It’s a relaxing Saturday afternoon and you’re out soaking up some rays and riding your bicycle in your neighborhood. Suddenly, a vehicle loaded with a family runs a stop sign at the intersection you’re crossing and collides into your left side causing you to be thrown from your bike and dragged across the asphalt. In a snap second, your entire afternoon and possibly the weeks to come have changed due to the fault of the careless driver who ran the stop sign and hit you while you were crossing the intersection with the right of way. After this type of car accident, you may require medical treatment, physical therapy, lost wages and other compensable damages. At Biazzo & Panchenko Law, our bicycle injury attorneys will represent your interests and help you get reimbursed for your injuries in a timely manner. As such, if you or your loved ones were injured in a bike accident in Charlotte, Matthews or other surrounding areas, please call Biazzo & Panchenko Law to speak with one of our bicycle accident lawyers. This will cost you absolutely nothing, as all Consultations are 100% FREE.
It’s not surprising that bicycle accidents occur today, often as a result of people who have their faces buried in their phones while they’re behind the wheel instead of being focused on the road. These accidents often occur as a result of a motorist’s misjudging the amount of space needed to safely pass a cyclist, a motorist’s failure to see a cyclist resulting in collision or the failure of a motorist to yield the right of way to a cyclist. While cyclists frequently appear to be the victims in car accidents involving bicycles, keep in mind that as a cyclist, you also have a duty to obey all traffic laws, signs and to maintain a proper lookout while you’re out pedaling down a public road. Contrary to what many may believe, a bicycle is considered a vehicle under North Carolina Law. In North Carolina, a bicycle: (1) May ride on any state-maintained road EXCEPT the Interstate Highway System; (2) May travel in the middle of a traffic lane if capable of traveling at the same speed as cars using the road; (3) May make a left turn in the same fashion that a car would and use the corresponding turning lane; (4) May not drive against traffic or disobey traffic devices; (5) Must be equipped with a light on the front that is visible at least 300 feet away, and a reflective mirror or light on the back that is red in color and visible from at least 200 feet away at night; and (6) must use appropriate hand signals to turn and stop according to various sections and subsections of N.C.G.S. § 20. It’s also important to keep in mind that North Carolina is one of the few remaining “Contributory Negligence” states, which generally means that if you are even just slightly responsible for causing your own injuries in a personal injury matter, you are generally, completely barred from receiving any compensation for your injuries and other compensable damages from others who may have contributed to causing your injuries. For more information, check out our (Contributory Negligence blog). So remember to follow the law when you’re out catching the breeze on your bicycle, stay alert and do things like the following instructions to preserve your potential personal injury claim when you’re bicycling in case you ever have the unfortunate chance of being involved in a car accident as a cyclist. (1) Always wear a proper helmet; (2) Wear bright color and reflective clothing when your out riding your bike; (3) Wear white clothing when riding your bike at night and ensure that you have the above-mentioned lights and reflectors that are required by North Carolina Law to be on your bike when your riding at night; and, (5) Never drink and ride. Get an Uber.
If you’re involved in a car accident, whether you’re on a bicycle or a driver struck by another driver, you should always call 911 and report the accident so that a police report documenting the accident that you will need to process your personal injury claim is generated and so that the accident scene is secured. Next step up from the ground if you are safe and you can do so safely without causing any further injuries to yourself, or step out of your car if it’s safe to do so and you are physically able to. Take photos of the accident scene, any damage to your car or bike and the other vehicle or vehicles involved, any deployed airbags, and any visible physical injuries you or other people have. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved and get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident and look for any cameras nearby, such as traffic cameras or security cameras that may have captured the accident and keep a record of where those cameras are located. Next seek any necessary medical treatment that you may need. Take a trip to the emergency room, urgent care, a chiropractor or whatever you think or wherever an ambulance crew tells you to go or takes you to. Finally, contact a licensed car accident lawyer in your jurisdiction as soon as possible and don’t make any statements to any insurance companies until you have discussed your case with your personal injury attorney.
We strongly encourage you to seek the advice of a licensed North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney at the earliest stage possible after the incident resulting in your injuries. At Biazzo & Panchenko Law, we are prepared to negotiate a settlement for you or file a lawsuit and pursue your case through a jury verdict if warranted, to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact Biazzo & Panchenko Law today to schedule your free Personal Injury consultation. This blog is not to be construed as legal advice.