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Charlotte Bicycle Accident Attorney
Injured in a Bike Accident in Charlotte, NC?
If you or a loved one have been involved in a bicycle accident in Charlotte or the surrounding areas, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. At Shane Smith Law, we specialize in helping victims of bicycle accidents get the compensation they deserve for their injuries and damages.
Our team of attorneys is dedicated to providing the highest level of legal representation for those injured in bicycle accidents. We have a deep understanding of the laws and regulations governing bicycle accidents in these areas, and we know how to build a strong case on your behalf.
North Carolina Bicycle Laws
Bicyclists in North Carolina are generally considered vehicles and must follow the same traffic laws as motorists. This includes stopping at stop signs and red lights, yielding the right of way when appropriate, and obeying speed limits.
Bicycles are generally required to be operated on the road and not on sidewalks. However, you can ride on the sidewalk in most areas of Charlotte.
Bicycles must be equipped with a white headlight visible from at least 300 feet and a rear red reflector visible from at least 200 feet at night. Additional reflectors and lights can also improve visibility.
Bicyclists must use hand signals to indicate turns or stops, just like motorists. Use your left arm straight out to indicate a left turn, your left arm bent upwards to indicate a right turn, and your left arm bent downwards to indicate a stop.
North Carolina doesn't have a statewide helmet law for adult bicyclists.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
A bicycle accident refers to an incident involving a collision or some form of unexpected event that results in harm or damage to a cyclist and/or their bicycle. Bicycle accidents can occur for various reasons and involve different factors, including the cyclist's actions, the actions of other road users (such as motorists or pedestrians), road conditions, weather, and more.
Here are some common causes of bicycle accidents involving vehicles:
- Intersection Collisions: Intersections are a hotspot for accidents. Cyclists and motorists may misjudge each other's intentions or fail to yield the right of way, leading to collisions when turning, crossing, or merging.
- Right Hook: A right hook occurs when a vehicle turns right across the path of a cyclist going straight. This can happen if the driver doesn't notice the cyclist or misjudges their speed.
- Left Cross: A left cross involves a vehicle turning left in front of an oncoming cyclist. This often happens when a driver underestimates the cyclist's speed or fails to notice them.
- Dooring: Dooring occurs when a parked vehicle's occupant opens the door into the path of an oncoming cyclist. This can lead to a serious collision or force the cyclist into traffic.
- Overtaking Accidents: When a vehicle passes a cyclist too closely without providing enough space, it can result in a sideswipe collision or force the cyclist off the road.
- Rear-End Collisions: A vehicle rear-ending a cyclist can occur if the motorist isn't paying attention or misjudges the cyclist's speed. This can lead to severe injuries for the cyclist.
- Intersection Right-of-Way Violations: Some accidents occur when either the cyclist or the driver doesn't obey traffic signals or signs, leading to a collision at an intersection.
- Unsafe Lane Changes: If a vehicle suddenly changes lanes without checking for cyclists, it can lead to a collision or force the cyclist off the road.
- Distracted Driving: Drivers distracted by phones, navigation systems, or other distractions might not notice cyclists in their vicinity, increasing the risk of collisions.
- Impaired Driving: Drivers under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications might have impaired judgment and reaction times, making it harder for them to avoid colliding with cyclists.
- Speeding: Speeding vehicles have reduced reaction times, which can be especially dangerous when encountering cyclists who might suddenly appear in their path.
- Lack of Awareness: Some drivers simply don't anticipate encountering cyclists on the road or underestimate their vulnerability, leading to accidents.
- Weather Conditions: Rain, fog, or other adverse weather conditions can reduce visibility for both cyclists and drivers, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
- Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, debris, and uneven road surfaces can cause cyclists to lose control and collide with vehicles or other obstacles.
- Driver Aggression: Road rage or aggressive driving behaviors toward cyclists can escalate situations and lead to accidents.
- Inadequate Infrastructure: A lack of dedicated bike lanes or poorly designed intersections can create unsafe conditions for both cyclists and motorists.
As your Charlotte bicycle accident lawyer, we will work tirelessly to investigate the accident and determine who is at fault. We will gather evidence, speak to witnesses, and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.
If you are looking for an experienced, compassionate bicycle accident attorney in Charlotte and the surrounding areas, look no further than Shane Smith Law. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
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