Pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle collisions are serious issues in the United States. In 2016, there were over 12,000 fatalities from these types of accidents, and this figure was up from the previous year’s estimates. There are many reasons this figure is so high, but the main one is that drivers do not see pedestrians and cyclists as quickly as they would if another car was involved in the accident.
Risks Associated with Pedestrian, Bicycle and Motorcycle Collisions
There are many different risks involved with pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle collisions. Unfortunately, these types of accidents may lead to serious and even permanently debilitating injuries, such as spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury (TBI), paralysis and other neurological problems. Often, these victims will need medical care indefinitely, which can be very costly, depending on their injuries. And fatalities occur far too frequently devastating families.
What to do After a Pedestrian, Bicycle and Motorcycle Collision
If you are involved in a pedestrian, bicycle or motorcycle collision, it is important that you take the following steps:
- Call 911 if anyone is injured
- Get the other driver’s information, including name, address, insurance company and policy number
- Take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries and any property damage
- Get a copy of the police report
- Contact a personal injury attorney with extensive subject matter experience in pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle collisions
Unfortunately, some drivers may leave the scene of an accident even though people are injured. These hit-and-run incidences are more common with pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle collisions than with other types of accidents. That’s because the at-fault driver may not flee from a car accident since they know they can get caught much easier.
File a Police Report Immediately
Hit-and-run cases are different than regular car accident claims in that you must file a police report immediately after an accident has occurred. That way, there is no question about who was at fault, and it will be easier for your attorney to pursue punitive damages.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a pedestrian, bicycle or motorcycle collision, it is critical that you try and get a license plate number or any other information about the vehicle if possible. This will help the police track down the driver and ensure they are held accountable for their actions.
UM Insurance Can Often Help with Hit & Run Cases
Even if a hit-and-run driver escapes, there may still be insurance available to help you if you were injured as a motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian. The professional attorneys at the Bell & Washington Law Firm know that the victim’s auto insurance policy may be used to help them, even though they were not technically in a motor vehicle.
If the cyclist or pedestrian has UM insurance (uninsured/underinsured) motorist coverage, then that insurance company is usually required to make the insurance coverage available if the collision was caused by an automobile.
UM insurance is also a big help when the at-fault motorist is apprehended by the police. During consultations, the attorneys at Bell & Washington often find that our clients have UM insurance they weren’t aware they had.
If you were a victim in this type of accident, contact the Atlanta personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Bell & Washington. We have decades of experience and can help you deal with your insurance company.
Statute of Limitations
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle collisions (as with other personal injury cases) is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury case. If you wait longer than this, then it is possible that your legal rights will be lost forever.
However, there are certain situations where the statute of limitations may start later than two years from the date of the accident. For example, if someone has an unknown health condition and does not know about their injuries for a long time, the statute of limitations may not start until they have been diagnosed with their injury.
In some cases where a minor has been injured and does not realize that they have an injury due to the accident, it is possible that there may be no statute of limitations at all. That means you could wait decades before filing a lawsuit and still have a legal right to do so.
These complex statutes of limitations can be difficult to understand and navigate. That’s why it’s critical that you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a pedestrian, bicycle or motorcycle collision.
Why Do I Need an Attorney if Coverage is Provided by My Insurance Company?
Some insurance companies may try to deny you coverage when you’re making a UM coverage claim after a hit-and-run accident. These unfair tactics may even come from your insurance company.
Additionally, if you have been injured in a pedestrian, bicycle or motorcycle collision in Atlanta, and your insurance company provides medical payments coverage, you should never try to collect this on your own. While the payment of these benefits may be guaranteed by your auto insurance policy, there is something called subrogation which could lead to your insurance company attempting to take the money from any settlement you receive.
The attorneys at Bell & Washington Law Firm know how difficult it can be to deal with an insurance adjuster after a pedestrian, bicycle or motorcycle collision. We will fight for you during this stressful time and make sure that you are not taken advantage of by any insurance companies.
Call the Personal Injury Attorneys at the Bell & Washington Law Firm Today
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a pedestrian, bicycle or motorcycle collision in Atlanta and needs help, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Bell & Washington Law Firm at 404.437.6641.
We understand that these types of accidents can be devastating and are here to answer your questions about what happened and how we can help you with your case. Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys can help compile all the necessary evidence to file your claim correctly. In addition, we will give you a free consultation to review all the facts of your case and let you know what to expect.
Remember, it is vital to act fast because there are time limits on how long you have to file a lawsuit. Our team of expert attorneys will help see if there are any insurance benefits available to you and will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.