Although biking is an eco-friendly and convenient mode of transportation, it can be dangerous for even the most experienced riders. Drivers do not always keep an eye out on the road, and auto-bike collisions can have particularly severe consequences for cyclists.
If you were hurt in a biking accident, you may have legal options for holding the negligent party accountable for your injuries. Call a Winder bicycle accident lawyer at Smith Hulsey to discuss your situation. A seasoned personal injury attorney could work diligently on your behalf to seek the compensation you deserve.
Although auto-bicycle accidents almost always result in greater harm to the bicyclist, drivers do not automatically bear civil liability. In order to recover compensation, an injured bicyclist and their attorney must be able to prove that the driver was “negligent” in some way.
Specifically, legal negligence has four components that a plaintiff must prove through “a preponderance of evidence” in order to hold a defendant accountable for their losses. The first element is a duty of care, which is easy to establish in these types of cases. Motorists have a responsibility to drive safely to protect others on the road.
The second element is that the driver breached their duty of care, which could be more difficult to prove. Additionally, an injured biker must show that the breach directly led to the losses for which they are seeking compensation. Establishing these aspects of negligence can be difficult without legal expertise, so it is recommended that bike crash victims work with a skilled attorney at our Winder office.
Importantly, Official Code of Georgia §51-11-7 prohibits anyone who is more than 50 percent to blame for their own injuries from filing suit for damages. Beyond just proving fault by someone else, a lawyer could help demonstrate that an injured cyclist was not at fault for the accident and assert their right to seek compensation.
However, even if a court finds a plaintiff 50 percent or less at fault for their injuries, O.C.G.A. §51-12-33 states that any damage award will be reduced by their percentage of the blame. Especially if a bike rider may be partially to blame for an accident, it is crucial for them to seek dedicated legal representation. A well-practiced local attorney could contest allegations of comparative fault and work to maximize the available compensation for an injured victim.
Through a successful civil lawsuit, an injured bicyclist may be able to recover for their medical bills, lost work income, bicycle repairs, and even subjective losses like physical pain and emotional anguish. However, if you try to pursue a claim without guidance from a seasoned lawyer, you may have a difficult time recovering sufficient compensation for your losses.
After getting the medical care you need, your first priority after a serious wreck should be to consult a Winder bicycle accident lawyer. At Smith Hulsey, our legal team is here to advise you on your civil claim and fight for your recovery. Call us today to schedule a consultation.
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