We know bicycle accidents. Our firm has handled cases on both sides—we have handled cases in which a motor vehicle driver was at fault for injuring a bicyclist, and cases in which the bicyclist was at fault for running a red light and knocking down a pedestrian. We have handled hit-and-run cases in which the bicyclist was injured, cases in which a bicyclist was falsely accused of having improper equipment, and cases in which automobile drivers and bicyclists failed to obey Georgia’s rules of the road. We have the satisfied clients to show for it.
Mechanisms of Injury in Bicycle Accident Cases
Injuries from bicycle collisions tend to be severe. To understand why, you have to look at the “mechanism of injury,” which is a medical term that refers to the way that an injury happens.
The first mechanism of injury in a bicycle accident is that a car or some other object an strike the bicyclist directly. Unlike the driver of a vehicle, a bicyclist has essentially no crash protection – there are no bumpers, doors, crumple zones, or airbags. If a car or truck makes direct contact with a bicyclist’s body, the results are often serious.
The second mechanism of injury in a bicycle accident is “ejection,” when the bicyclist is thrown from the bicycle. If a car or truck strikes a bicyclist with any kind of force, the bicyclist is likely to end up airborne. If the at-fault vehicle turns in front of the bicycle without leaving the bicyclist time to stop, or if the bicyclist gets “doored,” then bicycle is likely to stop suddenly which the bicyclist keeps going. The bicyclist often gets vaulted forward over the handlebars. If a car or truck strikes a bicycle in the rear, then the bicycle will likely accelerate forward rapidly while the rider doesn’t, so the bicyclist may end up flipping backward over the car. In either scenario, what goes up must come down, and the injuries to the bicyclist are often serious.
Most of the bicycle accident injuries that we see come from this second mechanism of injury. The type of injury that our client suffers usually depends on what part of his or her body hits the ground first.
We Support Bicycle Safety
Bicycling holds promise. Done correctly, bicycling can ease traffic congestion, improve air quality, and provide exercise for the American public. But it needs to be safe cycling. Drivers must respect bicyclists, bicyclists must respect drivers, and government should provide infrastructure that will allow drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians to travel in harmony.
Cities and counties, across Georgia and particularly in Atlanta, should support these multiple modes of transportation. And increasingly, they do. The city of Atlanta has committed itself to becoming more bicycle-friendly by putting in bicycle lanes in some of the areas where they are needed most. Beyond that, the movement toward creating trails around the city to be shared by bicyclists and pedestrians has made Atlanta more hospitable to bicycles. For instance, the Beltline project makes commuting and recreational bicycling a more reasonable possibility. Rails-to-trails projects around the state (like the Silver Comet Trail leading from Atlanta, Georgia to Weaver, Alabama) create even more cycling opportunities.
Given the promise of bicycling, Butler Law is proud to sponsor the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, which works with public and private partners to make bicycle travel safer for everyone.
Atlanta GA’s Bicycle Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bicycle accident, we invite you to call us for a free consultation. Our firm charges no legal fees unless we take your case and we are able recover money for you.
If you are a member of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, you may be eligible for a discount on top of that.