Cycling is a popular hobby for many individuals across the country. Numerous recent studies have confirmed the benefits of cycling not only for individuals but also for metropolitan areas. However, in spite of the many benefits of cycling, it is important to remember that a person’s safety must be considered when cycling on the road. Many times, a cyclist must share the road with other drivers. A bicycle, however, does not offer the same protections as a car, and it is up to drivers to ensure that they take proper care for any cyclists they share the road with. If a car collides with a cyclist, it can cause tremendous harm to the cyclist.
In Georgia, bicycles are considered to be vehicles under state law, this means not only must the cyclist adhere to the rules of the road, but the other cars sharing the road with them must give them the same caution as they would a regular vehicle. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, there were 13 cyclist deaths in the state in 2016, with an average of about 14 per year. Much of the time, however, these accidents could have been prevented through a greater degree of care on the road.
Cycling Accidents in Georgia
Cycling accidents can be catastrophic for the cyclist in many ways. These incidents often destroy the bicycle and have the potential to cause life-threatening injuries to the cyclist.
INJURIES FREQUENTLY SEEN IN CYCLING ACCIDENTS
A cycling accident can cause very serious injuries to the cyclist. Due to the lack of safety features on bicycles in comparison to those found in cars or other covered vehicles, a cyclist faces extreme danger when they are struck by a car. Even if a cyclist is in full safety gear, including a helmet, they may still incur injuries in a crash. Common injuries include:
- Serious Injuries: A serious injury is one that warrants medical attention at a hospital, such as a broken bone or severe bruise. These are common injuries in biking accidents; however, they are much more likely to occur in collisions involving cyclists and motor vehicles.
- Traumatic Injuries: A traumatic injury is one that presents a victim with the possibility of death, and requires immediate emergency medical attention. High-speed collisions with cyclists and vehicles can cause a cyclist to suffer traumatic injuries.
- Fatal Injuries: Due to the nature of these types of accidents and bicycles themselves, a person may lose their life in a cycling accident, even if safety gear is worn. High-speed impacts can cause a cyclist to lose their life.
COMMON CAUSES OF CYCLING ACCIDENTS
There are a number of ways that a person may be the victim of a cycling accident. At times, a driver’s lack of concern can cause an accident. Common ways a driver can cause an accident with a cyclist include:
- Failing to Treat Cyclists With Care: Many townships and cities across the state have designated lanes for bikes. A driver can cause an accident with a cyclist if they fail to mind these lanes and treat cyclists with care while on the road.
- Driver Error: Drivers may assume that because of the nature of the bicycle it is not subject to the same rules of the road as the more dominant motor vehicles taking up space on the roads. Failing to yield for bicycles or failing to pay proper attention to the cyclist can cause an accident.
- Distracted Driving: Just as with auto wrecks generally, a distracted driver is almost certain to cause an accident with a cyclist. Diverting one’s eyes from the road can endanger any cyclists they may be sharing the road with.
Cycling Accident Lawsuits in Georgia
A cycling accident can sometimes lead to a legal case. If an accident is caused by negligent acts of another, the injured party in the accident may be entitled to compensation, depending on the facts of the situation. When a person wishes to file a lawsuit in a case involving a cycling accident, the first step is analyzing the situation to determine whether or not a case may be pursued.
DAMAGES SEEN IN CYCLING ACCIDENTS
Damages refer to monetary compensation collected for negligent acts. There are a number of types of damages sought out that are common to cycling accidents. Some of the most common types of damages seen in these accidents include:
- Medical Costs: In any injury case, the backbone of the case is to recover payment of medical bills caused by the actions of the defendant. Medical bills in cycling accidents can be particularly costly, due to the nature of these types of accidents.
- Funeral Costs: If a person loses their life in an accident, the family may claim damages for their funeral costs. Unfortunately, cycling deaths can occur, in higher speed accidents or collisions.
- Loss of Income: If a person loses their life, or is left out of work, they or their family may claim damages for the loss of their income, especially if they were a primary supporting family member.
- Loss of Property: Due to the size disparity between motor vehicles and bicycles, these collisions often completely destroy the bicycle. Bicycles are by no means cheap, especially for serious cyclists.
- Non-ecomonic Damages: At times, a person can collect damages for things that cannot be measured in numeric or financial terms. This can include compensation for pain and suffering, or the loss of companionship, or the value of a person’s life.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a cycling accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Gautreaux Law Firm for a free consultation on your case today.