South Carolina Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Riding a bicycle is a great way to get some exercise, enjoy the outdoors, or commute to work.
Unfortunately, bicyclists risk getting into an accident, which could have catastrophic results.
Even when bicyclists wear protective gear, it’s no match against a direct impact with a motor vehicle.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 1,000 bicyclists die annually, and over 130,000 suffer injuries.
You could have the right to file a claim against the at-fault motorist to recover compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Schedule an initial consultation with our legal team to learn more about your options.
Common Injuries in a Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accident injuries can range from soft tissue injuries that heal in several months to catastrophic injuries that result in permanent damage.
Some of the most common injuries we represent accident victims for include:
- Neck and back injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis;
- Broken or fractured bones;
- Road rash and lacerations;
- Lower extremity injuries;
- Severed or amputated limbs; and
- Traumatic brain injuries.
Many of these injuries require ongoing medical treatment. You need a lawyer who will fight for the maximum compensation possible.
Otherwise, you will not have money to cover future medical treatment or in-home care.
Potential Compensation in a Bicycle Accident Claim
Potential compensation varies case by case, but there are some general types of damages that you could be eligible to recover in a bicycle accident claim.
Typical damages include:
- Medical expenses, such as hospitalization, surgery, emergency room, doctor visits, therapy, diagnostic tests, etc.;
- Lost wages and future loss of earning capacity;
- Property damage to your bicycle and other personal property;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Loss of consortium.
To recover the maximum compensation in a bicycle accident, you must have proof of all your damages.
Your South Carolina bicycle accident lawyer will help you gather all documentation that supports your injuries and tell you what your case is potentially worth.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can occur for various reasons; however, some causes are more common than others.
Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving,
- Turning without looking first,
- Unsafe lane changes,
- Weaving through traffic,
- Opening the door without looking,
- Running a stop sign or red light,
- Road hazard,
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
- Backing up without looking, and
- Fatigued driving.
Any of these causes could result in severe injuries for a bicyclist. Provided the motorist was primarily at fault, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Proving Liability in a Bicycle Accident
Before receiving any money for your injuries, you must prove the defendant was at fault. Proving liability in a bicycle accident could be more challenging than you realize.
South Carolina is a modified comparative negligence state. That means if you are less than 51% at fault, you are still eligible to receive compensation.
However, your award or settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are 30% at fault, you would receive 70% of your damages.
The defendant’s insurance company will be looking for any way to increase your liability to reach the 51% threshold.
If the claims adjuster argues that you are primarily at fault, they will not have to pay you anything. That is why we recommend hiring a bicycle accident lawyer in South Carolina.
How a Bicycle Accident Attorney in South Carolina Can Assist
The law doesn’t require you to retain a lawyer, so you might be wondering what the benefits are to hiring a South Carolina bicycle accident attorney.
One of the most compelling reasons to hire a lawyer is you will have someone to protect your rights. Insurance companies look for any opportunity to save money at your expense.
If you’re unfamiliar with the legal claims process, you could be mistreated without even realizing it.
When you retain the Peace Law Firm, we will conduct a thorough investigation, gather all documentation, and preserve evidence. We will speak with any witnesses and preserve their testimony for trial if necessary.
You won’t need to speak with the driver’s insurance company either. If you have an attorney representing you, the insurance company must talk with your attorney.
The law prohibits them from contacting you directly. That means your attorney will also be the one negotiating a potential settlement on your behalf.
If your attorney feels the insurance company is lowballing you or refuses to settle, they will file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Statute of Limitations on Bicycle Accident Claims in South Carolina
Like other types of personal injury claims, you have only a limited amount of time to resolve your case.
Otherwise, you will need to file a lawsuit before a specific date. In general, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for a bicycle accident in South Carolina.
If your case does not resolve before the statute of limitations expires and you haven’t filed a lawsuit, then the court will likely bar you from any recovery. It’s crucial you do not inadvertently miss the filing deadline.
While three years is the general deadline, it is not absolutely the same in every case. Some circumstances could reduce or expand the filing time.
That is why you need to speak with a bicycle accident lawyer in South Carolina to confirm the statute of limitations that applies in your specific case.
Contact a South Carolina Bicycle Accident Lawyer at the Peace Law Firm Today
If you suffered injuries in a South Carolina bicycle accident, don’t wait to get help. Reach out to the Peace Law Firm today to schedule an initial consultation.
With over 20 years of personal injury claims experience in South Carolina, we know what it takes to build a successful case.
We are proud of the strong reputation we’ve made in the communities we serve, and we stand ready to help.
Contact our office today to learn more about your legal options following a bicycle accident in South Carolina.