In recent years, bike riding has grown in popularity. Some people ride for recreation, others for exercise, or as an alternate means of transportation. This new level of interest multiplies the number of bikes on Georgia roadways, increasing the likelihood of collisions with cars. These accidents can cause debilitating injuries that could prove costly to recover from.
If you have been injured in a bike accident and would like to obtain compensation to help pay with resulting damages, get in touch with a skilled injury attorney. With a Roswell bicycle accident lawyer on your side, your claim for fair compensation has a better chance of succeeding, and you can start to rebuild your life. Call today to get started.
Sharing the Road
Despite the feelings of many motorists, cyclists have just as much right to be on the roadways as cars and trucks. Many drivers wish cyclists would stick to sidewalks. However, the Official Code of Georgia (Georgia Code) § 40-6-144 reserves sidewalks for pedestrians and prohibits bicycle use. Although bike riders may travel on paved shoulders, if available, it is advised that they not remain there. As a result, drivers and cyclists must respect each other’s space and abide by the safe driving rules.
Unfortunately, many drivers fail to appreciate cyclist’s rights. Impatient drivers may engage in risky maneuvering that places your safety in danger, such as speeding up to pass, following too closely, and failing to give sufficient room when passing. These tactics violate the law that requires motor vehicles to give you a wide-berth, at least three feet when passing.
Injured Riders Can Recoup Various Damages
Georgia Code § 51-12-1 allows bike wreck victims to collect economic and noneconomic damages. Out of pocket expenses and other measurable costs fall under the umbrella of economic damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Lost income
- Medical devices (e.g., wheelchairs)
- Retrofitting vehicles and homes
- In-home health aides
- Repair of or new bicycles
On the other hand, noneconomic damages account for damages closely associated with psychological trauma that are not easy to quantify. Victims can be compensated if they suffered the following types of trauma:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
In rare instances, George Code § 51-12-5.1 punishes defendants for particularly egregious behavior by providing punitive damages to victims. An example of irresponsible behavior that may rise to this level is a hit-and-run situation.
Concerns for Defenseless Cyclists
After a collision with a car, you will bear the brunt of the force of the accident. In many instances, the vehicle will survive the crash without any damage, fully capable of driving away. Some drivers may choose to flee the scene because they know you cannot follow them.
Regardless of whether the driver stays to offer aide, or the accident is a hit-and-run, you will need the help of legal counsel familiar with bike accidents to reconstruct the situation, interview witnesses, and review documents. Bike accident attorneys understand how to build a persuasive case that convinces insurance companies or juries or your entitlement to a just recovery.
Role of Contributory Negligence
Victims may recover the costs and suffering associated with these and other potential harms, so long as their actions did not contribute to more than 50 percent of the accident. Under Georgia’s rule of modified comparative negligence, if the cyclist bears 51 percent or more of the blame, they become ineligible to receive damages. Working with a lawyer dedicated to bicycle accident cases can help victims avoid this forfeiture of their rights.
Contact a Roswell Bicycle Accident Attorney for Help
The aftermath of a surviving a road accident with your bike can be frightening and stressful. A respected Roswell bicycle accident lawyer, like those on our team, can ease your fears by putting together a solid strategy designed to obtain compensation commensurate with your pain. We can start down that recovery road today; all you need to do is call.