Charleston Bicycle Accident Lawyers
For a free review of your case, call us at 843-720-2800.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact an experienced South Carolina bicycle injury attorney at Steinberg Law Firm at (843) 720-2800 to protect your rights and help you with your case. We will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Whether it is for helping the environment or convenience, bicycling is a popular activity among South Carolina residents. Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation and a great source of exercise and recreation. Frequently, automobiles and bicycles occupy the same roadways. The ability of motor vehicles to reach high speeds and the capability of bicycles to maneuver quickly alongside road traffic, may lead to bicycles accidents. When automobiles and bicycles collide, the at-fault driver or rider may be liable to compensate the victims for injuries and property damage they received during the accident.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, contact a knowledgeable South Carolina bicycle injury attorney at the Steinberg Law Firm today.
Causes and Injuries of Bicycle Accidents in South Carolina
South Carolina law grants bicyclists the same rights on the roadways as motor vehicles. The drivers in automobiles must stay a safe distance from people on bicycles. However, collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles still occur. South Carolina averages 500 bicycles accidents per year. Approximately 90 percent of the accidents result in injuries. Six percent of the bicycle accidents involved property damage. Of the remaining four percent, there was an average of 20 fatalities each year. Bicycles accidents may occur due to the actions of the automobile driver or the bicycle rider. Each has a duty to drive safely and follow the South Carolina traffic laws.
Most bicycle accidents are preventable and mainly occur because of the negligence of one or more individuals involved in the accident. Frequent causes of bicycle accidents include:
• Failure to yield
• Failure to signal
• Improper hand turn signals
• Distracted driving
• Distracted riding on the bicycle
• Failure to check blind spots
• Drunk driving
• Bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road
• Improper lane changes
Some bicycle accidents occur even if the parties in the crash did not cause it to happen. Not all bicycle-motor vehicle accidents occur on the street. Accidents may happen in parking lots or parks. Bicycle-car accidents can be triggered by other circumstances like:
• Faulty traffic lights or signs
• Wet or icy roadways or
• Poor lighting
In these situations, the bicyclist and motorist may have legal claim against others involved in the accident, including the city or even businesses. The parties would need to prove that the city or business had a duty to maintain a safe environment and show that they breached this duty. Even if they did breach their duty, the victims must show that the breach caused the accident. Finally, the parties involved must have damages and prove they are a direct result of the accident.
Bicycle crashes may result in minor to severe injuries to the parties involved. The injured parties may suffer short-term or lifelong injuries, such as:
• Cuts and scrapes
• Broken bone and fractures
• Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
• Sprains and strains
UM and UIM Insurance
South Carolina law requires that motor vehicle drivers have vehicle insurance. Automobile insurance may help cover the damages resulting from a bicycle accident. Two types of insurance come into play in a bicycle-motor vehicle accident: uninsured insurance (UM) and underinsured insurance (UIM).
Uninsured insurance coverage provides compensation to an insured driver when the other driver is at-fault but does not have insurance. Uninsured insurance also provides compensation to a victim of a hit-and-run accident, where the identity of the at-fault driver is unknown.
Underinsured insurance will provide compensation to injured parties until the policy limit. The injured parties need to recover the remainder from their insurance company, from the UIM insurance policy.
If you are on a bicycle and are hit by a motor vehicle, you might still be able to obtain compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. It is possible that you will be able to recover from your own insurance company as an insured policyholder.
Legal Issues and Compensation for Bicycle Accidents in South Carolina
The number of cars greatly outnumbers bicycles on South Carolina roads. Moreover, cars are much faster and heavier than bicycles. These factors significantly increase the potential for bicycle-automobile accidents. When such accidents occur, the automobile driver or the bicycle rider may be at-fault.
The at-fault driver may be liable for the injuries and damages to the individual in the accident who is not at-fault. If you were injured due to a negligent automobile driver or bicyclist, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages and injuries from the accident. You may receive compensation for the following:
• Property damage
• Medical injuries and bills
• Continuing medical treatment
• Lost wages and future earnings
• Emotional distress
• Pain and suffering
To receive compensation for your injuries in a bicycle accident, you must be able to prove your damages. If able, gather evidence right after the accident. Documentation of your injuries and property damage is a key factor to support your lawsuit. After your accident, you should take the following steps to help support your legal claim:
• Call 911.
• File a police report and obtain a copy of it.
• Get the names and addresses of the parties involved in the collision and witnesses.
• Seek medical attention and keep copies of your medical records.
• Contact your insurance company to file a claim.
• Do not make recorded statements to your or other parties’ insurance companies.
• Hire an attorney.
Contributory and Comparative Negligence
When a bicycle and motor vehicle collide, both parties involved may be responsible for the accident. Under South Carolina law, contributory negligence and comparative negligence may affect whether you receive compensation for your damages and injuries from your bicycle accident. If you contribute to your bicycle accident, contributory negligence may prevent you from recovering compensation for your damages and injuries if your fault is more than the other at-fault driver is. If your fault is equal to or less than that of the at-fault driver, comparative negligence determines what percentage fault each driver has and subtracts it from the total damage amount. For example, if you are 40 percent at-fault for your bicycle accident and the other party is 60 percent at fault; your compensation would be your total damages minus your percentage of fault.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you decide to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages and medical bills, you must be aware of the statute of limitations to bring a legal case. Statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. South Carolina has a three-year time limit from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. Once you miss the deadline to file a legal case, you are generally not able to file a lawsuit for the incident.
Lawsuits are a time-consuming and complex process. You must be knowledgeable of South Carolina law in order to protect your rights and comply with the legal obligations for your lawsuit. Therefore, you should hire an experienced attorney to handle your case.
Hiring an Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact an experienced South Carolina bicycle injury attorney at Steinberg Law Firm at (843) 720-2800 to protect your rights and help you with your case. We will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. To learn more visit, https://www.steinberglawfirm.com/.