It should not come as a surprise that collisions between bicycles and automobiles frequently cause catastrophic injuries for the bicyclist. Common injuries in bicycle accidents include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and a host of orthopedic problems such as broken bones and soft tissue damage. These kinds of injuries can result in extensive financial loss, including lost wages and stacks of medical bills. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you recover money damages from the insurance company that will assist in putting your life back together.
Bicycle Injury Claims, Contributory Negligence, and the Insurance Company
Immediately after a bicycle accident, the chances are that you will receive a call from the driver’s insurance company. Frequently, the adjuster will want to obtain a “recorded statement” for his/her “investigation.” You should refuse the request, because there is no obligation that you give a recorded statement. More importantly, North Carolina has a harsh rule known as “contributory negligence” which provides that if you are even 1% at-fault for your injuries, you are not entitled to recover damages. While there are some exceptions to this rule, the insurance company will nevertheless attempt to ask questions on the recorded statement that it will contend prove either (a) its insured did nothing wrong, or (b) the accident was your fault.
Recoverable Damages in North Carolina Bicycle Injury Claims
Even though the insurance company may initially rely upon a false defense, in many cases they will back off of that defense if you aggressively pursue your claim. If they don’t, you of course retain the right to have your case heard before a jury of your peers who will determine the validity of the defense. Whether the case is heard by a jury or settled prior to trial, there are certain types of damages that are recoverable under North Carolina law. Those include medical and pharmaceutical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for your diminished earning capacity, physical and mental pain and suffering, disfigurement, and disability.
Maginnis Law provides free consultations and case evaluations to all prospective clients involved in North Carolina bicycle accidents. We assist clients throughout North Carolina. If we are able to assist with your case, we will offer a contingency fee arrangement. This structure ensures that you pay no attorneys’ fee unless we make a financial recovery on your behalf.
If you or a family member, including a child, have been injured in a bicycle accident, call the attorneys of Maginnis Law. If you wish to send the written details of your case, please use our contact page. We will travel across North Carolina to come meet with you to discuss your claim.