Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Bicycling is an eco-friendly way of getting from place to place that is much more economical than a traditional car, on top of being a good form of exercise. For these reasons, cycling has become much more popular as a primary form of transportation and not just recreation. This is especially true in warm climate areas that only experience mild winters, such as Georgia. Sadly, despite this increase in popularity, few drivers really respect bike riders’ right to be on the road. Negligent drivers are often the cause of serious bike accidents, causing severe injuries, and even death.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, then you are in desperate need of some help. Bicycle accidents are never minor, and often leave victims with injuries that could last a lifetime. We at Grant Law Office have spent years working with bike accident victims. We have seen just how devastating these kinds of collisions can be. For the compassionate and dedicated lawyers that you need, call our firm at (404) 995-3955 today.
In Georgia and most other states, bicycles are legally considered a vehicle, albeit not a motor vehicle. Because they are considered vehicles by law, they are governed by the same rules and regulations as motor vehicles. Only when the vehicle code refers exclusively to motor vehicles does it not apply to bicycles. Under Georgia law, bike riders are expected to:
- Wear a helmet if under the age of 16
- Use a headlight and reflection gear when riding at night
- Stay off sidewalks if over the age of 12
- Ride near the rightmost side of the road
- Allow no more than two cyclists to ride “abreast” in a lane, as in side by side
On the other hand, drivers should always give cyclists at least three feet of space when passing, and respect their right to be on the road. Sadly, few drivers do either. This lack of respect can lead to serious injuries on the part of the cyclist. Many drivers are inattentive while on the road, and often fail to yield the right-of-way to bicycles. This is a common cause of crashes, especially "dooring" accidents, in which a driver or passenger in a parked car fails to check for oncoming bike riders before opening a door, causing the cyclist to slam into the door and suffer catastrophic injuries.
Bicycles do not protect their rider as cars protect their drivers in the event of a crash, which is why wearing a proper-fitting helmet is especially important. Due to this fact, many accidents tend to cause catastrophic injuries or even death to the bicyclist. Based on the severity of the crash, cyclists may sustain a variety of injuries, including:
- Head injuries;
- Fractured bones;
- Dislocated bones;
- Brain injuries; and
- Spinal cord injuries.
The severity of the injury often depends on the speed of the motor vehicle, the speed of the bicycle and helmet-use. Because motor-vehicles can travel faster and are so much larger and heavier, cyclists are at great risk of sustaining fatal injuries.
Riding a bicycle is a surprisingly dangerous activity. It is easy for bikes to be tipped or flipped, and if you are on the road with larger vehicles, then there is always the risk for a collision. Bicycle accidents happen in countless ways, and the circumstances usually determine who is liable for the crash. Any of the following can cause a crash:
- A wet road can cause a bike to slip and fall over, especially if the tires are worn;
- A poorly maintained or damaged road could cause a cyclist to ride into a pothole and be ejected from the bike;
- An inattentive driver may hit a bicyclist while they are making a turn; or
- A parked driver may open their door in front of a bicyclist using a bike path.
More often than not, bike accidents are the fault of a negligent driver. Bikes are becoming an increasingly popular way to commute, either to work or to public transportation. But cyclists often find themselves sharing the road with distracted drivers. Sadly, the cyclists will always lose when it comes to collisions between a bike and a car.
When a bike accident is caused by an inattentive driver, the cyclist will always be left in worse condition. Cars are large, often weighing around 5,000 pounds, with strong metal walls, airbags, seatbelts, and crumple zones to protect the passengers within. On the other hand, a bike is completely open to the road, and doesn’t come with any seatbelts or airbags. In fact, the only safety equipment a cyclist has is protective clothing, such as a helmet or elbow pads.
If cyclists do not wear this safety gear, which is their right under the law, then they are at the mercy of the drivers around them. This is a particular problem in areas with no biking lanes, intersections, and left turns. All are common places for accidents. Bikes are smaller and quieter than cars, which means that negligent drivers could very easily miss seeing a cyclist during a merge or turn. Some drivers may not even notice that they came into contact with a cyclist and leave the scene without getting the cyclist help, which would be considered an illegal hit-and-run.
Since bicyclists are so much more at risk than drivers, it is the drivers’ responsibility to look out for people on bikes. Sadly, many drivers don’t do this, which means that cyclists are forced to be incredibly wary while on the road. Otherwise, they may suffer catastrophic injuries. If you have been injured by a negligent driver, then you are within your rights to file a claim and receive proper compensation. Doing so, however, will require the help of a skilled attorney.
At Grant Law Office, our skilled attorneys understand how difficult suffering an injury can be, especially when someone else is at-fault. Drivers should always be respectful of your right to share the road, but very few actually are. If you have suffered an injury due to a bike accident that wasn’t your fault, then you deserve compensation. Contact one of our Atlanta personal injury lawyers today at (404) 995-3955 to learn more about getting the compensation you deserve.
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- Bicyclists - NHTSA
Contact us today for a free and comprehensive case evaluation.
We require no legal retainer or upfront fees,
and you pay nothing unless we prevail.
Phone: (404) 995-3955
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