South Carolina Fatal Bike Accident Attorney
Millions of people ride bicycles. Bicycles are a great source of exercise, recreation, and transportation and an activity people of almost every age can enjoy.
Often bicycles occupy the same roads as motor vehicles. Bikes and automobiles face challenges when coexisting on the same roads. Cars and trucks have a harder time maneuvering as quickly as bicycles can. Drivers also can have trouble seeing bicyclists. Such difficulties may lead to collisions between the two types of vehicles. Many automobile-bicycle accidents result in injuries to the parties involved. However, bicyclists suffer far worse consequences from crashes.
If your loved one was injured or died in a bike accident, contact the knowledgeable South Carolina bicycle accident attorneys at the Steinberg Law Firm at (843) 720-2800.
South Carolina Bicycle Laws
South Carolina law defines bicycles as vehicles. Therefore, they must obey and follow the same laws as all other motor vehicles. Nevertheless, accidents involving cars and bikes occur.
Bicycle riders are left vulnerable in case of accidents. With no hard protective covering for their bodies, bike riders have an option to wear a helmet to protect their heads but South Carolina does not require bicyclists to wear helmets.
What Are Some Causes of Fatal Bicycle Accidents in South Carolina?
In the last five years, an average of 800 bicycle crashes with automobiles occurred in the United States. In South Carolina, about 20 people died while riding bikes in the last two years. When cars and bicycles share the road accidents are bound to happen; however, most are preventable. Some of the most frequent causes of fatal bike accidents include:
- Failure to yield
- Failure to signal
- Improper hand turn signals
- Distracted driving or riding
- Incorrect lane change
Wrongful Death and Survival Action
Many fatal bicycle accidents occur when a motor vehicle hits a person riding a bicycle. Although these accidents may have been unintentional, their results are severe and irreversible. Therefore, at-fault drivers may face several criminal and civil consequences for causing fatal accidents.
The at-fault driver may receive a criminal charge of vehicular manslaughter if the driver drove with reckless disregard for the safety of others and killed the bicyclist. If the driver is found guilty of the felony, their driver’s license will be revoked for five years, and they will receive:
- A fine from $1000 to $5000;
- Imprisonment of no more than 10 years; or
- Both fine and imprisonment
Whether the at-fault driver receives a guilty verdict or not, the family of the deceased bicyclist may file a civil lawsuit. Two types of lawsuits may apply – wrongful death and survival action.
The family members or a personal representative of the estate of the deceased might bring a wrongful death lawsuit if the death was due to negligence or intentional actions of the at-fault party. If a loved one was killed in a fatal bicycle accident, then you have three years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Often, a bicycle-automobile accident does not immediately result in fatalities. Sometimes bicyclists succumb to their injuries days, weeks, or months later. If that is the case, a personal representative for the estate of the deceased may file a survival action for the injuries and pain the deceased endured up to the moment of death. While damages for wrongful death go to the survivors of the deceased, the compensation of a survival action goes to the deceased’s estate.
Process for Obtaining Compensation for Fatal Bicycle Accidents
After a fatal bicycle-automobile accident, the family or estate of the deceased can bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. To do that, the family or estate much file a complaint with the court. Factors such as age, marital status, and probate documents of the deceased may require additional steps in the legal process including:
- Opening a probate estate
- Obtaining guardianship or conservatorship if the deceased’s survivor is a minor
- Getting a bond
If someone you love was killed while riding a bicycle, the at-fault driver might be liable for their death. The family of the deceased may be entitled to compensation if the at-fault driver was negligent or drove recklessly and caused the facility. Compensation for the surviving family and/or on behalf of the deceased can come in the form of:
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Funeral costs
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
Wrongful death lawsuits are often time-consuming and complicated. In this hard time, you need to hire a knowledgeable South Carolina attorney to handle your case.
Hiring an Attorney
If your loved one died in a bicycle accident, contact the Steinberg Law Firm at (843) 720-2800 and hire an experienced South Carolina bicycle accident attorney to help you with your case. We are there for you every step of the way. Our team of attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve.
WE HAVE RECOVERED OVER $500 MILLION FOR CLIENTS IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, INCLUDING:
Car Accident Settlement
Fatal Car Accident
Leaders in the Legal Industry
Steinberg attorneys have been awarded numerous distinctions, such as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America by U.S. News & World Report, Gedney M. Howe, Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service, the SC Leadership in Law award, and has been voted Best Workers’ Comp Firm in SC, among other distinctions.
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