Riding a bicycle on the roads and streets of Alpharetta can be a risky activity. State traffic laws require the operators of motor vehicles to treat bicyclists the same as any other traveler on the road. If a motor vehicle driver, fails to follow the rules of the road, they could cause an accident. The resulting accidents can have catastrophic consequences. Even a relatively minor crash could land a person in the hospital. More serious incidents could result in life-threatening injuries that affect every portion of a person’s future.
If you or a loved one were injured due to a negligent actions of another, an Alpharetta bicycle accident lawyer could help you recover compensation for damages. A dedicated personal injury attorney could explain your rights while on the road, gather evidence, speak to witnesses, and demand proper compensation from the at-fault party. Let a skilled lawyer help you seek the compensation you need.
Georgia is among the U.S. states that consider bicycles legal vehicles. According to Georgia Code § 40-1-1, bikes are defined as all two-wheeled vehicles requiring human power to propel. Wheels must be in tandem and at least 13 or more inches in diameter for the definition to apply. Bike riders must subsequently follow assorted bicycle laws, such as no one under 12 years old allowed to ride on pedestrian sidewalks. Cyclists can ride on paved shoulders as per § 40-6-291; however, attorneys emphasize that it is not required.
Drivers are prohibited from engaging in aggressive driving meant to harass, injure, or intimidate bike riders. They must also refrain from reckless driving that increases the risk of cyclist injuries, or obstruct any street, sidewalk, highway, or other “public passages” unless they are legally allowed to do so. To help maintain safe distances between drivers and bike riders in Georgia, the state created the Three Foot Passing Law. According to § 40-6-56, drivers must maintain at least 3 feet of distance between themselves and cyclists riding in the same direction when overtaking and passing. They must stay at least 3 feet away until they have safely passed the bike riders. Drivers who do not follow this law and injure cyclists face legal action from the riders’ attorneys.
Bike riders and passengers must wear helmets if they are under age 16. § 40-6-296 also states that nighttime riding requires lights affixed at the front of bicycles. They must emit white lights visible from 300 feet away. There must also be a light on the back of the bike that emits a red light visible from the same amount of feet. Bikes with red reflectors on the back that are approved by the Department of Public Safety do not require lights.
Many cities and towns have taken great strides to encourage people to travel on bicycles and to provide protection to those bikers. The creation of bike lanes now gives bicyclists a dedicated traveling area. Additionally, traffic laws state that motor vehicle drivers must take the same steps to avoid collisions with bicycles as they do for any other vehicle. This includes yielding when appropriate, checking blind spots before changing lanes, and signaling turns.
Bike riders must also follow these traffic laws. A bike rider who ignores a stop sign, who tailgates, or who does not signal a turn may share blame for a collision. According to the Official Code of Georgia §51-12-33, the courts must evaluate all accident cases due to the modified comparative negligence rule. This means that if a plaintiff is more than 50 percent at fault for an accident, they may be unable to recover compensation for damages. Additionally, if the plaintiff is less than 49 percent at fault, they may be eligible to recover compensation from the defendant. The injured claimant’s award will be reduced by their share of fault for the accident.
A seasoned Alpharetta bicycle accident lawyer could work to gather the evidence needed to prove that the defendant’s reckless actions is the direct cause of the plaintiff’s damages and injuries.
A bicycle accident could have a devastating effect on an injured individual and their family. The collision may inflict severe injuries that can take months or years to fully heal. Injured bicyclists could sustain serious injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and spinal cord damage. Many of these injuries are often permanent and may require consistent treatment for the rest of a person’s life.
However, a physical injury is not the only form of loss that a plaintiff may experience. Most physical injuries come with some level of pain and suffering. Additionally, the victim may suffer from emotional trauma or mental anguish. A bike crash attorney could help to measure these less tangible losses to demand proper compensation.
Additionally, even relatively minor injuries affect a person’s finances. If a plaintiff misses time at work to seek medical treatment or to make a recovery, the defendant may be liable to provide reimbursement. Injured claimants may also be eligible to recover compensation for lost earning capacity, rehabilitation, and surgical procedures. An Alpharetta bicycle accident lawyer could work to demand and collect the payments needed to set things right.
We understand that learning safety early on can help to ensure a lifetime of safe bicycle riding. That is why we created this helpful guide for you to understand the key points to teach your child before they learn how to ride a bicycle.
Those who have been injured in a bicycle crash due to the negligent actions of others have the right to seek compensation for their losses, including medical bills, emotional trauma, and lost wages. Working with an Alpharetta bicycle accident attorney could improve your chances of success.
Call today to schedule a consultation.