Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents can happen in virtually any situation, leaving the victim with painful injuries and serious financial damages. This includes areas or objects that are maintained by government entities like utilities companies. Although utilities are a necessary component of our modern lives and key infrastructure, when maintained poorly they can put people in serious risk of suffering harm. At Maurer Law, our diligent team of North Carolina bicycle accident lawyers is ready to assist you with reviewing your potential lawsuit and whether you are entitled to compensation.

In a recent lawsuit, the plaintiffs filed damages against a utility company for injuries they sustained when they collided with one of its utility lines at different times that was lying at ground level on a public roadway. During an initial trial, the jury concluded that the defendant acted negligently and that neither plaintiff was contributorily negligent for his or her damages. The defendant appealed the lower court’s judgment based on this verdict. It also appealed the lower court’s denial of its motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.

On review, the appellate court concluded that the lower court committed a reversible error when it instructed the jury about the doctrine of sudden emergency, which allowed the jury to conclude that neither plaintiff acted in a contributorily negligent manner. The record showed that severe weather caused the utility line to fall from its poles and that the defendant received notice of the fallen power line that same day. The first plaintiff was cycling along the roadway that day when another cyclist in front of her hit the wire and crashed. She was unable to stop before colliding with the cyclist and suffered severe injuries in the ensuing pileup.

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Recently, a 55-year-old bicyclist was killed when he rode through a red light in Raleigh before 7 a.m.. He was struck by a North Carolina police officer who was driving a marked SUV.

The bicyclist was bicycling southbound at about 23 mph and trying to cross the street against a red light. The police officer wasn’t injured in the accident, and he wasn’t cited.

All bicyclists in North Carolina are required to follow traffic signals, including red lights. They are also subject to other laws that are exclusively applied to bicyclists. For example, bicyclists must have both a front and rear light when riding in the dark, and these lights need to be visible from 300 feet. In some cases, reflective clothing may be worn instead.

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In Safron v. Elaine Helena Council, a North Carolina appellate court considered a bicycle accident case. The plaintiff was a graduate student riding her bicycle in Orange County. The defendant, meanwhile, was driving on the same road in her car. When the defendant saw the plaintiff bicyclist, she moved into the left lane and tried to pass. She heard her passenger side mirror drop and stopped her car. The plaintiff pedaled onward for a bit before stopping.

The defendant gave her contact information to the plaintiff, who was at that time standing by her bike. She offered to give the plaintiff a ride home, but the plaintiff decided to wait for a friend to pick her up. The plaintiff didn’t get medical care for a bruise but instead treated it with compresses and an over the counter pain reliever. Later, she went to the UNC student medical center, where they told her to keep doing what she was doing. However, two months later, she started to suffer pain episodes and needed treatment from a physical therapist and doctors.

She sued the defendant for carelessly and recklessly maneuvering her car while passing the plaintiff’s bike. She asked for medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering. She and the defendant contended damages were contested, but only the defendant claimed that the issue of negligence was contested.

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