Assisting Bike Accident Victims in Atlanta with Recovering Monetary Compensation for Their Personal Injuries
Choosing to bike instead of drive is a healthy decision — for yourself and for the environment. Biking is a commendable choice that should be rewarded, but unfortunately, there are some risks that come along with it.
One negligent driver can cross your path and cause an accident, saddling you with injuries for days or years to come.
The city of Atlanta is pretty bicycle-friendly, but its streets are still packed with plenty of automobiles. For most urban cyclists, the odds of encountering a reckless or irresponsible driver are high.
If you or a loved one were involved in a bicycle accident due to the negligence of a driver in Atlanta, you deserve compensation for your injuries! Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, are committed to protecting the rights of Atlanta bicycle accident victims. Contact us now for an immediate free case consultation with a compassionate Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer.
We are a national law firm with multiple offices around the country, including Atlanta. We also work with affiliate law firms in most states that share our focus and dedication to excellence. No matter where you are located, we may be able to help you, so call or contact us now. We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide you with free consultations. Call us now at 800-898-4877, or you contact us by CLICKING HERE to submit your case for review.
Why Do Bike Accidents Happen in Atlanta?
Atlanta is a great place for biking. In fact, it is ranked the #42 best bicycling city by Bicycle Magazine. In that year, Atlanta clocked more than 90,000 bicycle trips and over 150,000 miles biked. Atlanta’s attention to bicycle infrastructure earns it positive marks, but it loses points for lack of project funding and equity. Underserved neighborhoods don’t see the same progress as the rest of the city.
Even if Atlanta is a great biking city, accidents and injuries still happen.
Bicycle injuries can approach nearly 500,000 in a single year in the United States. Across the nation, more than 800 bicyclists died in bicycle accidents in just one recent year. The vast majority of bicycle fatalities occur in urban areas like Atlanta. In a recent year, there were 30 bicycle fatalities in Georgia, making up 2% of the vehicle accident fatalities for that year. Atlanta alone saw 40 bicycle accidents.
Who Is Responsible in a Bicycle Accident?
No matter how common bike accidents are, the top priority stays the same: it’s important to understand who is at fault in your accident. Common parties responsible for bike accidents include negligent drivers, other cyclists, pedestrians, and even bike or vehicle manufacturers.
In any case, the responsible party must be held responsible for your injuries. Establishing fault in a bicycle accident depends on the unique facts of each case, and some cases are more straightforward than others.
The Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, can compile the appropriate evidence and boost the strength of your case.
If a biker is hit by a driver who is acting negligently, the driver is responsible. Violation of any traffic law or regulation is strong evidence of negligence, including speeding, failing to obey traffic signals, or driving under the influence. Even without a traffic citation, if you can demonstrate that the driver was acting outside the normal standard of care required of a driver, they acted negligently and should be held accountable.
Some of the most common actions by motorists that cause bicycle accidents in the ATL include:
- Failure to yield at a stop sign or yield sign
- Failure to yield when entering a roadway from a driveway
- Failure to yield when turning left in front of an oncoming cyclist
- Making a right turn in front of a cyclist
Other Cyclists or Pedestrians
While it is much more common for a negligent driver to cause a bicycle accident, pedestrians and other bicyclists are also capable of acting negligently and causing an accident. Bikes are required to comply with the same rules of the road as a vehicle. If a pedestrian or cyclist fails to comply and fails to maintain a reasonable standard of care, causing an accident, they may be responsible for your injuries.
Common actions by cyclists that can cause dangerous injuries include:
- Riding against traffic
- Failure to yield when entering a roadway mid-block
- Failure to yield at a stop or yield sign
- Cycling at night without lights or reflective attire
Bike or Vehicle Manufacturers
The manufacturers of bikes and motor vehicles have a responsibility to test and manufacture their products to acceptable and safe standards. If a manufacturer fails to perform appropriate safety testing or sells malfunctioning products, they are responsible for any resulting injuries.
Determining whether a bike or vehicle malfunctioned or failed to live up to appropriate standards is complicated, and often requires the involvement of expert witnesses. A bicycle accident lawyer can connect you to these resources and get to the bottom of your accident.
Bike Accident Injuries Are Serious
Bicycle accidents are often accompanied by serious injuries.
When a car collides with a bicycle, the car is the clear winner. The rigid exterior of the vehicle, its airbags, and its other safety features protect car passengers.
Bicyclists do not have the same protection. (In fact, only bicyclists under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet in Georgia.)
Bicyclists are likely to suffer a broad spectrum of injuries if they find themselves in an accident with a vehicle. Common injuries include:
- Head injuries: When cyclists are not wearing a helmet, concussions, lacerations, skull fractures, and other head injuries are common in a bike accident. Given the lack of protection, cyclists are likely to come into contact with the road.
- Brain damage: One of the most common and serious injuries resulting from a bike accident is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). If your head strikes another object, like pavement or an oncoming vehicle, it can cause irreversible brain damage including becoming comatose, entering a vegetative state, or suffering from brain death.
- Spinal injuries: The spinal cord allows the brain to communicate with the body. That’s not something you want to see injured! Damage to the spinal cord causes a wide range of symptoms, from changes in the victim’s strength or sensations to the ability to perform necessary bodily functions. Victims of a spinal cord injury often experience numbness or even paralysis.
- Neck and back injuries: The trunk of the body is often twisted or contorted in a bike accident, or is hit by a vehicle or slammed against the ground. This can result in back and neck injuries that can plague victims’ lives for years. Extensive and ongoing physical therapy is often required.
- Internal damage: The outside of the body isn’t the only thing to take a beating in a bicycle accident. An impact to the body often causes damage to internal organs, including the heart and lungs. These injuries may go unnoticed but can have deadly consequences.
- Broken bones and fractures: Broken bones and fractures are all too common after an accident. A severe break often requires surgery or long-term rehabilitation.
- Road rash: Bicyclists aren’t always wearing protective equipment. If they fall off their bike and make contact with the road, their skin will scrape against the pavement. This causes a painful injury known as road rash. The severity of the road rash will depend on the force and speed with which you hit the road.
- Dental injuries: Even if the cyclist is wearing a helmet, their face and mouth are still susceptible to damage. If your face strikes pavement or another hard surface, your teeth could chip or crack, or you could experience damage to your jaw or other facial bones.
- Cuts and bruises: While not as dramatic as a TBI or spinal injury, cuts and bruises can still impact a victim’s life. A cut can require stitches and limit mobility, or a bruised tailbone can keep the injured biker off the road for quite a while.
One thing is certain: no matter the extent of your injuries, you deserve compensation. Make sure you take all the necessary steps to attend to your health and maximize your case for recovery.
Preparing a Comprehensive Damages Claim
Don’t short-change yourself! Be sure to include the monetary impact of all the injuries you have suffered, including emotional injury, in your damages claim.
Our dedicated team of Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers can work with you to assess your injuries and the effect they have had on your life. Together, we can help you file a comprehensive damages claim.
Common damages suffered by bicycle accident victims in Atlanta include:
- Medical expenses: The defendant or their insurance provider should pay for all of your medical expenses. Medical expenses include doctors’ bills, hospital bills, the cost of prescription medication, and long-term care like physical therapy.
- Loss of income: If your injuries caused you to miss work or work a reduced schedule, the defendant is responsible for those lost wages. Your damages should also include an estimate of future lost earnings. We can work with you to secure the input of an economic expert.
- Property damage: If your bike or other property, like electronics, were damaged in the accident, the defendant is responsible for repair or replacement.
- Emotional distress: An accident is a traumatic event. If you are left with emotional trauma, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD, this can have a profound impact on your life. We will work with you to include appropriate monetary compensation in your damages claim.
- Loss of enjoyment: Injuries can take a different toll on everyone’s life. If your injuries keep you from participating in activities that were a meaningful part of your life, you deserve compensation.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages exist to punish the defendant rather than compensate the victim for injuries. In Georgia, you may only recover punitive damages if you prove that the defendant acted with willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or conscious indifference to the consequences. We can let you know if punitive damages apply to your case.
Be sure to account for all of your injuries in your damages claim. This amount will influence any settlement offers made by the defendant, and a potential jury award if the case goes to trial.
What Should I Do After the Accident?
The most important thing to do after an accident is to take care of your own health and safety. Even if you don’t believe you have serious injuries, be sure to seek immediate medical attention! Many injuries don’t present with immediate pain but can get increasingly worse over time. Additionally, the defendant might argue that you exacerbated your injuries by delaying medical help.
Once you’ve addressed your own safety, keep the following tips in mind:
- File a police report. A police report is an important piece of evidence. It will include photos of the accident scene, witness information and accounts, and citations issued for traffic violations. Even if you get a police report, make sure to take your own photos and collect witness information.
- Stay organized. While paperwork can seem tedious, it is very important for your case. Paperwork like medical bills, insurance communications, and other documents are vital pieces of evidence when building your case. Consult your lawyer before throwing away any document.
- Watch your words. Be cautious of what you say about the accident. The defendant can take an innocent statement out of context and use it against you. Imagine how the defendant could take a statement like, “Well, I was feeling a bit unstable on my bike today.” It is especially important to be cautious about what you post on social media. Even if your accounts are private, the defendant could demand the production of certain records during discovery.
- Don’t delay. Atlanta’s statute of limitations states that you must pursue a bicycle accident injury lawsuit within two years of the accident. This might seem like a lot of time, but keep in mind that your attorney might need a lot of time to research and prepare your case. So act quickly! If more than two years have passed since your bicycle accident, we can discuss whether any exceptions apply to your case.
One of the most important things you can do to ensure successful recovery for your injuries is to work with an experienced Atlanta bicycle accident attorney that you trust.
Contact Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, Today
Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, have represented victims of bicycle accidents for over 20 years. During this time, we’ve compiled a team of highly skilled professionals with a passion for justice and proven results for their clients. We pride ourselves on being a pillar of support for our Atlanta neighbors, alleviating as much of the stress associated with their accident and injuries as possible.
Our team is committed to being available for clients, returning every call or email within 24 hours, and working closely with each client to understand their expectations and how we can meet or exceed them. We understand that each client and cause is unique, and strive to give each the time and attention that they deserve.
The legal team of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured in an Atlanta bicycle accident, call our office right now for a free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a dime unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE—no scheduling or wait required!