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Riding a bicycle can be a sustainable way to exercise, run errands, and commute to and from work, but it can also be dangerous if other drivers on the road are not careful. If another driver acts negligently and causes a crash that involves a cyclist, severe injuries may result.

A Raleigh bicycle accident lawyer could help you take stock of your damages and pursue civil restitution if you were struck by a reckless or careless driver while cycling. With a dedicated personal injury attorney by your side, you may be able to recover compensation for a variety of economic and non-economic losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Laws Applicable to Bike Riders in Raleigh

In North Carolina, bicycles are viewed as vehicles and therefore governed under the same traffic laws as any other car or truck on the road. However, bicycles are slower, quieter, and often less visible than other vehicles, making them more difficult to see and hear as they approach.

Because of this, bicyclists must adhere to additional regulations beyond standard traffic laws, like having a light on their bike to illuminate their path or utilizing reflectors to make themselves more visible if they are riding after dark. It should be noted, though, that there are no insurance requirements surrounding bicycles, and cyclists do not have to have insurance to ride their bicycle on the road. A Raleigh bicycle crash attorney could provide further clarification about how specific statutes and rules may impact the outcome of a particular plaintiff’s case.

What is the Time Limit to File a Bicycle Injury Claim?

Every personal injury claim in Raleigh and throughout the state is subject to a time limit. Under State law, this is known as the statute of limitations. If this time limit expires and the case is not yet in a Raleigh court, the injured party will not be able to collect compensation.

According to North Carolina General Statute §1-52, this time limit is three years following the crash. A Raleigh bicycle accident attorney could help to ensure that a claim does not fail because of an inability to demand payment at an appropriate time.

Causes, Effects, and Consequences of Bike Wrecks

A bicyclist can potentially suffer great harm if involved in a collision with a car because of how much heavier a car is and how much more exposed a cyclist is. There may also be a higher risk of multiple types of injuries. For example, a minor fender-bender between two commuter cars could result in only minor bruises and sprains, but a cyclist hit by a vehicle at low speeds could sustain severe road rash, broken bones, and even traumatic brain and spine damage from their impact against the vehicle or the roadway itself.

The most common causes of bicycle accidents are cyclists being struck by distracted drivers or being hit in an intersection when a driver is turning and does not see a cyclist traveling straight. A lawyer can help someone involved in a bicycle accident in Raleigh by establishing that the cyclist was not at fault and aggressively defending them against any allegations of negligence.

What Damages Could Someone Recover in a Bike Injury Claim?

A central concept in all personal injury law is that an injured party has the right to demand compensation for all their losses. This includes seeking payments for the costs of all medical care. However, plaintiffs should be certain that their demands for payment accurately reflect how the incident has affected their lives.

The two main categories of non-personal injury losses are emotional trauma and economic damages. A bike accident is almost certain to cause a victim significant pain and suffering. It may also leave a person with nightmares or PTSD. A claim for compensation should take these effects into account. Individuals must also be sure to demand reimbursement for lost earnings this can include payments to cover lost income due to missed shifts or payments for any resulting permanent injuries.

How a Defendant May Dispute a Claim

Unfortunately for injured bike riders, Raleigh is in a state that still uses the antiquated concept of contributory negligence to assign fault in accident cases. In short, this means that if a jury decides that an injured rider is even one percent to blame for an incident, that jury must refuse to provide compensation to a plaintiff.

While it is true that a defendant at trial must raise this defense can carries the burden of proving it in court, this is a powerful tool for defendants and their insurance companies to deny liability for a crash. A Raleigh bicycle accident attorney could help to demonstrate that a defendant’s negligence was the sole cause of a bicycle accident.

Talk to a Raleigh Bicycle Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible

Attorneys handle bicycle accident cases similarly to other types of civil lawsuits—they investigate the facts and the scene as soon as possible, take statements from eyewitness while their memories are fresh, and collect all available documentation of injuries to prove liability by another driver. Handling all of this alone could leave you unable to recover appropriate compensation for all your damages, so retaining a Raleigh bicycle accident lawyer is almost certainly in your best interests. Call today to schedule an initial consultation.