Who Has the Right of Way in an Accident Between Bicycle and Car in Georgia?

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A car and a bicycle are involved in a traffic accident in Georgia. It’s impossible to answer this question without knowing the specific circumstances of the accident. There are multiple rules regarding cars and bicycles on Georgia roads and highways. Under state law, bicycles are “vehicles” and must obey all applicable laws for vehicles. There are also separate laws for “motor vehicles,” but many rules apply broadly to “vehicles,” and as a bicyclist, you are expected to follow them.

Here are some laws regarding bicycles, cars, and who has the right of way:

  • Bicyclists are not allowed to ride on sidewalks in most situations but are required to ride on the road, even if no bike lane is available. Some local laws may provide exceptions, such as an Atlanta rule allowing children younger than 12 to ride their bikes on the sidewalk.
  • Bicyclists are permitted to ride on the shoulder but are not required to do so. They may ride in a traffic lane but should stay to the right of the lane except in certain situations where it does not make sense to do so. It’s acceptable to ride in the center of the lane if you’re turning left, if you’re trying to avoid debris or hazards in the road, when the lane is too thin to share space with a large vehicle, and when going straight through an intersection where the right lane is only for turning. You can also “occupy” a lane if you’re going about the same speed as the other traffic or passing a vehicle.
  • When a specific bicycle lane exists, cars should yield to bicycles in that lane. In the absence of a bicycle lane, motor vehicle drivers should allow a “safe distance” between the bike and the car. In accident cases, there is sometimes disagreement over what constitutes a “safe distance,” so if you’re driving a car and encounter a bicyclist, it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution and allow the bicycle more distance if practical. Always keep at least three feet of space between your vehicle and the bike.
  • Driving in a way that annoys, harasses, or obstructs a bicyclist can get you charged with misdemeanor aggressive driving in Georgia. If you drive with “reckless disregard for a bicyclist’s safety,” you could also be fined or jailed for a misdemeanor offense. The behavior that constitutes “reckless disregard for a cyclist’s safety” may vary depending on circumstances, but in general, you should drive slowly and carefully around bikes, ensure you know where they are when you turn, and make every effort to avoid an accident.
  • Bicyclists should understand that laws about reckless driving, DUI, and vehicular homicide apply the same to people riding bicycles as those driving cars. Riding a bike may seem like a safer option than driving a car if you’ve been drinking, but it still presents a risk to you and others on the road. It’s better to call a ride-share, have a designated driver, or spend the night at a friend’s home than to ride your bike while intoxicated.
  • Everyone should pay attention to the road and where they’re going. Vehicle drivers should look carefully before turning because bicycles are small and easy to miss. Bike riders should look out for cars and make every effort to be as visible as possible – wear bright, reflective clothing, add reflective stickers to your bike, and use a headlight in the dark or poor visibility situations.

How Can a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help You After a Bike Accident?

Bike accidents with motor vehicles can cause a disproportionate amount of damage and injuries to the bike rider. A car protects its riders with features like seatbelts, airbags, and the sturdy frame of the vehicle itself. Vehicle passengers are seldom injured when a vehicle hits a bicycle. But a person riding a bicycle has little protection and may be thrown off their bike, even if the car that hits them is not going very fast. Many bicyclists suffer head injuries, broken bones, internal bleeding or injuries, road rash from hitting the pavement, spinal cord or back injuries, and other severe consequences of an accident.

Laws regarding bikes and motor vehicles seem clear-cut when you read about them, but once you file a claim with an insurance carrier or file a lawsuit against the driver, everything comes into question. Were you riding to the right side of your lane when the crash happened? You may clearly remember that you were, but the vehicle driver might claim that you weren’t. Did you use appropriate signals to let drivers know you were turning? Maybe you did, but the vehicle driver might say otherwise. Did the driver yield to you when you were in the bike lane? What if they didn’t, but the driver swears they did?  A police report could be inconclusive if the responding officer has nothing to go on besides two different versions of what happened.

These situations often become frustrating for an injured bike rider. You may have broken bones or other injuries that will take weeks or months to heal. You’re in pain, you can’t work, new medical bills show up every day, and now the vehicle driver’s insurance company doesn’t want to pay your claim because their client says the accident was your fault. Frustrating as it may be, fighting the insurance company yourself is not recommended. Insurance adjusters know every loophole they can use to get out of paying a claim, and they’re probably recording your call. They might seize on something you say and misinterpret it to mean that you were at fault. Or, they could try to convince you that you were responsible for the accident – this works more often than you might think. In other situations, the insurance adjuster will do nothing and maintain that they don’t have to pay your claim.

A bicycle accident lawyer can navigate the complicated claims process for you. We know all the loopholes insurance companies use and how to fight the insurer to get your claim paid. Our skilled investigative team will also revisit the scene, searching for more evidence to prove your case. You won’t have to argue with insurance adjusters or wonder how they will pick apart every word you say. We’ll take care of everything and keep you updated as your case progresses.

What If Your Bicycle Accident Attorney Can’t Convince the Insurance Company to Pay Your Claim?

Most of the time, we can negotiate a fair settlement for our clients with the insurance carrier. But in a few cases, the insurer simply won’t agree to a reasonable amount of compensation for the injured bicyclist’s damages. When this happens, we’re prepared to take your case to court and fight for your rights.

How Do You Retain a Bicycle Accident Law Firm?

If you or a loved one were injured when a motor vehicle hit your bicycle, please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm. There is no charge for your initial consultation, and we’ll answer your questions about moving forward with a claim. If we do take your case, we can file your claim for you or fight a claim denial, depending on where you are in the process. We never charge any fees until we win or settle your case, so there are no upfront charges to worry about.

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Frequently Asked Questions

After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!

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Help Negotiating with Insurance Carriers

To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.

Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?

The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.

Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm

Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.

What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?

During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.

Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.