The Georgia climate makes bicycling enjoyable nearly year-round, and enthusiasts appreciate it as a hobby and as an eco-friendly way to get around Atlanta. Unfortunately, many drivers do not exercise the same caution with bicyclists as they do with other vehicles, and serious accidents can result.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 125 bicyclists died in traffic accidents in Georgia in 2017.
As bicycling on Georgia roads becomes increasingly more dangerous, more victims suffer severe and even fatal injuries as a result of traffic accidents. If you or someone you love suffered injuries or lost their life on a bicycle due to a collision with a motor vehicle, an Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer can help you determine if you have a case. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at 800-959-1444 to speak with our team.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Many of the most frequently reported causes of bicycle accidents involve driver negligence. Despite the fact that O.C.G.A. 40-1-1 defines a bicycle on the road as a vehicle and emphasizes that bicyclists have the same rights to the road as other vehicles, many drivers fail to share the road, pay attention, or take steps to ensure the safety of bicyclists.
Driver distraction, including talking or texting while driving, has contributed not only to accidents between motor vehicles, but those with bicycles, as well. It is already easy to miss a bicyclist even when you are driving cautiously because of their low profile on the road. However, when drivers are actively neglecting to pay attention, the damage could be catastrophic.
Failure to Yield
Bicycle accidents that occur at intersections often result from the failure of a car to yield to a bicyclist. Individuals on bicycles must obey the same rules of the road as passenger vehicles, including stopping at red lights and turning only when permitted. However, if the driver of a car does not see a bicycle as another vehicle and does not expect them to enter the intersection, they increase their chances of colliding with the bicyclist.
Unfortunately, engineers have spent many years designing Atlanta’s roads to accommodate high speeds. In such a large metropolitan area, congestion can become a major concern, and the idea to control the flow of traffic took precedence. Now, individuals and families seek healthier, greener lifestyles that allow them to get around on foot or by bicycle, but the layout and features of the roads might present a safety challenge.
If a negligent driver hit you or a family member on a bicycle and caused serious or fatal injuries, an Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer can help you pursue financial awards for your losses. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today to speak with a member of our team about the details of your case.
For a free legal consultation with a bicycle accidents lawyer serving Atlanta, call 800-761-5225
Establishing Liability in Your Case
As a fault state, Georgia requires that the party that caused the accident pay for the victims’ damages. However, even if the accident was mostly the other driver’s fault, if you failed to follow a law, you might have contributed. As Georgia requires cars to treat bicyclists as other vehicles, bicyclists have an obligation to meet certain legal requirements on the road, including:
- Wearing a helmet if under the age of 16
- Have a white headlight in the front of the bicycle and a red reflector in the back if riding at night, both visible from 300 feet away
- Riding in the bike lane, if available
- In the absence of a bike lane, riding as close to the right side of the road as possible, except when turning left or avoiding obstacles in the road
An Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer can use evidence of your adherence to these bicycle laws to prove the negligence of the driver, which requires meeting four specific criteria in which the driver:
- Had a duty to exercise reasonable care to ensure your safety
- Failed to exercise reasonable care through omission or a willful act
- Caused your injuries as a result of their lack of care
- Caused you to experience significant damages as a result of your injuries
If a vehicle struck you on your bicycle despite the fact that you were following all relevant laws, you could pursue compensation from the driver for your injuries.
Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 800-761-5225
Compensation for Your Injuries
Once you establish the liability of the driver in your bicycle accident case, you may qualify for financial recovery for the injuries you suffered or the loss of your loved one. Types of compensation and award amounts vary based on the specific details of your case, including the extent of injuries, insurance coverage, and whether your attorney can settle your case out of court or must represent you at trial. Financial awards may include payment for:
- Emergency medical care and ongoing healthcare needs
- Lost wages if you lost your ability to work as a result of the accident
- Loss of future wages if you cannot return to work or if you lost a spouse, parent, or other loved one who provided for you financially
- Funeral and burial expenses if a family member suffered fatal injuries
- Pain and suffering for the physical, mental, and emotional distress you suffered after the accident
In order to seek financial recovery for your bicycle accident injuries, the Georgia statute of limitations under Georgia Code section 9-3-33 requires that you file a claim within two years of the accident.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC Can Help You Build Your Case
Dealing with insurance companies and a complex legal system often makes bicycle accident victims feel overwhelmed, and our lawyers understand why you would not want to manage your case alone. We can help by pursuing justice and compensation on your behalf to help you restore your financial stability and get back on the road to recovery.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a bicycle accident in Atlanta, Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you fight for the financial awards you deserve. Call us today at 800-959-1444 to discuss your free case evaluation with our team.