Bicycling is a common mode of transportation and a popular recreational activity. However, it also comes with risks, particularly when sharing the road with cars. This article will explore the causes of auto accidents involving bikes, how to prevent them, and the compensation available to victims.
Our Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers at the Weinstein Firm are dedicated to helping clients get the maximum settlement. Contact us today for a free case review.
Causes of Car Accidents Involving Bicycles
There are several common causes of auto accidents involving bicycles.
This is a leading cause of all types of vehicle collisions, including cycling accidents. When drivers or cyclists pay more attention to their smartphones instead of the road, they’re much more likely to be involved in crashes.
Following Too Closely
Cyclists who follow cars or other bikes too closely create dangerous situations on the road. Following too close greatly increases the chances motorists will crash into you, or that you will crash into them if something unexpected happens.
Ignoring Traffic Lights and Stop Signs
Cyclists and drivers who ignore traffic lights and stop signs pose a significant risk to themselves and others on the road.
Unsafe Lane Changes
Drivers who change lanes without checking for cyclists can cause serious accidents.
In some areas, the chances of a car hitting a bicycle increase drastically because of a city’s infrastructure. For instance, if there are few or no bike lanes, that increases the interaction between cyclists and drivers.
Prevention of Bicycle Accidents
Prevention is key when it comes to reducing bicycle accidents. Here are some tips for both cyclists and drivers.
- Stay Alert: Both drivers and cyclists should avoid distractions such as mobile phones.
- Follow Traffic Rules: Obeying traffic lights and stop signs is crucial for safety.
- Use Safety Equipment: Cyclists should always wear helmets and use lights and reflectors when riding in low-light conditions.
- Maintain Safe Distance: Drivers should maintain at least 3 feet of distance when passing a cyclist.
- Ride Defensively: Cyclists should assume that drivers do not see them and ride accordingly.
Compensation for Bicycle Accidents
In the event of an accident involving a bicycle and a motor vehicle, the cyclist may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages. This compensation can cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.
In Georgia, auto insurance policies cover injuries to cyclists and pedestrians. After a bicycle accident, you and your accident attorney will file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer. To receive compensation, you will need to show that the driver acted negligently.
Georgia’s car insurance laws mandate that drivers have $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability. This means when an accident happens, the insurer will pay up to $25,000 to each individual victim but will only pay a total of $50,000 in damages to all parties involved in the incident.
Legal Process for Claiming Compensation
The process for claiming compensation after an auto accident involving a bicycle can be complex and time-consuming. It typically involves these steps.
- Gathering Evidence: This includes police reports about the accident, statements from witnesses, medical records showing injuries from the accident, invoices showing medical expenses related to your injuries, etc.
- Filing a Claim: You must file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer.
- Proving Negligence: You must prove that the driver acted negligently.
- Negotiating Settlement: If your claim is valid, you may receive an offer from the insurer.
- Going to Court: If the insurance company denies your claim or you believe that the settlement offer is insufficient, you may decide to take your case to court.
It’s recommended that you consult with an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney who can guide you through this process.
Call Our Atlanta Bike Accident Lawyers Today!
While bicycling offers numerous benefits, it’s essential for both cyclists and drivers to understand their responsibilities on the road to prevent accidents. If an accident does occur, it’s crucial to know your rights and what compensation may be available to you.