When a car, truck or other motor vehicle hits a bicycle, it often causes devastating injuries for the cyclist. These crashes frequently result in painful injuries, disability or death for the person who was riding the bicycle.
While there is no way to undo a bicycle accident that has caused serious injuries, it may be possible to recover significant compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This may include money to pay medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs and provide compensation for the pain and suffering the injured cyclist endures.
If you or a loved one has been injured while cycling in Goldsboro or surrounding areas of North Carolina, it is important for you to explore your legal options with a personal injury attorney from the law firm of Strickland Agner Pittman. Our team of lawyers and legal professionals is ready to gather the evidence necessary to support your injury claim and handle all of the legal details for you. We have helped many accident victims recover the compensation they deserve.
Call us now or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation that comes with no strings attached.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Goldsboro
To keep safe, cyclists should obey all rules of the road and stay visible by using lights or reflective clothing. However, even with these precautions, one study found that “the biggest problem for cyclists is bad driving.” Usually, cyclists aren’t injured because of their own errors. More often, motorists aren’t looking out for cyclists or fail to share the road properly as required under the law.
Some common ways that motorists injure cyclists are:
- Failure to look for cyclists. It’s a motorist’s responsibility to check cycling lanes when making turns or switching lanes. Serious injuries can occur when a car makes a right turn across the path of an oncoming cyclist, as the vehicle will hit the bike at nearly a right angle.
- Inattention at intersections. Cyclists, like motorists, are supposed to wait at traffic signals in the travel lanes, not on the sidewalk. Inattentive drivers are likely to not register cyclists’ presence on the road, and so may sideswipe them as they pull off or collide with a cyclist making a left turn (even when the cyclist signals properly). Drivers may also fail to yield the right-of-way to cyclists.
- Parking lot accidents. Many accidents between motorists and bicyclists occur in parking lots. A careless driver may pull out of a parking spot too quickly, without checking for a bicyclist.
- Distracted driving or driving under the influence. If a driver is texting while driving, for example, he or she is unlikely to spot a large truck pulling up, let alone a bicycle. Meanwhile, a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs has reduced reaction time and poor motor skills, and is more likely to hit a cyclist. In 29 percent of all car-bicycle crashes, either the driver or the cyclist was intoxicated, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Common Injuries Suffered by Bicyclists
Because there is very little protection for cyclists, bicycle accident injuries are often very serious or even fatal. A cyclist is lucky if he or she walks away with only a few scrapes, as many injuries have long-term consequences. If a cyclist is thrown from the bicycle and hits the pavement at high speed, he or she may suffer severe abrasions that are difficult to treat effectively. Broken bones are common injuries in these accidents.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are among the most severe injuries cyclists suffer. A TBI is caused by powerful blow to the head, an object piercing the skull or sudden jerks of the head and neck. This is often what happens when a cyclist is hit by a car and is thrown from the bicycle, hitting the pavement, a curb or other stationary object. The result is usually damage to blood vessels and/or brain tissue.
A TBI can cause disabilities such as decreased cognitive ability, damaged sensory processing (such as loss of vision or hearing), difficulty communicating and other consequences, some of which cannot be resolved medically. Some victims of TBIs may even be left in a coma or vegetative state.
Holding Motorists Responsible for Bicycle Accidents
If motorists are the cause of these or other bicycle injuries, they should be held financially responsible. An experienced Goldsboro bicycle accident lawyer can help you determine whether a driver is liable for the harm caused by a collision.
To be held liable, it must be shown that the vehicle operator was at fault. Cyclists and drivers alike have a responsibility while sharing the road. Negligence occurs when a person fails to reasonably uphold that duty and causes harm to someone else.
The victim may be able to claim compensation in a few different ways: From the at-fault motorist’s insurance company or from the uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance (UM / UIM) on the cyclist’s own auto policy. Children who are injured on a bicycle may be entitled to payments from their parents’ UM or UIM coverage. A skilled lawyer can negotiate with the insurance companies to seek maximum financial damages.
Hit By a Car While Biking? Talk to Our Goldsboro Bike Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one was hit by a car while cycling, you’ll need quality legal assistance to help you to get the compensation you deserve. At Strickland Agner Pittman, we have extensive experience with negotiating injury settlements for people hurt in accidents in the Goldsboro area. We are prepared to handle every legal issue associated with the case, so that you can focus on recovering from your injury with peace of mind. Your wellbeing is most important to us.
We collect no fees until you receive compensation. Contact us now for a free claim review.
- The Guardian: Risky cycling rarely to blame for bike accidents, study finds
- NHTSA: Bicyclists and Other Cyclists
- National Institute of Health: Traumatic Brain Injury Information Page