Can I Sue the Government for Bicycle Accidents Caused by Road Hazards in Georgia?
Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, including the expectation that the government agency responsible for roads will ensure roads are safe for use. If you are injured in a bicycle accident caused by a road hazard, you may have a valid claim to sue the government for your injuries and losses. However, suing a government entity can be a very complex undertaking because of special protections in place for states, cities, and counties.
One of the most difficult tasks is to identify which government agency is responsible. Naming the incorrect government agency for your bicycle accident could result in a denial of your injury claim. Therefore, you must be very careful to ensure you research the matter thoroughly to determine what entity or agency is responsible for the road that was defective or contained a hazard or dangerous condition.
Our attorneys take care of legal matters involved in filing a lawsuit against a government entity. We understand the deadlines involved in filing a claim against governments and the legal elements we must prove to recover the maximum compensation available by law for your claim. We have the experience and training needed to identify the correct government entity responsible for your claim. Let us do the legwork for you while you focus on your health.
Deadlines for Filing Claims Against a Government Entity
If you want to sue the government, you begin by providing notice of your claim to the responsible agency. In most bicycle accident claims, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim against a third party.
When your claim is against the state, a county, or a city, you must first file a notice of claim to preserve your legal right to file a lawsuit within those two years. Failing to file the notice with the responsible agency before the deadline results in you losing your right to file a lawsuit for damages.
Below are the deadlines for filing notices of claims with government entities in Georgia.
- Deadline for Filing a Claim Against the State
- Deadline for Claim Notices Against a Georgia County
- Deadline for Notice of Claim Against a Georgia City
If your bicycle crash resulted from a road maintained by the state of Georgia or if the state was somehow negligent in causing your bike crash, you have 12 months from the date of the crash to file a notice. File your notice with the Risk Management Division of the Department of Administrative Services. The office is located at 200 Piedmont Avenue, Suite 1208, West Tower, Atlanta, Georgia 30334 and the telephone number is 404-656-6245.
When you are suing a county, the notice of claim is filed with the appropriate county agency. GeorgiaGov has a list of all counties in Georgia with each county’s contact information on its website. As with a claim against the state of Georgia, you have 12 months from the accident date to file a notice of claim.
Cities in Georgia have shorter deadlines for filing claims. When a city is responsible, you have six months from the date of injury to file a notice with the city. GeorgiaGov also has a list of cities with each city’s contact information on its website.
Important Notes Regarding Filing Claim Notices
Below are important notes to remember when you are filing a notice of claim against a government entity:
- The state requires notices be hand delivered or mailed with a return receipt requested.
- Cities require you to include an explanation of the alleged negligence in your notice.
- Each entity may have certain requirements for notices. It is always best to contact the specific government office to obtain the information that must be included in the notice and to verify the address for the notice.
- The notice must be RECEIVED BEFORE the expiration of the deadline. It is your responsibility to ensure the office receives the notice before the final date. Allegations of delays by the post office or other delivery service are not applicable if you miss the deadline.
Damages and Injuries in Bicycle Accidents Caused by Road Hazards
Road hazard accidents are more common than you may believe, especially for bicyclists. Road debris, uneven pavement, dangerous intersections, malfunctioning traffic signals, dangerous shoulders, and potholes are just some dangerous conditions that cause bicycle accidents.
Because a bicyclist does not have the same level of protection offered by a motor vehicle, the rider can suffer life-threatening injuries that result in permanent damages. Common injuries include traumatic head injury, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and damage to internal organs.
The damages arising from a bicycle accident caused by road hazards can be substantial. The cost of medical care, long-term personal care, loss of income, emotional stress, and physical pain can quickly reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our attorneys understand how to maximize your compensation by building a strong case for full compensation.