Bicyclists have a tough time staying safe and out of harm’s way even when they are following all the rules of the road and paying careful attention to the drivers around them. Texting and driving, speeding, drunk driving, and failing to yield the right of way are all bad driver habits that endanger vulnerable bicyclists. One bicyclist has died in Gwinnett County every year since 2013. If you or a loved one was recently injured in a bicycle accident, call the Georgia bicycle accident lawyers at Dermer Appel Ruder. We can help you understand your rights and seek compensation for your damages.
Unfortunately, Georgia is number 22 on the list of the deadliest states for bicyclists, with 1.7 deaths per million residents annually (an average of 16 fatalities per year). In 2015 (the most recent year data is available), 23 bicyclists died in Georgia including victims from Peachtree Corners, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Duluth, Johns Creek & Roswell just to name a few. This was a 21% increase from the year before. Most bicycle accidents in the state happen in the evenings, on weekends, and in urban areas with high traffic. Victims in Georgia bike accidents are mostly male.
Most bicycle accidents happen when motor vehicle drivers aren’t paying enough attention to the road. Distracted driving can take a driver’s attention away from the road enough to miss a nearby or crossing bicyclist. Motorists ignoring the right of way rules and following dangerously close to bicycles can also cause wrecks. The following are some of the most common types of bicycle accidents:
Some bicycle crashes aren’t from other drivers but from dangerous roadway conditions. Bicyclists are prone to accidents due to roadway hazards such as potholes, loose gravel, sticks and debris in the road, and unsafe intersections and crosswalks. It is up to the city or other municipal entity to keep its roads well-maintained for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Failure to fix a hazard when the city, county or other municipality reasonably could have done so is negligence and may result in government liability. If you think you have a case, contact our Georgia bicycle accident attorneys today.
Georgia law classifies bicycles as vehicles. This means bicyclists have all the same rights and obligations of other drivers. General vehicle traffic laws apply to bicycle riding in the state. Bicyclists must ride as far to the right side of the road as safely possible, except when avoiding hazards or making left-hand turns. All bicycles must have red rear lights and white headlights. Bicyclists cannot ride on sidewalks except on a permanent driveway. Otherwise, bikes must ride in bicycle lanes or on the road.
Motor vehicles must leave at least three feet of distance between their vehicles and bicycles. Drivers must do all they can to keep bicyclists reasonably safe on the roads. It is against the law to follow or pass too closely to a bicycle, to cut a bicycle off, to ignore the right of way at intersections, and to drive aggressively near bicycles. Breaking traffic laws and causing an accident will generally result in driver liability.
To hold the negligent driver liable for your collisions, you will need to write down his/her name and insurance information. Call the insurance company and file a claim as you would if the crash were between two motor vehicles. Don’t admit fault for the collision and don’t accept the first settlement from an insurance company. Instead, calculate your damages with help from our attorneys and enter into settlement negotiations knowledgeable about what your case is worth.
Then, use our skilled Georgia bicycle accident lawyers to help you fight for maximum compensation. Insurance companies will often offer less than a case is worth in the hopes that the claimant won’t try to fight for a fairer amount. Instead of entering negotiations blindly, consult with our attorneys and discover the true value of your losses. Only then can you feel confident during the litigation of your case.
Our skilled bicycle accident attorneys serve Alpharetta, Duluth, Dunwoody, Gwinnett, Johns Creek, Peachtree Corners & Roswell. and all surrounding areas. Contact us today at (404) 892-8884!