North Carolina Bicycle Accident Lawyer

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Bicycle Accident Attorney

Riding bicycles in North Carolina has increased in popularity in recent years. So much so that many communities have created numerous bike lanes to accommodate the rise in the cycling population. Despite this, North Carolina is one of the least safe states for cyclists. Unfortunately, drivers sometimes ignore cyclist’s rights, causing accidents resulting in severe or life-threatening injuries and even death. At Tatum & Atkins we are bike accident lawyers who want to make the streets safe by holding negligent drivers accountable for injuring cyclists.

How Bicycle Accident Attorneys Can Help Your Case

If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you’re dealing with a lot, widespread in-patient care, extensive physical therapy, and possible permanent disability. Between dealing with the recovery and trying to cover your finances, it can take a toll on even the most patient person. And when you factor in a personal injury claim or case in, you’re really in for some challenges.

If you’ve been harmed by a party who is at fault, it’s only natural and logic that you will want to explore your personal injury options. Many accident cases aren’t simple: Even when your path to compensation appears to be transparent, the insurance company can throw up barriers and try not to give you the compensation that you deserve. They may even try to blame you for the accident. That’s when an experienced personal injury lawyer can step in to help.

At Tatum & Atkins, PLLC, we have helped numerous clients (including bike accident victims) over the years get the money that they’re entitled to after they’ve been injured in an accident.

Gathering and Preserving Evidence

An initial step to assisting your personal injury issues is to gather evidence and to preserve that evidence. The time shortly after the accident is critical because memories fade and vehicle skid marks diminish, so we have to obtain this information as soon as possible. This includes the following:

  • Visit the accident scene
  • Take photos of the crash debris and any tire/skid marks
  • Obtain nearby video surveillance
  • Locate and interview witnesses
  • Consult with accident reconstruction professionals, if necessary

Most accident victims haven’t experienced insurance claim procedures and don’t know what to expect. That’s why it’s important to consult with an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney to work out these details and to help protect your right to fair compensation.

It’s critical to have a lawyer work on your behalf through this process for many reasons:

  • The insurance company understands the value of your case and regardless of how much it’s worth, they inevitably want you to pay less and often resort to tactics to make this happen
  • Negotiating with the insurance companies is often stressful, time-consuming
  • You may be attacked and blamed for your role in the accident, which can help to reduce your recovery under North Carolina’s contributory negligence rules
  • There may be multiple parties responsible for your injury that can be held accountable for compensation, which makes the case more complex

Common Causes of North Carolina Bicycle Accidents

Many North Carolina bike accidents are completely preventable and are due to other drivers’ recklessness and negligence. Bicycle accidents are commonly caused by:

  • Aggressive driving
  • Driver distraction
  • Road defects
  • Reckless driving
  • Speeding
  • Driver fatigue
  • Traffic violations

Injuries that Come from Bicycle Accidents

As a cyclist, you’re at a major disadvantage in most accidents. You don’t have the weight of an automobile to protect you and this mismatch is more likely to cause death and catastrophic injuries. A bike accident can result in the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussions
  • Facial injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Ruptured discs
  • Spinal injuries
  • Bone fractures or breaks
  • Neurological damage
  • Psychological trauma
  • Wrongful death

Victims of bike collisions are generally taken aback by the cost associated with these injuries. Even if you have full health care coverage, the costs are very pricey, especially considering many victims can’t work while they’re recovering. Our attorneys are here to fight for you to help you get the fair compensation that you deserve.

Your Time is Limited for Compensation for Your Bicycle Accident

The NC statute of limitations allows you to file for a bike accident claim within three years of the accident. If your family member has died due to a bicycle accident and you want to pursue a wrongful death claim, you have two years. Although you do have years to decide about this, it’s a good idea to act fast after the accident. Sometimes street conditions change, and you could lose valuable evidence if you don’t get your case started. Our lawyers can get started right away when you contact us.

How Could the NC Contributory Negligence Law Impact Compensation?

The basis of most North Carolina bike accidents cases is negligence, which means that you will have to show that another party caused your accident. However, the party that you’ve identified as being at-fault can turn around and accuse you of at least part of the blame via contributory negligence.

North Carolina recognizes contributory negligence, which means that the law

apportions blame for an accident between the parties and that you may not be able to recover money from the other party’s insurance company to cover the damages you sustained from the crash.

Because the insurance company is well aware of the reduction in compensation for victims who contribute to the accident, they have incentives to say that you were at fault. They might claim the following:

  • You were speeding
  • You were a distracted driver (by your phone or headphones)
  • You failed to comply with proper lighting and reflector requirements, and this made it difficult for other drivers to see you
  • You didn’t travel on the right side of the road, traveling with the flow of traffic.
  • You didn’t use hand signals.
  • You should’ve seen the car/truck and avoided the crash

Insurance companies will work hard to discover any evidence that will reduce the value of your claim. Hiring an attorney can help balance the playing field.

Getting Compensation for Your Bicycle Accident Injuries

What the insurance company proposes and what is actually fair generally don’t match up. You want to be sure that whatever amount that you settle on is enough compensation for not only your current expenses, but future ones as well. A Tatum & Atkins attorney can provide guidance on this and other issues. Contact our firm today for a free consultation.