Atlanta Bicycle Accident Attorney
The benefits of bicycling are almost too numerous to list. Aside from obvious health benefits, including a strong cardio workout, it is a way to experience the outdoors; to commute minus the noise, hassle and traffic of riding a car; and is an environmentally friendly way to get from point A to point B. On top of that, the economic boost is more than beneficial: As opposed to the thousands of dollars on purchase and upkeep of the average car, a good bicycle can be purchased for only a few hundred dollars. And, even for a vehicle with good gas mileage, a conservative estimate of $50 of gas every two weeks for a year still adds up to $1,300. As a result, according to Statista.com, the number of bicyclists has drastically increased nearly every year for the last decade, up from 47.16 million cyclists in 2008 to 66.21 million as of last spring. However, despite the benefits, bicycling does have some drawbacks. One of the largest is that with so many more bicycles on the roads and highways in Atlanta, the rate of dangerous accidents goes up exponentially.
Let The Stoddard Firm Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident with a vehicle in Georgia, contact The Stoddard Firm as soon as possible. The Stoddard Firm puts your interests first and will make sure you know all your options before any action is taken. With an emphasis on a smaller caseload for bigger results, The Stoddard Firm has the knowledge, experience and resources to pursue your claim and achieve the best possible outcome. If you have questions or would like to set up an evaluation, contact The Stoddard Firm online, or call us at 470-467-2200. The evaluation is free, and you pay no out-of-pocket expenses until your claim is finished.
Georgia and National Statistics
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety illustrates the dangers on the road. Statistics dating from 2007 show a marked increase in cycling fatalities, from a low of 14 in 2011 to 23 in 2015, the second-highest number in the decade. The increase is mirrored in national statistics. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) reports 818 bicycling fatalities in 2015, a 12.2 percent increase over 2014. A bright point in the statistics, though, shows that the number of injuries has actually gone down, with 45,000 in 2015, down from 50,000 in 2014.
Common Causes of Bicycle Injuries
While the causes of bicycle injuries can vary from situation to situation, some causes are more common than others. The PBIC has compiled a list of causes and the percentage of injuries as a result. By far, the list shows the most common cause of accidents is being hit by a car, accounting for 29 percent of injuries; falling down accounts for 17 percent of injuries; a road or walkway in bad repair accounted for 13 percent; not paying attention was responsible for 13 percent; a crash or collision for seven percent; and dogs were responsible for four percent of accidents leading to injuries.
Common Injuries in Bicycle Crashes
These crashes can result in some of the most devastating injuries a person can suffer, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries or organ damage
- Multiple fractures
- Deep lacerations
- Wrongful Death
The Role of the City
The city also has a responsibility to keep roads and sidewalks in proper repair. For example, if a sewer drain is missing and a sidewalk hole causes an injury, the city can be held responsible. If a grate is not facing the right way and a bicycle tire gets caught, or a broken sidewalk slab causes a bicycle crash, the cyclist can take legal action against the city. When the city fails to provide for the safety of motorists, cyclists or pedestrians, it can be held accountable for the damages suffered in an accident.
Ride Safe in Atlanta
While some accidents are unavoidable, taking some basic safety precautions may help you avoid most of the others. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association has compiled several basic suggestions to stay safe:
- Wear a helmet adjusted to fit properly.
- Make sure your bicycle is the correct size for your frame.
- Wear colors that increase visibility.
- Make sure weight is distributed evenly and bicycle is under control.
- Avoid road hazards.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Atlanta and surrounding areas, call Matt Stoddard and The Stoddard Firm today. The Stoddard Firm has the knowledge, experience and resources to successfully pursue your claim. If you have questions or wish to set up an evaluation, contact us online or call 470-467-2200.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. Many wrongful death and personal injury cases are settled before they go to court. However, it is our experience that the most successful cases are built as if they are going to court. Our firm prepares every case to go all the way to trial, even if it is ultimately resolved before the trial starts.
Why is an attorney important in a personal injury case?
Personal injury law can be complex, and filing a successful claim can require a great deal of time, effort and experience. A lawsuit often involves several other parties, including defendants, insurance companies and other attorneys. There are also many procedural rules that must be followed. Having experienced, skilled legal representation maximizes your chances of success.
How do I pick the right attorney?
You’ll want to look for several qualities when choosing who will represent you. Your attorney should meet with you instead of sending an investigator, and he/she should be available throughout the process instead of having you consistently talk to a legal assistant. Your attorney should have a low number of cases so he/she can devote significant time to you and your case. Your attorney should have experience handling cases with facts similar to yours, and your attorney should have a proven track record with similar claims. Your attorney should also be able to devote significant money to your case so that he/she can hire experts, travel the country finding witnesses, and depose whomever is necessary to achieve justice. It’s also important to make sure your attorney is the right fit on a personal level, which is why you should take advantage of a free consultation.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
There is a time limit on how long a person has after an injury to begin a lawsuit. This window is called a statute of limitations. For most personal injury cases in Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the time the injury was suffered. However, there are exceptions and subtleties that might change the amount of time you are afforded. Sometimes the period can be as short as 6 months, and other times it can be much longer than two years. Determining the statute of limitations requires a detailed analysis of the facts of your case.
What do I need to bring with me to the consultation?
For your free consultation, bring all relevant documents that you’ve collected regarding your case. If there are police reports, bills or correspondence from insurance companies, you’ll want to bring those items to the consultation so an attorney can learn as much about your case as possible.