Alpharetta Bicycle Accident Lawyer
In Alpharetta, cycling stands out as a popular, environmentally friendly, and practical mode of transportation. The city’s pathways and scenic routes provide an ideal backdrop for both leisure and commuting cyclists. Yet, despite its numerous benefits, cycling carries certain risks, especially when sharing the road with motor vehicles.
The statistics paint a concerning picture: Between 2013 and 2021, there were 925 reported bicycle crashes in Fulton County. 17 people were killed while 72 others reported serious injuries and 352 cyclists had ‘visible injuries.’ Unlike motorists, cyclists have minimal protection, making them vulnerable to serious or catastrophic injuries in such incidents.
For survivors of bicycle accidents, the journey to recovery can be difficult and expensive. Physical trauma is often accompanied by financial strain due to mounting medical bills, ongoing treatment costs, and necessary lifestyle adjustments. In many cases, the severity of the injuries prevents the cyclists from returning to their jobs, compounding the financial impact at a time when they are most vulnerable.
This is where experienced legal assistance becomes crucial. At Horst Shewmaker, our Alpharetta bicycle accident lawyers are committed to supporting those injured in bicycle crashes. If you’ve been hit by a negligent driver while cycling, we can handle all legal aspects of your claim, allowing you to focus on healing.
Why Hire Us For Your Bicycle Injury Claim?
After a serious bicycle accident, you want to hire a personal injury firm with a solid track record and a client-focused approach. At Horst Shewmaker, we have been the trusted choice for injured cyclists in and around Alpharetta for years. When you work with us, you benefit from the following advantages:
- Extensive Knowledge of Bicycle Law: Our personal injury lawyers have extensive knowledge of bicycle laws and regulations. They’re well-equipped to handle the unique aspects of bicycle accident cases, ensuring that your claim is in good hands.
- Commitment to Cyclist Rights: The firm has a proven track record of defending the rights of cyclists. We understand the legal protections afforded to cyclists and can effectively advocate for your rights.
- Success in Handling Injury Claims: Horst Shewmaker has a history of successfully securing fair compensation for clients involved in bicycle accidents. It’s a testament to our ability to handle complex injury claims.
- Personalized Client Approach: To us, you are not a number. We take a personalized approach to your case, making sure that our legal strategy is aligned with your goals.
- Strong Negotiation Skills: Our legal team is well-versed in negotiating with insurance companies. Effective negotiation is crucial to securing the compensation you deserve.
Choosing Horst Shewmaker means placing your trust in a law firm that values and champions the rights of cyclists. Our experience, combined with a dedicated approach to client welfare, makes us an ideal choice for your bicycle injury claim.
Liability in Alpharetta Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can occur due to a variety of reasons, many of them beyond the control of the cyclist. Understanding these causes is key to identifying liability. Some common ones include:
- Driver Inattention: Many bicycle accidents occur when motor vehicle drivers don’t pay enough attention to the road.
- Driver Impairment: If the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they’re more likely to cause a serious accident.
- Failure to Yield Right of Way: Drivers who fail to yield to cyclists at intersections or during turns can cause accidents.
- Opening Car Doors: A dooring accident occurs when a driver or passenger opens their car door without checking for approaching cyclists.
- Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, uneven roads, and insufficient cycling lanes can cause accidents.
- Defective Bicycle Components: Faulty brakes, gears, or other bicycle parts due to manufacturing defects or lack of maintenance can lead to accidents.
After identifying the cause of a bicycle accident, the next step is to identify potentially liable parties. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, they may include:
- Motor Vehicle Drivers: If a driver’s negligence or violation of traffic laws led to the accident, they can be held liable.
- Vehicle or Parts Manufacturers: In cases where a bicycle or vehicle defect contributed to the accident, the manufacturer might be liable under product liability laws.
- Government Entities: If poor road conditions or inadequate signage contributed to the accident, a city or local government entity might be responsible for failing to maintain safe roadways.
- Property Owners: Owners of private property can be liable if their negligence (like obstructing pathways) leads to an accident.
Determining liability in bicycle accidents involves a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the incident. At Horst Shewmaker, we employ experts like accident reconstruction specialists when necessary, ensuring that your claim is as strong as possible.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
There’s no question about it: A bicycle accident can be painful and terrifying. However, your next steps are critical for ensuring your safety and the viability of a future injury claim. Here’s a general overview of what you should do to protect your rights:
- Move to a safe area away from traffic if you can. Your immediate concern should be to prevent any further harm, but if you’re bleeding or in too much pain, remain in place and wait for help.
- Assess yourself for any injuries. Even if you only notice a few bruises, see a doctor as soon as possible. Some potentially serious injuries take time to manifest and the medical record can be a key piece of evidence later on.
- Report the accident to the authorities. Like medical records, a police report can be valuable evidence in a personal injury claim.
- Get the names, contact details, insurance information, and vehicle details (license plate number, make, model) of all parties involved. Avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be interpreted as such.
- Take photos of the accident scene, your bicycle, the vehicle involved, any injuries, and surrounding areas like traffic signals or road conditions.
- If there are any witnesses, get their contact information. Witness statements can be vital in supporting your account of the accident.
- Speak to an Alpharetta bicycle accident lawyer who can assess your case, calculate its value, and pursue compensation for all of your damages.
Compensation in a Bicycle Accident Case
In a bicycle accident case, compensation typically falls into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic Damages: These are the tangible, financial losses that can be calculated and verified. They include medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and property damage.
- Non-Economic Damages: These losses are subjective and not easily quantifiable. They include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
It’s important to note that each bicycle accident case is different and the amount of compensation awarded can vary greatly. The severity of the injuries, the circumstances of the accident, and the impact on the victim’s life are all factors that are considered when determining compensation. An experienced bicycle accident attorney can provide guidance and help in accurately assessing and pursuing the full range of damages owed to you.
How Can an Alpharetta Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help Me?
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident in Alpharetta, hiring a bicycle accident lawyer can maximize your compensation and facilitate access to the medical treatment you need. They will conduct a thorough investigation of your accident, collecting crucial evidence like police reports, witness statements, and video footage to build a strong case while you focus on recovering.
Your bicycle accident lawyer will also deal with insurance companies on your behalf. If the insurer tries to make a lowball offer or dismiss your claim entirely, they will stand firm and insist on a settlement that meets your current and future needs. If your case goes to court, your lawyer will represent you, fighting for your rights and working towards the best possible outcome.
Many injured cyclists worry about the cost of hiring legal representation. The good news is that most bicycle accident attorneys (including Horst Shewmaker) work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay anything upfront- they only collect legal fees if they secure compensation for you. You have nothing to lose and your chances of a favorable settlement are much higher.
What If I Don’t Know Who Hit Me?
If you’re involved in a bicycle accident in Georgia and the driver who hit you cannot be identified (such as in a hit-and-run scenario), you might still have options for insurance coverage. Many people aren’t aware that their own auto insurance policy could provide crucial support in these situations, even though the incident involved a bicycle and not a car.
Here’s how it works: If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, commonly referred to as UM insurance, it can come into play for your bicycle accident. This type of coverage is designed to protect you in cases where the at-fault driver is either uninsured, underinsured, or unknown.
The key point is that this UM insurance can be applicable as long as the bicycle accident was “related to” an automobile, such as being hit by a car. This insurance can be a significant help, covering costs for your injuries and damages. It’s important to note that UM coverage is not just limited to hit-and-run incidents. It can also provide benefits in situations where the driver who caused the bicycle collision is identified but lacks sufficient insurance.
Questions? Speak to an Alpharetta Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident in Alpharetta, reach out to Horst Shewmaker for the skilled legal representation you need. Our experienced team understands the challenges you’re facing and is ready to fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Your well-being is our priority, and we’re here to support you every step of the way. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call 404-400-1175 or contact us online today.