Were you hit by a careless driver while on your bicycle?
Scholle Law can help you recover fair compensation after a serious bike crash injury.
We have more than 20 years of experience helping Georgia accident victims.
Bicycling is a great way to get some exercise and get around Metro Atlanta, but like driving a car or motorcycle, it can be risky. Many drivers don’t expect to see cyclists, so they may not notice them until it’s too late. Some drivers seem to resent bikes, which can have disastrous results. Serious bicycle accidents can also be caused by poorly designed or maintained roads and paths, which can pit the injured rider against a local government agency.
Though Atlanta still has a long way to go to make cycling safer in the city, it has come a long way since the car-choked streets of pre-2000.
Meet Georgia personal injury lawyer Charles Scholle
Over the past couple of decades, a growing number of people are riding bicycles to work and for fun. Thanks to improved infrastructure and community support, Metro Atlanta and some surrounding suburbs have aimed to become havens for cyclists. Atlanta’s BeltLine will be the longest paved trail surface in the U.S. (totaling about 300 miles) upon completion. In 2016, Atlanta ranked as one of Bicycling Magazine’s top 50 bike-friendly cities for the first time. It came in at number 43.
Many times, though, bicyclists must share the road with motor vehicles, using the same streets as cars, trucks and other much larger vehicles. Often, unsafe roads, construction or reckless driving can cause a collision between cyclists and a vehicle, resulting in devastating injuries. When a motor vehicle and a bicycle collide, bicyclists are more vulnerable than either motorists or passengers.
For over 2 decades, Scholle Law has represented victims of bicycle accidents and their families. We have recovered millions of dollars for our many clients. Our founder, Atlanta personal injury attorney Charles Scholle, established this firm to dedicate our law practice to recover the compensation clients deserve after a serious injury.
If you or someone you love were injured in a bike crash, it’s important to treat it with the same serious attitude you’d bring to a Georgia car accident.
First and foremost, you should seek emergency medical attention if you’ve been seriously hurt. If you don’t immediately feel pain, try to get the contact and insurance information of anyone involved, document all of your injuries and damage by taking pictures and follow up as necessary with your doctor.
Above all, don’t let an insurance company treat you badly or pay you less than you deserve after a serious injury. Contact a personal injury attorney near you who specializes in bicycle accident cases as soon as possible.
How our accident lawyers can help you
As top Atlanta accident attorneys specializing in personal injury law, we work with other experts experienced in the causes of bicycle injury such as design defects, accident reconstruction and road conditions.
For instance, we were able to secure a $90,000 settlement for our client—a cyclist who was hit by a car in Gwinnett County. The plaintiff was a triathlete who had to undergo rotator cuff surgery.
Our lawyers can give you the peace of mind you need after a bicycle accident. You may have been hit by a car or truck. You may have been harmed when a driver failed to leave the required distance so that you could ride safely in a bike lane or on the road. You may have been struck and injured because a driver didn’t see you at an intersection, but you are not at fault for this failure—they are.
Atlanta cycling and traffic statistics
Here are some interesting statistics about cycling and cycling injuries in Atlanta, GA, according to the city’s Annual Bicycle Report (2018):
- Atlanta ranks as one of the nation’s most congested large urban areas, placing 4th worst in commute times and 9th worst in the world.
- In 2019, there were 40 reported crashes involving people biking in Atlanta and of those, 72 percent resulted in injuries and 5 percent resulted in fatalities.
- In Atlanta, Westside, Downtown, Midtown and Decatur St/DeKalb Ave have some of the highest numbers of bicycle crashes.
- In 2017 and 2018, the highest number of crashes involving bicycles in Atlanta occurred on Fridays, and the lowest occurred on Sundays.
- From 2012 to 2016, 72 percent of fatalities and 42 percent of injuries occurred on only 6 percent of city roads.
- Relay, the city of Atlanta’s bike-share operator, clocked 90,126 trips in 2018.
- Sixty-five percent of residents surveyed feel unsafe biking due to the speed of vehicles.
What are Georgia bike laws?
Under Georgia law, bicyclists generally must follow the same traffic laws that drivers do. That means obeying traffic signals, staying off the sidewalk and using appropriate safety equipment (except helmets, which are only required for minors under the age of 16). While these rules apply to everyone, many of them contain an exception forbidding the authorities from fining or imprisoning kids under 16 for violations.
There are also some special bicycle laws that apply to drivers. Most importantly, drivers must share the road with bicyclists. That means leaving a safe distance (at least 3 feet) between the car and the bicycle when they pass. Regardless of where the bicycle is in relation to the vehicle, drivers must also yield to bicyclists in lanes of traffic. Cyclists are not legally required to stick to the shoulder of the road, although they are free to ride on the paved shoulder, whereas cars may not.
Unfortunately, these laws are frequently violated. Failure by motorists to yield to bikes is a common cause of bicycle crashes, and those crashes can be physically, financially and emotionally devastating.
What are common bicycle accident injuries?
A bicycle accident can result in many very serious types of injuries, including the following:
Does auto insurance cover my injuries after a bike crash?
If you were hit by a driver who was at fault, that person’s insurance should cover your injuries and other costs. But if that insurance is unavailable or there was no other person involved, your own auto insurance policy should cover your injuries. In particular, you should be able to draw on uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage as well as coverage for medical payments. It doesn’t matter that you weren’t in your car.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is particularly helpful in situations where the driver can’t be identified, or can be identified but does not carry enough insurance to cover the full cost of your injuries. This is particularly likely in hit-and-run collisions, or when the accident caused serious injuries and the driver had only the minimum amount of coverage required by law (in Georgia, $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident).
You may also be able to use medical payment (MedPay) insurance, if you have it, to pay for your bicycle accident injuries. MedPay isn’t required in Georgia but is optional as an add-on. This kind of insurance pays for the medical bills caused by injuries to you and anyone else traveling with you, sometimes regardless of who caused the crash. This can be helpful if you don’t have health insurance or your health insurance doesn’t adequately cover your injuries.
Unfortunately, auto insurance companies often resist paying claims in unusual situations like bicycle accidents, even when it’s clear from the policy that they owe the money. If that happens to you, contact Scholle Law for help. After more than 2 decades of handling serious traffic accident injuries, we know how to force insurers to respect our clients’ rights.
In Georgia, most personal injury cases have a deadline, known as the “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations for bicycle accident claims is 2 years from the date of the accident. In other words, you only have 24 months to bring a personal injury claim or settle.
Injured in a bicycle accident? Contact Scholle Law today to protect your rights.
Riding a bicycle should be a fun way to get some exercise and get to where you’re going—not the cause of a life-changing accident. If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a bicycle crash, Scholle Law can help. We have extensive experience helping injured Georgia residents secure the money they need to recover from a serious crash caused by someone else’s bad decisions. And we offer free, no-obligation consultations, so don’t delay in talking to us about your rights and your legal options.
Contact us to speak with a lawyer about your accident.We’re available 24/7 and your first consultation is free.
Call 866-972-5287 or send us a message online