Cycling Tragedy in Decatur, Georgia

When we are driving cars or trucks on the road, we often forget that we are operating moving tons of steel. This is why in my practice, some of the most devastating injuries come from pedestrians and cyclists that are hit by cars on the road. If you think about car wrecks, the person who is hurt inside the car is protected by those thousands of pounds of steel, whereas a pedestrian or cyclist is protected by nothing more than his or her own flesh and bone. It’s a scary thought and unfortunately we see the impact of this type of collision far too often. The role of an Atlanta injury lawyer is to help the client get back to where he or she was before the incident occurred.

There was a tragic cycling accident on April 30, 2012, in Decatur, Georgia that highlights what can happen when motorists do not take care to make sure they give cyclists (and pedestrians for that matter) enough room when passing. Paul Taylor, a father of two and a physician’s assistant, left on an early morning bike ride around 6:20 A.M. He was riding on North Decatur Road when he was hit by a man driving a 2004 Ford Ranger. The driver told the police after the collision that Taylor appeared to be kneeling in the road when he came upon him in the far right lane. One must wonder why the driver could not have stopped if he saw the fallen biker “kneeling down.” Mr. Taylor was killed. The Atlanta Journal Constitution posted an article on this story here.

Between 2003 and 2008, 28 people died in cycling-related injuries in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett Counties alone. During that time, there were 1,476 accidents and 137 of them were classified as serious. As a result of the continued and increasing number of bike related crashes, the Georgia General Assembly has passed a bill requiring passing motorists to give bikers at least three feet of room while passing. This is a good law and an important one. Please keep in mind when you are passing bikers that one false move could result in a serious injury or a very untimely death.

As an Atlanta personal injury lawyer, I represented a man in 2010 that was riding his bike along a road in Fulton County — in Roswell, Georgia — when a car tried to make a left-turn and cut the biker off. The biker was flung up into the air and came crashing down into the windshield of the driver’s vehicle. His head actually went through the driver’s windshield and was completely inside the vehicle. The pictures of the blood on the glass were grotesque. He was transported to the emergency room for several rounds of plastic surgery and was lucky to not have been killed. The insurance company for the driver ended up paying the full policy limits for the man’s injuries. He will be left with scars across his face for the rest of his life because there is only so much plastic surgery can do to fully reduce the impacts of serious trauma to our skin.

This is a good reminder that bad things happen to good people. Be careful when you are passing cyclists and remember that even if you have to wait a few extra seconds before passing, it may prevent a catastrophic injury that could have been avoided.

If you have been hurt in a biking collision, contact Glass & Robson at 404-659-1710 or [email protected]. Robert is an experienced Georgia trial lawyer that dedicated himself to his clients and pursuing their cases fiercely to trial.