Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta bicycle accident Attorney Walter Gabriel has experience taking claims involving bicycle accidents to court and recovering hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of bicyclists alone in the Atlanta area. In Georgia, injured cyclists have the right to sue and recover against negligent drivers.
Bicyclists on the roads and highways have the same general obligations and rights as any other motor vehicle. However, the unfortunate truth is that when a motorist crashes into a bicyclist, the cyclist is the person most likely to sustain serious injuries. 857 bicyclists died in bicycle accidents in 2018, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Cities such as Atlanta, Decatur, Alpharetta, and Jonesboro are providing more bike path lanes and additional protections for bicyclists. However, riding a bicycle can impose an added risk to those who ride alongside traffic, especially in more populated areas.
For this reason, a number of state laws protect bicyclists from the numerous risks of harm faced while riding. These laws impose various responsibilities on motor vehicle drivers and on bicyclists. They also provide useful guidance with regard to fault and liability in the event of a bicycle accident. Most of the laws, however, regulate the conduct of bicyclists on the road because they are designed to promote self-protective behaviors against standard sedans and commercial motor vehicles. Click here for a list of Georgia statutes that are specific to bicycle riders in Georgia.
Case Study: Representation of Previous Client
The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel is proud to represent a young man in the Atlanta area who was injured by a motorist while riding his bicycle on his way to work. The injuries he sustained forced him to miss work. Also, the young man did not have health insurance. So he didn’t have access to the physical therapy and rehabilitative treatment that he needed to recover from his bicycle accident caused by a motorist. Before he hired Attorney Gabriel, several law firms told him that his case was too difficult to win. Also before filing a lawsuit on his behalf, the offer to settle his case was $0. After he hired Attorney Gabriel, he got the medical attention – and surgery – that he needed, and a six-figure settlement.
Ready to speak to a qualified Atlanta bicycle accident attorney? Contact the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel so you can get the money that you deserve.
Roadway Hazards Expose Bicyclists to Substantial Risk of Harm
Like motorcyclists, minor road hazards often expose bicyclists to a greater risk of harm. What might seem like a small pothole could actually cause a bicyclist to lose their balance and crash. And in cities where bicyclists do not have bike lanes or paths, bike riders often have increased difficulty navigating the roads.
Perhaps worse for bicyclists, many municipalities do not properly maintain or clear their bike lanes, thus contributing to the danger. Responsible entities sometimes “store” unused signage, barriers, and other items in bike lanes. This creates an enormous risk of harm for those using such lanes. Depending on the circumstances, a bicyclist may be unable to safely come to a stop.
If a road hazard caused your injuries, then you may make a claim for damages against the entity responsible for maintaining the roadway, the bike lane or the shoulder of the road on which you were injured.
Comparative Fault — Helmet Use and Circumstantial Dangers
When involving bicycle accidents, Georgia implements the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. This means that a bicyclist should recover damages resulting from a bicycle accident, even if partially at-fault. The only caveat in Georgia is that the plaintiff must be less than 50% at fault. If the injured party meets this criteria, a court would simply reduce the damage award in accordance with the plaintiff’s own contribution of fault. The laws are slightly more Plaintiff-friendly in Louisiana, where the claimant must prove some level of fault on the part of the defendant, irrespective of the Plaintiff’s percentage of fault.
Depending on the circumstances, however, the contribution of fault may be significant. For example, the state of Louisiana does not require bicyclists over the age of 12 to wear helmets. However, a jury will likely find that a failure to wear a helmet is an act of negligence. If the court finds that you are 50 percent at fault for your injuries due to not wearing a helmet, then your total damages might drop from, say, $100,000 to $50,000. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides guidance on how to fit your bike helmet.
Unfortunately, motorists often blame the bicycle riders for causing their own injuries. For example, if the collision occurred at night, the at-fault party often questions whether the bicyclist was following the law. Such challenges include whether the bicycle rider wore reflectors, wore a helmet, and was traveling inside the bike lane.
Let’s Consider Another Example.
Most circumstances prohibit motor vehicles from occupying bike lanes. Suppose you notice that the car in the next lane over is continuously moving in-and-out of the bike lane, illegally. If you move into the area of the bike lane into which the car is swerving, then you are readily exposing yourself to the anticipated danger. The court might find that you are partially at fault and will reduce your damages accordingly.
Contact an Experienced Atlanta Bicycle Accidents Attorney for a Free Consultation
The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel is a personal injury personal injury firm with experience handling bicycle accident cases that have provided real results for those involved.
Attorney Gabriel is dedicated to providing our clients with aggressive, comprehensive advocacy. Though he works to negotiate a favorable settlement, he will also pursue cases all the way through to trial if necessary. This willingness to litigate ensures that we exercise additional leverage during early negotiations.
Find out if you have a case. Call or submit a case evaluation form online to request a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Atlanta bicycle accident attorney at the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC today.
Experienced Atlanta Bicycle Accident Law Firm
No matter how cautious you are, accidents can happen. If you’ve been injured in a bike accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers at Walter Gabriel Law will work hard to get you the maximum compensation possible. The firm has a proven track record of success and he's ready to fight for you. Contact him today for a free consultation.
Why Should I Call a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Bicycle Accident?
If you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle accident, it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. A personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.
Bicycle accidents often result in serious injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and paralysis. In some cases, these injuries can be life-threatening. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Once you have received medical treatment, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer will work with you to investigate the accident and gather evidence to support your claim. The lawyer will also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and fight for the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle accident, contact a personal injury lawyer today.
Seek Your Deserved CompensationGET STARTED
Understanding Georgia’s Bicycle Laws
As a cyclist in Georgia, it is important to understand and follow the state’s bicycle laws. These laws are designed to keep you safe while riding, as well as ensure that you share the road responsibly with other vehicles.
Georgia law treats bicycles as vehicles, which means that cyclists must adhere to the same rules of the road as cars. This includes following posted speed limit signs, stopping at stop signs, and using signals.
In addition to these general rules, there are also specific laws that apply only to bicycles. For example, in Georgia, it is against the law to ride on the sidewalk. cyclists must also ride in the same direction as traffic and as close to the right side of the road as possible unless there is a hazard. When making a turn, cyclists must signal using their arms.
Finally, cyclists are not allowed to ride more than two abreast, unless they are on a bike path or lane. By understanding and following these laws, you can help keep yourself safe while cycling in Georgia.
Get Checked out By a Doctor
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, it is important to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. You might not feel like you are injured, but it is always better to be safe and get professional medical attention. Often, injuries from bicycle accidents can become worse over time if they are not treated properly.
So, if you are involved in a collision, be sure to visit your doctor or go to the emergency room right away. In addition, follow-up on all courses of treatment recommended by your doctor. This might include medication, additional tests, and rehabilitation. By getting proper medical attention, you can help ensure that your injuries do not become worse and that you make a full recovery.
Call the Police
It’s important to call the police after an accident, especially if there are serious injuries or property damage. In Georgia, you’re required by law to call 911 if there are serious injuries or death, or if property damage exceeds $500.
When speaking with medical providers and the police, it’s important, to be honest about what happened. However, keep in mind that your statements will be recorded and could be used in court. Therefore, you shouldn’t feel pressured to admit fault for the accident.
Record Important Details
If possible, write down the contact information for the negligent driver. If the accident was a hit-and-run, try to take note of the license plate number or other identifying characteristics of the vehicle. It’s also always good practice to document the accident. This might include taking pictures of your injuries, road conditions, and damage to your bike. Further, write down your recollection of the events while they are still fresh in your mind. If there were any witnesses, see if you can get their contact information.
Direct All Communication to Your Attorney
If you’ve been in a bike accident, you may be contacted by the driver’s insurance company. It’s important to remember that they’re representing their interests, not yours. Be careful about what you say to them, and don’t accept any offers too quickly. The process of settlement negotiations can be long and difficult, so it’s always best to have an Atlanta bicycle attorney on your side.
Your attorney will handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing or making a mistake that could jeopardize your case. Let your lawyer handle the negotiation process and fight for the compensation you deserve.
You Might Have a Claim Against Someone Other than A Negligent Driver
After a bicycle accident, you might assume that the only party you can file a claim against is the driver who hit you. However, this is not always the case. In some situations, you might have a claim against someone other than the driver.
For example, if there was a hazard in the street, this could be evidence of negligence. The municipality responsible for maintaining the road might be liable for your accident.
Another example is if you were hit by a driver who was working at the time. In this case, their employer could be held liable under the doctrine of vicarious liability.
If you have been in a bicycle accident, it is important to speak to an attorney to determine if you have a claim against someone other than the driver. An experienced attorney will be able to investigate the circumstances of your accident and identify all potentially liable parties.
If you can prove that someone, such as a local property owner, business, or the city, failed to act reasonably under the circumstances, you may have a claim. However, remember that proving negligence is not enough. You need to establish that the negligence caused your injury.
In addition, if your injury was due to a malfunction on your bike, you may have a claim against the manufacturer. These are known as product liability cases, and they can get complicated. For that reason, it can be helpful to reach out to a qualified attorney.
Do not assume that you do not have a claim simply because the driver was the only party at fault. There could be other liable parties who are responsible for your injuries. Speak to an attorney to learn more about your legal options.
Compensatory damages are the most common type of damages awarded in a bicycle accident lawsuit. These damages are meant to compensate the injured party for their losses and can include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Punitive damages may also be awarded in some cases if the court finds that the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious. These damages are meant to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future and can be quite sizable.
In some cases, a court may also award “exemplary damages.” These are like punitive damages but are only awarded if the defendant’s actions were particularly despicable. Exemplary damages can be quite large and are meant to send a message that such behavior will not be tolerated.
It is important to note that damages are not always awarded in a bicycle accident lawsuit. In some cases, the court may find that neither party was at fault, or that the damages sustained were not severe enough to warrant compensation. Additionally, some states have laws limiting the amount of compensation that can be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. These laws vary from state to state, so it is important to check with an attorney in your area to see what damages may be available to you.
The number of damages that can be awarded in a bicycle accident lawsuit will depend on several factors, including the severity of the injuries sustained, the amount of property damage, and the state in which the accident occurred. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you determine what damages may be available to you and will fight for the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
If your bike is damaged in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the damage. This can include the cost of repairs or the replacement cost if the bicycle is totaled.
You will need to provide evidence of the damage and the costs involved to receive compensation. It is important to keep receipts and documentation of all repairs or replacement costs. If you have questions about what you may be entitled to, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help.
Medical Bills and Related Expenses
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to reimbursement for your medical bills and other related expenses. This would include payment for your hospital stay, doctor’s visits, physical therapy, prescription drugs, and any other necessary medical treatment. In some cases, you may also be able to recover damages for your pain and suffering. To learn more about your legal rights and options, please contact a bike accident attorney today.
Lost Income and Wages
If you have been injured in an accident, you may be eligible for lost income and wages. This includes if you are unable to work due to the injury, or if you can only return to work in a diminished capacity.
To pursue a claim for lost income and wages, you will need to provide documentation of your earnings before the accident, as well as evidence of the impact the accident has had on your ability to work. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you gather the necessary documentation and build a strong case for lost income and wages.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are one of the many types of personal injury damages that you can receive after being involved in a bike accident. While these damages may be more subjective than other types, they are still meant to compensate you for the emotional and physical toll that the accident took on your life.
There is no concrete formula for calculating pain and suffering damages, so they are often determined by a jury or during settlement negotiations. If you have been involved in a bike accident, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that you receive the full compensation that you deserve.
Damages Available to Families After a Fatal Bicycle Accident
If you have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to bring a wrongful death claim. To qualify, you must be the victim’s spouse or child. Parents are also entitled to bring these claims, provided the child was not married and did not have any children.
Wrongful death suits allow a loved one to recover the value of the victim’s life. This calculation considers lost lifetime earnings and other financial benefits, such as pensions. It also includes medical bills incurred before death as well as funeral/burial costs.
If you have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, call an experienced wrongful death attorney today to discuss your legal options. With the help of a lawyer, you can get the justice and compensation you deserve.
What if I Share Some of The Blame for My Atlanta Bike Accident?
If you were partially at fault for your injuries, your damage award may be reduced.
Georgia is a modified comparative fault state. This means that if you are less than 50% at fault for an accident, you can recover damages. However, your award will be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
For example, let’s say you were riding your bike at night without lights or weren’t using a bike lane. If you were not more than 50% to blame, you can recover damages. However, your award will be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
If you are found to be more than 50% at fault for an accident, you will not be able to recover any damages.
If you have been involved in a bike accident, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.
Evidence Needed to Prove My Bicycle Accident Case?
To prove negligence in a bicycle accident case, you will need to show that the driver of the vehicle did not exercise proper care while driving. This means that they failed to use reasonable caution while operating their vehicle and as a result, an accident occurred. To do this, you will need to gather evidence to support your claim. This may include witness statements, photos of the scene, and the police report. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you gather this evidence and build a strong case.
What is My Bicycle Accident Case Worth
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what a bicycle accident case is worth. The value of your case will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the costs of your medical treatment, and the impact that the accident has had on your life.
If you have been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may also be able to recover punitive damages.
The best way to find out how much your case is worth is to speak with an experienced bicycle accident attorney. An attorney will be able to evaluate all the relevant factors in your case and give you a realistic estimate of its value.
How Long Will My Bicycle Accident Case Take?
It is impossible to say definitively how long any given bicycle accident case will take. However, some general guidelines can provide some insight into the matter. A case will take longer if there are more parties involved, if there is significant property damage, or if there are injuries involved. In addition, cases that go to trial tend to take longer than those that are settled out of court. Ultimately, the best way to get an estimate of how long your case will take is to speak with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer.
Hit and Run Accidents and Other Insurance Issues
If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you’re protected. First, try to get the license plate number of the other vehicle if possible. This will allow the police to track down the driver and potentially file criminal charges.
Even if the driver can’t be located, you may still be covered under your insurance policy. Many policies have uninsured motorist provisions, and some even cover policyholders while they are riding bicycles. So, it’s important to review your policy or speak with your agent to see what exactly is covered.
If you have any questions about hit-and-run accidents or your insurance coverage, don’t hesitate to contact a local attorney. He or she can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Call a Atlanta Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you were in a Georgia bicycle accident, Walter Gabriel Law is here to help. Keep in mind that it’s always good practice to speak with an Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer before you begin negotiating with a driver’s insurance company. They are looking out for their interests, which typically means paying out the lowest injury claim amount.
At Walter Gabriel Law, Attorney Gabriel understands the law and knows how to get you the full and fair compensation you deserve. He will handle all the paperwork and meetings with insurance companies so that you can focus on your recovery. Call today for a free consultation. He is here to help.