7 Things You Should Know About a Cycling Lawyer – by Fred Sexton

by AG: After a coffee one morning and a great talk about cycling advocacy, my friend and fellow cyclist Fred Sexton asked me to post this.  Thanks Fred!

As a cyclist, you are part of a greater community of (greater J )people who have a similar set of interests and values. You should know that as a member of that community you have rights and resources that are meant to help and protect you while you are riding. In the case of an accident here are some things you should know about cycling and the law, and the attorneys who relentlessly work to protect cyclists.

1. First and foremost, cycling attorneys are advocates for all cyclists. That means: commuters, racers, beginners, and advanced riders. If you ride a bicycle for any reason, for pleasure, for transportation, for sport, you should know these attorneys are looking out for your best interests.

 2. Cycling Lawyers will always recommend getting more UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance). Every cyclist should increase his or her UM/UIM coverage so if an uninsured or underinsured motorist hits you on your bike you are covered. (talk to your cycling attorney about the laws that apply in each state!)

3. Cycling Lawyers are here to protect you on the road. By going after the texting teenagers or the speeding sports car driver who hits you, you are sending a message to other drivers and also insurance companies. You are saying we aren’t going to take it anymore! Drivers and cyclists need to be mindful, drive carefully, and share the road. We both pay for it with tax dollars and we both need to obey the rules established on the road.

4. Lawyers that specialize in representing cyclists are probably cyclists too—and probably really nice! They understand the joys of cycling and the dangers as well. If you ride a lot, it is probably not a bad idea to get to know one. You may even be lucky and find one to ride with!

5. Did you know you may have rights against a homeowner whose dog bites you or knocks you off your bike? I’m not suggesting you ride around with kibbles and bits in your jersey, (certainly avoid attracting attention of our four-legged friends when cycling if possible), but I’ve heard of a number of people getting bit or crashing to avoid getting bit (then, all-too-often getting bit) without any recourse to the dog’s homeowner. You do have rights!

6. You should know that NC is one of only 4 states that follows the principle of contributory negligence. Meaning, if you are even just 1% at fault in an accident, (yeah, I know) then the driver’s insurance will try to avoid responsibility for your damages. But even if you think this could be your situation, if you are in NC (or any State) and get hit by a motorist, talk with a cycling attorney to see what your options might be.

7. Writing down license plate numbers for drive-by swooshes can be helpful in ID-ing aggressive drivers, (always carry at least a marker with you while cycling). As a community of cyclists if we are able to better police the streets if someone does plow you over when you are on your bike. If this driver has been reported before for erratic driving around cyclist; it makes the case much easier for you and your cyclist attorney. (There is a guy that rides around Charlotte with a video camera mounted on his bike at all times for this reason. Someone is in jail due to his video evidence. Without it, the defendant most likely would have gotten away.) If you are interested in installing a bike camera I recommend you look at getting a cycling camera mount to use with your existing video camera (like a flip) or get a whole new cycling camera system.  You can report aggressive drivers at: http://www.charmeck.org/city/charlotte/Transportation/CDOTrequests/Pages/BicyclistReportonAggressiveDrivers.aspx

Cycling attorneys can be an enormous benefit to you as a rider and you should be aware that you have that resource at your disposal should you need it. Not only are these great lawyers required when an accident happens, they continue to advocate for cyclists and their rights when it comes to the road.


Oct 01, 2015

He thought he got away with it. When the driver of an Infiniti SUV struck a Chicago bicyclist earlier this year, fracturing his collar bone, he chose to flee.  What he did not count on was the bicyclist, a 35 year old Chicago pastry chef, having the wherewithal to snap a photo of his license […]

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Sep 17, 2015

Last week another Iowa cyclist was killed by a hit-and-run driver. At around 6:00am Dave Ryder was struck by Stephanie Kenealy on 35th Avenue.  Dave was coming home from the casinos.  He was riding a road bike with drop handlebars.  The bicycle was equipped with at least a rear light, and Ryder was wearing a […]

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Sep 15, 2015

From Detroit we continued west to Chicago — “The Windy City,” “The Second City,” or maybe just “Bike City.” We rolled in to town through a torrential downpour. And arrived at Ancien Cycles on North Milwaukee Avenue (aka The Hipster Highway). While Timmy was navigating the streets and looking for parking, Anne Barnes (the fit guru […]

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Sep 08, 2015

The Des Moines Register is publishing a series of articles on bicycling in Iowa. My understanding is that they had planned the series, but the highly publicized hit-and run-death of Gregary “Wade” Franck brought bicycling safety issues to the forefront of many minds in Iowa.The current article is titled, “Why does Iowa have so many […]

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Sep 08, 2015

Detroit Bike City! After leaving Maryland we headed northwest toward Detroit. As we got closer to Pittsburgh we were all looking for a place to ride. Our route was going to cross the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) at some point, but none of the assorted maps and GPS systems could tell us exactly where—at least […]

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Sep 07, 2015

Having rolled out of Charlotte at the end of the party, we made our way closer to DC and “slept” east of Durham for a few hours. Up early and out the door after a banana break we headed toward Richmond. At Richmond we picked up Bike Law Tom and switched drivers. Bob took the […]

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Sep 06, 2015

Our kick-off party was Friday, September 4th in Charlotte.  Who knew that the Queen City was one of the coolest bike-to-breweries city in the nation?!  Well, the locals know it very well. We arrived in the Sprinter at Triple C Brewing right on time, greeted by a pumped up mob of bike folks, ready for […]

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Sep 03, 2015

An irresponsible piece of journalism about biking injuries and deaths was published yesterday by National Public Radio under the headline, As More Adults Pedal, Their Biking Injuries and Deaths Spike, Too. The story noted the fact that the number of people biking regularly has substantially increased over the past several years, while spotlighting a “striking” […]

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Aug 18, 2015

September 4 – 19, 2015.  The Bike Law National Tour. For two weeks, Bob, Timmy, and I are loading up the cargo bikes in our Sprinter van and visiting (and picking up) Bike Law lawyers from Charleston to Denver and back.  In each city, we are throwing a party, visiting shops, buying beer, joining rides […]

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Aug 17, 2015

“There are two types of bicycle riders, those who have crashed and those who will crash.” I recall being told this when I first began cycling and time has proven it to be true. In my case, the crashes have been numerous. As my dad has pointed out, I have a need for doing everything […]

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Aug 12, 2015

So a driver just cut you off, flipped you off, or otherwise harassed you. It’s happened to all of us. I have had a blaring horn scare me and nearly cause me to crash. I would have loved to pull the minivan driver from his seat and give him a piece of my mind or […]

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Aug 12, 2015

Bike Law Georgia has entered a strategic partnership with Georgia Bikes to be a Presenting Sponsor for the 6th Annual Georgia Bike Summit in November 2015.   The Bike Summit will be in Milledgeville and starts with a First Friday Street party, followed by a day of workshops, discussion and speakers all revolving about ways to […]

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