Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

Cycling in the United States is growing in popularity – not just as a form of recreation and exercise, but also as a way to get to work and as a means to get around town. Unfortunately, more bikes on the road increases the chances of more accidents and more injuries. Many motorists don’t understand the law pertaining to bicycles, and therefore think that cyclists are always at fault in an accident. Thankfully, this is not the case. If you’ve been in an accident with a motor vehicle, the driver may have negligently failed to obey the law, and therefore be liable for your injuries.    

Bicycles Have a Right to Use the Road

Under Georgia law, a bicycle is considered a “vehicle,” and is therefore subject to many of the laws concerning motor vehicles. With an exception by local ordinance for children 12 or younger, Georgia law actually prohibits you from riding on the sidewalk. As a result, you have a right to ride your bike on the road, despite what that angry motorist may have told you.  

Nationwide, cycling is seeing an increase in popularity for both recreation and transportation. As more cyclists take to the road, the number of accidents between cars and bikes also increases. Because these accidents often result in serious injury, it’s important to know what to do beforehand.  

Stay Calm

Do your best to stay calm and avoid panicking. You also want to keep your temper and avoid getting into an altercation with the police. If you can move, get out of the street and find a safe place on the sidewalk but remain close to the scene of the accident. Your body may be full of adrenaline, masking any potential injuries.  

A New Jersey man and his wife have been awarded $3.2 million in damages after a Philadelphia jury found the city of Philadelphia liable for his injuries. On May 17, 2015, Anthony Degliomini was riding his bike as part of the inaugural Phillies Charities Bike Ride when he hit a large hole just before crossing the finish line. Although he was wearing a helmet, he flew over the handlebars, hit the pavement, and was knocked unconscious. He was hospitalized for five days at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital before being transferred to Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, where he stayed for an additional 20 days. His attorneys say that his injuries were severe, including an injury to his spinal cord that necessitated the implantation of rods and screws to fuse his spine together.

Degliomini’s attorneys argued during the trial that the city of Philadelphia knew of the sinkhole before issuing the event permit to its organizers because it was visible on Google Earth images in October 2014, nine months before the event. They said that the city’s attempt to patch the sinkhole prior to the event failed because it was treated like a routine pothole. There was even debate during the trial over whether the hole in question was actually a “pothole” or a “sinkhole.” The hole measured 16 square feet in diameter and was six inches deep. Degliomini argued that this qualifies as a sinkhole, while the city of Philadelphia argued that it was merely a pothole. Either way, the jury sided with the plaintiff.

Holes and broken pavement present a serious issue for cyclists since they can cause a bicycle to stop abruptly, throwing the rider over the handlebars. And even if the rider is wearing a helmet, he or she could still suffer facial and spinal cord injuries like the plaintiff in the above case. In Philadelphia alone, the city repaired 30,000 potholes last year and is on track to repair approximately 44,000 this year. City officials say that this year is particularly challenging for potholes because of the constant freezing and thawing that the region has experienced, which helps to create potholes.

When most people think of car accident injuries, they think of injuries caused by two cars colliding with each other. After all, since most of us drive a personal vehicle to commute each day, this is our primary concern. However, riding a bicycle as a form of transportation has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in large cities like Atlanta. While there are several advantages to cycling over driving an automobile, including being healthier, better for the environment, and just more fun all around, safety is not one of them. Cyclists face serious injury or even death when they are struck by automobiles.

Bicycle Accident Liability Basics

Bicycle accidents involve many of the same determinations of fault as auto accidents. In fact, bicycles are considered “vehicles” for legal purposes in Georgia, meaning that the general rules of vehicular traffic apply to bikes on the same basis as motor vehicles. This includes driving on the right side of the road, stopping at stop signs and lights, and using forward and rearward illumination at night.

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