Bicycle accidents can result in serious injury and ongoing disability. If your accident occurred due to the fault of another person or entity, you may be able to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and/or pain and suffering through a personal injury claim. Get the legal advice you need about your options to recover your damages. Contact a Duluth bicycle accident attorney in Duluth Georgia at Brauns Law, PC for help evaluating your case and taking the steps necessary to get compensation you need.
Duluth Bicycle Accident FAQ
Are you dealing with an injury from a serious bicycle accident?
If so, you likely have a lot of questions, such as:
We want to help, so we’ve put together this guide of common questions we hear and general answers. To discuss questions specific to your situation, please contact our Duluth bicycle accident attorneys directly.
What causes bicycle accidents in Duluth?
The National Survey on Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behaviors conducted by NHTSA lists the most common causes of bicycle crashes as:
- Being struck by a car – 30 percent
- Fall – 17 percent
- Road in a state of disrepair – 13 percent
- Cyclist error – 13 percent
- Colliding with a fixed object – 7 percent
- A dog suddenly runs in cyclists path – 4 percent
So, what’s causing the increased frequency of bicycle accidents in Georgia? A few culprits include:
- People texting behind the wheel
- Drivers fidgeting with their GPS
- Aggression and impatience on the road
- Population growth, as more people are riding bikes than ever around Georgia.
Can defective bicycle parts cause a crash?
Although defective bicycle parts are the most common cause of bike injuries, that doesn’t automatically exclude them.
When a cyclist, or anyone for that matter, suffers harm through no fault of their own, the at-fault party or parties should be accountable for related damages. So when a defective product injures someone, anyone responsible for supplying that product could be considered liable. That may include multiple parties such as the manufacturer, the distributor, and the retailer.
To determine the liability of a defective product, there are certain considerations, namely:
- Design: Was the injury a result of a design error in the product? Many design defects end up weakening the structural integrity of a product, making it more dangerous.
- Manufacturing: Sometimes, a defect in the manufacturing process leads to a product defect. Were it not for the manufacturing defect, the product would be safe.
What if the bike I was riding was someone else’s? If you borrowed someone else’s bike, you can still file a claim for an inherently defective part that is responsible for a crash that ended up injuring you.
What if the bike was manufactured by a foreign company? It doesn’t matter. If the company is selling its products and services in the United States, they must abide by our safety laws and face their accusers in U.S. courts.
What road hazards can lead a cyclist to crash?
While motor vehicles are the primary reason for most injuries to cyclists, other factors on our roads are also very hazardous to riders, particularly:
Potholes. You might not know it from looking at them, but even small potholes pose a serious safety threat to bicycle riders. In addition, deeper potholes can be very dangerous. Many potholes are deep enough to obstruct bicycle tires and cause an accident. In these situations, the rider may vault or flip over the handlebars. This sort of accident can leave a cyclist with a serious injury such as a broken bone or head injury. A municipality could be responsible if they were aware of the pothole and failed to fix it or post warnings to motorists and cyclists right away.
Trolley/railroad tracks. Trolley tracks and railroad tracks are variables a cyclist must be aware of when riding. Specifically, railroad tracks running in the same direction as traffic are hazardous. That’s because your bicycle tires can fall into the space between the track and the road. It’s an unstable situation that causes many bicycle crashes and can end up with the bike and the cyclist in the way of oncoming traffic.
Determining liability for such bicycle crashes depends on different factors, including:
- Do the tracks run in the direction of traffic, or are they curved? If so, they present a hazard for cyclists. Conversely, perpendicular tracks are relatively safe.
- Has the local municipality tried to eliminate or reduce the hazard? Have they placed warning signs at the site to warn riders? Could they have covered or removed tracks that are no longer in use? A skilled bicycle accident attorney can help you determine the answers to these questions, and if taking certain reasonable actions would have prevented your accident.
Sewer grates. Sewer grates are usually found on the edge of the road and sometimes on the curb, close to where cyclists usually ride. Unfortunately, the size and width of most bicycle tires are small enough to fit between the bars on sewer grates. You can see the potential danger these grates present to cyclists, especially when the grates are parallel to the direction traffic is traveling.
When a cyclist’s tires fall between the grates, the resulting jolt and loss of momentum can cause the cyclist to lose balance and fall into oncoming traffic or the ground. In either case, the rider could end up with severe injuries.
Fortunately, many municipalities around the country are becoming aware of the danger sewer grates pose to cyclists, and they are installing grates with a safe design to protect riders. Those cities and counties that do not update dangerous sewer grates may be held responsible for the accidents they cause.
What injuries are common in Duluth bicycle accidents?
The most common injuries to cyclists are head injuries. The American Academy of Family Physicians estimates that 22 percent to 47 percent of injured cyclists have suffered head injuries,
Too often, these injuries happen due to an accident involving a motor vehicle. A cyclist is simply vulnerable in these sorts of accidents. Even if they are wearing a helmet, a collision with a car can result in serious head injuries, and even death.
Nearly 60 percent of all cyclists’ fatalities are due to head injuries. And many who are involved in bicycle accidents incur permanent disability. Clearly, all cyclists must make protecting the head a top priority, but even cyclists with all the proper safety gear can still sustain head injuries if they crash.
Besides head injuries, bicycle accidents lead to other injuries as well, such as:
- Tooth fractures
- Open wounds, bruises, and scabs
- Broken bones
- Injuries and trauma to the eye
- Abdominal, neck, and pelvic injuries
- Muscle strains
- Dislocated joints
- Road rash
How do I know if I have a Duluth bicycle accident case?
It’s easy to find out if you have a valid bicycle accident case. Just call a bicycle accident attorney at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm or contact us online now. We can help you assess whether or not the other party in your accident is liable.
The success of a case depends on the ability to show that your accident is responsible for your injuries and that the other party(s) is at fault. If you’re not sure if you have a case or not, give our firm a call, and we can review the specific details of your case to determine the viability of your case.
How much will my Duluth bicycle accident claim be worth?
The amount of compensation you may receive in a settlement or jury verdict is dependent on:
- What is the nature and severity of your injury?
- What are the costs of your losses—including but not limited to—loss of wages or opportunities?
- How much are your current and future medical expenses?
- How much is appropriate for the interference the injury inflicted on your life.
- What compensation is appropriate for the pain you are suffering?
- What is the cost of your rehabilitation?
- Did your injury cause disfigurement or long-term impairments?
These are but a few of the factors that will help determine the value of your claim. The best course of action is to speak with an experienced attorney who can review the details of your unique case and assess the value of your claim. Contact a skilled bicycle accident attorney at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm now at 404-205-8792 or by reaching out to us online.
How can your Duluth bicycle accident lawyers help me?
A reputable bicycle accident attorney can take the lead on your case and pursue an appropriate financial settlement for your losses.
But couldn’t you represent yourself and file a claim on your own? You could, but be aware that the amount of compensation you receive might be significantly less than it would be with the right attorney representation.
A bicycle accident lawyer can help you build your by:
- Analyzing police reports
- Obtaining witness statements
- Inspecting the bike damage for clues
- Recreating the scene to help determine liability
- Look into the responsible party’s driving record
- Consult with experts to review medical records (to help determine accident causation and treatment costs)
If an insurance company contacts you, remember their primary goal is to resolve a case quickly while spending as little as possible. They understand you may be out of work due to your injuries and will send you a quick settlement offer. Understand, despite the insurer’s seemingly good intentions, the offer you receive from them will be a low-ball amount.
Also, insurers know exactly the questions to ask that can elicit a legally unfavorable response from you. Many times, an injured person will say something that the insurance company will use to justify a lower settlement offer or no offer at all.
If an insurance company calls you, tell them to direct their correspondence to your attorney. At Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm, we’ll take on the insurance company and make sure you have the best chance of receiving a proper settlement that covers all of your damages.
Can I afford your Duluth bicycle accident lawyers?
The short answer is, “yes.” Simply put, you pay nothing unless we win your case.
Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm fights for our clients across the State of Georgia on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t pay a single penny for fees or expenses unless we successfully obtain financial compensation, through a settlement or court verdict, for your claim. Our team will work vigorously to fight your case and seek the most compensation for your injuries allowable by law. In return, we will receive a portion of the damages awarded—but only if we win.
Some firms do not work on a contingency fee basis and require their clients to come up with significant upfront fees or the lawyers will bill by the hour during the case. We understand our clients are usually under financial strain as a result of their accident and may have injuries preventing them from working. That’s why we remove the financial obstacle so anyone can afford to start their case. By not requiring payments until we win your case, you don’t have anything to lose.
Will my Duluth bicycle accident case go to trial?
Most likely, your case will settle out of court or directly with the insurance company. A Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) study reported that only 3 percent of personal injury cases go to trial. Our attorneys work to favorably settle claims as efficiently as possible, though we will not hesitate to represent you in court if needed.
Rest assured, our team of professional attorneys knows the most efficient ways to bring a positive resolution to your case with the most favorable results possible. Contact us today for your free consultation.
Are bicycle accidents common in Duluth?
Reports indicate that Georgia ranks 22 out of 50 states in fatalities per million residents with a rate of 1.7. The state’s fatality figures for bicyclists and pedestrians have sharply increased in the last year. Some experts attribute the spike to the increased number of cyclists along Georgia roads. Many cities have become more bicycle-friendly with lower speed limits and more bike lanes.
On a nationwide level, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that bicycle accident fatalities account for 2.2 percent of all traffic-related deaths.
An average of one bicyclist dies every year in the Duluth area.
While bicycle accidents are happening more often, what’s important to remember is that these accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and even death. When a motor vehicle weighing thousands of pounds strikes a bicyclist with no protective metal surrounding himself or herself, the resulting injuries can be devastating.
How do I know if someone else is responsible for my accident?
Proving liability is a key element in a successful personal injury case, and if you suffered injuries in a bike crash, you will need to consider some important possibilities. For example, it may be possible that you were at fault due to disobeying traffic laws (bicyclists are treated as motor vehicles) or for an error you made operating your bike.
However, some other factor may have made it impossible for you to avoid crashing, such as a negligent motor vehicle driver who turned right in front of your cycling path.
Some common causes of cycling accidents are below.
- Collision with a motor vehicle: If a car hit you while you were cycling, the driver’s auto insurance policy should cover your damages. You will need to prove the driver was at fault for the accident. If you have a police report from the scene, that can greatly help your claim. We will also help you collect any witness statements, photos of the crash, and medical records related to the incident.
- Collision with vehicle door: Georgia has a “dooring law” which essentially means the operator of the motor vehicle must exercise caution when opening her door, as well as be sure to only keep the door open as long as is necessary. If a driver opened her door in your path, then she may be liable for your damages if you crashed into it or were forced to swerve into traffic to avoid it, leading to an accident.
- Road hazards: Poorly maintained roads or sidewalks cause some bicycle accidents, and you may have been injured due to the negligence of the government entity responsible for making necessary repairs. In these cases, the Brauns Law, PC team will help you gather supporting evidence and identify the liable party. Photos of the scene are helpful in these types of cases.
- Defective/faulty equipment: Sometimes defective cycling equipment can cause accidents. If your bike malfunctioned or broke while you were riding it and you were injured, you may need to seek compensation from the manufacturer. The Brauns Law, PC team will help you gather evidence to support your claim, including photos or expert evaluations of the bike.
How can Brauns Law, PC help me after a bike crash?
Because we understand that the idea of hiring a lawyer and filing a claim can cause additional stress for someone already dealing with an injury, David Brauns and the Brauns Law, PC team offer our legal services with a compassionate and client-centered approach.
When you work with Brauns Law, PC, you will receive an education about the legal process as it applies to your cycling accident and will be well informed about what to expect at each step in the process. Our team will work with you to build a strong, successful case, incorporating the following services.
- Prove liability by showing that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care, breached that duty (e.g., ran a stop sign), and caused your accident and resulting damages (e.g., hit you and broke your arm).
- Address any defenses the defendant may make. E.g., claiming you did not signal you were turning left by lifting your left arm horizontally. (Note: Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be able to collect compensation, as long as you are less than 50 percent responsible.)
- Help you organize your medical bills and other documentation and make suggestions for what other evidence you might need to support your claim.
- Help you gather evidence (e.g., eyewitness statements, police reports, medical reports, etc.).
What should I do next?
Acting quickly is important when you are seeking compensation for damages related to a cycling accident. Call Brauns Law, PC in Duluth Georgia for an analysis of your case. To set up a no cost, no obligation consultation, contact us at 404-348-0889.
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