Atlanta Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured while riding a bicycle, then you may be entitled to bring an action for substantial damages. In the state of Georgia, there are a number of laws designed to protect bicyclists from the numerous risks of harm they face while riding on mixed roadways. These laws impose various responsibilities on motor vehicle drivers and on bicyclists, and they provide useful guidance with regard to fault and liability in the event of a bicycle accident.
Attorney Walter Gabriel has worked as a prosecutor and now as a plaintiff’s attorney, granting him broad insight into the tactics and expectations typical of high-stakes litigation. He understands what is required to bring forth a truly effective case. This is especially critical in bicycle accident disputes, where the court may not grasp the unique dangers that bicyclists are exposed to on the roadways, and how these factors influence the behavior of safe bicyclists.
Ready to speak to a qualified Atlanta bicycle accident attorney? Contact the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC for comprehensive assistance.
Roadway Hazards Expose Bicyclists to Substantial Risk of Harm
Like motorcyclists, bicyclists are often exposed to a greater risk of harm by virtue of minor road hazards. What might seem like a small pothole — merely an annoyance — to a truck driver could actually cause a bicyclist to lose their balance and crash.
Perhaps worse for bicyclists, many municipalities do not properly maintain or clear their bike lanes, thus contributing to the danger. Unused signage, barriers, and other items are sometimes “stored” in bike lanes, creating an enormous risk of harm for those using such lanes. Depending on the circumstances, there may not be time or space with which to safely come to a stop.
If you’ve been injured due to a road hazard, then you may have 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 Can Be a Problem — Helmet Use and Circumstantial Dangers
Georgia implements the doctrine of modified comparative negligence, which is to say that a bicyclist would be entitled to recover damages resulting from a bicycle accident, even if they are partially at-fault. Their damages would simply be reduced in accordance with their own contribution of fault.
Depending on the circumstances, however, the contribution of fault may be significant. For example, helmets are not required by law for bicyclists over the age of 12 in the state of Louisiana. Failure to wear a helmet — if you sustained head injuries — could be deemed an act of negligence, however. 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.
Let’s consider another example.
Motor vehicles are generally not entitled to occupy bike lanes except in very specific circumstances. Suppose that you are riding a bike and 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 is likely to find that you are at least partially at fault and will reduce your damages accordingly.
Contact an Experienced Atlanta Bicycle Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC is a boutique personal injury litigation firm with extensive experience handling a range of claims that include bicycle accident injuries.
We are dedicated to the provision of aggressive, comprehensive advocacy. Though we work to negotiate a favorable settlement, we are willing and able to pursue a case all the way through to trial, if necessary. This willingness to litigate ensures that we can exercise additional leverage during early negotiations.
Interested in speaking to an attorney directly about your claims? Call (318) 445-2121 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Atlanta bicycle accident attorney at the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC.