Uninsured Motorist Coverage Can Be Critical in Georgia Hit and Run Bicycle Accidents
A schoolteacher who was commuting to work on her bicycle in Cobb County was recently hit by a car last week and was left in the path of oncoming traffic when the driver who hit her drove off.
The bike rider, Carrie Kane, was struck so hard by the vehicle that the side mirror on the vehicle was knocked off. She sustained injuries and head trauma, including short-term memory loss, from the accident. When her husband came to the emergency room to see her, she recognized him but couldn't remember his name.
The police are now seeking a vehicle match to the mirror that was left behind. Ironically, just hours before the accident, Mrs. Kane reportedly had just had her first meeting as a member of the board of directors of Bike Cobb, a group that advocates for better cycling roads and for cyclist safety. She spoke about the need to educate drivers about cyclists on the road.
At the Atlanta law firm of Montlick and Associates, we know that drivers hit cyclists on the road and frequently drive off. We have been representing cyclists injured in Georgia hit and run bike accidents for over 35 years. There are a number of different reasons why a driver may drive off after running down a bicyclist. The driver may have no license; may be uninsured; may be drunk or may be an illegal immigrant. Basically, the driver flees the scene because the driver is guilty of something else besides hitting a cyclist. Some drivers will do almost anything to avoid taking responsibility for their mistakes.
In Georgia, the law provides that it is the duty of a driver to stop or return to the scene of an accident, which includes doing the following:
- A driver needs to provide one’s name, address and the registration number of the vehicle.
- If requested, the motorist needs to produce a valid driver's license to the person who was struck.
- The driver is required to assist any injured person in a reasonable way, including transporting them to a doctor or hospital, if such treatment is needed, and the injured person asks them to do so.
- If the injured person is not able to communicate, is unconscious or is deceased, the motorist needs to make every reasonable effort to contact emergency medical services and local law enforcement to request assistance and report the bicycle-car collision.
If the driver declines to obey the law, like in the Cobb County bicycle crash, things can get complicated. You can hope that there are witnesses that will step forward and identify the driver or the vehicle. The experienced Georgia bicycle accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates have many years of experience that include identifying and locating witnesses to such accidents. We may rely on surveillance video, interview businesses or homeowners in the area or even advertise in the newspaper for witnesses.
If there are no witnesses, then your need for a knowledgeable Georgia bike accident attorney to help you seek compensation for your injuries is even more urgent. You might wonder how a bike accident attorney can help you when you have no idea who caused your injuries. The answer is that your Georgia bike crash lawyer can help you file a claim against your own insurance under the uninsured motorist provision. This type of coverage typically will protect you even if you were on a bicycle rather than a motorized vehicle. Uninsured motorist coverage also generally extends to others in the same household that are injured in Georgia bike crashes. When you cannot bring a claim against the person who was at-fault, you may file a claim against your own insurance company. You are covered for vehicle-related injuries if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection coverage on your own auto insurance policy.
Your personal injury attorney can help you ensure that your claim is handled properly and gets paid in a timely manner. The insurance company, even though you are their client and have paid for this privilege, does not make money paying out claims. Many bicycle accident victims are met with stonewalling, delays, and denials when they try to file a claim against their own insurance company. The insurance company may try to settle for an extremely low amount and may try to get you to provide a recorded statement or other information that it can use to lowball your claim.
Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, can act as your advocate and communicate with your insurance company to seek the best settlement possible. Our law firm continually strives to provide exemplary legal representation so that we can build a reputation as the top bicycle accident law firm in the state of Georgia. Our Georgia bicycle accident lawyers can handle all the legal and insurance issues so that you save time and can focus on putting your life back together.
Our experienced Georgia bicycle accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.