Drivers must share the road with bicyclists. A driver who drives dangerously or even takes his eyes off the road for just a few seconds can seriously injure a bicyclist. Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer Terrence R. Bethune has been litigating personal injury cases since 1997 and can help injured bicyclists get the compensation they deserve.
HUNDREDS OF BICYCLISTS ARE INJURED EACH YEAR IN GEORGIA
Each year in Georgia there are, on average, between 800 and 900 accidents between a bicycle and a motorized vehicle, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Nearly two percent of recent bicycle accidents have been fatal, and about 11 percent of bicycle accidents have occurred in Fulton County. When a driver negligently injures a bicycle rider, the rider can seek compensation for her injuries.
INJURED BICYCLE RIDERS MAY FILE A LAWSUIT
A bicycle rider injured in an accident with a vehicle can file a lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident. The lawsuit usually alleges negligence on the part of the defendant and requires the plaintiff to prove: (1) the defendant owed the bicyclist a legal duty; (2) the defendant breached the legal duty; and (3) the bicyclist’s injuries were proximately caused by the defendant’s actions.
Bicyclists have many of the same rights as other cars, which means that drivers must drive reasonably around bicycle riders and afford them the same right of way and other considerations as cars. The plaintiff can prove that the driver breached the legal duty owed and caused the plaintiff’s injuries by submitting evidence that the driver, for example, intentionally cut off the bicyclist or simply wasn’t paying attention to the road (perhaps sending a text message).
In Georgia, plaintiffs injured in an accident with a car generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This rule is called the statute of limitations for a claim. Failing to meet this deadline may result in the case being permanently dismissed. Although two years sounds like a long time, it may take weeks or months to gather the evidence needed to file the claim. It is important, then, for a person injured in a bicycle accident to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
INJURED BICYCLE RIDERS MIGHT BE ENTITLED TO DAMAGES
If the plaintiff proves by a preponderance of the evidence the required elements of a negligence claim the jury can award damages. One type of damages, called economic compensatory damages, reimburse the plaintiff for the expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Medical bills, wages lost from missed work, and bicycle damage are all examples of economic compensatory damages. Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, compensate the plaintiff for things that are harder to quantify, such as pain and suffering.
RETAIN AN EXPERIENCED LAWYER
Atlanta bicycle accident attorney Terrence R. Bethune founded The Bethune Law Firm with a mission to help injured Georgians. In the years since countless people injured in car and bicycle accidents have turned to Mr. Bethune for help. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, call (800)-465-8733 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation. Consultations are always free and confidential.