Jacksonville, NC Bicycle Accident Lawyers

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The North Carolina Department of Transportation estimates that there are an average of 1,000 collisions between motorists and bicycles each year in the state. More often than not, these accidents injure the cyclists involved because they are largely unprotected from impact with a vehicle.

If the motorist was to blame for the bicycle accident, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. However, there’s often a major car insurance company that often tries to place itself squarely between you and what you deserve. The Jacksonville, NC, injury attorneys at Horton & Mendez fight to take those barriers out of the way as you seek the money that you need in a settlement agreement.

Rules of the Road for Bicyclists in North Carolina

When riding on a roadway, a bicyclist must ride in the same direction as other traffic. The bicyclist must travel in the right-hand lane, and they are entitled to a lane of traffic, the same as any other motorist. Bicyclists must remain as close as possible to the right edge of the road.

Drivers must give a cyclist at least four feet of space when trying to pass the bike. In turn, a bicyclist cannot take actions to prevent another vehicle from lawfully passing.

North Carolina Bicycle Helmet Laws

North Carolina does not have a mandatory helmet law for most bicyclists.

Only bikers under the age of 16 are legally required to wear a helmet. Parents can be punished if they knowingly allow a child under the age of 16 to ride a bike without a helmet.

Regardless of whether it is required, it is a good idea to wear a helmet.

Bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of serious injury by up to 70%. The insurance company can and will try to reduce your financial recovery if they learn that you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. You could end up with less money if the severity of your injuries was due to the lack of a helmet.

Frequent Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Jacksonville, NC

Drivers either do not think that they have to share the road with bicyclists, or they do not care about their safety. Motorists often place themselves above others on the road, whether it is other drivers or bicyclists.

Here are some common causes of bicycle accidents:

  • Motorists improperly attempt to pass a bicycle on the road, not giving enough room to the biker.
  • Drivers do not see bicyclists because they are not always on their eye level.
  • Drivers or their passengers open their car door in the path of an oncoming bicycle.
  • Illegal right turns that do not yield the right of way to a bicyclist in the intersection.
  • Distracted drivers who do not take the time or effort to spot a bicyclist.

Note that you do not need to prove the actual cause of your bicycle accident — all you must demonstrate is that the driver was negligent in order to be eligible for financial compensation. Still, you need the evidence that shows what the driver actually did.

What to Do as a Bicycle Accident Survivor

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Jacksonville, NC, your health is your foremost concern. You should do everything necessary to focus on your health.

You should also not delay seeing a doctor for the following reasons:

  • Your injuries can get worse over time when they are left untreated.
  • The insurance company is watching what you do, and they will not hesitate to claim that you made your own injuries worse by failing to seek medical treatment.
  • You cannot file a claim until you reach the point of maximum medical improvement, which only can happen once you are treated.

In addition, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. When you are taking care of your health, you do not have the time or bandwidth to take care of the legal process. In addition, the insurance company will also make your life far more difficult if you try to approach them on your own. Sometimes, the insurance company only understands one language, and that is the one spoken by a lawyer who can and will hold them accountable for not treating you fairly.

Statute of Limitations in a North Carolina Bicycle Accident Case

In North Carolina, you have three years from the time that you were injured (or learned of your injury) to file a bicycle accident lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you would lose the right to file a lawsuit entirely.

Even though you have three years, you should not think that you have time to wait to call a lawyer. The insurance company may be trying to pressure or trap you.

In addition, an injury attorney would not be able to start your case months after the accident and still have the same chance of success. Even if you do not file the claim for some time, you must still contact a bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.

How Our Attorneys Can Help You

You need an experienced bike accident attorney to handle the details and fight for compensation on your behalf after you have been injured in a bicycle accident.

Here is how our attorneys at Horton & Mendez can help you:

  • Gather evidence that can be used to prove negligence
  • File the claim with the insurance company on your behalf
  • Estimate your damage and negotiate financial compensation
  • Push back when the insurance company is trying to compromise your legal rights

Contact a Jacksonville Bicycle Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, hiring an experienced attorney in Jacksonville, NC, can help you maximize your financial compensation. Horton & Mendez delivers results for clients who have trusted us with their future. Call us today at 910-405-7751 or message us online to begin the legal process that could lead to a settlement check. You never need to pay us money out of your own pocket for our legal services.

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