Bicycle accidents tend to result in very serious injuries, if not death. The reason is simple — bicyclists are completely exposed when struck by the full force of a moving vehicle. Most passenger vehicles weigh somewhere between 3,000-4,000 pounds. Therefore, even a slow-moving vehicle can cause devastating injuries in a collision with an exposed bicyclist. Bicyclists involved in auto accidents are often left wondering whether their injuries and losses are covered by insurance. If the driver of a vehicle was at-fault for your bicycle accident, their auto liability insurance would normally cover your injuries and losses. If they do not have enough insurance to cover the accident, you can also turn to your UM/UIM coverage. However, in cases where a bicyclist is at fault, their health and homeowner insurance may come into play. In all cases, PIP insurance is yet another potential source of recovery. A bicycle accident can leave you with debilitating injuries and a mountain of medical bills. At Butler Kahn, we are ready to help you explore all options to secure the compensation you need to make a full recovery. Insurance policies are complex documents, and to make sure no stone is left unturned, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced injury attorney. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
How Common are Bicycle Accidents?
Bicycle accidents are a common occurrence in the United States. To illustrate, consider the following statistics:
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 130,000 bicyclists are injured and 1,000 killed in traffic accidents nationwide each year.
- The CDC further reports that bicycle injuries and deaths generate over $23 billion in costs annually.
- According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the number of preventable deaths caused by bicycle accidents nationwide jumped by 44 percent from 873 in 2010 to 1,260 in 2020.
- According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 79 percent of bicyclist deaths in 2020 occurred in urban areas.
- The IIHS further reports that, of those bicyclists over 20 years old who were killed in 2020, 18 percent were legally intoxicated at their time of death.
To learn more about bicycle accidents in a video presentation by Butler Kahn, follow this link.
What Auto Insurance is Legally Required in Georgia?
As in most states, drivers must carry liability insurance that meets the minimum levels required by state law before operating on Georgia roads. Drivers operating within the state must carry at least the following levels of liability insurance:
- $25,000 per person in bodily injury coverage
- $50,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage
- $25,000 per accident in property damage coverage
Failure to comply with these requirements results in a misdemeanor and can lead to serious legal consequences. Penalties may include a fine between $200-1,000, up to 12 months imprisonment, or both.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents?
Normally, yes. When a motorist is at fault for your bicycle accident, their auto liability insurance should cover your injuries and property damage. Also, if you have purchased Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (UM/UIM) insurance, your policy should cover you if the at-fault driver does not have sufficient insurance of their own. On the other hand, if a bicyclist causes a crash with a vehicle, the motorist’s liability insurance will not apply. Instead, the bicyclist can turn to their own health insurance to cover the cost of treating their injuries. They may also turn to their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to cover property damage. When a bicyclist is injured in an auto accident, there is a good chance their injuries and losses are covered by some form of insurance. That said, insurance policies are filled with a variety of fine-print coverage exclusions. To make sure you know exactly what is covered, read carefully. The personal injury attorneys at Butler Kahn are standing by to address any questions you may have.
What Compensation Is Available for a Bike Accident Claim?
The compensation you receive in a bike accident claim will vary based on the severity of your injuries and losses. You may be reimbursed for both the financial and non-financial impact the accident has on your life. At Butler Kahn, we can help you pursue compensation for things like:
- Medical expenses you incur due to the crash
- Out-of-pocket travel costs for medical appointments
- Lost wages from missed work due to the accident
- Projected loss in your future earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lowered quality of life
- Personal property repair or replacement costs
Calculating the full and fair value of your claim can be complex. Further, the at-fault driver and their insurers will do whatever they can to minimize the true value. At Butler Kahn, we are ready to make sure you are not taken advantage of and receive the compensation you deserve. To explore results we have achieved on behalf of our clients, follow this link.
What Should I Do After a Bike Accident?
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, there are some proactive steps you can take early on to start building the foundations of your claim seeking compensation from the at-fault party. If possible, take the following steps to protect yourself and your legal right to compensation:
- Report the accident to the police so they can prepare an official report.
- Seek prompt medical attention and follow your doctor’s instructions.
- Use your phone to take photographs and videos of the crash scene.
- Talk to all drivers involved and gather their names, contact information, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, insurer names, and insurance policy numbers.
- Identify witnesses to the accident and gather their contact information.
- Keep track of medical bills, correspondence with insurers, and any other crash-related documents.
- Start a daily “pain journal” describing the impact your injuries have on your life.
- Watch what you say to insurance adjusters before securing legal representation.
- Avoid sharing about your accident on social media while your claim is pending.
- Consult with an injury attorney early on to make sure you know your legal rights and options.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Bike Accident Lawsuit?
Yes. Georgia’s personal injury statute of limitations gives you only two years from the date of a bicycle accident to file a lawsuit. This deadline is strictly enforced. If you try to file a lawsuit after the two-year deadline passes, your case will most likely be dismissed in court. At Butler Kahn, we are ready to evaluate your accident, investigate the governing law, build a solid claim on your behalf, and get it filed before the deadline passes.
Contact a Georgia Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you are reading this page because you or a loved one has been hurt in a bicycle accident, we hope you are receiving the medical care that you need and are making a strong recovery. We hope the information on this page has been helpful. If you would like to talk with us about your situation, call us or contact us online. There is no charge to talk with us about your case.