Georgia Bicycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Many people have no idea how prevalent bicycle accidents are each year in the U.S. Over 500,000 cyclists are treated in emergency rooms annually for bicycle related accidents. An additional 700 people per year are killed in bicycling accidents amounting to over 52,000 bicycle accident deaths since 1930. Because a bicyclist has no structural protection if one is involved in an accident, the injuries suffered are often catastrophic including head and neck injuries, traumatic brain injury, spinal chord injuries, paralysis, fractures and broken bones, and even death.
If you or someone you love is seriously injured in a bicycle accident, you should consult a Georgia bicycle accident lawyer immediately so that you preserve evidence and your legal right to pursue a claim for the damages you suffer. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those injured in cycling accidents for over 25 years. We are regularly contacted by injured bicyclists with common questions, such as those provided below.
If I am involved in a bicycle accident, do I have a right to pursue a claim?
A rider who has been injured by the negligence of another person has the right to bring a claim for the damages one suffers. Because of the unique nature of bicycle accidents, a bicycle accident victim should consult a law firm that has experience in bicycle accident cases. It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible so that valuable evidence can be preserved; witnesses can be interviewed while their recollection is fresh; and time limits that determine when a case can be pursued are met.
I was struck by a vehicle when riding my bike and assume I have the same rights as a pedestrian?
A bicyclist is not generally treated like a pedestrian as bicycles are generally treated more like motor vehicles. While there are some specific traffic laws that apply only to bicycles because of their unique nature, cyclists have a responsibility to obey traffic laws and regulations just like a motor vehicle. If you violate a traffic law, such as running a stop sign, you can be at fault for the accident just like a motor vehicle.
Who may I recover against in a bicycle accident lawsuit?
You may recover against any negligent party, which means anyone that did not take reasonable care to avoid injury to another person. This may include any of the following:
- The driver of a motor vehicle including a car, truck, or bus
- A public entity for failure to design or maintain the roadway in a safe condition
- The manufacturer or retailer of the bike or its component parts if a product defect contributed to the accident
- Private property owner if an unsafe condition on the property played a role in the accident
- A repair shop that did not repair the bike properly
Can I be determined to be "at fault" in a bicycling accident?
Because Georgia law treats bicycles basically the same as motor vehicles, you can be found to be at fault, in whole or part, if your negligence, including violation of a traffic safety law, causes or contributes to a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle. The issue of determining fault in a bicycling accident can be complex so you should always consult an experienced Georgia bicycle accident lawyer who will investigate and make an independent determination of fault in the accident. Even if you are partially at fault, you may still be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries (although your fault may reduce the amount of the recovery). An experienced Georgia bicycle accident attorney can advise you on this issue also.
A dog chased me on my bicycle causing me to tip and break my arm. Can I seek legal compensation?
Bicycle accidents resulting from dog attacks are one of the leading causes of bicycle related injuries. Even if the dog does not bite you but simply chases you or tips you over, the dog owner may be liable for your resulting injuries, especially if the owner has knowledge that the dog has a tendency to chase after bicyclists or pedestrians.
Does a helmet make much of a difference in terms of injuries suffered in bicycle accidents?
A helmet often means the difference between fatal injuries and surviving a bicycle accident. 95% of all fatal bicycle accidents in a typical year involve riders who are not wearing helmets.
I was hit by a careless driver with no insurance, am I out of luck?
If you have uninsured motorist insurance on your own automobile insurance policy, you may be compensated for your injuries and property damage from your own insurance carrier. In most cases your rates will not be increased if you were not at fault.
What are common causes of bicycling accidents?
- Failure of a driver to obey traffic signs and signals
- Drivers who do not check their rearview mirror when backing up
- A Driver at an intersection who turns without yielding to cross-traffic
- Failure to allow sufficient room when passing a bicycle
- Dogs not properly controlled by their owner
Bicycle accidents typically involve serious injuries that can mean enormous medical costs and loss of income to a family. If you are involved in a serious bicycling accident in the Atlanta area or throughout the State of Georgia, you should seek immediate legal advice with a free initial consultation from a Georgia bicycle accident attorney at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia including, but not limited to, Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus,Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller and rural towns in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter were you are in Georgia or the Southeast, we are just a phone call away.