Any physical contact between a bicycle and a motor vehicle has the potential to cause serious injuries to the bike rider. Many people may believe that when there is a collision between a bike and a car, the car driver will automatically be found at fault. In fact, bike riders must follow the same rules of the road as all other drivers and could potentially be found at fault as well. For this reason, all instances of bicycle accidents require proper legal analysis by a dedicated personal injury attorney if you wish to acquire compensation. A Cherokee County bicycle accident lawyer could take the lead in pursuing a negligent driver for appropriate compensation.
Rights and Responsibilities of Bike Riders
Georgia traffic laws require all vehicles on the road – including bicycles – to follow the rules and regulations. Just as car and truck drivers are required to obey red lights, give proper notice before changing lanes, and yield to oncoming traffic, bike riders have these same responsibilities.
But with these responsibilities come rights. The law extends the same protections to bicyclists as all other people on the road. In fact, all drivers have a duty under the law to protect bike riders wherever they may be on the road. Because of this, bike riders who are injured in accidents have the right to claim damages in civil court.
However, it is important to present a powerful demand for compensation. Georgia law states that courts will use the concept called modified comparative negligence to apportion blame after an accident. This allows defendant drivers to argue that a bike rider shared some responsibility for a crash. If the plaintiff is deemed partially at fault, their compensation award could be reduced or possibly eliminated. A bike accident lawyer in Cherokee County could help someone determine if they bear any fault for their injuries.
Pursing a Bike Accident Claim in Cherokee County
Most collisions between bikes and motor vehicles are accidents, which requires proof of negligence in order for a claim to proceed. To win a case based on negligence, a plaintiff and their Cherokee County bicycle collision attorney must demonstrate:
- That the defendant owed them a responsibility to protect them, known as a duty of care;
- That the defendant breached this duty;
- That the breach of duty caused injury; and
- That the injuries led to compensable damages.
All drivers must look out for the well-being of all other people on the road. For this reason, the first portion of a negligence claim is almost always satisfied.
The element most often in dispute is whether a breach of the duty of care took place. In other words, it is based on whether the defendant was responsible for the accident. In some cases, a police report will indicate that the driver of the car caused the accident by speeding or not yielding to the bike rider. In other cases, a plaintiff must directly prove that the defendant driver was careless in their driving. To demonstrate this, it may be necessary to visit the scene of the accident, perform an accident reconstruction, and talk to third-party witnesses about the accident.
Any claim for damages from a bicycle accident runs through the defendant’s insurance company. As a result, the claim is in the hands of professionals who specialize in minimizing claims. They will try to pressure unrepresented plaintiffs into taking settlements that are a fraction of the case’s value or may even press plaintiffs to drop the claim altogether.
Let a Cherokee County Bicycle Accident Attorney Handle Your Claim
When a bicyclist is hit by a car, it is not always obvious which party was responsible for the crash. A Cherokee County bicycle accident lawyer could shield you from aggressive insurance companies and fight to obtain the full compensation that you deserve. Time is limited to file a claim, so do not wait; contact an attorney today.