In 2013, the cost of auto accident fatalities in the state of Georgia was estimated at 1.63 billion dollars. Unfortunately, the cost of bicyclist fatalities accounted for $44 million or 3% of this figure. The Center for Disease Control and other state and federal agencies are desperately trying to prevent auto accident-related injuries and fatalities, because even with breakthroughs in new technology, car accidents are still in the top ten causes of death for Americans ages 1-54.
With car accidents costing the United States 44 billion dollars annually, one thing remains clear. Drivers must change their habits before these numbers will begin to decline. This has not yet occured, because in Georgia alone, 23 bicyclists died in auto accidents in 2015, which is a 21% increase from 2014. If you or a loved one have been in a bicycle accident, the bicycle accident attorneys at Cambre and Associates are here to help.
Bicycle Laws in Atlanta, GA
A bicycle is considered a “vehicle” pursuant to O.C.G.A. §40-1-1, and unfortunately, riding a bicycle on a sidewalk is prohibited by Georgia state law, O.C.G.A. §40-6-144, and by Atlanta city ordinance Sec. 150-210, if the bicyclist is 13 years of age or older. Moreover, all bicyclists, regardless of age, are prohibited from riding a bicycle in the business district or the central traffic district in Atlanta.
These laws increase the amount of danger you, as a bicyclist, experience while traveling around the city, but due to the fact that you are prohibited from traveling on the sidewalk with a bike, both you and individuals operating motor vehicles have certain responsibilities you must adhere to on the road.
Where am I Allowed to Ride a Bike in Atlanta?
By law, you are permitted to ride a bicycle either on the road, on the shoulder of the road, or in a bike lane. Moreover, you can ride a bicycle on any tracks, bike paths, or designated bike areas within any parks in Atlanta. When you are riding on road or city street, you are expected to obey all traffic laws, and you are given the same privileges as motor vehicle operators under Atlanta city ordinance Sec. 150-203
What Should I do if I am Involved in an Accident?
There are also laws that apply specifically to drivers when they encounter a bicyclist such as O.C.G.A. §40-6-56, which requires that drivers to keep a safe distance, which is defined as less than 3 feet, when passing a bicyclist. When laws such as this and others are ignored by a motor vehicle operator, accidents can and do happen. Normally, to the physical detriment of the bicyclist, which is why there are certain things you should always do if you are ever involved in a bicycle accident.
Take Photos of the Accident and Your Injuries
When an accident occurs, you always want to gather as much information about the accident scene as possible. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by taking photographs of your injuries, the car that hit you, and the accident scene in general such as exactly where the accident occured, where you were at the time of impact, etc.
Get Contact Information from Any Witnesses
Witness statements are a crucial piece of evidence in any bicycle accident case, because a driver and any passengers in the car will normally give a different account of how the accident occured than the bicyclist. Statements from any witnesses will counteract these claims. So, you should always get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses if possible.
Always Get Evaluated by a Physician
You should always get evaluated by a physician after a bicycle accident, even a minor accident, because some of the most common injuries such as whiplash, spinal injuries, and strained muscles can have delayed symptoms. Moreover, any evidence documenting the extent of your injuries can be used to strengthen your case.
Bicycle Accidents in Atlanta, GA
The bicycle accident attorneys at Cambre and Associates have been helping bicyclists who have been injured in accidents for years. We pride ourselves on our ability fully explain the legal process to each client, while aggressively pursuing the best possible resolution to each claim. If you or a loved one have been involved in a bicycle accident, call our office for a free consultation today.
These types of accidents can result in serious neck injuries, contact our team of neck injury attorneys today and get the representation and compensation you deserve.
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