Who Can Be Held Liable for a Bicycle Accident Under Georgia Law?
As we discussed above, while driver negligence is the most common factor in serious and fatal bicycle accidents, negligent drivers aren’t the only ones who can be held liable. Depending on the circumstances involved in your (or your loved one’s) accident, our bicycle accident lawyer may be able to pursue claims against:
- The driver’s auto insurance company
- The driver’s employer (if he or she was working at the time of the accident)
- Another cyclist who put you in harm’s way
- Your bike’s or helmet’s manufacturer
- A government agency or road construction contractor
- Any other party that is legally responsible for the accident
Violating Georgia Law Helps Establish Fault
Many motorists think that bicycles do not belong on the road. Fortunately, this is not the case – Georgia law establishes several important rights for cyclists and pedestrians:
- Motorists must provide you with at least three feet of space when passing
- Motorists must yield to you if you are riding in a designated bike lane
- You are allowed to ride in the middle of a travel lane if it is unsafe to ride on the shoulder, the lane is too narrow to share with another vehicle, you are traveling at the same speed as traffic, or you are passing a stopped vehicle that is proceeding in the same direction as you
These rights are important in determining whether you have a claim. Motorists are obligated to know the rules of the road. Failure to abide by these laws pertaining to cyclists may be evidence of negligence. If you were injured in an accident because a vehicle passed too closely, for example, an Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer may be able to use this fact to help you pursue a personal injury claim for compensation.
What to Avoid if You’ve Been Injured in a Bicycle Accident
If you are entitled to financial compensation for your bicycle accident, you will need to be careful to protect your legal rights. With this in mind, here are some things not to do after being injured in a crash:
Do Not Refuse Medical Care or Delay Treatment
Refusing necessary medical care could prevent you from collecting the financial compensation you deserve. The same goes for delaying essential treatment. After being injured in a bicycle accident, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Do Not Accept (or Make) Any Apologies
If you are facing medical bills, lost earnings, and chronic pain and suffering, an apology isn’t enough. Likewise, you should not apologize to the driver, the insurance adjuster or anyone else. You are the victim, and you deserve to collect just compensation.
Do Not Ignore Your Situation
Ignoring your situation can make collecting the compensation you deserve more challenging. Therefore, in addition to seeking treatment for your injuries, you should schedule a free consultation with an Atlanta, Alpharetta or Cumming bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible.