Johns Creek Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycle Accident Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Johns Creek Injured Victims
A bicycle is a healthy, convenient and reliable mode of transportation used by millions of people nationwide. In Georgia, as in most states, a bicycle is considered a motor vehicle and riders are expected to abide by the motor vehicle laws in most cases. This means that riders are expected to stop at stop signs and to wait for green traffic signals before proceeding (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-20), not to exceed posted speed limits or ride at speeds unsafe for conditions, and to be cautious of pedestrians. In other words, as a rider, you have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. O.C.G.A. § 40-1-1(6). This also includes being subject to arrest for DUI if you ride a bicycle while impaired. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-291. A Johns Creek bicycle accident lawyer can help you understand the laws that can protect you if you sustain an injury.
Because so many bicycles are on the city streets and are encouraged by newly installed bike lanes and specific bicycle traffic signals in some of the larger cities, riders are more exposed to the frustration, recklessness, and negligence of ordinary motorists. Given the lack of protection that a rider has, other than a helmet, about 80% of all bike accidents result in some type of injury.
If you sustained injuries in a collision with a car, consult with a Johns Creek bicycle accident lawyer who can give you the best opportunity to obtain reasonable compensation.
Reduce Your Risk of An Accident
As a rider, you can reduce your risk of being in an accident by adhering to the laws that pertain specifically to bike riders. For example, you are required to notify drivers of your intent to turn or stop using hand signals. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-124; 40-6-125. You may not carry anything that prevents you from using both hands to steer or control your bicycle. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-295. Further, bicyclists, like motorists, may not engage in aggressive or reckless riding that endangers the safety of others, such as purposely cutting off motorists or pedestrians, darting into traffic, or performing other risky and dangerous maneuvers in traffic. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-390; O.C.G.A. § 40-6-397.
Talk to a Johns Creek personal injury lawyer if you were injured and have been deemed at fault. In many cases, a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer can explain through testimony that liability rests with their insured.
Additionally, bicycle riders are required to be on the right side of the road in most cases. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-294(b). If the road is too narrow or the cyclist is able to maintain the same speed as traffic, then the rider can ride within the lane with other vehicles. When passing a cyclist, motorists must give riders at least 3-feet of space when passing. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-56. On narrow roads, riders are permitted to and should consider traveling down the middle but moving off to the side if safe to do so if they are impeding traffic.
When riding at night, Georgia law mandates that you have at least a red reflector on the back, and a white light on the front that is visible for at least 300 feet ahead. If you do not have a red reflector, then you must have a red light on the back, also visible for 300 feet to the rear. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-295.
And lastly, always wear a helmet. Helmet use reduces the risk of a head injury and brain trauma by 70%, according to an Australian study from the University of New South Wales conducted in 2016. Other studies put that figure at 50%, still a significant reduction.
Should you get into a collision with another vehicle and you are found to have failed to signal before turning, traveled through a stop sign or red traffic signal, or were riding faster than what was deemed safe for the existing conditions, then you may be found totally or at least comparatively at fault. Your own degree of fault cannot exceed 49% or you are prohibited from collecting compensation from any other liable party. O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33. In numerous cases, our Johns Creek bicycle accident lawyer team has successfully reduced our client’s negligence level.
Liability of Motorists
The majority of bicycle accidents and injuries involve only the cyclist who lost control of the bike. About 11% of bike accidents are with motor vehicles, and 45% of those take place at intersections. A Johns Creek car accident attorney can also help in any of these circumstances. Accidents with a motor vehicle occur under the following circumstances:
- Driver parks and opens his car door into the path of a passing bicyclist
- Car is too close when passing and side-swipes rider
- Driver ignores the bike lane and moves into it and in front of a bicyclist
- Motorist fails to signal and turns right into the path of approaching rider
- Approaching from opposite directions at an intersection, a car turns left in front of the rider
These are circumstances where the motorist is generally found at fault since you did nothing other than ride in the bike lane or safely enter an intersection.
Damages in Bicycle Accidents
If injured in a collision with a motor vehicle, you can pursue compensation against the defendant’s car insurance liability carrier. If the accident was a hit-and-run or the motorist was uninsured, then you can use the uninsured provision of your own car insurance policy to seek compensation, provided you purchased uninsured coverage (UM). UM is purchased with underinsured coverage (UIM) that can provide you additional compensation.
Typical damages in a bike accident injury case may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future income loss
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct was willful, wanton, fraudulent, or oppressive (punitive damages are not covered by insurance)
If your loved one was killed in the accident, then the decedent’s spouse, children, or parents may file a claim in wrongful death. A separate estate claim may be filed as well.
In a wrongful death action, the following damages may be pursued:
- Income the decedent would have earned over his/her lifetime
- Value of employment benefits
- Lost commissions or bonuses
- The value of daily household chores and activities
- Loss of the decedent’s love, companionship, and guidance as measured from the decedent’s eyes
In an estate claim brought by the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate, damages can include:
- Medical expenses incurred during final care
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Decedent’s pain and suffering if consciously endured before death
- Punitive damages if applicable
Get Skilled Legal Assistance – Call a Johns Creek Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
A bicycle accident claim can include disputed and difficult issues of liability as well as those involving damages. Your Johns Creek bicycle accident lawyer has the resources, experience, and knowledge to handle these claims. Contact Tobin Injury law today at (678) 566-4006 or fill out our convenient online form.