higher degree of fault, which could diminish your compensation.
- Offering Support and Guidance: Navigating the aftermath of a bicycle accident can be overwhelming. An attorney will provide you with the support you need, explaining each step of the legal process and helping you make informed decisions about your case.
- Timely Filing: Personal injury claims, including bicycle accidents, have a statute of limitations. Your attorney will ensure that all necessary paperwork is filed within the legal time limits.
- Working on a Contingency Fee Basis: Our firm work on a contingency fee basis, so we only get paid if you receive a settlement or a court award.
If you’ve been upended by a bicycle accident, know this: you’re not alone, and your journey to justice starts here. With the unwavering support of our seasoned Bicycle Accident Lawyers, every pedal toward your rightful compensation will be backed by expertise and a fierce commitment to your cause.
No need to navigate the intimidating legal roadblocks on your own—we’re here to guide you through, ensuring the insurance companies don’t cut corners on your settlement. Book your free consultation and let’s chart a course to recovery that puts your needs at the forefront.