Bicycle accidents can result in serious injuries and even death. According to experts, a total of 843 bicyclists were killed in collisions with motor vehicles in 2019. This represents 2% of all motor vehicle crash deaths. For those that are injured, recovering can involve long-term medical treatment, missing a significant amount of time from work, and severe emotional trauma.
At Ahmad Injury Law, we understand how difficult the recovery process can be. Our attorneys work tirelessly on behalf of our clients to help them receive the compensation that they deserve. Whether that means aggressively pursuing a settlement with the insurance company or pursuing your claim all the way to trial, we have the expertise and resources to maximize your claim. Contact Ahmad Injury Law today for a FREE consultation.
Georgia’s Rules of the Road
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated Title 40, Chapter 6 sets forth Georgia’s Uniform Rules of the Road. These laws provide important rules to protect cyclists from motor vehicles. Some important rules that apply to cyclists include:
- Cyclists are required to ride with the flow of traffic
- Cyclists cannot ride more than 2 bicycles side-by-side
- Cyclists are required to remain as far to the right of the roadway as possible
- Cyclists cannot ride their bicycles while intoxicated
- Cyclists must keep at least 1 hand on the handgrips at all times
- Cyclists must use proper hand signals when turning or stopping
- Cyclists under the age of 16 must wear a helmet at all times
Some Common Injuries in Bicycle Accident Cases
When a bicycle is struck by a motor vehicle the cyclist tends to suffer more serious injuries than someone struck while driving a car. This is due to the cyclist being unprotected and a higher likelihood of his head striking the ground. Some common bicycle accident injuries can include:
- Soft tissue injuries. Some common soft tissue injuries include cuts, scrapes, bruises, and abrasions. These injuries can range from relatively minor to severe, such as significant road rash.
- Broken bones. Broken bones are common injuries in any motor vehicle accident. Again, since the cyclist has less protection, he is more susceptible to serious injuries like a broken bone.
- Spinal cord injuries. All spinal cord injuries tend to be severe and can result in lifelong complications. Serious spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis or even death.
- Traumatic brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury tends to result in permanent damage to the brain. This can result in a permanent disability, paralysis, or death. Adult cyclists often do not wear helmets and have a high risk of suffering a severe brain injury.
Recovering Damages in Georgia Bicycle Accident Cases
If you are injured in a bicycle accident in Georgia, you have the option of filing a claim with the driver’s insurance company or filing a lawsuit. If you file a lawsuit, your lawsuit must be filed within 2 years from the date of the accident to receive compensation for your injuries. This deadline is known as the Georgia statute of limitations. If you fail to file your lawsuit by the deadline you will likely forfeit the right to recover damages for your injuries.
Georgia does not have a cap on economic or non-economic damages. This means that there is no limit to the amount of money you can recover. The state did have a cap previously, but it was determined to be unconstitutional.
Economic damages are objective and documented. You can easily prove them with receipts and copies of bills. Some examples of economic damages include:
- Medical Expenses. These expenses include things like doctor visits, copays, hospital bills, physical therapy or chiropractic care, and medication. They can also include the costs of future and ongoing medical treatment.
- Lost wages. If you were forced to miss time from work while you recovered from your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. To prove lost wages, you could provide copies of your paystubs to show how much you are normally paid.
- Lost earning capacity. If you are unable to return to the job you had before the accident or unable to work at all, you may be entitled to compensation for the reduction in your earning capacity.
- Lost benefits. You may be entitled to compensation for lost vacation or sick time or other paid time off.
- Property damage. Property damages include the costs of repairing personal property. While most bicycle accident cases do not often involve significant property damages, this category includes expenses such as the costs of repairing or replacing your bicycle.
Non-economic damages are subjective and not easily established. They are typically determined by a judge or jury. Some common examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and loss of consortium. Establishing the extent of your non-economic damages can be difficult and complex. It is often necessary to retain a medical expert to demonstrate the extent of your suffering to a judge or jury. An experienced Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer can help you determine and prove the amount of your non-economic damages.
Can Cyclists be at Fault for an Accident?
It is a common misconception that cyclists are never at fault when they are struck by a motor vehicle. Georgia law treats cyclists the same as it does operators of motor vehicles. So, you can be found to be at fault in whole or in part for the accident. For example, you may violate traffic laws that result in a collision with the vehicle.
Determining fault in a bicycle accident case can be complex. An experienced Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer can help make a fault determination in your case and advocate on your behalf to the insurance company or court.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you or someone that you know has been injured in a bicycle accident in Georgia, contact the experienced Atlanta accident attorneys of Ahmad Injury Law at 404-574-5217 to discuss your rights and options. We offer FREE consultations and our compassionate and capable staff will assist you every step of the way.