Riding a bicycle provides great exercise. If you use a bike instead of a car to commute to work or school, you can also save a good amount on gas money. Yet, despite those benefits, biking in South Carolina can also be highly dangerous. Too many motorists in our state fail to share the road safely with cyclists, and they can cause devastating accidents.
If a negligent motor vehicle driver recently caused you to suffer serious injury or the loss of a loved one in a bicycle accident, the attorneys of Land, Parker & Welch, P.A., want to help you. We are a family-run law firm with more than 120 years of combined legal experience. You can count on us to protect your rights and pursue the compensation that you are due.
We work with injured cyclists and their families in Manning, Bishopville, Sumter, Summerton, Mayesville, Turbeville and throughout surrounding communities. To discuss how we can help you, call or reach us online today. Our initial consultations are always free.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents in South Carolina
Most bicycle accidents are preventable. They often result from the careless and reckless actions of motor vehicle drivers in South Carolina. At Land, Parker & Welch, P.A., we often work with cyclists who have suffered serious injuries due to:
- Inattention or distraction – Many drivers fail to see cyclists because they are too busy with texting, talking on a phone, interacting with passengers or reaching for objects inside of the car instead of looking at the road.
- Failure to check mirrors – Before they turn, change lanes or pull out of parking spots or driveways, drivers should look both ways and check their mirrors. When they fail to do so, they may fail to see a cyclist in their path.
- Dooring – Many cyclists suffer severe injuries when drivers open their car doors without checking first to see if a cyclist is approaching. South Carolina law actually requires drivers to refrain from opening their doors unless it is reasonably safe to do so.
- Failure to yield the right of way – Motorists often fail to recognize or respect the rights of bicyclists. As a result, they may fail to yield to bicyclists when they have the right of way at intersections, or they may turn in front of a cyclist. Drivers must also yield to cyclists who use designated bike lanes.
- Passing too closely – If motorist fails to leave at least three feet of space between his or her car and a cyclist, it is not only dangerous – it also violates South Carolina. By passing too closely, a motorist may hit a cyclist or run the cyclist off the road.
If a driver’s negligence caused you to suffer harm in a collision, you should seek help right away from an experienced attorney who can launch an immediate investigation of the accident.
Pursuing Compensation for a Bicycle Accident in South Carolina
At Land, Parker & Welch, P.A., we know how to investigate bicycle accidents. We can promptly collect and study evidence such as accident scene photos, surveillance camera footage, cell phone records, chemical test results and witness statements in order to determine why your bike accident happened. We can also collect medical records, talk with doctors and assess the nature and extent of your injuries.
We will use this information to pursue a full and fair settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If necessary, our skilled and experienced trial lawyers will be ready to fight for you in the courtroom as well. Because we represent bicycle accident victims and their families on a contingency fee basis, you will owe us no costs or fees unless we secure compensation for you.
In a bicycle accident claim, you may be eligible to recover compensation such as:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and diminished future earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium.
You should know that, in South Carolina, you can still recover compensation after a bicycle accident even if you were partially at fault. Our state follows a modified comparative fault rule. Under this rule, your damages may be reduced based on the percentage of fault assigned to you. You are barred from any recovery only if you are more than 50 percent at fault. Our legal team at Land, Parker & Welch, P.A., will aggressively defend you if an insurance company tries to put undue blame on you for an accident.
South Carolina Bicycle Laws
It is important to understand both your rights and your responsibilities as a bicyclist in South Carolina as they both may play a role in your injury claim after an accident.
For instance, as a cyclist, you have the right to bike without a helmet (even though we strongly encourage all cyclists to wear a helmet for safety purposes). Additionally, no statewide law prohibits cyclists from using sidewalks (however, you can avoid the risk of colliding with a pedestrian by staying on the road).
If you ride your bike on the road in South Carolina, you have the same the rights as any motor vehicle driver. With those rights come specific duties. You must:
- Obey all traffic signs and signals.
- Keep one hand on the handle bar at all times.
- Ride in the same direction as vehicular traffic.
- Stay to the right side of the road unless you are making a left turn.
- Make yourself as visible as possible (including equipping your bike with a red reflector or light in the rear and using a white light if you bike at night).
- Never carry a passenger (unless you are using a child seat or riding a tandem bike).
Additionally, under South Carolina law, it is unlawful for anyone to taunt, harass or throw objects at any person who is riding a bicycle. A violation of the law is a misdemeanor. It may also be grounds for civil liability if those actions cause the cyclist to suffer injuries.
Contact Our South Carolina Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today
If a negligent motor vehicle driver causes the loss of a loved one or injures you while you are biking in South Carolina, contact the experienced bicycle accident attorneys of Land, Parker & Welch, P.A., to discuss your case in a free consultation. We can immediately start work on your injury claim and pursue the compensation you are due.