Biking to work can make traveling cheaper and is a common option for people that want to avoid the inconvenience of stop-and-start traffic. Unfortunately, it also puts those who participate in it at risk of painful and debilitating injuries, especially if another driver on the road acts carelessly and causes a crash. If you or a loved one suffered injury in a bike wreck someone else caused, contact a Marietta bicycle accident lawyer today and discuss your options with an experienced professional.
Despite having the right to share the road with vehicles, cyclists are often discriminated against, and you might feel that the blame for your accident is automatically placed on you. With the help of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, though, you could face the courts confidently and potentially earn compensation for your pain.
For residents of Marietta, a bicycle is legally considered to be a “vehicle,” which means that they may use the roads alongside other vehicles so long as they follow the same rules. However, there are some rules that only apply to cyclists. For example, the Official Code of Georgia §40-6-292 states that cyclists cannot let another person ride on their handlebars.
In addition, O.C.G.A. §40-6-294 states that cyclists must drive as close as possible to the right of the road. There are some exceptions to this law, though, such as situations when the rider is traveling as fast as traffic or making a left-hand turn.
These rules are just a few examples of the complexity of Marietta bicycling laws. In the heat of a court case or settlement negotiation, it is important for victims to understand these laws and the implications they have. Otherwise, the defense can use them to benefit their case or undercut the victim’s. For this reason, it is often equally important for victims to consult with a Marietta bicycle accident attorney and get their help presenting their case.
Establishing Fault in a Bicycle Accident Case
To receive compensation for damages experienced in a bicycle accident case, O.C.G.A. §§51-11-7 and 51-12-33 require victims to prove that the defendant is 51 percent or more responsible in order to recover damages. In addition, compensation for plaintiffs is adjusted based on their degree of fault for their own injuries.
For example, a cyclist struck while turning left might be legally entitled to damages from the driver responsible for hitting them. However, if the court assigns 20 percent of the total fault for the accident to the bicyclist, they would only be eligible to receive 80 percent of their total damages. Furthermore, if they are found to be 50 percent or more at fault for the accident, they would lose their right to compensation altogether.
Compensation for Bicycle Accidents
In 2010, the Georgia Supreme Court decided that it is unconstitutional to place caps on the amount of compensation a plaintiff may receive in a personal injury case. This means there is no limit to the amount Marietta residents can seek in damages through a bicycle accident case, so long as they can prove that they are entitled to this compensation in court.
Potential recoverable damages include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of wages;
- Medical expenses;
- Loss of income due to permanent disability.
Of course, the defense will almost always argue for reduced compensation. As such, retaining strong legal representation from a bicycle accident lawyer in Marietta could be key to your ability to recover.
Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accidents
Any individual who experienced suffering due to a bicycle accident and wishes to seek civil compensation must file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the accident, as per O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. However, if they are filing their lawsuit against a city or county, they must file their claim within six months of the accident. An experienced attorney could help you file a claim within the statute of limitations.
Reach Out to a Marietta Bicycle Accident Attorney
A bicycle accident can lead to physical and mental suffering and place your life in a state of disarray. Fortunately, these stresses could be curbed by hiring a Marietta bicycle accident lawyer. With a firmer grasp on your life, you could begin to move forward and may be able to receive compensation for your suffering. Call today to get started on your case.