If you have ever seen someone on a bike hit by a car or SUV, you know how devastating it can be. The human body simply cannot withstand the impact of a two-thousand-pound machine. While it’s easy to put all the blame on the person driving the motor vehicle, there are times when the cyclist is partially at fault for the crash. It’s no different from any other motor vehicle accident. If this is the case with your own bicycle accident in Athens, you may assume that your case isn’t worth pursuing.
However, just because you were partially at fault, that doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to any compensation. We suggest you call and talk to one of our Athens bike accident attorneys. They can review your case and find out if you have a valid case or not. If so, they may be willing to handle the case for you. If they don’t feel that your case is strong enough, they’ll let you know. We believe our clients have a right to know the true value of their case.
For now, we suggest you call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. Once our Athens bike accident attorneys have a chance to thoroughly review your case, they’ll have a better idea of whether it’s worth pursuing. Here, we will discuss what can happen if you are found partially at fault for your bicycle accident in Athens. We will also explain whether you can still collect damages in a case like this.
One Would Imagine the Car Driver Has the Last Chance to Avoid the Accident
Years ago, before we had statutes and case law, the courts had to use common sense to determine the outcome of civil cases. One of the rules the courts used back then is still used at times today. This is the “last clear chance” rule. This rule states that the person who has the last clear chance to avoid a collision should be held responsible in an accident.
When one considers a bicycle accident in Athens, this principle may be important. One would imagine that the person driving the car or SUV would have the last clear chance to avoid hitting the person on the bike.
The Bike Rider Is at a Serious Disadvantage
It is fair to assume that most people would agree that, when there is a bicycle accident in Athens, the person on the bike is at a serious disadvantage. Not only is there nothing protecting them from injury, but they are also at a physical disadvantage.
The person on the bike can’t really turn their head constantly to see what the cars behind them or doing. They also don’t have the benefit of turn signals and a horn to warn others on the road of their intended movements. They are the complete mercy of people driving cars and SUVs. This means that drivers should be expected to pay particular attention to cyclists who share the road with them.
The Defendant’s Lawyer May Claim That You Were Partially at Fault
Knowing that the car or SUV driver has the last clear chance, you may think it’s impossible to find the cyclist at fault for their accident. However, there are cases in which the person riding the bicycle is partially responsible for their bicycle accident in Athens.
For example, if the cyclists rides directly into oncoming traffic, they could be found partially at fault. The same is true if the person riding the bike was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. If the defendant’s attorney can prove that you were at fault, even a little bit, it will impact your case.
The way the law works in Georgia is that a plaintiff can still collect damages even if they were partially at fault. This is because Georgia follows the comparative negligence rule.
If a person is 30% at fault for their accident, their damages will be reduced by 30%. If they were 20% at fault, their damages will be reduced by 20%. So, while you may still be entitled to compensation, it won’t as much as if you were not at fault in any way.
You May Still Be Entitled to Damages for Your Bicycle Accident in Athens
Even if you are partially at fault for your bicycle accident, that doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to compensation. If you were injured in your accident then you have the right to demand damages. Most of our clients who were involved in a bike accident suffer extensive physical injuries.
Our Athens bike accident attorneys work hard to prove that our clients are entitled to compensation for these injuries. Just because the defendant can show that you contributed to the crash somehow doesn’t automatically mean you lose your right to compensation.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in Athens, it’s a good idea to call and talk to an experienced Athens bike accident attorney. We can review your case and look to see what the insurance company’s position is. If they denied your claim based on the fact that you were partially at fault, they may still be liable for damages.
Of course, if you were partially at fault, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. All this means is that you may not get the entire amount you demanded in your complaint. However, your Athens bike accident attorney will fight to make sure you get enough to cover your out-of-pocket expenses.
We recommend that you call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. Take the time to sit down with an experienced Athens bike accident attorney. Our associates have decades of combined experience handling claims like yours.
They know the law and they also know how to apportion fault. If they aren’t able to negotiate a fair settlement with the defendant’s attorney, they will have no problem taking your case to trial. Since the initial consultation is free, you have nothing to lose by coming in and meeting with a seasoned Athens bike accident attorney.