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When Bicyclists Are Responsible For A Georgia Car Accident

By Butler Prather LLP on February 27, 2020

There is no denying that bicycle accidents result in serious injuries, especially for the bicyclists involved. While many articles focus on bicycle accidents that are caused by the careless or negligent actions of a vehicle driver, there are many instances in which these crashes are caused by a careless or reckless bicyclist. Understanding when a bicyclist is responsible for an accident is important in these cases.

Bike responsible for accident

Bicycle accidents can lead to devastating injuries

According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 857 bicycle accident deaths in the US during the latest reporting year. In a high percentage of bicycle accidents, the bicyclists suffer injuries. It is not uncommon for a bicycle accident to lead to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries.

When is a bicyclist liable for a crash in Georgia?

Bicyclists in Georgia have a duty to follow all traffic laws when they are on the roadway. Further, the Official Code of Georgia Annotated 40-6-294 states that bicyclists are to use a bike path. If one is not provided, they must ride as close to the right side of the roadway as possible. There are some exceptions to this rule, including when:

  • A bicyclist is making a left-hand turn
  • A bicyclist is passing a stopped vehicle
  • A bicyclist is traveling the same speed as the vehicles on the roadway
  • The road is too narrow to share with a vehicle

Cars are allowed to pass bicyclists, but they must only do so when there is enough space to safely get around the bicyclist.

How could a bicyclist cause a vehicle crash?

Bicyclists could cause traffic crashes in a variety of ways, particularly when they ignore the rules of the roadway. In many cases, a bicyclist fails to yield the right-of-way when appropriate. Yes, sometimes a vehicle will have the right-of-way over a bicyclist. This could include when there are yield signs present. It could also include intersections where a bicyclist is required to stop. There is no law that says a bicyclist is allowed to run a stop sign or red stoplight.

Bicyclists could also be responsible for a crash if they operate erratically or maneuver without signaling their intention to do so. While a bicycle will typically not cause much property damage or major injuries directly, a driver, in their effort to avoid colliding with a bicyclist, could strike other vehicles, stationary objects, or bystanders in and around the roadway. An incident like this could quickly escalate into a multi-vehicle crash with serious injuries.

Will you need an attorney for these cases?

If a bicyclist is at fault for a vehicle crash in Georgia, you should treat the incident just like any other traffic crash. Contact the police, and be sure to report the incident to your insurer. Seek medical attention for all injuries. You may run into issues when it comes to securing compensation. A skilled and experienced Atlanta bicycle accident attorney will work to explore all possible paths of compensation, including the bicyclist’s auto insurance as well as their homeowner’s insurance coverage. These incidents can lead to major expenses, including medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. Your attorney will ensure fair treatment for your case.

Posted in: Car Accidents

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