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bicycle accidentHave you been hurt in a bicycle accident that was caused by someone else? If so, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses. The bicycle accident attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. can help you evaluate your legal options.

We are committed to providing outstanding client service and steadfast legal representation. We look forward to putting our considerable experience and resources to work on your case. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation to answer your questions and discuss your options.

What Should You Do If You Were Hit by a Car When Riding a Bicycle?

If you suffer injuries in a bicycle vs car accident, taking the appropriate steps is essential to protect your rights and build a solid case. Here’s what you should do:

  • Seek medical attention – Your health should always be the top priority after an accident. Allow the emergency responders to transport you to the hospital if they suggest you need treatment. Even if you think your injuries are minor, seek a medical evaluation immediately. A doctor’s diagnosis documents your injuries and the connection to the bicycle accident.
  • Call the police — The law enforcement officer who responds may write an accident report detailing how the accident occurred and who was involved. The report may contain crucial evidence to support your injury claim. Request a copy of the official accident report.
  • Gather evidence – If possible, take photos of the accident scene, visible injuries, and any damage to your bicycle.
  • Collect witness information – Obtain names, phone numbers, and statements from any witnesses to the bike accident.
  • Report the accident to your insurer – You should notify your insurance company if you are involved in an accident. Be brief and stick to the facts. Before giving the insurance company a recorded statement, you should speak with a personal injury attorney. You don’t want to say anything that could jeopardize your claim.
  • Contact an experienced personal injury attorney – Consulting an attorney as soon as possible is the best way to protect your rights after an accident.

Why Choose Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. for Your Bicycle Accident Case

A sudden accident can disrupt your life. It can leave you in pain, with thousands of dollars of unexpected medical expenses and many questions about how to proceed and where to turn for help. The attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. are proud to offer our clients personalized service and strategic legal representation to help you rebuild your life after a serious injury.

When you come to us for help, you’ll work closely with seasoned legal professionals. We’re here as your allies and advocates during life’s toughest chapters. Our mission is to take the pressure off you, allowing you to focus on healing and reclaiming your life.

You deserve a legal team as focused on your recovery as you are. Let us stand up for your rights, and help you rebuild your life.

North Carolina Rights for Bicyclists

North Carolina law recognizes bicycles as vehicles. Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities when riding on the road as motorists “except those which by their nature can have no application.” N.C. General Statute 20-4.01(49). Motorists must follow specific traffic laws and regulations designed to ensure the safety of bicyclists. For instance, bicyclists are allowed to travel on all public roadways except fully controlled access highways (freeways) such as interstates. Unfortunately, many bicycle accidents occur due to motorists’ negligence, recklessness, or failure to remain alert for bicyclists on the road.

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North Carolina Responsibilities for Bicyclists

Bicyclists are allowed to travel on all public roadways except fully controlled access highways (freeways) such as interstates.

“Every bicycle shall be equipped with a reflex mirror on the rear and both of the following when operated at night on any public street, public vehicular area, or public greenway:
(1) A lighted lamp on the front thereof, visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of at least 300 feet in front of such bicycle.
(2) A lamp on the rear, exhibiting a red light visible under like conditions from a distance of at least 300 feet to the rear of such bicycle, or the operator must wear clothing or a vest that is bright and visible from a distance of at least 300 feet to the rear of the bicycle.” N.C. General Statute § 20-129.  

Bicyclists should always ride on the right side of the road. N.C. General Statute 20-146. However, “Bicyclists usually ride on the right side of the lane, but are entitled to use the full lane…. Drivers wishing to pass a bicyclist may do so only when there is abundant clearance and no oncoming traffic is in the opposing lane. When passing a bicyclist, always remember the bicyclist is entitled to use of the full lane.”   – North Carolina Driver’s Handbook, p.95.

DWI law applies to bicycles also: Impaired driving. (a) Offense. – A person commits the offense of impaired driving if he drives any vehicle upon any highway, any street, or any public vehicular area within this State: (1) While under the influence of an impairing substance; or (2) After having consumed sufficient alcohol that he has, at any relevant time after the driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. The results of a chemical analysis shall be deemed sufficient evidence to prove a person’s alcohol concentration; or (3) With any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance, as listed in G.S. 90-89, or its metabolites in his blood or urine.

N.C. General Statute § 20-138.1.  

Helmets – Of course every bicyclist should wear a helmet anytime he/she rides a bicycle, however, it is illegal for a parent or guardian to allow a child under the age of 16 to ride a bicycle without a helmet.

Who Is Held Liable in a Bicycle Accident?

In North Carolina, liability in bicycle accident cases can be complex. The state follows the contributory negligence doctrine, which prohibits injured parties from recovering compensation if they were negligent, and their negligence contributed to the accident causing their injuries. In other words, a bicycle rider who is even partially at fault for a bicycle accident could be barred from recovering compensation from the person who is mostly to blame.

A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you evaluate who has legal liability in a bicycle accident. If we determine that a bicycle accident lawsuit is appropriate, we will conduct a thorough investigation and present evidence to prove who was at fault. We will demand just compensation for you.

Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents can result in a range of very serious injuries, including:

  • Head and traumatic brain injuries – Bicycle accidents often cause brain injuries when cyclists’ heads strike pavement, vehicles, or other objects upon impact. Even when cyclists wear helmets, the force of a collision can cause concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis – Cyclists sometimes suffer fractured vertebrae and spinal cord injuries when they are thrown off their bikes or experience direct impacts to the spine. A spinal cord injury can be a catastrophic injury resulting in partial or total loss of function below the point of injury.
  • Broken bones and fractures – The impact of a collision with a vehicle or a fall from a bike can cause a cyclist to have broken bones. Cyclists often instinctively extend their arms to break their falls, leading to broken wrists, arms, elbows, and shoulders. The impact of a crash can also result in broken legs, ankles, or ribs.
  • Lacerations and road rash – Some cyclists suffer lacerations and road rash when they skid across the pavement after collisions. The severity of these injuries can vary based on the crash speed, the texture of the road surface, and the type of gear the cyclist was wearing.

Types of Compensation You Can Recover for a Bicycle Accident

Depending on the specifics of your case, our attorneys could help you pursue compensation for the following losses:

  • Medical expenses – This includes past, present, and future costs for medical treatment, rehabilitation services, mobility devices, and prescription drugs.
  • Lost wages – Any income you lost due to your inability to work after the accident.
  • Reduced earning capacity – If your injuries affect your ability to earn a living in the future, you could be entitled to compensation for your projected income losses.
  • Pain and suffering – The physical pain and emotional distress caused by your injuries.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life – The diminished quality of life you experience due to your injuries.
  • Property damage – The costs of repairing or replacing your damaged bicycle or cycling gear.
  • Scarring – Sometimes a bicycle accident can leave large and obvious physical scarring.
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Contact Our Raleigh Bicycle Accident Lawyers

If you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident in North Carolina, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. are here to help. We understand the unique challenges that bicycle accidents present. We are committed to fighting for the full and fair compensation you need.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.

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