Wilmington Bike Accident Attorney
Bicycle Accidents and North Carolina Law
North Carolina has some of the best scenery in some of the nicest weather you’ll find anywhere in the country. This combination makes the perfect condition for bicycle riding - something that’s enjoyed by many people all over the state. But sometimes, bicycle rides can turn into bicycle accidents and unfortunately, bicyclists often just aren’t treated fairly by the insurance companies and at times, even in court. Luckily under North Carolina law, bikes are considered to be vehicles, giving them many more options when it comes to collecting compensation for any injuries sustained during a bicycle accident.
Because bicycles are given the same consideration as motor vehicles on the road, they can:
- Ride on any state road, with the exception of the Interstate Highway
- Travel in the middle of a traffic lane, if they can travel at the same speed as surrounding cars; or if the right side of the road is in extreme disrepair and could cause harm or injury to the bicycle and/or bicyclist
- Make left-hand turns, and use the appropriate lane to do so
In addition to having a number of rights on the road, bicyclists also have some responsibilities when they’re considered to be a vehicle on the road. These are:
- Bicyclists must obey traffic laws
- Bicycles must be equipped with a light on the front that’s visible from at least 300 feet away
- Bicycles must be equipped with a light on the back that’s red and is visible from at least 200 feet away at night
- Bicycles must be equipped with a reflective mirror
- Bicyclists must use appropriate hand signals
Still, even with all these precautions, on average North Carolina sees more bikes accidents as a state than the national average. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact the qualified personal injury attorneys here at Rhine Law Firm, P.C. You can call us at (910) 772-9960 or toll-free at (866) 772-9960, or you can submit a consultation request form online.
Types of Bicycle Accidents
Most often, bicycle accidents are a direct result of another motorist’s negligence or misconduct while driving their own vehicle. Some of the most common types of bikes accidents are:
- Vehicles turn directly in front of a bicyclist, cutting the bicyclist off or hitting them directly
- Vehicles pull out of driveways or parking lots directly in front of bicycles
- Drivers of motor vehicles fail to yield at intersections, or run stop signs or red lights
- Drivers of motor vehicles fail to look both ways after stopping, hitting a bicyclist that they don’t see
Bicycle Accidents and Insurance
Because bicyclists and bicycles are given the same consideration as motor vehicles on North Carolina roads, it’s important to exchange information - especially insurance information - at the scene of the accident. While you may not have insurance as a cyclist, the driver of the motor vehicle most likely does (and will be in bigger trouble if they don’t!) and you need to get all of that information. Never leave the scene of a bike accident without writing down: the driver’s personal information, the name of the insurance company, the insurance policy number, and the phone number of the insurance company.
Once you’ve exchanged information and are ready to leave the scene of the accident, seek medical treatment right away for any injuries. You’ll want to document the injuries by taking photographs and keeping medical records, but hold off on phoning the insurance company.
Insurance companies don’t make their money by paying out settlements, and they’ll do everything they can not to give you fair compensation for your injuries. This is where the help of a personal injury lawyer can be very beneficial.
The North Carolina personal injury attorneys here at Rhine Law Firm, P.C. will investigate your case, analyze any damage to the bicycle, and deal with the insurance company for you. When the insurance company says that you swerved into traffic, causing the accident, we’ll work hard to prove that that’s not true. And when they try to prove that your injuries aren’t actually from the accident, we’ll fall back on the evidence that shows that’s just not true.
Whatever the insurance companies say, we’ve heard it before and we know how to fight it. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in North Carolina, call us today at (910) 772-9960 or toll-free at (866) 772-9960. We’re waiting to help you.
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- Watch for Me NC - Statewide Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program
- Laws & Policies - North Carolina Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation
- Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crash Statistics
- Bicyclists - NHTSA
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