Bicycle Accident Lawyers

South Carolina Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Bicycle accidents can have significant physical, emotional, and financial impacts. Understanding your rights and knowing what steps to take after an accident are crucial. However, seeking legal assistance is equally important. This comprehensive guide provides detailed information, practical tips, and essential resources for individuals involved in bicycle accidents, giving you the confidence to pursue fair compensation.

What Are Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?

Bicycle accidents can occur due to various factors, and being aware of the common causes can help cyclists and motorists take preventive measures. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents, which you should be cautious about, include:

  • Motorist negligence: Motor vehicle drivers’ negligence is one of the leading causes of bicycle accidents.
  • Dooring accidents: Dooring accidents happen when a motorist or passenger in a parked vehicle opens their door directly into the path of an oncoming cyclist.
  • Unsafe passing: Unsafe passing occurs when motorists pass cyclists too closely or without giving enough space, violating the cyclist’s right of way and creating a dangerous situation.
  • Poor road conditions: Road hazards such as potholes, uneven pavement, debris, gravel, or slippery surfaces can cause cyclists to lose control and crash.
  • Driver blind spots: Motorists may fail to see cyclists in their blind spots, especially when making turns or changing lanes.
  • Drunk driving: Drunk driving accidents involving cyclists can be severe and often result in serious injuries or fatalities.
  • Failing to yield: Some motorists may fail to yield the right of way to cyclists at intersections, crosswalks, or when merging onto roads.
  • Aggressive driving: Aggressive or hostile behavior from motorists, such as tailgating, honking excessively, or attempting to intimidate cyclists, can create unsafe conditions and increase the risk of accidents.

What Are Common Bicycle Accident Injuries?

Bicycle accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, varying from minor bruises to severe and life-threatening conditions. Some common bicycle accident injuries include:

  • Head and brain injuries: Head and brain injuries are among the most serious and potentially life-threatening injuries in bicycle accidents.
  • Facial injuries: Facial injuries can occur due to impact on the ground, vehicles, or objects during a bicycle accident.
  • Fractures and dislocations: Impact on the ground or vehicles can cause fractures (broken bones) in various body parts, such as the arms, legs, wrists, hips, ribs, and collarbone.
  • Road rash: Road rash refers to abrasions or friction burns caused by the skin sliding against rough surfaces such as pavement or gravel during a fall or collision.
  • Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries include sprains, strains, bruises (contusions), and tears in muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Severe bicycle accidents can lead to spinal cord injuries, which may cause partial or complete paralysis, loss of sensation, and impaired motor function.
  • Internal injuries: Internal injuries, such as internal bleeding, organ damage (e.g., liver, spleen), and punctured lungs (pneumothorax), can occur in high-impact bicycle accidents.
  • Joint injuries: Joint injuries, including dislocated joints, torn ligaments (e.g., ACL, MCL), and cartilage damage, can result from the impact or force exerted during a bicycle accident.
  • Emotional and psychological trauma: In addition to physical injuries, bicycle accidents can also cause emotional and psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and phobias related to cycling or traffic.
  • Fatal injuries: Tragically, some bicycle accidents result in fatalities.

What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?

  • Ensuring safety: The immediate aftermath of a bicycle accident can be chaotic and stressful. Your priority should always be safety. If possible, move to a safe location, away from traffic and potential hazards.
  • Checking for injuries: Assess yourself and others involved in the accident for injuries. Medical professionals should evaluate even minor injuries promptly, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
  • Contacting law enforcement: Call the police to report the accident, especially if there are injuries or significant property damage. A police report is essential for documenting the details of the accident and can be crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  • Exchanging information: Exchange contact information, insurance details, and identification with other parties involved in the accident, including drivers, pedestrians, or other cyclists.
  • Documenting the scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, road conditions, traffic signs, and any visible injuries. If possible, gather witness contact information, as witness statements can provide valuable evidence.
  • Notifying your insurance company: Report the accident to your insurance provider immediately. Provide them with all relevant information and follow their instructions for filing a claim.

Am I Required to Wear a Bicycle Helmet?

In South Carolina, the law does not require all cyclists to wear a bicycle helmet. However, there are specific helmet requirements for certain age groups and situations:

  • Children: By law, cyclists under 16 must wear a helmet while operating or riding as passengers on a bicycle.
  • School events: During school-sponsored bicycle events, such as field trips or organized rides, all participants under 16 must wear a helmet.
  • Adults: No statewide law mandating helmet use for adult cyclists. However, all cyclists, regardless of age, are highly recommended and encouraged to wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet while riding.

Can I Still Pursue a Claim if I Was Partially At Fault for the Bicycle Accident?

In many states, including South Carolina, you may still pursue a claim even if you were partially at fault for the accident. However, your compensation may be reduced based on your percentage of fault. It is essential to consult with an attorney to understand how comparative negligence laws apply to your case.

How Long Do I Have to File a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit, including bicycle accidents, is generally three years from the accident date. Adhering to this deadline is crucial, as failing to file within the statute of limitations can result in your case being dismissed by the court.

Why Choose Rogers, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman LLC

  • Experience: Our firm has extensive experience handling bicycle accident cases.
  • Proven track record: We have a proven track record of securing significant settlements and verdicts for bicycle accident victims.
  • Client-focused approach: Your well-being and best interests are our top priorities.
  • Resources and support: We leverage cutting-edge technology, expert witnesses, and thorough investigative techniques to build strong client cases.
  • Transparent communication: We believe in transparent communication and keep you updated on the progress of your case.

Our South Carolina Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Rogers, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman LLC Are Here to Help

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, do not wait to seek legal assistance. Contact our South Carolina bicycle accident lawyers at Rogers, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman LLC today for a consultation. Our experienced attorneys are ready to fight for your rights. Call us at 843-727-6500 or complete our online form. Located in Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Aiken, and Columbia, South Carolina, we serve clients in the surrounding areas.

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