Road Rage Bicycle Accidents
Both bicycle accidents and road rage are tragically common on the roads of Atlanta. DriversEd.com reports that about 30 murders per year are connected to road rage and that over one-third of all road rage incidents involve a firearm. Violence is is particularly injurious when it involves a bicycle accident. When the two occur together, bicyclists are left disastrously unprotected from the physical impact of a collision and the effects of physical and verbal violence on the road. The costs of medical care, lost wages, and rehabilitation can be staggering. This is why it is so important for bicyclists involved in a road rage accident to be sure their legal rights are being defended by an experienced Atlanta bicycle accident attorney.
The experienced bicycle accident attorneys at Slappey & Sadd know how to defend the legal rights of bicycle riders. For decades, auto accident victims across Georgia have trusted our firm to aggressively protect their legal rights to compensation. Call 404.255.6677 today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Atlanta bicycle accident attorney. Our experienced attorneys and diligent support staff bring both legal expertise and superior customer service to your case, to be sure that your legal rights are defended as efficiently and thoroughly as possible.Why Bicycle Riders are at a Particular Disadvantage in Road Rage Incidents
A bicyclist involved in any auto accident is at a disadvantage when compared with passenger vehicle occupants involved in the same accident. First and foremost, this is because the smaller, lighter vehicle is at a disadvantage in any collision. The larger, heavier vehicle will be better protected while the smaller vehicle is left to absorb the significant force of impact from the heavy vehicle.
In addition to this unequal distribution of force, bicyclists do not have the physical protection of a steel vehicle frame, airbags, seat belts, and other safety features that are required on passenger vehicles by federal law. They have little (if any) protection during the impact with another vehicle, trees, buildings, or the roadway. This is why it is so vitally important that bicyclists wear a helmet every single time they go for a ride. The Guardian reports that bicycle helmets reduce the risk of serious head injury by nearly 70 percent. This and many other studies have repeatedly demonstrated that helmets reduce the risk and severity of injuries. More importantly, they save lives.
In addition to being at a disadvantage in a collision, bicyclists are also at a disadvantage during violent confrontations. Road rage often results in verbal or physical altercations. Unlike a driver, a bicyclist cannot quickly speed up to drive away from the situation. Bicyclists are also unprotected from physical contact. In recent years, throwing drinks has become a popular - if baffling - behavior seen in road rage confrontations. A driver is afforded some protection by his or her windshield and steel auto body. Bicyclists, however, often receive the full brunt of a thrown drink. This can force the rider from the bike and cause serious injuries.How to Hold Dangerous Drivers Accountable for Road Rage
Road rage is a dangerous behavior that puts all road users at risk. Children, the elderly, and disabled are all innocent bystanders who could be injured - or even killed - by the bad choice to engage in road rage. This is why it is so important to hold drivers accountable for all road rage behaviors.
Many road rage behaviors constitute crimes. Reckless driving is a crime, and almost all violent roadway confrontations will meet the statutory requirements to hold the driver criminally liable. Road rage can also constitute assault, battery, harassment, and other crimes. Like any other criminal behavior, it is important to hold drivers accountable for road rage in order to make society safer and free from the behavior. Victims of road rage are strongly encouraged to work with prosecutors in order to ensure that criminal charges can be successfully prosecuted. Victims of such crimes also have legal protections under the Georgia Crime Victims Bill of Rights.
In addition to criminal liability, drivers who engage in road rage can also face civil liability. This, too, is an important method of holding the driver accountable for the dangerous behavior that has endangered all road users. Civil liability starts when the injury victim files an injury claim with the negligent driver’s insurance carrier. The carrier will conduct its own investigation to determine whether its driver was at fault. (When a victim has a police report documenting that the negligent driver engaged in road rage, it is difficult for an insurance company to deny liability.) Once an insurance company has accepted liability, it will conduct a valuation of the victim’s injury claim to determine how much to offer in settlement.The Many Losses That Must be Compensated
Some losses are easy to value. Medical bills, for example, have records to support that the costs were related to the accident. They provide an itemized receipt for the exact dollar value of this expense. Similarly, lost wages are a simple calculation of the number of hours missed from work times the employee’s hourly wage. (If the employee is paid a salary, that salary is simply prorated to a work week of forty hours.)
There are, however, less tangible losses that are also subject to compensation. Pain and suffering is often the largest component of a personal injury settlement. It is also the most subjective. Pain and suffering varies from person to person. Insurance companies often make a pain and suffering determination by creating a simple ratio of medical bills to suffering. This does not account for the exact nature of the victim’s injuries, nor the wide differences in pain tolerance that every person experienced. This is an area in which it is important for injury victims to have reliable legal advice from an experienced bicycle accident attorney. He or she will be able to make the case for a fair pain and suffering settlement. If the insurance company rejects this offer, the attorney will be able to litigate the matter and present the case to a jury.Fighting Hard to Protect the Rights of Injured Bicyclists and Victims of Road Rage
Don’t let an adverse driver, attorney, or insurance company impair your legal right to compensation - call 404.255.6677 today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced bicycle accident attorney at the law firm of Slappey & Sadd. We fight hard to protect accident victims from lowball settlement offers, denials of liability, contractual loopholes, and other insurance company tactics. With our experienced legal team on your side, you can focus on your recovery, secure in the knowledge that your legal rights are being aggressively protected.