Bicyclists should be able to feel safe on the roads. However, that is not always the case because drivers often fail to see cyclists, putting them at risk of a crash. The injuries sustained in an accident can be severe due to the size of a bike compared to a vehicle and the lack of rider protection.
If you are hurt in a crash with a motorist, a Gwinnett County bicycle accident lawyer could provide you with the representation you need to recover compensation for your injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney understands the pain you are experiencing and could help.
Applicable Bicycle Laws
In Georgia, a bicyclist must follow the same rules of the road as motor vehicles and must also abide by other statutes enacted for their safety, such as requirements regarding lights and helmets for riders under a certain age. However, in addition to the responsibilities of riders, there are also certain protections in place. In the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, specific laws are designed to prevent injuries to bicyclists, including:
- Section 40-6-55 states that drivers must yield to cyclists who are riding in a bicycle lane; and
- Section 40-6-56 requires motorists to provide a safe distance between themselves and a cyclist when overtaking and passing a rider going in the same direction.
In addition, laws have been enacted that criminalize aggressive and reckless driving, which apply to motorists’ interactions with bicyclists as well. To learn how bicycle laws impact liability, speak with a well-versed Gwinnett County bicycle accident lawyer.
Establishing Negligence Following a Crash
Most bike accidents are the result of the failure of a motorist to see a cyclist. This inattention can be grounds for a negligence claim since motorists have a duty of care to pay attention to bicyclists while on the road. To bring a cause of action for an injury caused by a defendant’s negligent behavior, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed them a duty, breached the duty, and that the breach caused their injuries. In addition, they must be able to demonstrate that they suffered damages.
In Gwinnett County, any cyclist whose own negligence contributed to the accident that caused their injuries may still recover under Georgia’s comparative negligence law. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, as long as the plaintiff is found to be less than 50 percent at fault, they can recover damages. However, the award will be reduced proportionately by the percentage of their fault. If the plaintiff is 50 percent or more responsible, then they are generally not able to recover any damages. An accomplished lawyer could help an injured victim establish negligence so that they could get the compensation that they deserve.
Available Damages in Gwinnett County Bike Accident Cases
Cyclists involved in a collision with a motor vehicle can suffer serious injuries, including brain damage and paralysis, that require extensive medical care and treatment, both immediately after the accident and over the long term. To attempt to make these riders whole, plaintiffs can be awarded monetary compensation for a variety of economic and non-economic losses, including:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost income;
- Bike damage;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Emotional distress.
In addition, in certain cases such as drunk driving accidents, Georgia allows for the award of punitive damages, which are intended to punish defendants when their actions show willful misconduct, malice, wantonness, or oppression. A bicycle accident attorney in Gwinnett County could help an injured individual recover damages after their accident.
Get in Touch with a Gwinnett County Bicycle Accident Attorney
When you suffer an injury because of a motorist’s negligence, you should not be the one to pay. A Gwinnett County bicycle accident lawyer could help you establish fault in your case so you can recover damages from the responsible party. Call to discuss your situation.