Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Atlanta Helping Victims Recover Compensation
Whenever the occupant of a car or truck is involved in a motor vehicle collision, that individual has the “luxury” of a large, heavy, steel enclosure surrounding him or her at all times. However, bicycle riders who are involved in an accident are not so lucky. Except for bicycle helmets, cyclists have almost no protection in the event he or she is involved in an accident.
Although bicyclists have the same rights as cars, trucks, SUVs, and other motor vehicles to use the roads in a safe manner, many motor vehicle operators are resentful of cyclists and believe that they impede the flow of traffic. Consequently, it is no secret that in Atlanta and other major cities, drivers tend to ignore bicyclists altogether and do not exercise a reasonable degree of safety for bicycle operators who are also on the road.
When a driver fails to appreciate a cyclist by operating his or her vehicle in a negligent, careless, or reckless manner, the results can oftentimes be devastating—and sometimes even deadly. The compassionate Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm understand the seriousness of injuries and deaths associated with bicycle accidents and are ready to assist you with filing your personal injury or wrongful death claim against a motor vehicle operator or some other negligent individual.
Please give us a call today to learn more about how our team of Atlanta personal injury lawyers can assist you with pursuing monetary compensation in your bicycle accident injury case.
Common Injuries Suffered in Bicycle Accidents
When a large car or truck collides with a bicycle, in many cases, the force of the impact will cause the cyclist to fall from his or her bicycle onto the ground. Given that bicycle operators do not typically have any protective shell surrounding them, bicyclists can suffer serious injuries in the event they are involved in an accident.
Even when cyclists are wearing their helmets at the time of the collision, a forceful impact with the ground can cause the helmet to crack, and the cyclist can still suffer serious injuries.
Some of the most common injuries suffered by victims of bicycle accidents include the following:
- Traumatic head injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Back and spinal cord injuries, including full or partial paralysis
- Internal bleeding
- Permanent disfigurement
- Damage to one or more bodily organs
- Soft tissue injuries
If you or someone you love has suffered one or more of these injuries in a bicycle accident that was caused by a negligent driver, the skilled bicycle accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you with filing a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver and help you pursue monetary compensation for your injuries.
Common Locations for Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can occur almost anywhere, but they are more prevalent in some areas than they are in others. Even on Atlanta roadways that are equipped with a bicycle lane, an inattentive driver who is not paying attention to the road might veer over and negligently strike a bicycle.
So-called dooring accidents are also becoming more and more common. These accidents occur when a careless motor vehicle operator or passenger opens his or her door into the path of an oncoming cyclist. Bicycle accidents may also occur in parking lots and parking garages when drivers are not giving proper care and attention to the road—or when they fail to use their rear-view and side-view mirrors.
No matter where your bicycle accident occurred, you can rest assured that the knowledgeable legal team at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will thoroughly investigate your bicycle accident and how it occurred. We will do everything possible to help you recover the monetary damages you need to make you whole.
How do Bicycle Accidents in and around Atlanta Typically Happen?
There are many ways that bicycle accidents can occur in and around Atlanta, Georgia. In many cases, these accidents occur when a motor vehicle driver is inattentive to the road or otherwise operates his or her vehicle in a careless and reckless manner.
Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents in and around Atlanta include the following:
- Drivers swerving into a lane of travel and sideswiping cyclists
- Drivers failing to check the rearview and/or sideview mirrors before making a lane change
- Drivers unexpectedly pulling out in front of cyclists
- Drivers running stop signs, red lights, or otherwise violating traffic control devices or standard rules of the road
- Drivers following cyclists too closely and colliding with the rear of their bicycles
- Drivers engaging in distracted driving, such as by talking on a cell phone while driving
- Drivers failing to look both ways when leaving intersections
- Drunk or drugged driving
In addition to these types of driver negligence mentioned above, bicycle accidents can sometimes occur when the bicycle itself malfunctions. For example, the bicycle’s brakes may malfunction and fail to stop the bicycle, causing it to collide with a motor vehicle or with a stationary object.
In those kinds of instances where a bicycle manufacturing or design defect causes or contributes to an accident, the accident victim may assert a claim or lawsuit against the bicycle manufacturer and/or the manufacturer of the defective bicycle part that malfunctioned at the time of the accident.
The knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can investigate the circumstances behind your bicycle accident and get to the bottom of exactly how it occurred. We can also help you determine the likely cause of your accident and assist you with bringing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the proper individuals or legal entities.
Obtaining Economic Recovery in Your Atlanta, Georgia Bicycle Accident Case
Depending upon how your bicycle accident occurs, several individuals and entities may bear responsibility for your bicycle accident—and from whom you may recover monetary compensation for the injuries that you suffered in your accident. First and foremost, if your bicycle accident was caused by the negligence or carelessness of a motor vehicle operator, then you may bring a claim against that negligent driver—and indirectly, against the driver’s insurance company.
In some instances, you may even file a claim against the negligent driver’s employer, such as when a negligent truck driver who is employed by a trucking company causes the bicycle accident that leaves you injured. In addition to suing the negligent truck driver under those circumstances, you might also bring a claim or file a lawsuit against the trucking company that employs the negligent truck driver (assuming the negligent driver was on company business at the time the accident occurred). An injured bicycle accident victim may also file a claim under an umbrella policy that the negligent driver carries.
In addition to suing the negligent driver or the driver’s employer, an injured bicycle accident victim may bring a personal injury claim or file a lawsuit against the governmental entity or entities responsible for maintaining the road where the bicycle accident occurs. These claims are possible in cases where the cause of the accident can be traced to poor road maintenance or traffic control devices that malfunctioned.
When it comes to governmental entities, however, it is important to note that in many cases, one or more notice provisions may apply. In other words, before filing a lawsuit against the governmental entity, you will need to notify the agency within a certain period of time following your accident. Failing to follow the necessary steps may result in you unintentionally waiving your personal injury claim against that entity. The experienced bicycle accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will ensure that any claim against a potentially responsible governmental entity is brought in a timely manner.
Finally, in some instances, you may file a claim for uninsured—or underinsured—motorist benefits with your own insurance company. A claim for uninsured motorist benefits may exist, for example, if your bicycle accident was a hit-and-run type accident, and the driver fled the scene. An uninsured motorist claim may also exist in the context of a bicycle accident if the motor vehicle driver who caused the accident was uninsured. In those instances, you may file a claim against your own insurance company, in which case your insurance company can step into the shoes of the negligent driver and supply the necessary coverage.
An underinsured motorist insurance claim typically exists in cases where the at-fault driver did have motor vehicle insurance coverage at the time of the accident. However, that coverage was minimal or was otherwise insufficient to satisfy all of the injured accident victim’s medical bills and other damages. The Atlanta bicycle accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will make sure to bring all of the necessary claims on your behalf to help you pursue compensation from as many recovery sources as possible.
Georgia Bicycle Accident Damages
In Atlanta bicycle accidents, it is typically the cyclist who is the injured party. Those injuries can be relatively minor, but in some cases, the injuries can be severe or even deadly. For you to recover monetary compensation arising from an Atlanta bicycle accident, you must demonstrate that some other person or entity—such as a motor vehicle operator—acted in an unreasonable manner under the circumstances. Violating a Georgia traffic law, for example, constitutes a breach of the duty of care owed to bicyclists and other drivers, and can make a negligent driver liable to the injured bicyclist.
In addition to demonstrating that a motor vehicle operator (and/or some other individual or entity) breached his or her duty of care, the accident victim must also show that the negligent party caused or contributed to the accident, that the accident victim suffered physical injuries and damages, and that the bicycle accident was the cause of those physical injuries and damages.
After filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit for damages arising from a bicycle accident, the accident victim may pursue both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages cover the costs of medical treatment bills, medical procedures, and physical therapy costs incurred from the accident. Economic damages can also include compensation for lost earnings that the accident victim incurred from losing work following the bicycle accident.
In addition to these potential economic damages, a bicycle accident victim may also pursue noneconomic recovery related to a bicycle accident. Potential noneconomic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental distress, emotional anguish, loss of earning capacity, and loss of spousal companionship.
If the bicycle accident resulted in the accident victim’s death, then the decedent’s surviving family members may assert a wrongful death claim against the at-fault person or entity. As part of a wrongful death claim, the claimant may recover damages for the accident victim’s medical treatment costs up to the time of his or her death, compensation for mental suffering and loss of the decedent’s companionship, and compensation for the decedent’s loss of earnings, among other types of damages.
Atlanta Bicycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions FAQs
Bicycle accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries and damages. Unlike the occupants of a car or truck, bicyclists do not have a steel frame surrounding and protecting them. Consequently, if they are involved in an accident, the bicyclists are directly exposed to the vehicle striking them, and their bodies may impact the ground directly, resulting in one or more serious injuries. Even when bicyclists wear a helmet (which they are supposed to do anyway), a hard impact to the ground can crack the helmet, and the bicyclist can still suffer a severe head injury.
Though many roadways in and around Atlanta are equipped with designated bicycle lanes, bicyclists are still at risk from careless car and truck operators—many of whom do not want to share the road with bicyclists in the first place. Many motor vehicle operators feel that bicyclists slow down the flow of traffic and are an all-around nuisance. Consequently, these drivers often disregard bicyclists, to the point of ignoring them completely. This can be a recipe for disaster.
When motor vehicle drivers do not give proper care and attention, they can accidentally strike a bicyclist and bring about devastating (and sometimes fatal) injuries. If you or someone you love was injured in a bicycle accident that a negligent motor vehicle operator or another negligent party caused, have a skilled Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer represent you and provide legal advice in your bicycle accident case.
Your lawyer will understand and appreciate the seriousness of injuries sustained in a bicycle accident, and can assist you by filing a claim or lawsuit against the negligent person or entity, negotiating with the at-fault person’s insurance company, and pursuing a claim for damages on your behalf.
What are some typical injuries that bicycle accident victims suffer?
Victims of bicycle accidents who survive the experience are very fortunate. That being said these victims are very likely to suffer one or more serious injuries—especially if the accident causes them to fall from the bicycle and onto the ground at a high rate of speed. Bicyclists, unlike the operators and passengers of most motor vehicles, do not have a protective covering that surrounds them at the time of impact. Consequently, in an accident, they are more likely to suffer serious injuries than are the occupants of enclosed motor vehicles.
Injuries suffered in a bicycle accident can require months of medical treatment, not to mention missed time from work, as well as large amounts of pain and suffering.
Common injuries suffered by bicycle accident victims include:
- Severe head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Bone fractures
- Soft tissue contusions
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Internal bleeding or hemorrhaging
- Back injuries, including spinal cord injuries and paralysis
If you or a person you care about has suffered one or more of these injuries in a bicycle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, an experienced Atlanta bicycle accident attorney will work to pursue the monetary compensation you deserve for your medical treatment, lost wages, pain, suffering, and inconvenience.
Where do bicycle accidents commonly occur?
Bicycle accidents do not always occur on busy roadways. In some instances, these accidents can occur when a bicyclist is operating his or her bicycle in a designated bike lane. All it takes for a bicycle accident to occur is a careless or inattentive driver—and many of those drivers can be found on roadways in and around Atlanta.
In addition to roadways, bicycle accidents are also common in parking lots and parking garages—especially those where there is low or limited visibility. Dooring accidents are not uncommon in parking areas, and even on the side of the road. These accidents occur when an inattentive motor vehicle driver or passenger unexpectedly opens a car door into a bicyclist’s path, causing the bicyclist to run into the door and suffer severe injuries as a result.
Regardless of where you or your loved one’s bicycle accident occurred, drivers always have a duty to look out for bicyclists and to operate their vehicles in a prudent, careful, and safe manner at all times. When motor vehicle operator negligence—or someone else’s negligence—causes or contributes to your bicycle accident, the responsible individual or entity can be held liable. An Atlanta bike accident lawyer can assist you with investigating the circumstances of your accident, and filing a bicycle accident claim for damages.
What are the most common causes of bicycle accidents in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area?
Bicycle accidents in and around Atlanta occur in many different ways and under many different circumstances.
Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents around Atlanta include the following:
- Violation of traffic signs, signals, and rules of the road
- Dooring accidents
- Negligently merging into the path of a bicyclist who is present on the road
- Negligent sideswiping
- A motor vehicle driver under the illegal influence of alcohol or drugs while operating his or her motor vehicle
- Distracted motor vehicle operation (such as making a phone call or texting while driving)
- A motor vehicle driver “tailgating” a bicyclist
- Failure to make a safe lane change and merging into the path of an oncoming bicyclist
Keep in mind, however, that not all bicycle accidents happen because of a motor vehicle operator’s negligence. Sometimes these accidents occur when a bicycle part—or the bicycle itself—malfunctions in some way, resulting in an accident and the bicyclist’s subsequent injuries. If the bicycle’s handlebars or steering mechanism malfunctions, or if the brakes do not work properly, the bicyclist may collide with an object near or on the road, or with a motor vehicle, and suffer serious injuries as a result.
In cases where the bicycle accident can be attributed to a product defect, the bicyclist may bring a bicycle accident claim or file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the bicycle or bicycle part that was defective. Finally, some bicycle accidents occur because roads are not kept in a safe condition and reasonably free from defects. This is especially true in areas that are near active work zones and construction sites.
A bicycle accident lawyer in Atlanta can investigate the cause of your accident and determine whom to file the bicycle accident claim against. A lawyer will then work to help you obtain the damages that you deserve for your bicycle accident injuries.
What types of personal injury claims can I bring following a bicycle accident (and against whom can I bring them)?
After suffering injuries in a bicycle accident, you may bring personal injury claims against one or more responsible individuals or entities, depending upon the circumstances of your accident. In many cases, bicycle accidents occur because one or more motor vehicle drivers behave in a negligent or careless manner. Because the State of Georgia is a ‘fault state’ when it comes to motor vehicle collisions, you can file a bicycle accident claim or lawsuit directly against the negligent motor vehicle operator who caused your accident. At that point, the driver’s insurance coverage will come into play. Also, if the negligent driver was operating his or her vehicle during the course of employment, then the driver’s employer might also be negligent under an agency theory of liability.
If your bicycle accident occurred because of a defective road condition, such as an unmarked ditch or pothole on a road or near a construction site, you may include the governmental entity that is responsible for road maintenance in that area as a defendant. If your bicycle accident occurred because of a defective road condition near a construction site, you may also add the construction company as a defendant in your case, since construction companies have a duty to maintain these areas in a reasonably safe condition at all times.
In addition to filing a bicycle accident claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties, in some instances, you may file a claim or lawsuit against your own insurance company. These types of claims are called either totally uninsured motorist claims or underinsured motorist claims.
An uninsured motorist claim exists in cases where the person or entity that caused the bicycle accident was completely uninsured—or where you cannot tell whether the at-fault party was insured or not. For example, if an irresponsible driver negligently collided with your bicycle and immediately left the scene before you could obtain a license number, then your uninsured motorist coverage may come into play.
Similarly, an underinsured motorist claim exists in cases where the at-fault person or entity did not have sufficient insurance at the time of the accident to cover your damages, including your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages that resulted from injuries you suffered in your bicycle accident. In that instance, you may bring an underinsured motorist claim against your own insurance company, alleging breach of contract, such for failure to adequately compensate you for your damages as pursuant to your contract of insurance.
Given the various types of claims that can be filed following an Atlanta bicycle accident, it can be difficult to determine which claim(s) apply to the circumstances of your accident. An Atlanta bicycle accident attorney will determine which claim or claims you should file and can assist you throughout the entire claims process. If the insurance company fails to adequately compensate you for the injuries and damages that you suffered in your accident, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and litigate your bicycle accident case through the Georgia court system.
What types of monetary damages can I pursue following my Atlanta bicycle accident?
Following an Atlanta bicycle accident for which you were not at fault, you may be eligible for several types of damages. The potential damages for which you may be eligible depend upon many factors, including the severity of the bicycle accident, along with the specific injury or injuries that you suffered in your accident. Generally speaking, the more serious the injuries and the more extensive the treatment, the more damages to which you are entitled.
To recover damages for the injuries that you suffered in a bicycle accident, you must demonstrate:
- That the at-fault person or entity (usually a motor vehicle operator) acted in an unreasonable manner under the circumstances
- That the at-fault person’s negligence caused the bicycle accident
- That you suffered one or more physical injuries in your bicycle accident
- That the bicycle accident caused or contributed to those injuries
If you can demonstrate all of these elements, then you may be entitled to both economic and non-economic recovery.
Some of the most common damages available to bicycle accident victims include the following:
- Compensation for all of your related medical treatment, including medical procedures, office visits, and physical therapy
- Compensation for all of your related out-of-pocket costs as a result of the injuries which you sustained in your bicycle accident
- Compensation for lost wages arising from missed time at work
- Compensation for inconvenience, suffering, and pain that you endured as a result of the injuries which you sustained in the accident
- Compensation for loss of earning capacity
- Compensation for permanent injuries and lifelong physical disabilities that resulted from your bicycle accident
- Compensation for loss of spousal support as a result of the injuries which you suffered in your accident
Likewise, if your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident, you may file a claim against the at-fault person for wrongful death damages.
If you or a loved one were injured in a bicycle accident, an Atlanta bicycle accident attorney can help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries, and if necessary, litigate your bicycle accident case to a conclusion.
Speak With an Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
When an accident occurs between two motor vehicles, in some instances, neither driver is hurt. When it comes to bicycle accidents, however, a bicyclist who is involved in an accident is almost always injured in some way. If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, the legal team at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm is ready to help.
To schedule a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer, please call us at (404) 418-8244 or contact us online to learn more.