Navigating Children’s Bicycle Accident Claims
From navigating children’s bicycle injury claims to ensuring their well-being, Dressie Law Firm can guide you to justice, recovery, and full compensation.
Looking for insights on handling children’s bicycle accident claims? Get in touch with the Dressie Law Firm today. Learn about liability, insurance, and protecting your child’s rights.
Children’s Bicycle Accident Claims
On cool summer evenings, kids love to whip out their bikes and put rubber to the road, quite literally. Georgia’s extensive bicycle lanes mean children of all ages can enjoy bicycle rides across the residential areas. However, fun and cheer can turn tragic in the blink of an eye.
Bicycle accidents involving children are not uncommon in Georgia. Just recently, an 8-year-old boy was struck by a car while riding his bike in downtown Statesboro. The boy suffered serious injuries and was put on life support. This is just one of many child bicycle accident cases to rock the Peach State.
In children’s bicycle accidents, the parents of the children may pursue a personal injury claim against the involved driver if the driver is found responsible for the accident. However, a thorough investigation is required to determine liability and secure compensation.
Dressie Law Firm has helped families get justice for their loved ones following bicycle accidents. Contact us if your child has been injured in a bike accident. We will put you in contact with a knowledgeable and compassionate personal injury lawyer.
Today, we’ll delve into the intricacies of child bicycle accident claims and how Dressie Law Firm can bolster your pursuit of justice.
Understanding Liability in Children’s Bicycle Accidents
Liability determination in bicycle accidents involving children is always a bone of contention. While Georgia considers bicycles as vehicles, penalties for breaching traffic laws don’t apply to children below 16. However, this doesn’t mean the court will automatically assume the driver involved in the accident is at fault.
Like regular bicycle accidents, the court will determine liability based on specific circumstances. Fault in child bicycle accidents is based on negligence and duty of care. Negligence is when one party fails to exercise reasonable care, leading to an accident.
In children’s bike accidents, the motor vehicle driver, the party with greater control, owes the cyclist child the duty of care. Therefore, the court holds drivers who fail to fulfill their duty of care liable for the bicycle accident.
Check out our bicycle accidents FAQs page for more answers.
Steps to Take Following a Bicycle Accident Involving Your Child
What you do right after the accident can affect your ability to file a claim or recover full compensation. Here’s what you should do from the moment your child gets involved in a bicycle accident:
Remain Calm and Call Emergency Services
First, you’ll need to maintain a cool head and call 911. Move your child to safety, but be careful not to move the child’s bike. The bike’s position is crucial in helping the police determine how the accident occurred.
Gather Information From the Accident Scene
Information about the accident is crucial evidence for advancing your claim. Gather as much evidence from the accident scene as possible. Obtain contact information from the involved driver, then collect other pieces of evidence like:
The time and date of the accident
Pictures and videos of the accident
Write down the names and contacts of any witnesses
How to File a Personal Injury Claim for a Child
Minors below 18 cannot file claims, but parents can do so on their behalf. Here is a breakdown of the steps to filing your child’s claim:
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
With your child in safe hands, the next step is to call a personal injury lawyer with experience handling bicycle accidents. The lawyers at Dressie Law Firm can help file a personal injury claim. That way, your child can get the compensation they deserve.
Identifying the at-fault party involves gathering evidence from the accident scene using the official police report, expert opinions, and independent investigations. Your attorney will investigate the accident and gather more evidence to determine liability and establish their negligence.
File a Claim with At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
You may only have a month or two to file your insurance claim, depending on the at-fault party’s insurance policy terms. You must promptly file your demand letter and supporting documents, including a police report and any medical records. The insurance company will then assess damages, considering medical expenses and vehicle repairs. Your experienced personal injury attorney will negotiate with the insurance adjuster for a favorable settlement. If negotiations fail, you can seek redress in court by filing a lawsuit.
Special Considerations for Minors in Court Proceedings
In Georgia, a minor under 18 cannot file a lawsuit. They can only do so after celebrating their 18th birthday. However, withholding legal proceedings until your child turns 18 may be unwise.
Georgia has special provisions that apply to child injury cases. These provisions protect the child’s best interest while preserving the rule of law. For instance, the court can appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) to investigate the child’s circumstances if the child doesn’t have a representative or next friend, usually a parent.
The GAL will represent the child’s best interests and make recommendations to the court accordingly. Their job is to determine the nature and extent of the injuries. Guardians can hire an attorney to represent the child in legal proceedings and handle your claim.
Dressie Law Firm has years of experience handling cases involving minors. We’re talking everything from child bicycle accidents to dog bites and medical malpractice. We can leverage our legal knowledge and experience to ensure justice is served accordingly.
The Role of Insurance in Bicycle Accidents
Georgia is an at-fault state, so the at-fault party must compensate the victim for their damages. Depending on how and where the accident happened, you can file a claim against the liable party’s
1. Auto insurance
If a motor vehicle driver caused the accident, their auto insurance company will cover your damages, including medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering.
2. Homeowner’s Insurance
If your child’s injury was caused by a hazard on someone’s property, you can file a claim against their homeowner’s insurance. Homeowner’s insurance shields homeowners from liability should a bicycle accident happen on their property. This type of insurance covers medical costs and property damage.
Children’s Bicycle Accidents Involving Objects
If the accident didn’t involve a second party or the party involved party was not at fault, you may be looking for alternatives to get compensation for your and your child’s damages. Below are some insurance options that may apply to your case:
1. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)
It’s not uncommon for drivers to lack comprehensive insurance to cover all damages. If your child’s bike accident was caused by an uninsured driver and you have UM/UIM insurance, you can use it to cover your damages. In this case, you must file a claim with your own insurance company.
2. Health Insurance
Your health insurance may cover medical expenses for your injured child, depending on your policy. Coverage includes hospital bills, surgeries, medications, and other treatments.
Tips and Strategies for Dealing With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are difficult and will likely frustrate you when filing your child’s bicycle accident claim. These companies have teams of lawyers and adjusters working tirelessly to deny or minimize your insurance claim.
Here are a couple of tips and strategies for dealing with insurance providers:
Ensure information accuracy: Ensure all the information you provide is accurate and complete. This includes police reports, medical records, and repair bills. Discrepancies and gaps in the information you give could lead to the rejection of your claim.
Don’t accept the first offer: Insurance adjusters may offer you a lowball first offer to drop the claim. However, this initial offer is usually a fraction of what you deserve. Don’t accept this offer. Negotiate for proper compensation.
Get everything in writing: Georgia doesn’t recognize verbal agreements, especially if not recorded. Ensure you have a time-stamped paper trail for every agreement you make with your insurance agent or adjuster.
Seek legal representation: Filing a bicycle accident claim is easier said than done. Insurance providers are quick to reject claims for the flimsiest reason. Consult an Atlanta bicycle accident attorney to help you navigate the claims process and protect your rights. That way, you can receive proper compensation for your child’s injuries.
Dressie Law Firm uses a client-centric approach. We analyze unique circumstances and case specifics to get a fair settlement. We’ll break down the legal aspects of your child’s bike accident. This involves assessing whether the involved driver violated the new minimum bicyclist passing distance law in Georgia. We’ll also assist in insurance negotiations and can identify any unfairness. The best part is that we offer a free case evaluation to determine how viable your case is.
Bicycle Accident Lawyer at Your Convenience
Few things are as scary as your child getting injured, especially when it involves a negligent driver. Georgia law protects the rights of all children involved in bike accidents. However, you’ll need an experienced attorney to help you navigate the complexities of personal injury law.
Our law firm boasts an impressive track record in securing maximum settlements. We work closely with our clients and communicate openly to keep them informed and in the know. Contact Dressie us today for a free consultation.
The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!