Bicycling is a basic form of transportation that is accessible to virtually all Americans. People choose to bicycle for a variety of fitness, health, economic and environmental reasons. However, despite their reputation for providing good exercise and green transportation, bicycles are not without their drawbacks. Specifically, bicycle riders are at risk for very serious injuries in the event of an accident.
According to data released for the year 2012 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 49,000 bicyclists were injured and 726 were killed in traffic crashes. As if those figures are not high enough, it is widely believed that the number of bicycle injuries is under reported because some injuries are not serious enough to require medical attention. To make matters worse, accidents involving bicycles are among the most frequent causes of fatal injuries for young children.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, the attorneys of the Mann Law Firm can help you obtain compensation for medical and rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Our office in Macon serves all of Middle Georgia, including Dublin, Warner Robins or Milledgeville. Contact us for a thorough case evaluation by calling (478) 742-3381 or by filling out this form.
Who Is At Risk?
NHTSA 2012 data further reveals that the average age of bicyclists killed in crashes with motor vehicles was 43 years old, up from 32 in 1998 and 24 in 1988. Almost 90 percent of the fatalities were male, and 30 percent of the fatalities occurred between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 7:59 p.m. Here in Georgia, there are almost 700 bicycle-motor vehicle crashes each year. Although many U.S. cities are beginning to build special lanes and paths for bicyclists, the majority of bike riders find themselves dangerously sharing the roadway with cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles.
Thus, bicyclists share the same rights and duties as motorists, such as yielding to pedestrians, staying off the sidewalk and riding in the same direction as traffic.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Georgia
Many accidents happen because the motorist is distracted or is not paying attention to his or her driving. Some of the leading causes of bicycle accidents are when motorists:
- Turn directly in front of a moving bicycle
- Fail to allow the mandated three feet of space passing a bicycle
- Pull onto the roadway without looking in both directions
- Fail to yield the right of way
- Don’t check for cyclists when opening their door.
Types of Bicycle Injuries
Of course, bicycles are very vulnerable on the road due to their small size and limited visibility. The lack of physical protection provided by bicycles leaves their riders highly susceptible to serious injury and even death in the event of an accident. Common injuries include head injuries, spinal cord injuries, back injuries, broken bones and road rash.
Based on the severity of the accident, a bicyclist may be entitled to compensation from the driver and/or the company that insures the vehicle. Even if there is no physical contact between a bike and a vehicle, a cyclist who is injured while taking evasive action to avoid a crash can usually hold the motorist responsible for negligently causing the accident. It is also possible to file a claim against a retailer who may have negligently assembled a bike or a manufacturer who may have distributed a defective part. In the tragic event of a fatal accident, the bicyclist’s family or dependents may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Legal Claims in Bicycle Injury Cases
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident that was due to the actions of another person or to equipment failure, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. The Macon, GA bicycle accident lawyers of the Mann Law Firm can help you protect your rights.
We have over 50 years of experience with personal injury claims and we take bike accidents very seriously. We represent clients across Georgia and we welcome the chance to represent you. Let us evaluate your case by calling (478) 742-3381 or using this convenient online contact form.
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