Although car drivers are required to share the road with cyclists, some do not. Often, negligent drivers use aggressive techniques like speeding up or following too closely. Unfortunately, such acts often have terrible consequences. Luckily, you can sue a negligent driver who injures you while riding a bike in Atlanta, GA.
The NHTSA reports that bicycle crashes have increased by 53% in the Atlanta metropolitan area since 2006. Over the period, there has also been a 26% increase in bicycle accident fatalities. Bike riders have a right to financial compensation for their injuries when negligent drivers cause collisions with bicycles.
The personal injury lawyers at Herro Law help cyclists who have suffered injuries get the compensation they need to rebuild their lives. We are prepared to fight for bikers’ rights and are aware that the rider is all too often given the blame for accidents. Our Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers will not relent in their efforts to defend your rights as a cyclist. Call us at (404) 433-6876 to schedule a free consultation.
What Are Georgia’s Bicycle Laws?
Georgia law regards bicycles as vehicles. This means cyclists must follow the same traffic laws as cars, including obeying set speed limits, stopping at stop signs, and using signals. However, there are a few additional regulations that only apply to bicycles, such as:
- No cycling on the sidewalk
- No riding against the direction of the flow of traffic
- Riders should ride close to the right side
- Arm motions must be used to indicate turns
- More than two bikers cannot ride abreast unless on a bike path or lane
- The bike should carry only the people it can support
- Children under the age of one cannot ride as passengers unless they are safely restrained in a bicycle trailer
- Riders under 16 must wear helmets
- The brakes and rear lights should be working
You should understand that breaching any of these rules can prove that you were riding carelessly. It’s also crucial to remember that bicycles are subject to several regulations that apply to motor vehicles. These are:
- Bicyclists must give way to motorists if there is a bike lane
- A motorist can only pass a bicyclist in the same direction, at least 3 feet when there is a safe distance between the vehicle and the bike
Similar to cycling regulations, breaking these laws might demonstrate a driver’s negligence if the infraction results in an accident.
How Is Fault Determined In Bike Accidents In Georgia
Personal injury cases, especially bicycle accidents, are not always straightforward. Four elements must be present to prove negligence. They include causality, damages, breach of duty, and duty of care:
Since all motor vehicles are responsible for sharing the road responsibly, this is automatically satisfied.
It must be proved that the driver took a course of action that a prudent driver would not have taken, e.g., texting while driving.
The requirement is satisfied if the driver’s actions were the primary reason for the collision. In the case of texting, while driving, the car would have slowed down if the negligent driver had seen you riding your bicycle instead of texting. Such a driver is, therefore, responsible for the accident.
This requirement is easy to satisfy because you are almost certainly suing the negligent driver to recover damages for lost wages and medical expenses. In this case, you must prove that the driver’s negligence led to your damages.
If the other party was mainly to blame, you might be entitled to compensation for your losses or injuries under Georgia’s at-fault state law. This will require you to submit a claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Remember that the negligent driver’s insurance company will only make payments up to the policy limits. In Georgia, this might be as little as $25,000.
The modified comparative negligence rule is also used in Georgia, where you and the other driver are sometimes held accountable for the accident. Luckily, even if you are partly to blame for the accident, you are still entitled to compensation from the at-fault party. However, your share of the blame or the sum of the percentages of guilt must not exceed those of the other party. Typically, your degree of fault will reduce the amount of damages you can recover.
What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?
Knowing what to do right after a bike accident in Atlanta, Georgia, can significantly impact how well you protect your rights. The following checklist can help you retain composure and safeguard important data:
You ought to call the police as soon as you can after the incident. Georgia law mandates that you contact 911 if there are any significant injuries, fatalities, or property damages that total more than $500. However, it’s important to tell the truth when speaking with the police and medical professionals about the accident; remember that any statements you make may be recorded and used against you in court. To put it another way, you shouldn’t feel forced to take the blame for the catastrophe.
Get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, driver’s license, license plate numbers, and information about the type and model of their vehicle and insurance policy. Note the names and phone numbers of the witnesses too.
Record The Scene
Making a record of the incident is a good idea. It can entail taking pictures of your wounds, the state of the roads, and any damage to your bike. Additionally, jot down your memory of the occurrences while they are still recent in your mind. See if you can get any witnesses’ contact information.
Never Admit Fault
It is up to the other driver’s insurance company to assess if you have a claim for property damage or injuries. Despite your emotional or moral responsibility for the accident, you are not legally accountable for it. For this reason, do not admit any fault or accept any initial settlement without the assistance of a reputable Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer.
Seek Medical Attention
Bicycle collisions can be lethal. After a bicycle crash, ensure to get emergency medical attention. There may be medication, examinations, and treatments. Additionally, keep a record of every treatment your doctor has advised.
Call A Car Accident Lawyer!
It isn’t easy to deal with insurance companies after a bike crash. Your recovery from your wounds should be your priority. An Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer will put in a lot of effort to ensure you get the compensation you are due. At Herro Law, we have the skills, compassion, and expertise you need as you embark on this challenging journey. Let our car accident lawyers focus on negotiating your compensation as you concentrate on getting healthier.
What Types Of Damages Can You Recover From A Bicycle Accident Claim?
It makes sense that if you were involved in a bike accident that wasn’t your fault, you might think about filing a lawsuit. You might also be curious about the types of damages you can demand and whether you need a personal injury attorney. Typically, recoverable damages after a bike crash in Georgia are divided into three categories:
Such damages include compensation for monetary losses that may be objectively verified. Examples include past and future medical expenses, missed wages, lost use of property, repair or replacement costs, the economic value of household services, and lost employment or business opportunities
Noneconomic damages compensate you for personal and non-financial losses. They include pain, suffering, irritation, emotional anguish, loss of friends and company, loss of consortium, and diminished quality of life
Punitive damages are levied to deter willful or negligent behavior and behaviors driven by malice. Such damages are neither economic nor noneconomic since they are not granted to compensate for any loss
How Much Time Do I Have To File A Claim?
In Georgia, you must file a lawsuit two years after the accident. You risk getting your case rejected if you miss this statute of limitations. Although two years seems lengthy, obtaining the necessary proof could take weeks or months. Contact our competent Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after sustaining an injury in a bicycle accident.
How Much Will A Bike Accident Lawyer Cost?
Most bicycle accident victims question whether they can afford to employ a personal injury attorney. Accident attorneys at Herro Law work on a contingency fee basis. We won’t get paid unless your case is satisfactorily handled, and we won’t get compensated if we lose. This implies that you are eligible to pursue a bicycle accident case in Atlanta regardless of your financial status. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need legal support for your injury case.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
Most cyclists have never dealt with the judicial system. After an accident, you might not know where to start. Additionally, you’ll have to deal with the opposing party’s insurance provider, which is never as simple as one might assume. You can get help from our Atlanta bicycle accident attorney with the following:
Case Preparation / Filing A Lawsuit
We can help you to figure out whether your claim is legitimate. We will evaluate your case for merit before determining whether or not to pursue it. If your claim is legitimate, we will immediately gather all pertinent data and proof to establish liability and strengthen your case. The process includes getting police reports, finding witnesses, asking to see camera footage, and other things.
We can determine how to negotiate with insurance companies and how much money you should receive depending on the specifics of your case. We will speak with the insurance provider and ensure that your claim is not denied.
Trial Preparation & Representation
We will effectively represent you in court if your matter goes to trial. We will submit proof such as medical records, employment reports, and paperwork, bills, property damage reports, among others, to show the magnitude of your damages.
Contact The Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyers At Herro Law Today
Accidents involving bicycles can be fatal for you and your loved ones. Financial hardship and significant life changes can result from bicycle accidents. You might be entitled to compensation for these outcomes.
The skilled Atlanta bike accident lawyers at Herro Law have helped bicycle accident victims file claims against and obtain compensation from those accountable for their injuries. Our personal injury attorneys have settled some substantial bike accident claims without even going to court, but we have also successfully litigated several of these cases across Georgia. We handle your Atlanta bicycle accident case so you can focus on your life! Call (404) 433-6876 to schedule a free case review.