Injured in a Bicycle Accident in North Carolina?
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Many injured bicyclists do not get fair treatment from the insurance companies. Recent studies show that settlements for injuries suffered in cars are up to 30% to 40% higher than for the same type of injuries suffered by cyclists.
In many cases, a bicycle accident results from a motorist’s negligence or inattentiveness while operating his or her vehicle. The following are some common types of collisions that a cyclist may be injured in:
- A motor vehicle driver turning directly in front of a bicyclist;
- An automobile driver entering the street from a driveway or parking spot and pulls out into traffic in front of the bicyclist;
- A motorist’s failure to yield at an intersection or running a stop sign or red light;
- A vehicle driver’s inattention while driving past a bicyclist;
- An automobile driver’s failure to look both ways when resuming travel after stopping at a stop sign;
- An automobile driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Our professionally trained staff members will do the following for our bike accident clients:
Investigate and, where appropriate, closely analyze any damage that occurred to the bicycle, such as chipped paint, stressed metal, bent wheels and torn brake pads; examine the remains of a bike wreck and seek to counter a motorist’s typical claims that a cyclist was speeding or squeezed the brake levers too hard or swerved into traffic.
Due to the increase in bike traffic throughout the United States and North Carolina, many cities have constructed special bike lanes. Parks now have trails which are accessible to bicycles, and some vehicle manufacturers are even offering bike racks as standard equipment. However, many motor vehicle drivers do not respect the bicyclists’ rights to share the roads and, more importantly, many cyclists have not been properly educated on how to legally and safely share the roads with automobiles.
Negligent automobile drivers and uneducated bicyclists have resulted in some staggering statistics.
- Every 6 hours a bicyclist is fatally injured;
- Approximately one million children are injured each year in bicycle related accidents;
- Nearly half of all bicycle fatalities occur to children under the age of 16
- Head injuries account for about 75% of all serious injuries and fatalities from bicycle accidents;
- While collisions with cars account for only 1/3rd of all bicycle accidents, they account for the majority of catastrophic injuries and deaths.
Motor vehicle operators must be attentive to all bicycle riders. They must equate a bicycle with a motor vehicle and observe the same laws. For example: if you are sharing the right lane with a bicyclist and you are planning to turn right at an intersection, you must yield to the bicyclist.
You may not drive in a designated bike lane unless you have immediate intentions to turn off the road. There are many “new” traffic laws concerning bicycles and ignorance of the laws will not protect you against negligence if you injure a bicyclist.
At Daggett Shuler, you can depend on us.