Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

All too often in Atlanta, careful bicyclists are involved in bicycle accidents due to the negligence of a motor vehicle driver. There is little in terms of safety equipment on a bicycle to protect a rider during an accident; there are no seatbelts, no airbags, and no walls to shield the bicyclist during an impact. Since bicyclists are substantially more vulnerable to harm than the occupant of vehicle, bicyclists often suffer significant injuries when they are hit by a negligent driver of a motor vehicle. Anyone who has been injured in a bicycle accident needs to speak to an experienced Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible about his or her particular situation, injuries, and how to obtain financial compensation.

Do Motor Vehicle Drivers Have Legal Obligations to Bicyclists?

Any bicycle accident attorney in Atlanta can tell you that motor vehicle drivers owe a legal duty of care to bicyclists. To say this another way, motor vehicle drivers have legal obligations when it comes to how they treat the bicyclist who share the roads with them. When motor vehicle drivers act negligently and do not provide bicyclists with the respect that they deserve, bicyclists are the ones who get injured and their personal injuries are often severe.

keep-calm-and-shhhhhThe period immediately following an accident often sets the tone for the insurance claim process.  Though the claims adjuster representing the other party’s insurance company may seem friendly, their primary concern is saving their company money while protecting the individual they insure.  During the claims process the adjuster can use your statements, actions, and behavior against you making it difficult to receive compensation.  Being aware of what not to say after an accident may reduce your chances of doing something that compromises your case.

Avoid Apologizing for the Accident

Immediately following a vehicle accident it is not unusual for drivers to apologize to the owner of the other vehicle.  Even if the other driver is at fault, it is considered common courtesy apologize especially when speaking to someone who is physically injured.  Unfortunately, telling the other driver or the individuals occupying their vehicle that you are sorry may be construed as an admission of fault.  While you will need to talk to the other party in order to exchange insurance information and other details, do not apologize for the accident even if you secretly believe that you were partly responsible.

As the warm weather is approaching, we tend to spend more time enjoying the outdoors.  The sun starts to shine and we come out from the depths of winter like bears that have been hibernating.  Local traveling in the car goes from driving with the heat blasting and seat warmers on to opened windows so you can take in the fresh air.  Many opt for walking or biking this time of year.  So what are the rules of the road when pedestrians and cyclists are involved?

In Georgia, as in most states, the bicycle is legally a “vehicle”.  The “vehicle” classification means that general vehicular traffic law applies to bicycles and the operation of a bicycle.  We often see bicyclists traveling on sidewalks through the city streets.  According to Section 40-6-144 of the Georgia Code, “No person shall drive any vehicle upon a sidewalk or sidewalk area except upon a permanent or duly authorized driveway”. Excluding multi-use paths, sidewalks are designed for pedestrian travel. Use by cyclists can raise safety issues in the interaction between pedestrians and bicyclists, and also for vehicles entering/exiting access point along the roadway where motorists may not be anticipating a cyclist to be present.

All bicyclists should wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash.  Bicyclists are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.

Its that time of the year again when more and more people are riding bicycles for health reasons and also due to ecological and economical reasons. Regardless of the reasons bicycles must share the road with cars and trucks.

There are 2 views about bicyclist usage of the roadway.  There are those who understand that the bicyclist has the right to be on the roadway, and there are others who resent the bicyclist and think they are in the way and slowing them down.  There are also different opinions between those using a bicycle for necessary transportation and those using the bicycle with a group of people for exercise.

Unfortunately, when a bicyclist is hit by a car, there are usually significant injuries involved, if not fatalities.  There was an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution back in Oct. 2010 about a crash involving an SUV and a group of cyclists near Augusta.  This crash led to the opinions of people who use the road for exercise and others who use their bikes as a means of transportation.  Some people liken those who ride their bicycles for exercise to a “motorcycle gang.”

Believe it or not, bicycle accidents account for two percent of all traffic fatalities as well as two percent of all people injured in auto accidents. 662 riders were killed in bicycle accidents and an additional 48,000 were injured in the year 2002. Since 1932, approximately 47,000 riders have died in accidents in the United States.

The majority of bicycle accidents occur because an automobile driver is distracted or drives irresponsibly around a cyclist. This comes despite most cyclists taking safety precautions to prevent an accident from occurring. In also does not take much time to realize that in a bicycle accident, the cyclist normally takes the brunt of the damage. Thanks to a lack of public support and a bias from law enforcement officers, it is extremely hard to determine the cause of the majority of bicycle accidents.

Cyclists that are injured in bicycle accidents can sustain severe and permanent injuries. They can also sustain horrible financial loses, which can affect their lives as well as their families’ lives. The law does provide an injured person the right to try to recover damages if another person is responsible for their injury. Damages include: lost wages, funeral expenses, medical expenses, pain and suffering, among other things. If a cyclist is killed, the spouse is entitled to attempt to recover damages from the offending party. Monetary compensation cannot bring a loved one back but it can ease the financial suffering that the accident caused.