Stephen Hasner | Bicycle Accidents | August 10, 2017
Now that summer is upon us, more and more Atlanta residents have begun bringing out their bicycles to enjoy the sunshine. While biking can be a healthy hobby and an affordable means of transportation, it also comes with a certain set of risks.
Tragically, collisions with motorists have become increasingly common and these accidents almost always have graver consequences for the rider than for the motorist.
Because bicycle accidents usually result in relatively serious injuries for the bicyclist, which in turn, requires the injured party and his or her family to foot the bill for expensive treatments, it is critical for injured cyclists to contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Atlanta who can help them seek compensation for their medical expenses.
With the increasing number of bicycles on the road, accidents could happen at almost any time. However, there are certain situations that are notorious for resulting in collisions between cyclists and motorists, including:
- A motorist’s or cyclist’s failure to obey a traffic signal or a stop sign;
- A failure to check blind spots before changing lanes or turning;
- Reckless or aggressive driving, including speeding;
- Driving while intoxicated;
- Failing to give a cyclist enough space when passing;
- Failing to yield as directed; and
- Veering or drifting into the bike lane.
These kinds of negligent and reckless actions cause thousands of accidents every year.
When a cyclist and a motorist collide, the cyclist will almost always suffer the more severe injuries. This is largely because they are so much more exposed to the road and other vehicles than are drivers who remain safely inside their vehicles and protected from impact by seat belts and air bags.
Because cyclists are exposed to the full impact of a collision, even minor accidents can result in serious and even life-threatening injuries. For instance, many bicyclists suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can lead to permanent memory loss, severe mood swings, loss of speech, paralysis, and coma. Spinal cord injuries are also a very real risk for bicyclists, as are compound bone fractures, joint dislocations, lacerations, and internal injuries.
Treating injuries of this severity can quickly overwhelm an injured party’s finances. For example, a cyclist who sustained serious head trauma may need to undergo multiple surgeries, attend physical therapy, and take multiple prescription drugs. Even breaking a bone can be expensive, as the injured party will need to pay for x-rays, multiple doctor’s appointments, and perhaps physical therapy. These difficulties are often compounded by the fact that the injured party is unable to work while he or she is recuperating.
This can put a significant amount of stress on a household, especially if it had previously been supported by a single income. Fortunately, when an injured party can demonstrate that another person broke a traffic law or was otherwise negligent, he or she may be able to collect compensation to cover all of these expenses.
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