Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “Can I wait a few months to pursue a personal injury claim?”
Bicycling seems to be more popular than ever. Whether you use a bike to get to and from work or for fun or exercise on the weekends, bicycles are a great option. Using a bike allows you to get to and from a nearby location without using any expensive gasoline, so it reduces your carbon footprint. Electric-assisted bicycles are becoming more common and less expensive, making it easier than ever to utilize a bike for quick trips around town. Unfortunately, bicycle safety is a concern. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) each year, on average, about 1,000 bicycles are involved in reported accidents, about 60 people suffer serious injuries, and about 20 bicyclists are killed.
What Causes Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents?
Bicycle and pedestrian accidents often result in serious injuries and fatalities. When a car, truck, or SUV hits a bicyclist, it is likely to cause severe harm. Some of the common causes of bicycle accidents are speeding, impaired driving, and inattention. Inattention, also known as distracted driving, is a problem that can lead to accidents in both urban and rural areas. Distracted driving is participating in any activity that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off of driving, even if just for a few seconds. Distracted driving has become more common with the use of cell phones. Texting while driving is illegal in North Carolina, as is any use of a cell phone by someone under the age of 18.
Improving Bicycling Safety
A number of things can help improve your safety while bicycling. Wearing a helmet is the number one step you can take to protect yourself in case of a crash. A helmet may reduce the risk of a serious head injury by as much as 88%. You should wear long sleeves and proper shoes. Make sure your bicycle is in good working condition and do not ride at night unless you have a light. Follow the rules of the road and ride single file on the right side of the lane. Importantly, you should make sure you are aware of the road conditions and the nearby traffic.
Drivers must be more careful and pay attention to bicyclists. Drivers should leave at least two feet of space between their vehicle and a bicycle when passing. North Carolina has a vision zero initiative that is intended to improve bicycle safety across the state. Along with education, the implementation of greenways is encouraged. Greenways are shared use paths that encourage safe bicycling and driving on the same roadway.
What to Do After a Serious Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accidents often result in severe injuries. Some of the most common injuries are head trauma, broken bones, and back and neck injuries. These types of injuries can leave you with lengthy hospital treatments and extended recovery periods that can be extremely expensive. The negligent driver should be held responsible for your damages including medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages, among other things. Call the police to report the incident and seek medical care quickly. A personal injury attorney will work on your behalf to negotiate a settlement or take the matter to court for resolution. You may be entitled to compensation from the negligent driver.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a bicycle accident, do not delay. Call Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today at (704) 370-2828 for a free initial case evaluation.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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