Cycling is a great hobby—it is inexpensive, eco-friendly, and excellent exercise. There is a downside to cycling, though, and that is that bicycle accidents happen frequently and often leave the cyclist with severe injuries.
If you have sustained injuries in a cycling accident, consulting a personal injury attorney is a good idea. If negligence caused the accident that injured you, it might be possible to claim damages from the negligent party. A Sandy Springs bicycle accident lawyer could offer good advice about whether pursuing a claim for damages is worthwhile in your specific circumstances.
Proving Negligence in a Bicycle Accident Case
In a lawsuit seeking damages, you must present evidence showing someone else was negligent. Proving negligence requires the plaintiff’s attorney to demonstrate that:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty
- Defendant failed to uphold their duty
- The failure harmed the plaintiff
- The plaintiff suffered documentable losses because of the harm
Whether motor vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians, people using the roads owe other road users a duty of care. If someone’s lack of care leads to an accident and someone else suffers an injury, that is negligence.
The negligent parties in a bicycle accident case are often motorists. Drivers often are insufficiently attentive to cyclists and accidents result. Other potential defendants could be the manufacturer of a defective part or piece of safety equipment, or the municipality with responsibility for maintaining the roads. In many cases, there might be multiple potentially liable parties.
Plaintiff’s Negligence Could Impact Recovery
When an injured cyclist was negligent, they still might seek damages from other negligent parties. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated §51-11-7 bars a plaintiff who could have prevented an accident from recovering damages, but allows a plaintiff who bears some responsibility to get damages from other negligent parties.
In practical terms this means that a cyclist who is more than 50 percent at fault for an accident cannot seek damages for their injuries. If the cyclist bears less than 50 percent of the blame, they may receive damages from other negligent parties. However, their damages will be reduced in an amount equal to their degree of responsibility.
Damages in Bicycle Accident Cases
Injured cyclists could claim compensation for their medical care, lost wages, and any other expenses associated with treating and recovering from their injuries. If the injury requires ongoing medical care, a damages award could include those future expenses. If the cyclist cannot return to their former employment due to their injury, diminished earnings also may be recoverable through damages.
Cyclists could also seek payment to compensate for their pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and other intangible losses that accompany a severe injury. Families could seek damages for loss of their loved one’s companionship and consortium.
In cases where a defendant acted intentionally, recklessly, or with willful indifference to the wellbeing of others, punitive damages might be available. Punitive damages could be awarded if a driver was drunk when they injured a cyclist or if a driver’s reckless disregard for the cyclist’s safety resulted in an accident. A seasoned attorney could advise whether seeking punitive damages is appropriate in a given case.
A Sandy Springs Bicycle Accident Attorney Could Help Your Case
Recovery from a severe injury requires you to direct all your energy on healing. It is not a good idea to be negotiating with insurance company lawyers who might try to pressure you into accepting less than you deserve.
Rely on a Sandy Springs bicycle accident lawyer to get you a fair and reasonable compensation. You have only a limited time to bring a lawsuit, so call right away to schedule a consultation.