Key Facts for Georgia Bicycle Accident Victims
With the exception of pedestrians, the risk of suffering serious injury in a collision is greatest for those riding bicycles. Although a helmet can mitigate the risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury, there is little other protective gear available other than knee and elbow pads that offer minimal protection if you are hit by a motor vehicle. Our Atlanta Bicycle Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates have provided some key information for those involved in collisions between a bike and a car.
What if I did not have on reflective clothing or lights when riding my bike at night?
Bicycle accident claims where the rider is not using lights or any form of reflectors can be difficult personal injury cases. However, there are other factors that may make the failure to utilize a light or reflectors less important. For example, our Georgia bicycle accident lawyers typically review the amount of street lighting in the area to determine whether a bike light or reflectors would have made much of a difference. If the street is well lit, the failure to take steps like using a bike light or reflectors may not have been a factor in the bike-car collision.
Can I be arrested for DUI if I am riding a bicycle?
The police can and do arrest bicyclists for using a bike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The merits of this position are debatable. While it is true that it is never a good idea to ride a bike when impaired by an intoxicating substance because of the risk of being injured in a collision with a motor vehicle, bikes present far less of a risk to the occupants of motor vehicles. However, a bicyclist who is intoxicated may seriously injure a pedestrian or force a driver to react in a way that causes a collision. The bottom line is that our Georgia Bike Accident Lawyers urge bicycle enthusiasts never to drink and bike.
What if I am not wearing a bicycle helmet when I am hit by a negligent driver?
The relevance of the fact that a bicyclist is not wearing a helmet when he or she is struck by a motor vehicle will depend on the nature of one’s injuries. If a bike rider suffers injuries to his or her extremities or ribs but no head trauma, the lack of a helmet should not have much, if any, impact on the outcome of a bicycle accident claim. When a bicyclist suffers a traumatic brain injury, concussion, skull fracture or similar type of closed or open head injury, helmet use becomes an important issue. In such a situation, the insurance company for the driver typically will argue that the bicyclist would not have suffered the head injury or that the injury would have been much less severe if the rider had worn a helmet.
What are my rights if I suffer injury because I am “doored” by the driver of a car while riding my bike?
Bicycle accident claims involving drivers who open their doors into bicyclists are very fact specific. While the judge might determine the driver was at fault if the vehicle has been sitting parked with the engine off for a period before the driver flings open the car door, this may not be true in other situations. If the bicyclist saw the car pull over and observed the brake lights but failed to anticipate the driver might be exiting the vehicle, the bicyclist may be determined to be at least partially at fault for the bicycle-car door crash.
Can I still seek financial compensation for my bike accident if there was no police report prepared by a law enforcement officer?
While a police report can simplify the process by providing an immediate investigation of a bicycle accident which identifies key evidence and witnesses, it is not essential to pursue a bicycle accident claim. When a bicycle accident occurs on private property, law enforcement officers generally do not prepare an accident report. The officer also may not immediately realize that anyone suffered injury. Our Atlanta Bicycle Accident Attorneys might determine it is appropriate to use an accident reconstruction expert to conduct an investigation so that we can develop evidence and identify potential witnesses. Our bike crash attorneys also may be able to assist you if the law enforcement officer never got to hear your side of the story because you were taken to the hospital to be treated or were unconscious at the scene of the bicycle crash.
Are there helmet options that eliminate the need carry around this large awkward item when I ride my bike to a destination?
There currently are multiple companies working on more portable bike helmets that combine convenience and safety. Despite the inconvenience of a conventional helmet, the decision to wear a helmet can be a critical factor in determining whether a bike rider struck by a motor vehicle suffers permanent brain damage and/or fatal injuries.
If I do not feel like I suffered any serious injury in a bicycle accident can I wait to see how I feel later rather than seeking medical attention immediately?
Although this is a common practice among many bicycle accident victims, it entails a fair amount of risk. Many serious injuries including head injuries do not immediately manifest significant symptoms. However, bike accident victims who delay seeking diagnostic analysis and prompt medical care may adversely impact their prognosis. The insurance company also may claim that you were not seriously injured and that you now exaggerating the seriousness of your injury.
Montlick & Associates has been protecting the rights of accident victims and getting them the compensation they deserve for over 35 years. If you or someone you love suffers injury or a loved one dies in a bike accident in Georgia, our Georgia bicycle accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.