Cyclist's Rights After a Crash Caused by a Dog
When bicyclists go out for a ride, they are usually aware of the potential dangers of cars, road debris, and obstacles. They need to look out for these things in order to prevent being injured in a bicycle crash. A bicyclist typically has room and time to maneuver around a pothole, as he or she can spot one coming. However, other things are not so preventable.
What if a dog or other animal runs out into the cyclist's path at the last minute? If a dog runs directly into the path of a cyclist, there is not much the individual bicyclist can do to increase the reaction time before a collision leading to a bicycle accident occurs. When dogs are not tied up or fenced in, it can present a real danger to a bicyclist. If a dog is running loose or breaks free from a leash and causes a bicyclist to crash, the dog's owner can be held liable for damages.
A dog may pose more of a risk to a bicyclist than other obstacles, because it is moving rather than stationary. A cyclist doesn't know where the dog will go, and may not even have time to see the dog before it runs into the pathway. Also, a dog may attack a cyclist when it is let loose to roam.
Owners of dogs may think that their dogs are sweet and would never pose a threat to another person. However, you can never truly know what an animal will do. The dog may be trying to chase after the bicyclist instead of causing harm. However, an injury still can occur, which is why dogs should remain on leashes or tied up when they are outside.
In Georgia, there are leash laws, and a bicyclist may have the right to seek damages for injuries that resulted from a dog. Every county may have different laws, but some have leash law ordinances that require dogs to be on leashes when they are outside. When dog owners ignore and violate the leash law, they should be held accountable for their actions.
When cyclists fall from their bikes, they can suffer brain injuries, head trauma, concussions, skull fracture, broken bones, severe neck and back injuries, and other serious injuries, including permanent disability. If you have been injured as a result of a dog, then the dog's negligent owner could be held liable and required to pay compensation.
Contact an experienced Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer at Kalka & Baer LLC at (404) 907-1594 following your bicycle accident. Also, visit our website and receive a FREE copy of attorney Tony Kalka's book, Sharing the Road and Surviving the Crash. There is even information about dogs and bicycle accidents, as well as tips on what to do and what not to do following a bicycle crash.