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Riding a bicycle is enjoyable, beneficial, and eco-friendly. However bicycle accidents can happen, sometimes through no fault of your own.
Though bicycling is an excellent way to get around without driving, is economical, and offers great low-impact cardio exercise that’s easy on joints, being injured as you are trying to enjoy these benefits is unfortunate.
Since its invention in 1817, the bicycle has been a favorite method of transport and an enjoyable pastime for children and adults. With more people than ever riding bicycles in both rural areas and larger cities, the chances that you may become a victim to an accident, sometimes with serious injuries, also has increased.
With bicycle accidents, it is not uncommon for a car driver to not be paying attention or simply don’t care about the rules of the road when it comes to bicyclists. Even with protective gear like helmets and knee pads, bicyclists who have accidents with cars are more likely to experience severe injury. A severe accident can leave a bicyclist unable to walk, drive, and even disabled permanently.
Types Of Bicycle Accidents And Injuries
Bicycling accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. These are the most common types:
- Collisions—usually with cars, but a rider can collide with anything, including other cyclists, trees, road signs, potholes, obstructions, street equipment such as barriers and light posts, and animals
- Rear-end collisions happen when a driver rides up behind a cyclist without leaving the room or space and connects with the bicycle’s rear end. The bicyclist can be thrown off, crushed, or pinned under the vehicle.
- Dooring—another type of collision occurs when a car driver doesn’t look before opening their door, giving the cyclist no time to avoid slamming into a car door opening in front of them or the door hits them as they are passing effectively shoving them.
- “Right hook” collisions—bicyclists turning right should be extremally cautious to avoid planning turn right of a car turning right. The car may turn into the cyclist or run right over them.
- Distracted drivers—a menace throughout the US, a driver not paying attention will likely not see a cyclist.
- Crossing roads—bicyclists turning either left or right may face vehicles that don’t yield
- Drivers overtaking bicyclists—drivers who attempt to pass a cyclist on the left and sideswipe or hit the cyclist outright; these accidents usually occur after dark.
Even a low-speed accident that pushes a bike over can cause a broken arm or wrist, painful cuts or bruises, and result in need for medical care and lost work time for the injured cyclist.
Because bicycles don’t offer the same protection as an enclosed vehicle, even minor accidents at low speeds can lead to serious injuries for the cyclist, such as:
- Bone breaks, fractures, or dislocations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial injuries
- Joint injuries, especially ankle, knee, elbow, and shoulder
- Internal injuries, including bleeding
- Soft tissue injuries, such as tears, sprains, and strains
- Permanent disfigurement and scarring
These injuries may require long-term medical treatment, interfere with a return to your everyday activities and affect your ability to work.
If You Have Been Injured, You Have The Right to Compensation
Just as cyclists fall under the same laws as motorists, you have similar rights to seek compensation from the party who caused your personal injury. With the help of Attorney Joshua Smith, you can file a claim or sue if necessary for compensation for damages such as:
- Medical expenses – current and future including rehabilitation and long-term physical therapy
- Lost wages – current and future
- Property damage – bicycle, helmet, smartphone, laptop, glasses, or any other property damaged in the accident.
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death –if you are killed, your family (spouse, children, or other relatives) can sue to be compensated for the their loss.
As your personal injury lawyer, Attorney Smith can explain your rights under Georgia law and assist you in seeking fair and full compensation so that you can get the help you need.
Avoiding Accidents While Riding
Georgia requires bicycle riders to follow the same traffic laws as other vehicles. By practicing safe riding you can hopefully avoid falling prey to accidents and avoiding injury. Good safety practices are:
- Always wear a helmet, and secure the chin strap to keep it on snugly.
- Make sure you are visible on the road, including bright-colored clothes and reflective gear, especially after dark
- Make sure your bicycle is also visible with reflectors and lights
- Always ride with a phone and your ID
- Make sure that the bike is the right size for you so you can control it
- Keep the bike in good operating condition, especially the brakes
- Ride in the same direction as traffic, not against it
- Keep a steady hand on the brakes
- Always assume that drivers don’t see you; make eye contact with drivers
- Stay alert and be ready to take defensive action as necessary
If you’re involved in a bicycle accident:
- Call 911 (or the police and an ambulance) immediately
- Leave your bike exactly as it is post-crash unless you must move it out of traffic
- Take as many pictures as you can, including the accident scene, your bike, your injuries, and anything else that’s relevant
- Stay at the scene of the accident unless you must go to the hospital
- Get contact information from any witnesses
- Give the police the facts and nothing else
- Do not try to move anyone else unless necessary
- Do not discuss the accident with anyone else but police at the scene, including witnesses
- Do not discuss or live stream the accident on social media
- Avoid any negotiation with the other party or any insurance company. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to negotiate the lowest settlement.
- Make sure to get the officer’s contact information and instructions on getting a copy of the report
Your next step is to contact our offices here in Dalton, GA to discuss your case and understand your options. There is a time limit to file so do not delay too long. If you are unable to contact us, please consider having a trusted family member contact us on your behalf.
Georgia’s Statute Of Limitations For Bicycle Accidents
Georgia law allows two years from the date of the accident to file your claim. If you wait too long, you may lose your opportunity to get the compensation you need and deserve for being injured through no fault of yours.
As your personal injury accident lawyer, we will investigate your accident, obtain needed evidence and information, and build your case to present to the other party. You won’t have to worry about speaking with or negotiating with the other party/insurance company and can focus on taking care of yourself.
But you must start your claim immediately, or you could lose thousands of dollars in needed compensation to take care of yourself and your family.
Bicycle Accident - See Attorney Joshua J. Smith
Georgia personal injury attorney Joshua J. Smith is committed to helping those who have suffered injuries in bicycle crashes as well as other personal injuries. He understands the needs of people who are going through the difficulty of an accident and works to help his clients get the help they need so they can get back to enjoying their life.
We are located at 207 West King St, Dalton, GA 30720. Please call our office at (706) 217-2095 for a free consultation or contact us here on our website. If necessary, we can arrange to visit you at your home.