Pedestrian and Bike Safety in North Carolina
Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer
According to Watch for Me NC, around 2,400 pedestrians and 960 bicyclists are hit by cars on North Carolina Streets every year. Watch for Me NC is a program run by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) in partnership with local communities, aimed at lowering the number of pedestrians and bicyclists injured in crashes with automobiles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, there were 173 pedestrian fatalities in North Carolina in 2013, which is 13.4 percent of the total number of traffic fatalities and equates to 1.76 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 individuals. The NHTSA also reported that there were 22 bicycle fatalities in 2013 in our state, which is 1.7 percent of the total number of traffic fatalities and amounts to 2.23 bike deaths per million people.
Pedestrian and Bicyclist Injuries
Pedestrian injuries caused by vehicles on the streets can present complex legal and factual issues. Pedestrians are obligated to use reasonable care to protect themselves against the dangers of walking on streets and highways. If a pedestrian’s own careless conduct results in his or her injury on the highway, he or she may may not be able to get compensation. Nevertheless, there are instances in which pedestrians injured on the streets may be entitled to recovery in court. A claim of negligence may be made against any driver at fault for injuring a pedestrian.
Bicycle collisions with automobiles are also a very dangerous yet relatively uncommon accidents that result in significant injuries to bicyclists. Most accidents are solo incidents involving a defect in the road or trail. Regardless of how the bicycle accident occurred, it is usually the result of somebody’s negligence — the vehicle driver’s negligence, the cyclist’s negligence, both, or the local government agency responsible for maintaining roads and trails. The cyclist may have a legal right to be compensated for his or her injuries.
What to Do if Injured
Many pedestrians or bicyclists that are involved in accidents with vehicles are knocked unconscious upon being struck or are otherwise incapacitated. However, if they are conscious after being struck by a vehicle, there are certain steps they must follow after the accident to ensure their legal rights are protected. First and foremost, they should seek immediate medical assistance and receive a full medical evaluation. They must then take a personal inventory of any pain, bleeding, or visually apparent injuries and report those to medical staff.
It is advisable to call the police immediately and file a report, if the injured party is able. This will help them document the events that led to being hit by a vehicle, since memories may fade due to the injury or details may simply be forgotten due to the passage of time. It is also advisable for the injured party to contact his or her automobile insurance provider, since these policies often cover injuries sustained as a pedestrian or a bicyclist and reporting is necessary for coverage after the accident.
Finally, the injured pedestrian or bicyclist should immediately contact an experienced personal injury attorney. The vehicle owner’s insurance company will most likely attempt to blame the injured pedestrian or bicyclist and deny any liability. If the insurance company does offer a settlement, it will most likely be undervalued and not take into account the full extent of injuries suffered and actual damages. If you or a loved one is a pedestrian or bicyclist injured in an accident with a vehicle, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you seek compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law
The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability. We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly. Call 877-BICE-877 today or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.