Helping Victims of Bike Accidents Find Justice for Their Injuries
Bicycling is a popular way to get around many different cities in Georgia. Different parts of Atlanta have public bike rental services, tourists in Savannah enjoy taking two wheels instead of four to see the historic sites, and experienced bicyclists embrace the challenge of the North Georgia mountains.
As fun and efficient as bike riding is, accidents do happen. Riders may dart out into traffic. Drivers may not see bicyclists who are using the roadway legally. The manufacturer may not have constructed the bicycle properly. No matter the cause, if you are injured while riding your bike due to someone else’s actions or negligence, you may have the legal right to compensation.
You also have the legal right to represent yourself in your lawsuit. This may seem like a good idea, since your case may seem pretty cut-and-dried. Unfortunately, even the most simple-seeming case can be complicated. Just filing paperwork incorrectly can lead to your case being dismissed.
That’s why it’s so important to speak with a qualified Georgia bicycle accident lawyer if you’ve been injured. An experienced attorney can evaluate the details of your case and make sure the legal process goes as smoothly as possible. Contact LawyerUp today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with a lawyer.
Georgia Bicycle Laws
Georgia has a variety of laws related to bicycles and their riders. First and foremost, a bicycle is considered a vehicle. That means riders must obey all traffic laws, including street signage, yielding right of way, and more. However, bicyclists are forbidden to ride on highways and other high-speed roadways where only motor vehicles are expressly allowed. They are also not allowed to ride on sidewalks, unless the rider is 12 years old or younger.
Motor vehicle drivers are required to yield to bicyclists on the road. In addition, they must leave at least three feet between themselves and the bicyclist if they wish to pass a bicycle heading in the same direction. Bicyclists must stay as far to the right as possible on the road unless they are turning left, avoiding a hazard, riding at the same speed as traffic, or unless the road is too narrow to share with a car.
When riding at night, bicyclists are required to have lights attached to their vehicle. Riders under 16 years old who are riding on public land are also required to wear a helmet. There are a few other laws regarding bicyclists in Georgia, but these are some of the most important.
Common Injuries After a Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accidents can happen for any number of reasons. A rider may lose their balance and fall, or they may be riding too fast and hit a hazard in the road. However, the most severe injuries most often happen after being involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. Most injuries happen in the upper and lower extremities, such as road rash, broken bones and joint injuries.
However, in collisions with motor vehicles, injuries to the head, neck, and spine are common. These may result in permanent disfigurement, paralysis, and other lifelong complications. In the most severe cases, they may also result in death. Head injuries, in particular, are dangerous. About 60 percent of all fatalities related to bicycle accidents occur because of head injuries. These injuries are also the result of the majority of disabilities.
Though they are not legally required for adult riders in Georgia, helmets prevent, or at least lessen the effect of, most head injuries. However, just as important is wearing the helmet correctly. Other safety equipment, such as gloves, eye protection, padded shorts, and proper shoes can help lessen the effect of an accident. In addition, wearing reflective clothing can make riders more visible to motor vehicle drivers.
How a Georgia Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you determine if you have a case and, if so, who is to be held responsible for your injuries. They may also help you determine if share too much of the burden of negligence to receive compensation.
Georgia follows a comparative negligence statute. If you are found 50% or more at fault for your injuries, you cannot receive compensation. However, if you are found under 50% at fault for your injuries, your compensation will be lessened by the amount you are found at fault.
Negligence and injury laws can be quite complicated. That’s why it’s so important to speak with a Georgia bicycle accident lawyer if you’ve been injured. Contact LawyerUp today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced attorney today.