Many people rely on bicycles to get to work and other places. That is why they are considered to be very important by a large number. However, like any means of transportation, bicycles also do get involved in accidents. Some of these accidents can be minor cases, while others can turn out to be very serious, especially when it involves a bicycle being struck by a speeding vehicle.
Such cases are not new to us. Our law firm has dealt with such cases so many times, and we have strategized on how to win such cases. Calvin Smith Law will be glad to work with you as your dedicated injury lawyers in Atlanta as we help you get the justice you deserve. Furthermore, we also work hand in hand with the authorities to help gather more facts and evidence. Besides handling legal matters, we also make sure that you get a reliable medical treatment as well as billing procedures. Therefore, if you are involved in a bicycle accident, contact us today, and we will guide you on what to do.
What Is The Main Cause Of Accidents Involving Bicycles In Albany?
Those who ride their bicycles around Albany, Georgia are protected by the city law. The law requires motorists to maintain a certain distance when driving their cars. To be more specific, drivers are required to keep a distance of about 3 feet away from the bicycle. Furthermore, motorists are not allowed to drive on lanes specifically reserved for cycling. Below are major causes of bicycles accidents in this region:
- Ignoring traffic rules and not giving way to bike riders
- Drivers fail to see oncoming bicycles.
- Drivers driving on bicycle lanes.
- Driving while drunk.
- Opening of car doors without checking the side mirrors for oncoming bike riders
Those who ride their bicycles in Albany are allowed by the law to enjoy cycling without wearing a helmet. However, it is still advisable that you put on this protective gear when riding your bike on the road. That is because a helmet can save you from serious head injuries in case you get involved in an accident. Moreover, besides wearing a helmet, bike riders have less protective gear, which is why they are at a high risk of getting serious injuries.
What Common Injuries Do Bike Riders Experience?
Bike riders are always careful when riding their bikes on the road full of motorists. However, one thing for sure is that not all drivers are careful when driving on the road. Because of this reason, most of them end up causing accidents that leave bike riders with serious injuries. When accidents occur, most drivers either fail to stop, and others even fail to accept their wrongdoing and claim that they never saw the bike rider.
Bicycle accidents can end up causing serious injuries to your body. Moreover, they can also lead to permanent disability, which means you will no longer be able to ride your bike again. Here are some of the common injuries reported by bike riders.
- Spinal damage
- Brain damage
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Muscles strains
- Soft tissue injuries
Most bike riders who get involved in an accident end up sustaining serious injuries. That is why it is necessary for bike riders to put on protective gear such as a helmet when riding along a busy road. Bike riders have less protective gear, which is why they are required to be extra careful.
What The Law States About Dooring Accident
The law requires motorists to check their side mirrors and be careful when opening the car doors. This is indicated in the code section 40-6-243 of Georgia.
Drivers are not allowed to open their car doors when driving along a busy road. But, if necessary, then the drivers can open the door only when the road is clear of moving vehicles. Besides opening the car door, drivers are also required to keep all the doors closed at all times when on the road. This helps to prevent dooring accidents.
When it comes to dealing with bicycle accident cases, bike riders are required to convince the jury that the driver is to blame for the accident and for injuries sustained by the bike rider. Moreover, if the driver is found guilty of not complying with traffic rules, then he or she can be judged for negligence and be ordered to give compensation to the affected party. Moreover, with the help of a bicycle accident lawyer, drivers can be held responsible for their actions and help cover any medical bills as well as other losses.
What Should One Do After Being Involved In A Bicycle Accident?
What you do after being involved in a bicycle accident determines how your case will be. Therefore, it is vital that you do the following after the accident has taken place.
- The first thing that you need to do is stay on the scene of the accident. If you have not sustained serious injuries, then it is important that you talk to the traffic police before leaving the scene of the accident.
- Do not try to solve the matter by negotiating with the drivers. That is because most drivers do not accept their mistakes and leave the matter to the insurance provider. That is why bike riders are advised to wait for authorities to arrive at the scene.
- Collect contact details of any eyewitness who are nearby.
- Record a video or take photos of the bicycle, injuries sustained, and the vehicle involved in the accident.
Are Bike Riders Allowed To Ride Their Bikes On Sidewalks?
Bike riders are not allowed to ride their bicycles on sidewalks. According to the law, bicycles can only be ridden on the street. There are also lanes that are specifically reserved for bike riding. However, young riders have exceptions for riding their bikes on different road sections. Moreover, children under the age of 12 years are given the priority of riding on sidewalks.
Can Bicycles Cover A Full Traffic Lane?
The state laws allow bikers to ride the bikes on the right side of the road. This makes it easy for motorists to use the rest of the road without interfering with the bike riders. However, sometimes bike riders are forced to ride in the middle on the road because of various circumstances. Here are other scenarios where bike riders are forced to ride their bikes on other lanes:
- When the bike rider wants to make a left turn.
- When the biker tries to avoid hitting over obstacles such as debris and drain gates
- When overtaking a slow-moving vehicle
- When riding at the same pace as the rest of the motorists
- When the road or lane is not big enough to accommodate both vehicles and bicycles
- When there is only a single lane allowing motorists to take a right turn, while the bicycle is heading straight towards an intersection
Which Scenarios Should Drivers Give Way To Bike Riders And Vice Versa?
Drivers should always give way to bikers who are riding their bicycles on lanes reserved for cycling. If the road being used by both drivers and bikers does not have a dedicated lane, then the drivers should maintain a safe distance when driving so that that car does not end up knocking down the bike rider. Motorists should maintain a distance of at least three feet when sharing the road with bike riders. If a bicycle is involved in an accident, then you will need the help of Calvin Smith law firm to help you with your case.
After A Bicycle Accident, Can A Bike Rider Be Compensated For Damages Sustained?
Accidents that involved both a bicycle and a vehicle can be solved without having to go to court. However, sometimes goth parties fail to agree on a settlement, and because of this reason, the matter is left for the jury to decide. The court takes the role of determining how much compensation is given to the victim. Moreover, if the court rules in favor of the bike rider, then he or she can expect compensation for the losses sustained, including the following:
Money used for treatment and other medical bills is compensated in the form of financial damages. Besides medical bills, financial damages also overs the cost of hospitalization, an ambulance ride, x-ray sessions, ER visits, post-treatment care, prescription medication as well as surgery. Below are other expenses covered by financial damages:
- Cost of therapy sessions and rehabilitation services.
- Cost of seeking treatment on injuries sustained and any other anticipated treatment that is required
- Cost of purchasing medical devices such as wheelchairs and artificial limbs
- Lost wages for not attending work due to injuries sustained and recovery period
- Lack of income for sustaining permanent disability, making it impossible for you to go back to work.
Non- financial damages usually cover both your mental and physical illnesses such as:
- Scars and Disfigurement
- Loss of consortium.
- Non-financial damages also apply to other cases that involve punitive damages.
What happens in a scenario where the driver hits a bike rider and speeds off instead of stopping?
If a vehicle hits you while riding your bicycle and speeds off, this referred to as a hit and run accident. If you are involved in a hit and run accident, the first thing that you should do is stay calm. Staying calm will help you relax before the authorities arrive at the scene.
After that, the next thing you are required to do is gather more information on what has taken place. Make sure you record important details such as the make, color, and type of vehicle that caused the accident. This information is vital since it will help with your case.
In the state of Georgia, hit and run is regarded as a serious criminal offense. That is why it is advisable that you report such a matter to the authorities. Moreover, you can also get in touch with the Calvin Smith Law firm to help you with your case.
What Do I Do If A Road Hazard Caused The Bicycle Accident?
You also need to beware of the fact that bike riders who are involved in accidents qualify for compensation if the accident was as a result of violation or negligence of the state authorities. If you sustained injuries on a private premise, then the owner of the premise will be held responsible.
Here are examples of such scenarios:
- Drainage system left exposed
- If the traffic signs cannot be seen because of growing plants
- Nonfunctional lights
Bike riders are advised to collect all the necessary information so that it can be easy to build their case. That means, take photos of the accident, collect contact details of eyewitnesses and record a video if possible. If the accident occurred in front of a business organization, you can try and seek additional details from those who have witnessed the accident. By doing this, it will be easy for your legal representative to come up with a strong case.
Which Other Cases Of Negligence Can Cause Bicycle Accidents?
Sometime bike riders may fail to comply with traffic rules, but that is not an excuse for motorists to cause an accident. If a driver causes an accident because of a bike riders’ fault, then the driver can be held responsible if he or she had an opportunity to avoid the accident.
In other bike accident-related cases, bike riders sustain injuries and damages caused by bus drivers, vehicles, and trucks. When this happens, it is important to seek legal help so that it can be easy to determine whether the accident occurred as a result of the driver’s negligence or not.
Driving When Not Fit Or Under The Influence
There are various medical conditions that are known to affect a driver’s judgment. Other factors that cause drivers to make a poor judgment when driving is the use of drugs. According to the State law section 40-6-391, a driver can be judged for operating on the road under the influence of drugs.
All drivers are required not to exceed the blood alcohol percentage, which is .08. However, if a driver’s alcohol percentage exceeds this limit, then he or she is considered to be driving under the influence.
Not Paying Attention To Traffic Laws
Section 40-6-291 of Georgia law states that bicycles are also considered to be cars one they are on the road. Because of this reason, motorists are required to keep a safe distance when using the same road with bikers. Furthermore, trucks, buses, and vehicles are not allowed to use the same lane with bicycles since they accelerate much faster and cannot be overtaken by bikers.
Distracted driving occurs when the driver is not paying attention to the road and other road users. Moreover, there are various factors that lead to distracted driving, such as the use of cell phones, using the navigation system, and losing focus while driving.
Even though these causes are considered to be legal by the State law, that does not mean that a driver cannot be held responsible for causing an accident. Therefore, drivers are required to be extra careful not to be distracted while driving.
Can A Car Policy Cover Me If I Sustain Injuries As A Result Of A Bicycle Accident?
If you are involved in a bicycle accident and sustain injuries as a result of another driver’s negligence, then you can follow up on the matter and seek compensation from the insurance provider. Moreover, you can take advantage of the uninsured car policy if the matter was a hit and run accident.
You also need to understand that insurance providers only comply with cases that favor them. Therefore, do not rush to negotiate with the driver who is responsible for causing the accident. That is because they will contact their insurance provider and leave the matter for them to follow up. However, with the help of a legal representative, you will be able to get compensation for your loss.
Can My Insurance Policy Cover A Bicycle Accident If The Driver Responsible Is Not Insured?
You can file for uninsured or underinsured motorist claim if you have an uninsured or underinsured car cover. That is because of the fact that your bike was covered as a vehicle when the accident occurred.
According to the State of Georgia, uninsured or underinsured coverage is not a must for one to have. But you are required to have a liability cover. The liability cover implies the fact that other entities are covered and that you are held liable. Therefore, it is advisable that you get underinsured or uninsured coverage so that you can be covered by other motorists.
Can One Press Charges On Behalf Of A Loved One Who Is Involved In Bicycle Accident?
In case one loses his or her life as a result of a bicycle accident, a family member has the right to sue the person responsible on behalf of the deceased. You might not be able to bring back your loved one, but you can seek compensation for their loss. The State of Georgia allows one to claim future finances on behalf of the deceased. The compensation claim usually covers any medical bills that are involved as well as future wages that might have been awarded to the deceased. With the help of a legal representative, you can as well seek compensation for any other accumulated bills caused by the party responsible.
Contact an Albany Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love is involved in a bicycle accident, it is advisable that you reach out to our firm so that we can offer you legal assistance. Furthermore, we also offer free consultation services to our customers. Call us today, and we will be glad to answer all your questions related to a bicycle accident.