Bike Accident Data Shows Increased Deaths and Injuries
In Charlotte and throughout North Carolina, we have seen increased bicycle accidents and fatalities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people changed how they went about their daily lives personally and professionally. Some began using alternative transportation to get back and forth from work, choosing to walk or ride a bicycle instead of motor vehicles. Bicycling saves money, especially with an increase in gas prices. It is also a healthy way to get outside and stay active. Unfortunately, there is also an increased risk of serious injuries and deaths. Motor vehicle drivers are more distracted than ever, putting cyclists at risk any time they get on the road.Fatal Bicycle Crashes in North Carolina Have Increased
North Carolina reported a record number of traffic deaths in 2021, a 5 percent increase from the year before. Sadly, the most frequent victims are children and young adults. Bicycling has become more popular than ever as a means to get around Charlotte. However, many of the injuries and deaths in bicycle accidents have been in Charlotte. Bicycling is especially dangerous when traffic is congested, and drivers are in a hurry to get to and from work.
In 2020, 26 cyclists were killed in North Carolina, with four fatalities occurring in the greater-Charlotte area. In 2019, 19 people died in fatal bicycle accidents. According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, these deaths could have been avoided. Many of the drivers involved in these accidents were driving too quickly, impaired by alcohol or drugs, or distracted while text messaging.
Cyclists are only protected by the clothes they're wearing, a helmet, and a bicycle weighing approximately 15 pounds. They are not protected against motor vehicles that weigh thousands of pounds. Most of the time, bicycle accidents could be prevented if the driver was abiding by North Carolina traffic laws. Cyclists in Charlotte have noted a serious lack of protected bicycle lanes within the city, making it more dangerous for cyclists. There is little for cyclists to do other than wear a helmet and follow the rules of traffic to prevent a crash from happening. Even when cyclists are extremely vigilant in looking out for reckless drivers, they cannot prevent oncoming collisions in most cases.What to Do After Being in a Charlotte Bicycle Accident
If you have been injured in a Charlotte bicycle accident, you may be wondering about your options. The steps you take after the accident will play an important role in your ability to recover compensation. One of the most important things you can do is report the bicycle accident to the police. The police will begin an investigation after they obtain pictures of the accident, speak to witnesses, and report their observations about the potential causes of the accident. Police officers will determine who is at fault. Be sure to document the police report, the opposing driver’s information, and any injuries you may have sustained. If the car or truck driver is determined to be at fault for your accident, his or her insurance company will begin reaching out to try to offer you a settlement agreement.
It can be tempting to accept the first settlement agreement you were offered so you can begin paying your medical expenses. However, we recommend discussing your case with an attorney before accepting an offer in writing. Insurance companies will try to lowball you, and an attorney can ensure that you receive the total amount of compensation you need. It is also essential that you go to a doctor and communicate with your doctor regarding your symptoms. Make sure you follow up with your medical appointments and take your prescribed medication on time. Doing so will help you show that the bicycle accident caused your injuries and that they are as serious as you claim them to be.Reach Out to a Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney
If you were unlucky enough to be injured in a Charlotte bicycle accident, your next step should be to discuss your case with an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and how much your case is worth. Your attorney can also negotiate aggressively with the insurance company to ensure they are offering you a fair settlement agreement.
The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC have extensive experience and a proven track record of holding insurance companies and defendants accountable. We provide injured cyclists with the aggressive legal representation they need and deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.