Bicycles are a popular way to get around in Georgia for both recreational activities and as a means of transportation. Bikes are convenient, eco-friendly, inexpensive and help people get much-needed exercise. Many people have exchanged their cars for bicycles in the last decade due to rising gas prices and health concerns. With more cyclists on the road, there are more bicycling accidents.
Aside from a bike helmet, cyclists have little protection against drivers and vehicles. Despite the many laws in Georgia that are designed to protect bike riders, bicycling accidents cause significant and severe injuries, including death. The compassionate Georgia personal injury and bicycle accident attorneys at Georgia Trial Attorneys have experience with bicycling accident cases and understand the specific needs our injured clients have while recovering from bike injuries.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) headquartered in Atlanta,
- In 2015 over 1,000 bicyclists died and there were almost 467,000 bicycle-related injuries.
- Fatal and non-fatal bike crash-related injuries to bicyclists resulted in lifetime medical costs and productivity losses of $10 billion.
- Many people suffer with life-long disabilities that continue to impact their daily lives.
- 1 in 8 injured bicyclists suffer a traumatic brain injury, causing severe symptoms that require physical and occupational therapy.
- Adolescents and young adults (15-19 years) and adults over 40 have the highest bicycle death rates.
- Male cyclists face a much higher likelihood of suffering an injury than females.
- Most bicycle deaths occur in urban areas and at non-intersection locations.
Bike accidents cost our country billions of dollars in productivity losses and ongoing medical costs. The financial strains on a family can be immense. In order to get the compensation needed to recover properly, you need an experienced bike accident lawyer on your side.
“Dooring” Bike Crash Accidents
A common cause of bicycle accidents in Georgia is dooring. This occurs when a person in a parked car unintentionally opens a vehicle door in the path of an oncoming bicyclist. This accident happens more frequently than most people realize. Georgia has a law that any occupant of a car should not open the door of a vehicle into traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so. The burden is on the driver to show they used reasonable care when opening a vehicle door. Even though this law is in place, serious accidents still occur.
Even when a dooring accident is the driver’s fault, it is the bicyclist who typically gets injured. Your Georgia personal injury attorney will use evidence to prove liability in your accident.
Georgia Bike Laws
In Georgia, bicycles are classified as vehicles, and traffic laws apply to cyclists unless the law specifies ‘motor vehicles only.” Georgia’s DUI laws apply to people riding bicycles. Cyclists who violate traffic laws are subject to the same penalties as drivers of motor vehicles. Not only does Georgia have a dooring law, Georgia has other laws designed to protect bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers who are involved in a bike accident including:
- Georgia law requires drivers to pass people biking in the street by at least 3 feet.
- Drivers should slow down and wait until it’s safe to pass a bicyclist by at least 3 feet.
- It is illegal for bicyclists to ride on sidewalks.
- Every bicycle used at night must be equipped with a front light.
- Every bike must have a brake so the bicyclist can stop quickly enough to make braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
- No one under the age of 16 years can operate or be a passenger on a bicycle on a highway, bicycle path, bicycle lane, or sidewalk without wearing a bicycle helmet.
- Bicycles are typically prohibited from using controlled-access roadways such as interstate highways.
In addition, there are special bike laws covering electric assisted bicycles with motors.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
Injuries suffered as a result of bicycle accidents can be severe and can change someone’s life forever. You or a loved one may have injuries to the neck or head, experience nerve or spinal cord paralysis, broken bones or lose the use of a limb.
After a loved one has been injured or killed in a bicycle accident, you may feel isolated, confused and lost about what to do next. While there is nothing you can do to bring back a loved one who dies in a bike accident, you can make the right choices to move forward. A Georgia bicycle accident attorney can help you recover damages including:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of companionship
- Other compensable damages
If You Are Hurt In A Bike Accident
Even when you try to obey all traffic laws and bicycling regulations, accidents still happen.
- Call for emergency assistance when the accident occurs.
- Get medical attention for any injuries you or anyone else sustains at the scene of the accident, or that you discover later on. It’s important to get medical treatment even for minor injuries because they can develop into more severe injuries.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with anyone else involved in the bike accident or witnesses to the accident.
- File an incident report with the police or other first responder.
- Take photos of the accident, the people involved in the accident and where the accident occured.
- Inform your insurance company about the accident.
- Contact a skilled personal injury and bicycle accident attorney at Georgia Trial Attorneys.
Contact a Georgia Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one are injured in a bike accident, a personal injury attorney can protect your rights and get you compensation for lost wages, medical bills, future compensation, loss of relationships and companionship, pain and suffering and more. As a Georgia Trial Attorneys client, you can expect to receive dynamic, passionate, and comprehensive representation. Your case will always be handled with personal care and consideration. You are never just a case number to us; you are a client who deserves the utmost respect. Our legal team is always responsive to your questions and concerns and are willing to work with you to achieve a beneficial result for your family.
Call Georgia Trial Attorneys at (678) 667-8965 for a free and confidential consultation today.