Who Is Legally Liable in a Car vs. Bicycle Accident?
When you ride your bike around Charlotte, you expect to remain safe. As you pedal down the street on your way to school or work, you don’t expect a car to hit you. The reality is that a car vs. bicycle accident can happen to anyone in the Charlotte area. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 840 bicyclists were killed in accidents across the country in 2016. In North Carolina, the numbers are just as bad. Per data compiled by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, approximately 1,000 bicyclists are injured in accidents every year. Of these accidents, nearly 20 are fatal, and around 60 involve cyclists incurring serious injuries.
At Randall & Stump, PLLC, we know how devastating the results of a car and bicycle collision can be. If you’re a bicyclist who has been injured by a driver in the Charlotte area, call our bicycle accident lawyers for help. To schedule a free consultation of your case, contact us today at (980) 237-4579.
What Injuries Can a Bicyclist Suffer After a Car vs. Bicycle Crash?
Except for helmets and possibly kneepads, bicyclists are unprotected in a collision, especially when compared with the occupants of a car. As a result, a bicyclist can suffer serious harm in an accident. Common injuries bicyclists suffer in crashes with cars include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage
- Road rash
- Crush injuries
- Broken bones
- Lacerations or deep tissue damage
A catastrophic injury can greatly alter your life. If the harm is severe enough, you may miss out on days or weeks of work. Your medical bills will start to pile up, and you might have to attend physical therapy or other medical appointments as you recover.
These financial hardships are only part of the consequences of being hit by a car. As the victim of a Charlotte car vs. bicycle accident, you may also face emotional trauma and other daily reminders of the accident.
Dealing with a legal claim is probably the last thing on your mind, but it shouldn’t be. While you recover from your injuries, let an attorney from Randall & Stump, PLLC handle your fight for compensation.
Who is Responsible for Your Compensation?
According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, 29 percent of bicyclists who suffer accidents are hit by cars. With the rise of distracted driving, drowsy driving, and the continual presence of drunk driving on U.S. roads, this is not surprising.
The following parties may be legally liable after a car vs. bicycle crash in Charlotte:
In collisions involving both a car and a bike, car drivers are often responsible. Bicyclists are most likely to be hit from the rear, though collisions can occur on the cyclist’s side when a car doesn’t stop at a light and hits the rider as they make their way through an intersection.
Bicyclists are responsible for following the same traffic laws as motor vehicle drivers. As such, if a bicyclist fails to yield the right-of-way, stop at a red light, or check for opposing traffic before proceeding with due caution, they may be held to be partially to blame for their injuries.
A Third Party
It may be that the municipal government designed an intersection poorly, or did not maintain a street, leaving dangerous potholes that caused the accident. If this is the case, a Charlotte bike injury lawyer may be able to file a lawsuit against the city or a contracted maintenance company for compensation for a bicyclist’s injuries.
In North Carolina, any amount of negligence that you contribute to an accident may prevent you from recovering compensation from the at-fault party, even if you were only one percent responsible. Insurance companies know this, and are quick to blame bicyclists for any accident.
However, there are exceptions to NC’s contributory negligence law. As such, it’s important to speak to an experienced Charlotte personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your crash. At Randall & Stump, PLLC, we have investigated many car vs. bicycle accidents, and we are prepared to help you.
Contact a Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer for Help Today
As experienced Charlotte bicycle accident lawyers who have handled many serious personal injury claims, the legal team at Randall & Stump, PLLC knows what you are going through. We also know what types of compensation a car accident victim will need in the long-term, not just in the immediate aftermath of a car vs. bicycle accident. Your future medical bills, the cost of missing work, and the pain and suffering you go through are not abstract concepts to us.