Helping Injured People in Bicycle Accidents
Bikes are a great form of transportation. They are eco-friendly, they are a good source of physical activity, and they make it easy for you to get around traffic. But bikes can also be a major safety concern. When you ride your bike, you don't have the protection a car offers. There is no shell around you and no safety cushioning to protect you from objects and vehicles. Many motorists are still unaccustomed to watching out for cyclists on the roads. Bicyclists are vulnerable to serious or fatal injuries in accidents involving motorists. Cyclists have little protection when a crash occurs. A rider can sustain serious head injuries, back injuries, and other devastating injuries in a collision involving a car or other motor vehicles.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident caused by someone else in Charleston, Georgetown, Pawleys Island, Myrtle Beach, or the surrounding areas, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your medical bills and other losses from the driver who caused the crash. Bicycle attorney Clay Hopkins is committed to helping people who have been injured through the negligence of others. He has years of experience investigating traffic accidents and demanding justice for those who were injured.
After a serious bicycle crash, the quickest way to find out about your legal options is to contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer at Hopkins Law Firm. We will review the details of your accident-free of charge and explain your legal options.
South Carolina Bicycle Laws
South Carolina law gives bicyclists in the Palmetto State certain legal rights and responsibilities when riding on the roads. Cars and trucks are required to share the road with bicycles and motorized bicycles. Bicyclists have a right to use the roads except where specifically prohibited, such as interstate highways.
- Cyclists are required to ride with the flow of traffic as near the right side of the road as safely possible. Bicyclists riding against the flow of traffic are violating the law and are at greater risk of an accident.
- Cyclists should obey stop signs and traffic signals and stop at intersections.
- Bicyclists on South Carolina roads should ride no more than two abreast and stay to the right.
- Cyclists are required to ride in designated bike lanes when they are available.
- Bicyclists are required to keep at least one hand on their handlebars at all times.
- Bicyclists riding at night must equip their bicycle with a bright white light in the front and a red light or reflector on the rear.
- Motorists are legally required to leave a safe distance between their vehicle and the bicyclist when passing.
- It is against the law in South Carolina for a motorist to taunt, harass or throw objects at a cyclist. That can cause a bicyclist to have a serious accident.
- Bicyclists must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
Many bicycle accidents occur because drivers are not expecting to see cyclists and overlook the bicycle. Bicycles have a narrow profile and can be difficult to see in traffic when surrounded by larger vehicles. An inattentive motorist may hit a bicyclist from behind or make a turn in front of an oncoming cyclist and cause a collision.
After a bicycle accident, it is common for a motorist or their insurance company to disregard the bicyclist's rights to use the road and to try to blame the bicyclist — even when the cyclist was following S.C. traffic laws and the motorist was clearly at fault. The insurer may try to deny an injured bicyclist's claim or minimize the injuries to reduce the payout. If you have serious injuries, you will need to have a determined bicycle accident lawyer fighting for your rights to full compensation for your injuries. At the Hopkins Law Firm, we understand your rights as a bicyclist and will be fighting for you.
How Bicycle Injuries Can Occur
Even if you take every safety precaution while biking, it is impossible to account for every situation, and accidents can happen to even the most attentive of people.
There are many ways in which a bicycle accident may occur as a result of negligence on the part of others, with some of the most common being:
- Drunk driving
- Driver error
- Automobile defects
- Bicycle defects
- Equipment malfunction
When a bicycle accident occurs as a result of these or other causes, the victim may be entitled to compensation from the party responsible for causing the accident. You do not have to bear the expense for injuries that caused by the bad actions of another group.
Compensation for Bike Accidents
Cyclists who have been injured in collisions caused by cars or trucks often want to know: How much is my bicycle accident claim worth? The accurate reply is that the value of a bicycle injury claim depends on multiple factors including:
- The severity of your injuries
- The contributing factors to the bicycle accident, and whether the rider contributed to the accident
- The insurance policies are available to pay a claim.
Clay Hopkins will carefully evaluate the injuries you have suffered from the bicycle accident and how your injuries will affect your quality of life and your ability to return to work and earn income.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may have a right to demand compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including emergency room care, hospitalization, rehabilitation, follow-up doctor appointments, medication, wheelchairs, walkers, and other medical devices.
- Lost wages for the time you were out of work because of the injuries in the bicycle accident.
- Reduced earnings capacity if the accident will leave you partly disabled and limit the type of work you can perform in the future.
- Pain and suffering.
It may be difficult to determine immediately after a serious bicycle accident what your future medical needs will be. That makes its extremely important not to accept a quick settlement offer from an insurance company before the course of your future medical treatment is understood. If you agree to a settlement too early in the recovery process, you may be stuck with paying your future medical bills. It is important to focus on receiving all the medical care that you need, going through rehabilitation if needed, and following your doctor's instructions.
Our experienced legal team will calculate the value of your bicycle injury claim based on your expected medical treatment, missed work and other losses. We will submit a demand letter to the appropriate insurance company and attempt to negotiate a just settlement. Whether you should sue will depend on whether the insurance company will agree to a fair settlement based on the nature of your specific injuries and losses. We will keep you informed of the progress of the negotiations on your behalf. We will be prepared to go court if necessary. Having an experienced bicycle injury lawyer represent you in dealing with the insurer gives you a better chance of receiving full compensation for your injuries.
Contact a South Carolina Bicycle Accident Injury Lawyer
After a bicycle crash caused by a car or truck, you should focus on recovering from your injuries. You should not have to deal with the financial stress of paying medical bills for the treatment of injuries caused by an automobile driver. At the Hopkins Law Firm, we want to ease your burden if you have had a serious injury. Let us review the accident details and help you seek full compensation for your injuries.
At the Hopkins Law Firm, we assist cyclists injured in accidents on a contingency fee basis. If you are unable to work, we recognize you are dealing with financial stress and do not need more out-of-pocket expenses. We do not get paid a legal fee unless we obtain compensation for you through a negotiated settlement or court award. If we are successful, then we take a portion of the amount recovered as payment of our legal fee and case expenses. We are selective about the cases we accept so we can devote full attention to each client we represent.
At the Hopkins Law Firm, our attorneys fight to get our clients just compensation after they have unduly suffered bicycle injuries at the hands of another person or party. To speak with us today about the bicycle accident that caused you to suffer harm and how we might be able to help you pursue justice, call 843-314-4202.