While we hear about bicycle riders being hit by cars all the time, these often serious or fatal accidents normally occur on an open public roadway, especially in a city. However, according to a recent report from WYFF News 4, a cyclist was injured in the sanctioned race known as the Assault on Mt. Mitchell.
This event is an annual bike endurance race that occurs in North Carolina and South Carolina, and was first held in the 1970s. The bicycle endurance event starts in Spartanburg, South Carolina and the finish line is at Mount Mitchell State Park, which is located in Yancey County, North Carolina. It takes the average rider around 12 hours to complete the race, but the top riders can finish in less than half that time.
Authorities say this rider had left Spartanburg to start the roughly 110-mile endurance race and later hit a reflector mounted in the road surface and lost control of his bicycle. He then is believed to have crashed into a truck with an attached trailer. The accident occurred shortly after 7 a.m., and emergency personal were immediately called to the scene. First responders provided immediate medical assistance to injured race participant and transported him to a local hospital in the Spartanburg area. This accident occurred in North Carolina but not far from the race start in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It should be noted authorities have not filed any charges against the operator of the truck in connection with this accident.
As our Spartanburg personal injury attorneys can explain, anyone who participates in recreational activity operated by an established organization or company will most likely be required to sign a waiver of liability before participating in the event or activity. These waivers use typical boilerplate legal language and are designed to release the company and/or event organizer from any and all liability if a participant or customer is injured. These forms usually account for any conceivable form of injury and even go so far to as to excuse any negligence on behalf of employees or volunteers that result in an accident or injury.
In some cases, there is actually a waiver form presented to participants to read and sign, though they may also be included in an online registration form with a box that must be checked to indicate acceptance. In other cases, they can be printed on the back of a wristband or ski lift ticket, and it is claimed that the mere act of placing the sticker on your person constitutes an acceptance of the terms of the agreement without any signature being required.
While courts have been willing to enforce some of the waivers and dismiss a plaintiff’s personal injury action, this does not mean they will always be effective. You should discuss this issue with an experienced personal injury attorney, as the facts in every case are different.
In addition to limiting liability, these waivers can also contain a requirement for binding arbitration, as opposed to filing a traditional civil negligence action in court, and a choice of law provision, which requires any legal action be brought in a specific state. Again, you should discuss these issues with your attorney during the initial consultation.
Contact our Spartanburg personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
Cyclist injured during Assault on Mt. Mitchell, troopers say, May 28, 2015, WYFF News
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Needham v. Price – Parental Immunity Doctrine Won’t Bar NC Child Injury Claim, Feb. 26, 2015, Spartanburg Injury Lawyer Blog