Goldsboro Bicycle Accident Injury Lawyer
Hurt in a Cycling Accident in North Carolina?
North Carolina Bicycle Accident Attorney Explains Your Rights
Cyclists have little protection against large vehicles, so when accidents occur, the physical injuries can be catastrophic. Spinal cord injuries, broken bones, brain injuries and death are all possible outcomes. Though North Carolina has several laws that can help protect cyclists from physical harm, negligent motorists ignore or overlook these rules. Since careless drivers are often the cause of cycling accidents, it may not always be possible for a bike rider to avoid a crash. However, you can take steps to minimize your risk of serious bicycle injuries. If an accident does happen, then you have the right to file a claim against the at-fault party to recover compensation for your medical bills, property damage and other expenses.
For more than 30 years, Riddle & Brantley has been defending the rights of cycling accident victims in North Carolina. We understand the impact catastrophic bicycle injuries can have on you and your family. In addition, we are well-versed on your rights as an injured cyclist under state law. Our skilled bike accident lawyers can use their 160 years of combined experience to help you take back control of the situation. Consult with a bicycle accident attorney at Riddle & Brantley, to learn which legal options may be available.
What Are Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in North Carolina?
In many cases, bicycle accidents are caused by negligent or reckless drivers. Our attorneys are committed to standing up for cyclists injured by these motorists. We take cases involving:
- Hit and run accidents
- Cycling accidents caused by drunk drivers
- Accidents where distracted drivers hit cyclists
- Drivers failing to accommodate for a bicyclist on the side of the road
- Drivers failing to slow down for cyclists at the crosswalk
- Cars hitting bicyclists when turning
- Fatal bicycle crashes
In our experience, bicycle accidents are caused by unique circumstances, including but not limited to those listed. No matter how your bike wreck occurred, Riddle & Brantley can help you seek justice against the parties responsible for your injuries.
What Are Common Rider Injuries from Car vs Bicycle Accidents?
The force of a car, motorcycle or truck hitting an unprotected bicyclist can result in catastrophic injuries. Common bicycle crash injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Severe concussions
- Contusions and broken bones
- Severe lacerations
- Wrongful death
What Rights and Duties Do I Have as a Cyclist in North Carolina?
North Carolina has multiple cycling laws that allow or prohibit certain behaviors. These laws address issues, such as:
- In North Carolina, bicycles have the same legal status as other vehicles on the road. As a result, motorists must afford cyclists the same care and consideration as other car drivers. Most importantly, operators of other vehicles must obey the rules of the road as they apply to bicycles. Cyclists must also obey the rules of the road, just like operators of motor vehicles.
- Drivers owe an increased duty of care to children on bicycles. In other words, “the operator of the vehicle who sees or should see a child on or near the highway or street must exercise that degree of care which a reasonably careful and prudent person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances. Due care requires that the operator maintain a reasonable lookout and, when necessary, to give a timely warning of his vehicle by “sounding the horn”.
- Cyclists must ride on the right side of the lane in the same direction as other vehicles and traffic. However, this applies only when conditions are safe. Cyclists may move as far into the lane as necessary to avoid harm.
- Since bicycles are not equipped with mechanical turn signals, cyclists must give hand signals when turning.
How Can I Prevent Bicycle Accident Injuries?
There is no magic bullet for preventing a cycling accident. However, you can take steps to reduce the severity of injuries:
- Wear a helmet: Our legislature has determined that brain injuries are a leading cause of disability and death from bike accidents. It enacted a law requiring all bicycle operators and passengers under the age of 16 to wear helmets (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-171.1). However, we encourage bicycle riders of all ages to wear helmets to help reduce the risk of suffering a brain injury.
- Use lighting or mirrors: Your bicycle must have properly lighted front head lamps. In addition, you must also use reflective mirrors or rear lamps while riding from sunset to sunrise. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-129.
- Avoid riding side-by-side. There is no provision in North Carolina law addressing whether bicycle riders may ride side-by-side in one lane. However, we recommend that you do not ride side-by-side for safety purposes.
- Do not wear headphones. Some cyclists enjoy riding while wearing headphones and listening to music. Even though there is no law prohibiting this, we strongly recommend not wearing headphones so that you can hear traffic.
- Wear reflective clothing: We also strongly recommend that you wear reflective clothing to make yourself more visible to passing motorists.
Most bike accidents we have handled occurred at night or at intersections where motorists did not see our clients. We have found that motorists do not purposefully hit our clients; they simply were not paying close enough attention. It is important to note that insurance companies cannot reduce your settlement by claiming you did not do enough to protect yourself from an accident. Unless you broke a state law while riding, the insurance provider must pay in full for your injuries and damages, up to policy limits.
Injured in a Bicycle Crash? Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
At Riddle & Brantley, our team of experienced legal professionals will fight to protect the rights of bike accident victims. When bicycle injuries are caused by the negligent actions of another individual, that person should pay for the losses and damages they caused. Our lawyers will work to recover the compensation you deserve and will work to build a robust argument for your claim.
We have four office locations in Goldsboro, Raleigh, Kinston and Jacksonville. Our law firm serves injured victims throughout the entire state and elsewhere. In addition, our attorneys will come to your home or the hospital to discuss the specifics of your accident if you are unable to come to us.
To learn more about your legal options, contact a bicycle accident lawyer by calling (800) 525-7111 or by completing our online case evaluation form. You can speak to our representatives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Initial consultations are free and we only charge fees if we recover damages for your or your family.