A Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Atlanta is Available to Assist You Today
Bicycling is a growing form of transportation in cities all over the United States. More and more cities are focusing on safe biking solutions so that bicycle riders and motorists can safely coexist.
Even Atlanta is on the list as one of America’s top cities for bicyclists. In 2016, it ranked #43 among Bicycle Magazine’s 50 best bike cities. There’s no denying that the city is making strides when it comes to promoting safe bicycling, but there is still room for improvement.
Now that bicycling has become more popular, it has created some negative effects. One is theft. Theft is very common among bicyclists. Bicyclists are four times more likely than motorists to be a victim of vehicle theft. In fact, research shows that close to 50 percent of cyclists have had their bike stolen at least once. Many have had bikes stolen multiple times.
Bike theft is often unreported, making it easy for the thefts to continue. Even when bikes are locked up, thieves can still steal parts of the bike.
Many people are scared to use bicycles as a mode of transportation due to high levels of theft. They may not feel comfortable stopping at businesses that do not provide safe bike parking.
This is currently an issue at the Atlanta Federal Courthouse. If you look at the amenities offered, you will see there are three bike racks located nearby. The closest one is 200 feet away. There is another one located 460 feet away. Another one can be found more than 600 feet away—a block from the courthouse.
This is not safe. A lack of safe, well-lit parking can detract people from coming to the courthouse. Residents may not be able to attend jury duty due to a lack of adequate bike parking. Those who must show up in court as a party to a lawsuit or a witness may not be able to show up in court on time due to unsafe parking. Nobody wants to emerge from the courthouse and find that their bike—possibly their sole source of transportation—has been stolen.
The courthouse is an important place in Atlanta. Many people have never been there, so they don’t understand the challenges that bike riders who do go there must face. Many people do have to go there to resolve legal disputes. They go there to face judges in court and fight for their rights and freedoms.
Many cities are tailored to cars. While it’s important that motor vehicles have a place to park, bicycles should not be excluded. In fact, bikes are much smaller than cars and creating parking for bikes would be much easier than creating more parking for larger vehicles such as cars.
The courthouse is open to all residents, whether they travel by car, bus or bicycle. Access to the courthouse is a right that we all have, but bike riders struggle when they do not have a way to safely park their bike while they conduct business inside the courthouse.
How To Avoid Collisions On Your Bicycle
Being more visible is always in a bicyclist’s best interest. Add a flashing light or a headlight of the front of the bike and using it during the day will help you be more visible. Wearing bright clothing can also help bicyclists to be more visible. Cyclists should be defensive drivers by anticipating vehicles pulling out in front of them or pulling out to the right of them. Always try to make eye contact with the driver ensuring that you are seen. Be prepared to swerve or stop in the event the driver does not see you.
Protecting Those Injured in Georgia Bike Accidents
Much like motorcycle accidents, collisions involving bicycles can result in catastrophic injuries. The lighter weight, coupled with less overall protection, can lead to severe injuries and expensive medical costs. Other damages, such as loss of income and/or property damage, can be overwhelming and a fatality will have a profound effect on those left behind.
Unfortunately, bike accidents remain far too common in the United States, including in the Atlanta metro area. According to data provided by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, more than two dozen people are killed in bike accidents in the state each year. Many hundreds more sustain debilitating injuries. Nationwide it is estimated that bicycle accidents result in as many as 410,000 emergency room trips annually.
At MG Law, our Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers are committed to aggressively protecting the rights of our clients. We have a deep understanding of Georgia’s motor vehicle laws. Our skilled bike accident lawyer has a proven track record of success, helping victims obtain the highest settlement possible. If you were injured in a bike accident in Atlanta, please contact a member of our law firm today for immediate assistance with your case.
Accidents involving a bicycle and a motor vehicle are commonly the consequence of the inattention of a driver’s failure to give the right of way to a cyclist. There are situations where vehicle accidents are more common. Following some safety tips will help to avoid bicycle and motor vehicle accidents.
Rights for Bicyclists
Bikes do have the same rights as motor vehicles. Because a bicycle is substituted for a car does not change the responsibility of the motor vehicle driver in regard to the right of way for bicyclists. If a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle occurs and happens to involve a child, the courts will hold the adult in the motor vehicle to a higher level of responsibility.
Violated Laws By The Driver
The vehicle driver is usually careless or negligent for failing to yield to the bicyclist’s right of way. People riding bicycles are given the rights to motor vehicles. They also are responsible for the laws that apply to a vehicle driver. Cyclists and vehicle drivers both need to follow traffic laws. Watching for the care of yourself and others on the road is a duty all bicyclists and motorists share.
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents in Atlanta, Georgia
The Right Cross
The Right Cross happens when a vehicle pulls out of an alley, side street, parking lot, or a driveway to the right of the cyclist. The hazardous situation is the cyclist has passed the front of the vehicle causing the vehicle to hit the bike. The vehicle may pull out so far that it blocks the biker’s right of way, giving the slightest chance the bike would have time to stop and avoid colliding into the side of the car.
The Right Hook
The right hook occurs when a bicycle rider is at the front of a cross street and is hit because the vehicle driver did not see the bicyclist as the driver was turning right. Another accident situation occurs when the vehicle driver cuts off the bicyclist when the driver is turning right at an intersection and forgets about the bicyclist, overtaking the bicycle, or by not giving them enough space.
This will cause the cyclist to crash into the side of the vehicle. A bicycle should stay farther on the left side of the lane, causing motor vehicle drivers to pass more consciously. If the bicycle gets cut off, there will be more room to the left to swerve to keep from being hit.
The Rear End
Bicyclists are very concerned about rear-end collisions and the resulting injuries. It is a common collision on the roadway and is the most detrimental type of accident for bicyclists. Rear-end collisions are a leading cause of injuries or deaths to bicyclists. It is critical that the bicyclists take every precaution to be highly visible for this reason.
Choosing the safest routes and the safest time of the day to ride is important. Vehicle drivers should keep a safe distance when passing a bicycle. Traffic laws do require drivers to be mindful and observe the right of way for other vehicles. This includes bicycles.
The Left Cross
The left cross happens when a vehicle is traveling in the opposite way and proceeds to turn left in front of the bicyclist. This will crash the left side of the bike or it will cut off the bicycle altogether. To avoid this situation, bicyclists should stay off the sidewalks intended only for pedestrians. The cyclist should be riding defensively and scanning ahead for potentially dangerous situations.
Common Bike Accident Injuries
When bicycle accidents occur, the effects can be truly devastating. It is no secret that a bicycle offers little to no protection against a car or truck. This is true even when a helmet and other protective gear is worn.
Collisions may lead to broken bones, lacerations, and head trauma, which can result in lifetime suffering. Our experienced Atlanta bicycle accident attorneys have experience handling a wide array of bike accident claims.
Some common examples of bike accident injuries we have seen include:
- Road rash;
- Torn ligaments;
- Torn muscles;
- Broken & fractured bones;
- Facial injuries;
- Broken teeth;
- Head injuries, including concussions;
- Mental trauma;
- Back & neck injuries;
- Severe disfigurement;
- Amputations; and
- Spinal cord damage.
Proving Liability for a Bike Accident in Georgia
For the most part, personal injury claims, including bicycle accident injury claims, are brought under state law. If you were injured in a bike accident in Atlanta, you will be required to bring your legal claim under Georgia’s comparative negligence standard.
In order to hold another party legally liable for your injuries, you must be able to prove that the defendant’s unsafe actions contributed your bike accident.
Many different parties can potentially be held liable for a bike accident in Georgia, including:
- Truck company owners;
- Distributors of faulty products; and
- Other negligence parties.
In addition, multiple parties might even share liability for the same bike accident. This could even include the injured bike accident victim. In shared liability bike accident cases, liability will be split up in direct proportion to each party’s level of fault. Ultimately, a rigorous investigation into the bike accident will be required.
To prove liability, our attorneys are prepared to work aggressively to gather and secure all evidence related to the crash, including:
- Police reports;
- Witness testimony;
- Crash scene photographs;
- Video of the wreck; and
- Any other type of evidence that helps resolve dispute over fault.
Sign the Petition to Bring Safer Bike Parking to Our Community
In Georgia, more often than not you will see people riding their bikes when running errands or going to and from work rather than choosing to drive a vehicle or a motorcycle, which illustrates why we need to bring safer bike parking to our community. This helps people keep a more active lifestyle while saving gas money and it gives them a sense of pride feeling they did their part in preventing air pollution.
Even though the people of GA should be used to sharing the road with bikers, accidents still happen. If a bicyclist is riding in the blind spot of a vehicle it can end in debilitating injuries or even death.
Michael Geoffroy and his team at MG Law love Georgia and the people in it which is why they have taken it upon themselves to make a change for the community. MG Law is asking you, your family, your friends, and your friend’s friends to electronically sign the Bike Parking Petition for Atlanta GA to support safer bike parking at the Atlanta Federal Building & Courthouse.
There are not enough places for people to park their bikes when visiting the Courthouse. Currently, there are a few bike racks available off-site, but still, this is not good enough. Those who visit the courthouse via any form of transportation should have onsite access to safe parking. Next time you drive, ride, or walk past the Richard B. Russell Federal Building & Courthouse, take a look around and you’ll notice something’s missing.
We are looking to gain electronic signatures to support safer bike parking at the Atlanta Federal Courthouse. There are currently several bike racks available off-site, but this is not good enough. Those who visit the courthouse via any form of transportation should have onsite access to safe parking.
Commuting via bicycle is growing steadily in Atlanta. We need to show lawmakers that bicyclists matter just as much as motorists. Please sign the petition to show that you support well-lit, safe, and easy to find parking for bicyclists.
We need as many people as possible to sign the petition so we can get the attention of the courthouse officials. If you ride a bicycle or support those who do, please help us make a difference by signing the petition. We need as many signatures as possible.
Statute of Limitations in Atlanta Bicycle Accident Cases
Under Georgia law (Ga. Code Ann. Sec. 9-3-33), bicycle accident victims generally have two years from the date of the collision to initiate legal action. If you fail to bring a claim before the deadline, your personal injury case is likely to be automatically dismissed. In other words, you will be denied any compensation.
O.C.G.A. § 9-3-99 provides:
The running of the period of limitations with respect to any cause of action in tort that may be brought by the victim of an alleged crime which arises out of the facts and circumstances relating to the commission of such alleged crime committed in this state shall be tolled from the date of the commission of the alleged crime or the act giving rise to such action in tort until the prosecution of such crime or act has become final or otherwise terminated, provided that such time does not exceed six years.
With bicycle accident cases, injured victims should be prepared to take immediate action. Your case requires a comprehensive investigation. An Atlanta bike accident attorney will conduct an investigation, build a case, and ensure that you comply with all filing deadlines and requirements.
Dealing With Insurance Adjusters: How Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you were injured in a bike accident, you should expect to be contacted by the responsible driver’s insurance company relatively shortly after the crash. In fact, in some cases, insurance adjusters try to reach out to bicycle accident victims while they are still hospitalized or otherwise seeking medical attention. It is imperative that injured victims know how to deal with insurance company representatives.
Unfortunately, the insurance company simply cannot be relied on to offer legitimate guidance. Quite the opposite; an insurance adjuster’s sole objective is to look out for the financial interests of their employer.
When dealing with insurance adjusters, bicycle accident victims should keep the following four tips in mind:
- Never admit or accept fault for the bicycle accident;
- Do not agree to give a recorded statement;
- Do not enter immediate, quick settlement negotiations; and
- Do not sign any documents, including a release for your medical records.
The best thing that injured cyclists can do to protect their rights is to work with insurance adjusters directly through a top-rated injury attorney.
At MG Law, our Georgia bicycle accident lawyers have a deep understanding of the tactics used by the big insurers. We will fight for your best interests. Do not make a statement, sign any documents, or initiate settlement talks before consulting with an experienced legal professional. Remember, the insurance company is not on your side.
Our Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyers Demand Justice for Our Clients
Most bicycle accident injury claims are defended by insurance companies. If you or your family member was severely injured in a bike accident, your first step should be to contact an experienced attorney. Your attorney will assess your case and explain your options to you.
Generally, a personal injury case starts with a demand letter. Indeed, a demand letter is a very important step in the personal injury claims process. It will lay out the basic facts of your case, explain what the insurer/defendant must do to resolve the case, and it will state your intention to file a lawsuit if your demands are not met.
Our attorneys will prepare and submit a strong, professionally crafted demand letter on your behalf. This will initiate the process through which we will help our clients seek the full and fair financial compensation that they rightfully deserve.
Injured Cyclists Deserve Fair Compensation
Beyond proving liability for your Atlanta bicycle accident, you will also be required to prove your damages. This is a critically important part of any personal injury claim, and it cannot be overlooked.
Unfortunately, the large insurance companies often attempt to take advantage of victims, pushing them into unfair settlement agreements. Our law firm will protect your legal rights. Don’t put your financial and emotional future at risk by trusting your case to someone who may not be focused on your claim.
When we take on your case, we offer legal representation with unrivaled experience, drawing on a well-established team of experts and advisors to investigate, document, and prove current and future physical, emotional, and economic damages.
This could include money for:
- Bicycle replacement;
- Emergency medical costs;
- All other medical bills;
- Rehabilitation costs;
- Long-term disability;
- Lost income;
- Diminished ability to earn;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional anguish;
- Loss of consortium;
- Disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death damages.
Georgia Wrongful Death Claims: Bicycle Accidents
Did someone in your family die in a collision involving a bicycle? Bike fatalities in Georgia are all too common. While the victim may no longer be able to speak to a lawyer about their wrongful death claim, they can protect the rights and interests of their family and loved ones. Georgia wrongful death lawsuits are deeply complex, and they must be brought under the state’s official wrongful death statute. Under this law, only certain family members of the victim have a legal right to bring the claim.
If your family member was killed in a tragic bicycle accident, you should consult with our Atlanta bike accident lawyers immediately. While we know nothing will ever be able to make up for your loss, we will fight for justice for your loved one and compensation for your family.
Georgia Bicycle Laws
Our law firm has an extensive understanding of all of the traffic laws and bicycle regulations that could potentially impact your personal injury claim. If you were involved in a bike accident, we will review the specific facts of your case along with all relevant laws in order to build the strongest possible legal claim on your behalf.
Some notable examples of Georgia bicycle laws include:
- O.C.G.A. 40-1-1(6) – Clarifies the standard definition of a bicycle
- O.C.G.A 40-6-292 – Clarifies conditions and age restrictions for passengers on bicycles
- O.C.G.A 40-6-293 – Forbids bicyclists and others from attaching to other vehicles while on the road
- O.C.G.A 40-6-294 – Clarifies proper navigation for bicyclists
- O.C.G.A 40-6-295 – Forbids bicyclists from carrying items that prevent keeping one hand on the handlebar at all times
- O.C.G.A 40-6-296 – Clarifies light and reflector requirements, brakes, positioning of handlebars and pedals, helmet protection and proper securing/wearing, clarifies violation limits
- O.C.G.A 40-6-297 – Requires sellers to equip the bicycle with approved pedal reflectors, exempts purchases prior to 1972
- O.C.G.A. 12-3-115 – Authorizes the Georgia Department of Transportation to construct bicycle trails collaborating with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and local governing authorities to determine routes.
- O.C.G.A 36-60-5 – Authorizes the installation of new grates on public roadways. Excludes limited access highways and roads where bicycles are banned.
How Our Atlanta, GA Bike Accident Lawyers Will Protect Your Rights
Bicycle accident injury claims are complicated. To ensure that your rights and interests are protected, it is imperative that you get a top-rated attorney by your side as early on in the claims process as is possible. At MG Law, our Atlanta bike accident attorneys know exactly what needs to be done to get you the full compensation that you are owed.
When we take on your case, our law firm will:
- Thoroughly investigate the bike wreck;
- Ensure that you get the correct medical treatment;
- Secure all evidence related to the crash;
- Obtain full medical documentation of your injuries;
- Take action to hold all negligent parties liable for their misconduct;
- Negotiate with the responsible insurer; and
- If required, initiate personal injury litigation.