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Bicycle accidents differ from standard auto accidents because bicycle riders do not have the protection of a vehicle surrounding them like people do in automobiles. Even though bicycles are classified as vehicles, there is some awareness in the law that people on bicycles are more exposed than people in the cars.

Because of this exposure, an individual’s injuries can sometimes be much more severe on a bicycle than they would be if they were driving a car. To best understand how this particular bicycle accident dynamic may affect your accident claim in Winston-Salem, it is pertinent to consult with a knowledgeable Winston-Salem bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible.

Types of Injuries

Because there is not much to protect an individual from injury, a person may suffer orthopedic fractures and head injuries, whereas, in automobile accidents, one might see more soft tissue injury. These injuries are a result of the typical dynamics associated with a bike accident as opposed to a car accident in Winston-Salem.

Bicyclists can attend workshops to better understand the increased risk of injury they face as compared to other types of vehicles. Information is available on the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles website for cycling groups that emphasize the safety and prevention of Winston-Salem bike accident dynamics.

Head injuries can happen with or without helmets. Bicycle helmets are not designed like motorcycle helmets to withstand a great amount of force. Common bike injuries also include orthopedic injuries, such as fractures. If riders are struck and then they fall. Road rash happens from a biker using their hands to catch themselves on the road.

Potential Accident Causes

Bicycles are considered dangerous because they are smaller and more difficult to see. Visibility is an issue that can sometimes lead to bicycle accidents in Winston-Salem. Cyclists may be difficult to see, depending on what clothing the bicyclist is wearing, and if they use additional headlights or other sources of lighting.

Additionally important is their position on the road. They may use a vehicle lane but are restricted to the side of the road where it may be difficult for other vehicles to see.

The most common dynamic of a bicycle is that they are sometimes hard to spot. Bicycles are not as prevalent on the road as cars, and so people may or may not be expecting to see a bicycle or anticipate the movement of the cyclist.

Comparative and Contributory Negligence

Winston-Salem is a contributory negligence jurisdiction. In the comparative negligence analysis, the question would be to assign what percentage of fault each party played in the situation. In the case of a bicycle versus a car, one would have to apportion the degree of fault to the car and to bicycle. Part of the dynamics of a Winston-Salem bike accident is determining the degree of fault.

Contributory negligence is an argument that would be raised by someone against whom a claim of negligence was brought. In that case, the negligent person claims that the injured person was also negligent in the situation and the harm was caused by a combination of the actions of both individuals.

Bicycle Standards

A bicyclist will be held to the standard of a driver of a vehicle in the eyes of the law. Bicycles are classified as vehicles in Winston-Salem, which is the same as a car. The standard will be enforced by any law enforcement agency with the authority to enforce traffic laws. This particular dynamic in a Winston-Salem bicycle accident can be best explained by an experienced attorney.

Out-of-State Cyclists

Out-of-state cyclists should know that by riding a bike on the streets of Winston-Salem or anywhere else in North Carolina, they consent to follow the laws. A cyclist from out-of-state should know that anyone under the age of 16 must wear a helmet and follow North Carolina laws which, are not substantially different from any other state.

It is important that any out-of-state cyclists are familiar with state laws, and that they have the proper health insurance. Depending on the type of insurance, an injured party may have medical payments coverage under an auto policy that may apply between states.

Contacting an Attorney

An attorney would want to know the make and model of the car that was involved in the accident, and if it was a small compact car versus a commercial trailer. The attorney would then gather all of the available information about the dynamics of the Winston-Salem bicycle accident before attempting to build a strong claim.

Anyone who has recently been involved in a bicycle accident should first seek medical treatment and report injuries accurately to a person’s medical providers. They should also preserve all relevant evidence such as the bicyclist names, witness contact information, and any other people involved. After an individual does these things it is important to call a lawyer who can make sure they understand their rights and how to protect them.