Greenville Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bike Accident Lawyer in Greenville, NC
Bike accidents occur in urban areas and rural locations all over the country and around the world. The WHO (World Health Organization) categorizes bicyclists as “vulnerable road users,” along with pedestrians and motorcyclists. Due to the need for a bicycle to stay balanced and a cyclist’s lack of external or walled protection, bike collisions often result in severe injuries and possible long-term impairment. If your bike accident injuries in Greenville, North Carolina, are due to the recklessness of a motorist, you are within your rights to claim for compensation. A bike accident lawyer in Greenville, North Carolina, can help. The compensation you are able to claim may help in reimbursing you for your financial and emotional losses.
Furthermore, if a negligent party is ruled to have been acting out of gross irresponsibility or malicious intent, you may also pursue punitive damages with bike accident lawyers in court.
Handling the legal side of recovery can be challenging, most especially if you are still recuperating from your injuries. To make a positive head start on your compensation claim in Greenville, NC, you need to consult with a bike accident attorney as early as today.
Bike Crash Statistics and the Need for a Bike Accident Lawyer in Greenville, NC
According to the NHTSA, there was a steady and significant increase in the number of people opting to use bicycles as a mode of work transportation from 2000 to 2012. In 2014, approximately 2% of all traffic crash fatalities were bicyclists, with a majority of these deadly accidents taking place in urban locations. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has reported, moreover, that the majority of bike crash deaths involved head injuries, thereby emphasizing the importance for any bicyclist to wear a helmet while on the road.
The IIHS has reported on a total of 835 bike-riding fatalities in motor vehicle crashes all over the country in 2016. This number of bicyclist deaths is reportedly the highest since the year 1991. In North Carolina, a thousand bicyclists are involved in accidents all over the state on an annual basis. From 2011 to 2015, the number of reported bike collisions reached to 4,755. As many as 20 bicyclists are killed yearly on average.
In January 2018, a bicyclist was struck by a vehicle and killed on one of the public roads of a North Carolina county. According to investigators, the 48-year-old male fatality was wearing dark clothing and was without a helmet when the accident occurred at six in the morning.
The most vulnerable individuals in reported bike crashes all over the state are children and young adults. In addition, the most common crash locations include intersections, intersection-related areas, and even non-roadways in both rural and urban areas in North Carolina.
Common Types of Bike Accident Injuries and Causes
Whether due to bicyclist fault, reckless motorists, or lack of proper maintenance on bicycle lanes and public roads, bike accidents, and collisions can happen at any time.
In February 2018, a rider fell from his bike and got hit by a vehicle driver on 14th street in Greenville, NC. According to news reports, the rider was immediately transported to a hospital after having sustained serious injuries.
When a bike crash happens, it is important to identify the negligent parties involved in the accident. This will allow a bike accident attorney to conduct an investigation into the crash and determine whether you or your injured loved one may be eligible for compensation. Some of the common bike accident injuries for which a lawyer can help in a compensation claim are the following:
- Soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries are among the most common types of injuries sustained by bicyclists after a fall or a collision. These injuries may be classified as acute, specifically when they are instigated by trauma due to a sudden fall or blow. An example of these acute soft tissue injuries are contusions.
- Fractures. Any bone in the human body can be susceptible to a fracture, but the most commonly affected bones in a motor vehicle crash or bicycle crash are the collarbone, the spine vertebrae, the pelvis, ribs, ankles, and the skull.
- Sprains and dislocations. Bicycle accidents may result in sprains and dislocations that further lead to serious complications if not treated at once. A dislocation occurs when a bone has popped out of a joint. If left unaided, a dislocation can cause damage to blood vessels and nerves and may affect mobility to the affected limb.
- Brain and/or spine injuries. A sudden hit to the head during a bicycle crash can lead to open wound injuries as well as traumatic brain injuries. Two of the most serious injury types that may result from a bike collision are brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Those that sustain brain injuries are prone to suffer from excruciating headaches, nausea, loss of coordination, and depression. Spinal injuries, on the other hand, come in various types such as cervical spinal injury, thoracic spinal injury, and sacral spinal injury, among others.
A few of the common causes of bicycle accidents that take place in North Carolina and beyond are:
- Motorist drive-outs at controlled intersections
- Motorist overtaking
- Motorist left-turns
- Motorist right-turns
- Motorist opens a door when a bicyclist passes
- Backing accidents in parking spaces and driveways
- Wrong-facing bicyclist
- Motorist ride-out at midblock
A bike collision can happen in many different ways, but too often the resulting injuries are serious and possibly life-threatening. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bike accident in North Carolina, you may be eligible to claim for compensation. To know more about your legal rights, especially where an irresponsible motorist is involved, it is crucial that you speak with a bike accident attorney right away.
The Types of Compensation for Which You May File a Claim
After having sustained injuries due to a bike accident, there are several types of compensation to which you may be entitled to you. Bike accident lawyers typically have experience in handling economic and non-economic compensation types, including compensation for punitive damages and a civil wrongful death suit.
The types of compensation for which you can make a claim along with your bike accident attorney are explained in greater detail below:
- Economic compensation. Also known as financial compensation, this type of reimbursement aims to help you deal with financial losses, such as hospital costs incurred due to your injuries and loss of income due to your inability to return to work immediately. In addition to compensating you for hospital expenses, this claim may also factor in the costs for physician-prescribed medication, rehabilitation and therapy, and expenses necessary for the treatment of post-traumatic symptoms and complications. Finally, if your injuries have left you unable to work for an extended period of time, your claim may also include a provision for losses in future income.
- Non-economic compensation. This type of compensation is meant to reimburse you for non-financial losses which you may have endured as a result of the accident. These non-financial or subjective losses include pain and suffering, mental anguish, or significantly reduced quality of life due to your injuries. Although these losses are subjective in nature, bike accident lawyers will have the necessary know-how in quantifying your emotional losses into an approximate amount. It is important for you to choose an attorney who will advise you into seeking for non-economic compensation, especially when you are clearly qualified for it.
- Punitive damages. These kinds of damages are meant to punish a reckless motorist or grossly negligent entity in a bike accident. The amount that you can claim as punitive damages will be dependent on several factors, including the gravity of the negligence, the possibility of malicious or criminal intent in the act, and the cap or limit imposed by state laws on such kinds of damages.
It will be helpful for you to work with lawyers who are knowledgeable about negligence laws in the state of North Carolina, including the possible limits to non-economic and punitive damages.
- Wrongful death claim. The heirs of a decedent who has been killed in a bike crash may file for a wrongful death claim in court, in addition to criminal charges. In this civil lawsuit, the heirs may be able to claim an amount that takes care of hospitalization expenses prior to death, funeral expenses, and even income losses if the decedent was a provider to his or her family prior to death.
A crucial factor in the determination of compensation eligibility and the corresponding amounts is the establishment of negligence on the part of the defendant.
Under pure contributory negligence law, you will be barred from receiving any compensation if you are found to be liable for the accident yourself. This means that even if you are only 2% liable for the bike crash, you may not be eligible for any compensation proceeds in Greenville, North Carolina.
Should I Go for a Bike Accident Settlement or File a Lawsuit?
There are a few things that you need to factor into your decision when choosing either a settlement or a lawsuit. Given that not all bike accident compensation claims are the same, the choice between a settlement and a lawsuit will depend on the severity of your injuries, the presence of malicious or criminal intent on the bike crash, and the favorability of the settlement proceedings.
Once you file a compensation claim against the liable party and his or her insurance representative, the latter may present a settlement proposal as a way to evade litigation. This means that the case will no longer have to proceed to court. Before accepting, you and your bike accident lawyer in Greenville, NC, may review first the fair basis of the settlement.
If the settlement amount is just and fair, and if you clearly have the need to be compensated immediately for all your losses, accepting the settlement will be a prudent decision.
Nonetheless, bike accident attorneys in Greenville NC may also advise against accepting a settlement, especially if the terms are not meant to compensate you fully. When this happens, it may be wiser for you and your bike accident attorney to proceed to court.
Often, plaintiffs will refuse to file a lawsuit as this can mean a long and expensive court battle, and without the assurance of a positive outcome. The other party, furthermore, may counter with their own allegations of liability or negligence on the part of the plaintiff. This will further necessitate more counter-evidences and even the help of other experts.
With the help and counsel of trustworthy bike accident lawyers, nonetheless, there is no reason why a lawsuit should not be concluded favorably and successfully.
Where a settlement fails, a lawsuit may succeed — specifically in handing you the compensation proceeds you truly deserve.
Do I Need Bike Accident Lawyers after a Bike Collision in Greenville, NC?
Although some people will choose to forego the help of a bike accident attorney, and this is often not a good idea. A bike accident is already a challenging experience. Often, the legal proceedings after the accident can leave you physically, emotionally, and financially exhausted. Thus, you will require the help of committed bike accident attorneys in Greenville NC, from investigation to compensation.
Listed below are a few of the most important tasks that a bike accident attorney in Greenville, NC, can devote to your claim for compensation:
- Evaluate the facts of your case. Not all bike accident cases are the same. While some riders may suffer from a fall due to a poorly maintained public road, other bicyclists may be hit by a speeding car or truck. Furthermore, other factors may have been contributory to the accident, such as drunk driving, distracted driving, or even a wrong-facing bicyclist.
The help of experienced bike accident lawyers will be extremely important since all of these possible contributory factors will have to be factored into an investigation. Moreover, a bike accident attorney will have resources to reconstruct the accident scene, determine fault, and review existing state laws in North Carolina.
- Provide an assessment of possible legal courses of action. Although it may be your personal preference to settle with a liable party, this may not always be the best idea. In some settlement cases, the proposed amount may not even cover one-half of your losses. Nonetheless, there are also time limits in the filing of lawsuits. Depending on state laws, it may no longer be possible to file a lawsuit after three years from the date of the accident. Thus, it is the job of bike accident attorneys in Greenville NC to provide you with an honest assessment of your options, whether you are planning to settle or go to court.
- Negotiate with insurance companies and fight allegations of negligence. Many individuals choose to engage in settlement discussions without the added representation of a bike accident attorney. Although this may end well for some, others may not always be so lucky. Insurance companies are known to attempt to reduce a compensation claim amount in order to minimize the payouts and overheads. To do this, the insurance company may even pin the liability on you.
What a bike accident lawyer in Greenville, NC, can do is to attempt a re-negotiation with the insurance representatives, or present sufficient evidence to challenge any allegation of liability. You will want to make sure that you are fully represented in the presence of insurance agents and other representatives.
- Offer necessary objectivity during settlement talks or lawsuits. To be involved in an accident is to deal with all the physical pain, financial expenses, and emotional costs that often come with it. When you’re already stressed-out or still recovering from your injuries, dealing with a compensation claim may be too much to handle all on your own.
With bike accident lawyers, you can rest assured that someone else is going to deal with any legal hurdle which the case may throw at you. An experienced bike accident attorney in Greenville, NC, may also speak on your behalf, especially at a time when your emotions could get the better of you. Given the fact that anything you say can be used against you at a later time or in a court of law, it will be helpful to have an experienced bike accident attorney with you when you need it the most.
Get in Touch With Us at the Carolina Law Group for Your Bike Compensation Claim in North Carolina
Although insurance compensation claims are meant to provide you with protection and recompense when you need it the most, some insurance companies may deny you this very protection. If you have been hurt in a bicycle accident and require help in seeking compensation, talk to us.
Here at the Carolina Law Group, we have the bike accident attorney who can assess your case honestly and provide the right legal strategy from settlement to courtroom. Bike accident injuries can be extremely severe and may leave you with debilitating complications all your life. If you are looking for bike accident attorneys in Greenville NC, look no further. Send us a message at the Carolina Law Group to speak with a bike accident attorney today.