Charleston Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Getting hit when you’re on a bicycle can cause severe life-altering injuries. Don’t wait to speak to an experienced Charleston bicycle accident attorney. If a bicycle accident leaves you or a loved one injured in South Carolina, contact a Charleston personal injury lawyer at the Max Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC.
The number of bicyclists in South Carolina is growing. Between 2009 and 2013, biking in Charleston grew by 73.36%. Along with the rise in bicyclists, there has been a steady rise in bicycle accidents in South Carolina; 13% of all traffic deaths are either pedestrians or bicyclists.
South Carolina Bicycle Laws
South Carolina amended its bicycle laws to create a safer environment for bicyclists as cycling grew in popularity. Following is a collection of some of the state’s bicycle laws.
Helmets: Do You Wear Them?
While South Carolina does not require adults to wear helmets while biking, not doing so could result in various life-changing injuries. If you fall on your head without the protection of a helmet, you could sustain a traumatic brain injury, TBI. This could result in just a minor concussion or something more life-altering, like the loss of your ability to speak or worse. Learn more about the effects of a TBI and the compensation that you could possibly receive by speaking to a traumatic brain injury lawyer in Charleston.
Where Bicyclists Can Ride
South Carolina law gives bicyclists all the rights and duties other drivers have. It also requires that bicyclists ride in the bicycle lane whenever there is one available. Bicyclists must be on the right side of the road unless it is a one-lane road.
Motor Vehicles and Bicyclists
Motor vehicle drivers must keep a safe and reasonable distance between their vehicle and a bicyclist at all times under South Carolina law. They must not block bicycle lanes and must yield to any bicyclists riding in it. Motor vehicle drivers and passengers must not harass or throw things at bicyclists.
Filing a claim for a bicycle accident, like many other personal injury cases, depend largely on liability. All people on the road have the duty to keep fellow drivers and bicyclists safe, act reasonably and adhere to all traffic laws. Liability depends on which party was acting negligently and, therefore, was responsible for the incident.
South Carolina follows the comparative negligence rule. Comparative negligence is when the damages awarded are based on the amount both parties were at fault. Instead of one person being completely at fault and the other completely innocent, both may be partially responsible. The court will examine a claim and determine what percentage each party was at fault. The percentage of your responsibility affects the amount of your jury verdict. For example, if you are 15% at fault for the accident, the jury verdict will then be reduced by 15%.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in Charleston
The moments following an accident are extremely important, especially if you are considering filing a claim. It is vital to know what to do if you are ever in a bicycle accident.
First, wait for the police to arrive. You may have injuries without realizing it, and it will be more difficult for you to make a claim if you leave immediately. Do not try to negotiate or discuss the incident. Even if someone admits guilt at that moment, they could retract it in official proceedings. A police report will help prove your side of the incident.
Before anyone leaves the scene get the contact information of the driver and the license information for the car. It can also be helpful to obtain the contact information of any witnesses so you can have multiple statements for your claim.
Be sure to take thorough notes of the scene and the incident. Take pictures if you can, because having visual proof is extremely effective in court.
Go to a doctor as soon as you can after you leave the scene. You will need medical records to prove your injury was significant if you decide to pursue a case. Taking notes of your symptoms and the extent of your injury can also be helpful.
Find a Charleston Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one sustain a bicycle accident injury in South Carolina, speak to a Charleston bicycle accident lawyer as soon as you can. They will have the knowledge and determination to help you get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with the Max Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC today.