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Bicycle and Scooter Accidents
Bicycle and Scooter Accidents
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A North Carolina Bicycle and Scooter Accident Attorney Representing Those Who Have Been Injured in Scooter and Bicycle Accidents

As gas prices increase and traffic becomes worse, North Carolinians are looking for other ways to travel about their communities. As a result, bicycles and electric scooters have become increasingly popular methods of transportation. Unfortunately, this also means that accidents are on the rise – many of which result in severe injuries and even death

Our firm successfully represented two bicyclists that were severely injured by a hazardous cable and wire left across the roadway. After numerous unanswered requests from emergency personnel, a unanimous jury awarded the plaintiffs a verdict of $500,000 against Time Warner Cable to ensure that next time, they take these requests seriously. 

Bicycle and scooter riders have rights, both before and after an accident. If you have been injured in an accident, a North Carolina bicycle and a scooter accident attorney can help you get the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and other losses. 

Questions about Bicycle and Scooter Accidents
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North Carolina Bicycle Laws

North Carolina has extensive laws regarding the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists. To begin with, bicycles are considered to be vehicles under the law. This means that bicyclists are expected to follow all traffic laws and obey all traffic signs. Bicycle riders must generally ride in the same direction as other traffic and in the correct lane, as close to the right-hand edge of the road as possible. Bicycle riders must also yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when appropriate, as well as other vehicles in certain situations.  

Some laws apply specifically to bicycles.  

  • If riding after dark, your bicycle must be equipped with a front light that is visible from a distance of at least 300 feet and a red rear light or reflector that is visible from a distance of at least 200 feet. 
  • Bicycle riders cannot take action to prevent another vehicle from lawfully passing them. 
  • When passing a bicycle rider, motorists cannot pass unless it is safe to do so and must pass at least two feet to the left of the bicycle. 
  • Motorists are also prohibited from following bicycles too closely. 

How these laws apply to your case can be complicated. Evidence that the other driver caused your accident by breaking the law can help your case tremendously. However, you may still be able to prove negligence even if the driver was not cited for a traffic violation. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, the best thing you can do is contact a North Carolina bicycle accident attorney. 

Electric Scooters 

Electric scooters have become a popular means of transportation in urban areas. Able to travel up to 15 miles per hour, electric scooters offer people an inexpensive, non-fossil fuel option to travel shorter distances. Under North Carolina law, electric scooters are considered mopeds and are, therefore, not allowed to be ridden on sidewalks. As a result, these vehicles should be operated on roadways, obeying all traffic laws, signs, and signals, just like bicycles. Many cities have adopted local ordinances governing their operation in order to address their growing popularity. 

Riders of electric scooters face the same hazards that bicyclists face – they are less “visible” than other motor vehicles and are slower than surrounding traffic. In addition, a sudden brake failure or other issues can send the rider into the path of oncoming traffic. Nevertheless, motorists have an obligation to drive safely and take reasonable precautions to avoid accidents. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a driver’s negligence, a North Carolina scooter accident lawyer can help you get fair compensation. 

Common Types of Bicycle and Scooter Accidents

Bicycle and scooter riders face unique hazards that other motorists or even pedestrians do not. These hazards include the following:

  • Dooring accidents. This is where a driver opens the door of their vehicle into the path of an oncoming vehicle. This can cause the rider to veer out into traffic to avoid a collision. In other cases, the door of the vehicle knocks the rider to the ground and into the travel lane. 
  • Rear-end accidents. Because scooters and bikes move slower than the surrounding traffic, they are at risk of being rear-ended by inattentive drivers. 
  • Right-hook accidents. This is when a driver makes a right turn across a bicycle or scooter’s direction of travel. If the rider is unable to stop in time, they may collide with the vehicle and be thrown to the ground. 
  • Left-hook accidents. Similar to a right-hook accident, the driver makes a left turn across a scooter or bicycle approaching from the opposite direction. Both right-hook and left-hook accidents are the result of the driver being unaware of the rider’s presence or misjudging their speed and distance. 
  • Sideswipe accidents. These occur when drivers change lanes without looking for cyclists or scooter riders. 

Understanding how these accidents occur is essential to proving negligence. If you are injured and need compensation to pay for your medical bills and other losses, a North Carolina bicycle, and a scooter accident attorney can help. 

Bike and Scooter-Sharing Accidents (Cardinal Bikeshare, Lime, Bird, and Others)

Bicycles and scooters that can be rented for a brief period have gained popularity in recent years. Using an app on their smartphones, people can rent them for a few minutes or several hours, riding them from one location and leaving them at their destination. The rise in their popularity has led to an increase in bicycle and scooter traffic on urban, high-traffic streets and sidewalks which has predictably led to an increase in accidents with motor vehicles. 

The riders of these bicycles and scooters are expected to obey the traffic laws just as any other cyclist. However, accidents involving these bicycles and scooters require special consideration. The companies that supply them have a legal obligation to ensure that they are safe for their customers. Malfunctioning or poorly maintained brakes are an obvious problem. For e-bikes or scooters, problems with the accelerator can cause riders to lose control or speed out into traffic. Missing reflectors or non-functional lights can make riders difficult to see in the dark. 

If your accident was caused by a mechanical malfunction, you might have a claim against the company that supplied the bike or scooter. An experienced North Carolina bicycle and a scooter accident attorney can determine whether you have a claim and identify the party that needs to be held accountable. 

What Your Accident Claim May Be Worth

Many accident victims fail to realize the full value of their claim, only to later discover that they can’t pay all of their bills. If you’ve been injured, you may be able to fight for compensation for the following: 

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Other losses directly related to your accident, such as increased transportation expenses
  • Pain and suffering

Your health insurance may cover some of your medical expenses but not your lost income, pain, and suffering, or other losses. Our attorneys will evaluate your case and give you a fair estimate of what your case may be worth to help you make important legal decisions.

Injured in a Bike or Scooter Accident? Contact Martin & Jones

Bicycle and scooter riders are entitled to fair compensation when they are injured by negligent drivers. With 40 years of experience helping people rebuild their lives, a North Carolina bicycle and scooter accident attorney from Martin & Jones will know how to get the results you need.  If you’d like to discuss your case with one of our attorneys, contact us online or call 1-800-662-1234 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.  We have office locations in Raleigh, Durham, and Wilmington, North Carolina.

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The law firm you choose makes a difference. If you are the victim of an accident or an illness that someone else caused, the North Carolina personal injury law firm of Martin & Jones has the depth of experience, skills and sensitivity to make your road to recovery as smooth as possible. Whether you have experience with the legal system or have never hired a medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer before, our attorneys and staff will do our best to answer your questions, provide clear advice and prepare you and your family for what to expect. If you would like more information or to meet with one of our attorneys, please fill out the form below or call us at 800.662.1234.