The expansion of North Carolina's green ways has also result in an increase of biking popularity. Whether more people are riding bikes is attributed to the increasing cost of gasoline for cars or the numerous health benefits of cycling is unknown. Unfortunately, cyclist face a very real danger of getting into an accident with a vehicle every time they ride their bicycle. Because of the obvious dynamics and limited safety features afforded to cyclists riders struck by vehicles often incur serious catastrophic injuries.
Investigating bicycle accidents can be very difficult because of the dynamics of the vehicles involved. Typically engineers will be brought in to review the crash site as well as examine the vehicles involved. The sooner they can begin their investigation the better the likelihood that no evidence will be lost. If you or someone close to you has been involved in a bike accident and are seeking the best outcome please contact our accident attorney here at Rosensteel Fleishman. Our experienced injury lawyers have the resources and dedication needed to help our clients from beginning to end.
According to an August 2011 study by the NC Department of Transportation between 2005-2009 there were a total of 4,824 bicycle-motor vehicle crashes. Between 2002 and 2008 the trend has continued to rise. Over this period there were a total 114 fatal bicyclist crashes. This amounts to approximately 23 bicyclists killed each year and another 830 being injured each year.
The majority to bicycle crashes, 69%, more than two-thirds occurred in municipal limits. What the data shows is the when you combine an increasing cyclist population and urban populations you are going to get increasing accidents. To view the entire report please view the Department of Transliteration's web site.
While the data does not go into the causes of each bicycle accident in many cases, motor vehicle driver inattention is a major cause of bicycle accidents. Inattention comes in many forms. Typically, drivers are not use to seeing bicycles on the road and do not appreciate them, especially when they are driving at high speeds. Many times, even when bicyclists are wearing reflective clothing, lights and are obeying all traffic laws a number of drivers simply fail to see a cyclist in time to prevent a collision. The law however is quite clear that drivers owe a duty of care to those they share the state’s roads with (cyclists included). As such, failing to see a rider in time is not a valid excuse for striking a rider.
If a driver was negligent when they struck a cyclist they can be ordered by a court to pay monetary compensation to those they injure. Many people believe that there must be contact between a vehicle and the cyclist in order to be found liable. This is incorrect. If the driver disobeys traffic laws which causes the cyclist to take evasive maneuvers resulting in an injury then the driver can be held liable for their negligent actions. Of course, if there is no contact and the driver does not remain at the scene of the accident you may have difficulty getting your uninsured insurance to pay for the claim. This is because NC follows the contact rule which requires some contact with the at fault vehicle. Many times cyclists are disoriented following an accident. If you are unsure of what happened we would urge you to avoid speaking with any insurance company until you have addressed your health first.
Following a bike accident the first priority should always be your health or the health of your loved one. Many times people are concerned that they haven't heard from the insurance company or they have been given permission to treat from the insurance company. North Carolina is a liability state which mean insurance companies do not have the right or obligation to give you permission to treat. Further, they will not guarantee payment of your medical bills. Sometimes this scares people into not treating. While this fear is reasonable it can be detrimental to your case. This is can be avoided by speaking with an experienced injury attorney who can explain the law to you and let you know the risks of not be compensated for your injuries.
While we always prefer our clients err on the side of caution and treat there are some instances where it is clear a recovery will be difficult at best. We believe in being upfront with our clients from the start. If we see an issue will be let you know so you can make the best decision for yourself. There is nothing worse than believing one thing only to have the rug pulled out from under you at the last minute.
Rosensteel Fleishman operates under the principle that we do not advertise our services to the general public. We do not advertise on TV, radio, send letters in the mail. This allows us to be selective on which clients we choose to represent. If we take your bicycle accident case we will put the entire weight of the firm behind your case. We will leave no stone unturned to ensure the best possible outcome. Also, we take clients on via a contingency fee ie if we don’t win your case, you won’t pay anything.
It is only through extensive experience that a successful claim of personal injury or wrongful death can be made to come to fruition. This is our motto and business ethic and this is precisely how our top accident lawyers operate for every client, every day.
We serve Charlotte, Concord, Gastonia, Monroe & all of North Carolina. Call or contact us, and you will be connected with a personal injury lawyer who can help.