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riding a bike in the rainIf you live in Charlotte,  you may be dreading the coming season. Wet, snowy and cold weather may soon be upon us, meaning an end to warm-weather activities. Whether you ride your bicycle to get to work or school or simply ride for pleasure, you might be involved in a sort of countdown to when those wheels get hung up. Not so fast.

If you really want to ride your bike throughout the winter season, you certainly can. All it takes is a few changes in your habits. None of the changes you need to make are difficult, and none will cost a ton of money or time. Keep reading to discover how you can keep your wheels on the ground this winter.

1. Dress Right

You know enough to wear an outer layer that’s waterproof, but what are you wearing underneath? If you aren’t wearing breathable layers, you’ll be wet from sweat instead of rain. Look for clothes that breathe to wear underneath your winter-weather gear. That way you stay dry throughout your layers.

2. Change Your Sunglasses

If you wear sunglasses while you ride, ditch the dark lenses for ones that are clear or yellow. Dark lenses will inhibit your sight in low light conditions, like around the early sunsets of winter.

3. Brake Sooner

Just like your car, your bicycle will take longer to brake in wet weather. Keep this in mind when you are riding and brake sooner than you otherwise would. Also bear in mind that braking through a rain slick or puddle will be different than simply braking on slick roads.

4. Slicks

Speaking of slick roads, the rain will bring oil to the surface. The edges of oil slicks will have a rainbow-like appearance. If you see these, avoid them. Also be aware that any metal objects like manholes or bridges will be slippery and should be ridden over carefully.

5. Turning the Corner

If you are rounding a corner, try to lean your body more than your bike. The more upright your bike, the faster you can take a corner in the wet weather. If you can’t get the hang of leaning properly, just slow down. Either will work fine.

6. Tell Someone

Don’t leave home without telling someone you are heading out. While this is true any time you decide to ride your bike, it’s especially important in inclement weather. Let someone know what time you will be leaving, where you are going and the route you are taking to get there. Make a plan to check in with that person every 30 minutes or so.

If you are injured in a bicycle accident in Charlotte, you have rights. Reach out to our office today to schedule a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your legal rights. Call today or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.

cyclist on a busy roadNo matter how careful you drive, it can be difficult to avoid bicyclists who aren’t obeying the rules of the road. If you are a cyclist, it can be difficult to avoid drivers who aren’t aware of their surroundings. When everyone on the road acts responsibly and looks out for one another, some of the collisions between bicycles and vehicles can be prevented. Here are some of the most common accidents involving bikes and cars and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Darting Out of Driveways

You’re driving along when all of a sudden a bicyclist rolls out of a driveway or alley directly into your path. You have no time to react and hit the cyclist. This accident could have been avoided.

If you are on a bicycle, do not pull straight out into a roadway. Always look both ways to make sure the way is clear before you leave an alley or driveway. If you are driving a vehicle, drive at speeds that are appropriate for the area you are in. If there are cars lining the road in a residential neighborhood making it difficult for you to see, slow down.

2. Controlled Intersections

Accidents at intersections happen for a variety of reasons that can be attributed to cyclists and drivers. If you are on a bicycle, remember that you must follow the traffic signals just as a driver has to. If you are a driver, be sure to look both ways, even if you have the right of way. Anyone approaching an intersection should make sure the way is clear no matter what type of machine they are operating.

3. Wrong Way Drivers

It’s not unusual for a cyclist to cut down a wrong-way street thinking that it will be safer than riding with traffic. Unfortunately, drivers are less likely to be looking for things heading their way when they are on a one-way street.

As a bicyclist, avoid the temptation to travel the wrong way. If you are a driver, don’t assume that you won’t be running into anything ahead of you. Keep your eyes up and on the road. If you encounter a cyclist, slow down and let them pass.

4. Unexpected Left Turns

Both bicyclists and drivers make left turns without signaling and without the right to do so. These maneuvers are often the most risky for bicyclists. If you are in a car, always look over your left shoulder before you turn left. If you are on a bike, do the same. It’s important to make sure that there is nothing next to you before you make a turn.

Some accidents between bicycles and vehicles cannot be avoided. But by driving cautiously, both cyclists and drivers can keep each other safer on the road. If you are involved in a bicycle accident in Charlotte, you have legal rights. Reach out to our team today for more information about the types of compensation you may be entitled to. Our team is here to help you take the next steps appropriate to your unique situation.

If you are involved in a bicycle versus auto accident, you are understandably shaken. If you are lucky enough to escape the incident with minor injuries, you may be wondering what steps to take. The choices you make following such a collision could determine the outcome of any civil lawsuit you choose to file.

The aftermath of a bike accident is not that different from what needs to happen after a car accident. Follow these tips should you find yourself in this situation.

1. Assess Injuries

The first thing you want to do, of course, is determine if you are injured. If you are, you will want to call 911 to summon emergency services. If you aren’t, calling 911 is still a good idea. You will want a police report of the incident.

2. Stay Put

If you aren’t injured and your bicycle isn’t damaged, you may think it’s okay to hop back on and ride away. Before you do, consider that you could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident. You may also be hurting your chances for compensation should you determine in the coming days that you were indeed injured. Stay where you are until the police tell you you can leave.

3. Exchange Information

Exchange information with all people involved in the accident. You will want to give the vehicle’s driver your name and contact information. You may also give them the contact information for your insurance company if your home insurance policy covers such accidents. You will want to get the same information from the other driver, including information for their auto insurance agency.

4. Seek Medical Attention

Even if you believe that you have not sustained any injury, it’s still important to seek medical attention. You may have injuries that won’t become apparent for several days. Seeking attention from a medical professional will keep you open to receiving compensation should you decide to file a civil suit.

5. Call an Attorney

A personal injury attorney understands the laws as they pertain to these types of accidents. An attorney can review the collision and advise you of the types and amounts of compensation you may be entitled to. An attorney can also help you discuss a settlement with the driver’s insurance company if that is what you choose to do.

Being involved in a bicycle accident is a frightening experience. Do your best to remain calm after the accident and take the appropriate steps. Under no circumstances should you lose your cool and make matters worse.

If you are injured in a bicycle accident in Charlotte or elsewhere in North or South Carolina, call our office. We will help you schedule a free case evaluation at which time we will help you determine your legal options. Reach out to us today to schedule your appointment. You do not have to suffer financially or otherwise due to someone’s negligence or error. You have rights and we are here to protect them.

Many people believe that biking is a safer mode of transportation than, say, driving a vehicle. It makes sense: Bicycles do not travel as fast, they aren’t permitted on highways and, in a pinch, can be maneuvered into tighter spaces. All of that said, bicycle accident do occur, and they occur frequently.

When a person is involved in a bicycle accident, especially an accident with a motor vehicle, they may sustain catastrophic injuries. In some instances, bicycle accidents are so serious that they result in a fatality. Being hurt in a bicycle accident is painful and scary, and we are frequently contacted by bicycle accident victims that want to know what they may be entitled to under the law.

Do I need a lawyer for my bicycle accident? Call us and we can help you figure out if a hiring our firm is the right decision for you following your bicycle accident.  Below is some of the information that we will want to discuss with you.

1. Who caused the accident?

Negligence is one of the elements that must be proven in any personal injury lawsuit. When the other party involved in the accident is cited for a traffic infraction it can be a helpful fact in proving your case.  Please note that just because the other driver did not get a ticket, it doesn’t mean that the other driver was not responsible for causing the accident.

2. Were You Injured?

In order to have a successful personal injury lawsuit, you must have been injured in some way. This is easy to prove if you received medical care. Whether you had a doctor’s appointment to treat your injury or were hospitalized, your medical records from all of your medical providers will be necessary in proving your injury case.

3. Was the Victim a Child?

Maybe it wasn’t you that were injured in the bicycle accident, but it was your child that was involved in an accident. Drivers may be held to a different standard of care if a child was involved. This can be an important fact in proving that the other driver breached their duty of care.

4. Was Your Bike Damaged?

If your bicycle was damaged in the accident, don’t throw it away.  Taking pictures of the damaged bicycle and storing it away for potential use as evidence later on can be essential to illustrating how the accident happened or the seriousness of the accident.

5. Did You Obey the Law?

At the time of the accident, were you riding with the flow of traffic? If the accident was not during daylight hours, was your bicycle equipped with lamps that were turned on? Were wearing a helmet? If you can prove that you took all of the precautions necessary for a person riding a bicycle, you may have an easier time being successful with your personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Call Auger & Auger for a Free Case Evaluation

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in Charlotte or the surrounding area, our team of attorneys is ready to represent you in court. Call today to schedule your appointment for a free case evaluation and let us tell you how we can be of assistance. We will review every aspect of your case to help you determine whether or not you have a solid case to bring to court.

When you were a child learning how to ride a bike, your parents undoubtedly gave you all sorts of advice. One of the things they may have told you the first time you went rolling down the road by yourself was to ride facing traffic. It makes sense. When you ride on the wrong side of the road, you can see what’s coming.

Unfortunately, and we must apologize to Mom and Dad for saying this: You were given bad advice. Pedaling on the wrong side of the road is not only more dangerous than riding with traffic but, in most areas, it is against the law. While no police officer is going to give a six-year-old a ticket for riding their bicycle incorrectly, they will certainly hand a citation to an adult doing so — or the parents of a kid doing so.

Urban areas across the country are being more accepting of bike riders. Dedicated bike lanes have been installed in several cities in an attempt to make riding safer. Where there aren’t dedicated bike lanes, riders must share a greater amount of space with traditional vehicles. Here is what you need to know before you set out upon two wheels again.

The Law

Bicycles are considered vehicles. In most cities, it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk or on parts of the road dedicated to pedestrian traffic. Bicyclists are legally responsible for following the same laws that dictate how motor vehicles operate on the road. That means staying on the right side, remaining in line with traffic rather than darting in and out of it and obeying traffic signals. If you are riding at night or in the early morning, make sure you understand your city’s laws regarding lights and reflectors on your bike.

Why Follow the Law?

Let’s ignore the fact that you can be ticketed for not following the law for a moment. While it is certainly true that you could be facing a judge if you don’t follow the law, it could be the least of your worries. Here are even better reasons to obey the law when you are riding on two wheels.

1. Severe Injuries

It has been shown that people involved in injuries while riding against traffic often suffer those that are more severe. Even a helmet cannot fully protect a rider who has been struck by a car or truck. Keep in mind that a bike rider will often sustain more serious injuries that a vehicle driver simply due to the lack of protection a bicycle offers.

2. Limited Visibility

A vehicle is less likely to see a bicyclist coming at them from the front. That is because most vehicle drivers expect cyclists to be riding with traffic. You are smaller on a bike and more difficult to see no matter which way you are riding, so improve your chances of being visible by riding with the flow.

3. Reaction Time

Because drivers don’t expect to see a bicycle heading towards them, they will be surprised. That surprise will limit reaction time on the part of the driver, making them less likely to maneuver accordingly.

If you are involved in a bicycle accident in Charlotte, reach out to Auger Law for a free consultation. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your legal options.

It is not unusual for people to have questions after they have been involved in an accident. This is especially true when that accident is bicycle versus vehicle. Most people have a misconception that if a bike and car are involved in an accident, the driver is always at fault. This is not the case. Here are the most common questions we receive after a bicycle versus vehicle accident.

1. I was ‘doored’; who is liable?

If you ride a bike in the city, chances are you have had at least one close call with a car door that opens suddenly. If you were unfortunate enough to be hit by the door, you may be wondering if you can sue for damages. The answer is that it depends on the situation. If the door opened into you because the driver failed to notice you, you may have a lawsuit. If you hit the open door because you weren’t paying attention, the chances of winning a lawsuit are minimal.

2. Do bike lanes have to be plowed in the winter?

Whether or not cities are responsible for plowing bike lanes depends on the jurisdiction in which you live. To discover the answer to this question, contact your local city hall or law enforcement agency. Keep in mind that even if a city is required to keep bike lanes clear, choosing to ride in one that is full of slush and ice is exactly that: your choice.

3. A bicycle hit my car and caused damage, can I sue?

Of course. While a cyclist doesn’t have vehicle insurance, they are still liable for any damage they cause to your vehicle if the accident was their fault. If, on the other hand, the accident was your fault, the damage will be paid for by your insurance company or out of your own pocket.

4. What is the best proof that the driver was liable for our accident?

The best proof that you can have in a car versus bike accident is a police report. Make sure that you get a copy of the responding officer’s report. Whether or not you feel like you are injured, you need to contact the authorities. You don’t know how you will feel tomorrow, a week from now or even a month from now.

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Charlotte, we will review the details of your accident at no cost to you and help you decide if you may be entitled to compensation for injury or damage. Call our team today and schedule an appointment for your no-cost case evaluation.

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People are commuting to work and school by bike in larger numbers than ever before. There are a variety of reasons that one may choose to take two wheels instead of four. Some choose to bike as part of an adoption of a greener lifestyle, others do it to stay fit. Many people choose to bike as a way to save money. No matter the reason behind your decision to commute to work in this alternative fashion, it is important to do everything you can to keep yourself safe. Here are a few tips to help make sure you get to work or class without injury.

Be Visible

One of the best things you can do to improve your safety is to stay visible. Wear brightly-colored clothing, put lights on your bicycle’s front and back, and consider putting a few strips of reflective tape on your chest and back. Try not to ride in areas where seeing you will be difficult for other drivers.

Choose Your Route

You may be able to cruise to work on the highway while in your car, but you can’t do the same on your bike. Take time to choose a route that will be safest. Look for one that has wide roads and even terrain. Consider back roads if they are available to avoid heavy amounts of traffic. If you aren’t sure the route you are choosing is safe or time-effective, bike it on the weekend and test it out.

Your “Stuff”

If you can’t keep all of your important things stashed at the office, chances are you will need to carry them with you in the morning and again in the afternoon. If your bike isn’t equipped with a rack, a backpack is the safest option. Make sure the weight is distributed evenly and use both arm straps when you put the pack on.

Check the Weather

We all know that we can’t always depend on a week-long forecast to tell us what the weather will be like. Check the weather the night before your commute and again in the morning. If the weather isn’t going to be conducive to your pedaling to work, consider a different form of transportation. Don’t take chances.

If you are injured in a bike accident in Charlotte or the surrounding area, call our office. A member of our team will speak to you at no cost to you or your family and advise you of the options available to you under current local and state law. Call now and let us help you begin the process of seeking compensation for your injuries.

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Earlier in the year, Dave Mirra was found dead of what was eventually ruled a suicide. The BMX star left those behind questioning why he would have ever considered killing himself. By all accounts, he was a healthy and happy man. Eventually, his death began to be tentatively linked with CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The degenerative brain condition occurs when people are victim of repeated head impacts.

While CTE may not have killed Mirra, it certainly contributed to his suicide. People with CTE are known to have depression, impulse control issues and, eventually, dementia. Professional athletes in sports like hockey and football are believed to be at a high risk of developing CTE. Mirra’s death had medical professionals questioning just how high the risk was for cyclists.

While bicyclists are at high risk for traumatic brain injury due to crashes and falls, it is not believed that they are at a higher than normal risk for CTE when compared to other athletes. It is a misconception that anyone who suffers a traumatic brain injury is prone to developing CTE. The truth of the matter is that it generally takes repeated impacts to the brain before CTE becomes a concern.

Cyclists who are concerned with incurring a concussion can take precautionary measures. This is especially important for freestyle riders and racers, as well as any cyclist who has had a previous concussion. The most proactive thing a cyclist can do is to wear a helmet lined with an MIPS Brain Protection System. These liners can lesson the impact of rotational forces and reduce the danger of sustaining a concussion.

If you are a cyclist who is concerned with concussion and the potential for CTE, it is recommended that you speak with your doctor. A medical professional can assess your unique risk and advise of the precautions that would be most suitable to your situation.

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in Charlotte, call our office for assistance. A member of our team will review the details of your accident and advise you of the options available to you under state law. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm.

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Charlotte and its surrounding area is a beautiful place for bike riding. Many people choose to continue biking even after they have children, just a bit differently. Once toddlers are old enough, many new parents find themselves with a choice: bike trailer or bike seat?

Bike Trailers

Most of us have seen bike trailers, even if we don’t know what they are called. These contraptions hook to the back of a bike and look a bit like rolling pup tents. Bike trailers provide stability, but they can make navigating the bike different, especially around turns and in tight spaces.

Some children do not enjoy bike trailers because they feel far away from their parents. This can lead to a feeling of being unsafe. Some children who enjoy taking in the scenery may find it difficult to see out of a bike trailer.

Bike Seats

These traditional seats are things that many of us are used to from our own childhoods. They attach over the rear wheel of an adult bicycle, providing the child with a place to sit directly behind the bike operator. These seats allow the child to sit close to their parent, and the seats provide a great view of all that is being ridden past.

There really is no right or wrong answer when deciding between a bike trailer and a bike seat for your child. No matter which you choose, these basic safety tips should be followed:

  • Children should be at least one year of age and able to hold themselves in a sitting position.
  • Children should wear helmets at all times.
  • Safety harnesses should be utilized.

In the event that you and your child are involved in an automobile vs. bicycle crash in North Carolina, you may be able to file a claim for damages. Call our team today for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of the options you have available to you under state law. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm and how we can assist you and your family.

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Every parent has an innate desire to keep their children safe. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and injuries occur. The weather has turned warmer and parents are encouraging their little ones to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. For many children, this enjoyment includes bicycle riding.

Bike riding is a fun and healthy way to exercise, but a bike is not a toy. Technically-speaking, a bicycle is a vehicle and should be treated as such. Keep your kids safe on their bikes by following these tips.

1. Adjust the Bike

This is especially important whether you are purchasing a new bike or your child is riding the same bike they did last summer. Your child should have about 3 inches of space between them and the bicycle when straddling a mountain bike. There should be an inch or two of space on a road bike. When your child is sitting on the seat, their knee should be slightly bent when the pedal is at its lowest point. The handlebar and seat should be level with one another.

2. Helmet

Your little one should be wearing a helmet every time they take off on their bicycle. Always check to make sure that your child’s helmet fits properly at the start of the season. Heads grow, too!

3. Clothing

Clothing should be light and bright. White does not make children more visible. Think fluorescent colors when outfitting your child for a day of riding. Another good idea is to put a strip of reflective tape on their chest and back.

4. Proper Riding

Teach your child to ride their bike properly. That means that at least one had is on the handlebars at all times. Books, papers and other belongings should be carried in a backpack, if they are carried at all. Make sure your child knows to keep an eye out for road hazards and understands how to avoid them. Do not let your child ride alone at night.

While some bicycle accidents are the fault of a vehicle driver, many are to blame on the cyclist. When you take the time to teach your child how to ride safely, you are more relaxed letting them go off and explore on two wheels.

Bicycle accidents occur in North Carolina and around the country. If you have been involved in an accident locally, please call our office. A member of our team will review the details of your accident at no cost to you and advise you of your options.

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