Cycling is a fun way to get exercise and is a perfect activity for the whole family. Cycling as a pastime is growing with more than 100 American cities having at least one protected bike lane. Cycling is continuing to gain appeal for millennials and others who are choosing to live a more urban lifestyle in city centers. But as more people are starting to climb back up on their bikes, this can increase the number of bicycle accidents.
Although cycling is an enjoyable way to get exercise, it can also unfortunately be dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 1,000 bicyclists died and there were almost 467,000 bicycle-related injuries in 2015 in the United States. Adults who are between the ages of 50 and 59 have the highest rates of bicycle death rates, and children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 19 have the highest rates of nonfatal bicycle-related injuries, which account for more than one-third of all bicycle-related injuries seen in U.S. emergency departments.
In Georgia, there are between 800 and 900 bicycle accidents in an average year according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Because cyclists are less protected than a driver, they are more susceptible to serious injuries. Thankfully, Georgia protects cyclists who have been injured by negligent drivers.
Georgia Laws that Protect Cyclists
In Georgia, cyclists who are injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another person can file a lawsuit. The cyclist must prove the following:
- The defendant, usually the driver of a car, owed a duty to the cyclist;
- The driver neglected to fulfill that duty; and
- The cyclist was injured because of the driver’s breach of duty.
As a driver, it is your responsibility to drive reasonably. They should drive responsibly not only around other drivers, but also pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. An example of a breach of duty would be if a driver cuts off a cyclist, speeds, or drives intoxicated around a cyclist.
The cyclist must prove that the driver’s actions were a cause of their injuries to be entitled to compensatory damages. These damages can pay for medical bills, lost wages, or emotional injuries that the cyclist sustained.
At the same time, it’s up to the cyclist to ensure that they are going with the flow of traffic, obeying all traffic laws and lights, and ensuring that their bicycle is safe for the road.
Have you or a loved one been involved in a cycling accident in Georgia because of someone else’s negligence? You don’t have to face the challenge of pursuing legal action alone. Contact the Fry Law Firm today at 404-969-1284—we can help you understand your rights and help you pursue compensation for any medical bills you incurred as a result of the accident.