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Charleston Personal Injury Lawyers / South Carolina Bicycle Accident Lawyer

South Carolina Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Because of the rider’s susceptibility, bicycle accidents are sometimes deadly or result in catastrophic injuries, even when the rider wears protective gear such as helmets, knee and elbow padding, and gloves. Bicyclists must follow the same regulations of the road as motor vehicles for the most part. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control emphasizes the importance of wearing a helmet and to check your tires, brakes, and wheels before riding.

Contact a South Carolina bicycle accident lawyer at Mickelsen Dalton for a free consultation if you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident. Our personal injury lawyers can assist you in obtaining reasonable compensation for all injuries experienced as a result of a bicycle accident. To get started on your case right now, give us a call.

Hiring Mickelsen Dalton LLC for Your Bicycle Accident Claim

Our South Carolina bike accident attorneys have trusted trial lawyers and tenacious advocates that represent the unheard by giving them a voice, helping those who need it most. When you hire us, you will get:

  • Constant access and communication with the attorney responsible for your case
  • A tenacious advocate who will leave no stone unturned in their pursuit to win
  • An aggressive litigator who understands this is more than a case, it is a life

We are a voice for our victims, but our results speak for themselves. In just three years since opening our doors, our attorneys have obtained over $40 million in verdicts and settlements for clients, litigated in 10 different jurisdictions, and appeared in major national news outlets.

How a Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help You

An experienced bike accident attorney will be able to collect all evidence to hold the negligent party or parties responsible.

While investigating bike injury cases, bicycle accident attorneys frequently use the following steps to build a solid case for their clients:

  • Consulting with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction and engineering
  • Examining medical records and bills to figure out how much money you’ve spent on medical care in the past and how much you’ll spend in the future
  • Obtaining a police report from the city or other local governments
  • Obtaining all involved parties’ driving records
  • Taking down a witness statement
  • Taking pictures of the accident area and the damage to the vehicle

Each occurrence will be thoroughly investigated by a bicycle accident lawyer in order to decide the best line of action for their client.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as stated in a recent article, estimates that there are 21.1 bike-accident fatalities per 10,000 bike commuters in South Carolina each year.

Obviously, not every bicycle accident results in death, but the vast majority do. Every year, on average, 508 bicycle accidents are reported in South Carolina. Among the collisions:

  • Approximately three percent of the time, there are fatalities.
  • Approximately 91 percent result in injuries.
  • The remaining seven percent result in property damage.

Bicycle accidents cannot always be avoidable, but it is best to take all safety precautions and adhere to all traffic laws. Many bicycle accidents also involve cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles. If you are the driver of a vehicle and you get into a car accident with a bicyclist, you will need to get in contact with a South Carolina car accident attorney.

person riding bicycle

Bicycle Safety Tips to Prevent Accidents

Bicycle collisions can happen at any time. However, there are a few steps that cyclists can take to protect themselves on the road. If you ride a bike in South Carolina, keep the following safety tips in mind to prevent accidents.

  • First, wear the appropriate cycling gear. Always wear a helmet while riding and ensure that your lights are working and in good condition. Ensure that you wear highly visible clothing, such as bright clothes or clothes with reflective tape.
  • Never assume that a driver can see you. In fact, many bicycle accidents occur because a driver fails to notice a cyclist. Practice caution while riding near motor vehicles. When crossing the street or turning, try to make eye contact with the driver to ensure that he or she sees you.
  • Use hand signals. Unlike motor vehicles, cyclists do not have lights or indicators to show drivers their next move. By using hand signals, you can show drivers where you are headed and provide them with enough notice before turning.
  • Maintain your bike regularly. Ensure that your brakes are in good working condition and that your tires are at a safe, adequate pressure. If you notice any issues with your bike, seek repairs as soon as possible.

South Carolina Bicycle Laws

Knowing the pedestrian and bike laws in South Carolina is about more than just abiding by the rules so you don’t get in trouble; it’s also about ensuring the safety of everyone on the roads. Accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists can result in severe injuries due to the size and weight of vehicles involved and the lack of protection a biker or pedestrian has in comparison. The following are some of the most important laws regarding pedestrians, cycling, and bike lanes.

South Carolina imposes strict laws for cyclists. If you are bicycling in the state, it is important to understand your legal rights and duties. Failure to follow South Carolina bicycle laws could not only result in fines and other penalties, but also your future injury claim.

The following laws are some of the most important rules for cyclists in South Carolina.

  • While bicycles are not considered motor vehicles, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as motor vehicle drivers.
  • When riding on a roadway, cyclists must ride as far to the right as possible. Cyclists may ride on the shoulder, but they are not required to do so.
  • When a bicycle lane is present, cyclists must use them. Cyclists may ride on the roadway if no bike lane is available and there is only an adjacent recreational bike path.
  • In most cases, cyclists are allowed to ride on sidewalks as long as they yield the right of way to pedestrians. However, local ordinances may prohibit this practice.

When riding a bicycle, cyclists may not ride more than two abreast except in areas where this practice is allowed. Cyclists must also ensure that their bikes have proper safety equipment, such as a front white light and a red rear reflector or red light.

Bike Lane Usage

If a bicycle lane is provided, bicyclists are required to use it in most cases. There are two primary exceptions: when a biker is passing another person riding a bicycle or needs to avoid an obstacle, they may ride on the roadway. Additionally, in cases where no specific bike lane exists – if there’s merely a recreational biking area next to the roadway – cyclists have the right to ride directly on the road.

Motor Vehicle Drivers Must Not Block The Bike Lane

In South Carolina, vehicles are prohibited from obstructing the bicycle lane. If a driver of a motor vehicle is to cross or enter this reserved bike path, they must yield to any cyclists when crossing over the path.

Distance Between Cyclists and Vehicles

South Carolina law requires motor vehicle drivers to maintain a safe distance while driving near or passing bicyclists. Unfortunately, there’s no specified distance, which can make this law a little bit more difficult to enforce.

“A driver of a motor vehicle must at all times maintain a safe operating distance between the motor vehicle and a bicycle.”

Pedestrian Laws in South Carolina

Pedestrian safety is also a priority, and South Carolina’s laws dictate the responsibilities and rights of pedestrians and vehicles around them. Knowing these rules as both a pedestrian and a driver will help everyone stay safe on the roads. Here are some key pedestrian laws in South Carolina to keep in mind:

Obeying Traffic Control Devices

South Carolina law requires pedestrians to follow the rules indicated by official traffic-control devices, such as crosswalk signals and road signs.

Pedestrians must also comply with directions given by police officers who are ensuring safety at any particular time or place, which might override what’s on control devices.

Pedestrians Cannot Dart Into The Road

South Carolina law also holds pedestrians accountable for their own safety. It’s unlawful to suddenly enter the road from a safe spot – like the sidewalk – into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Pedestrians should always wait for a clear moment to ensure that there is ample time and distance to cross safely.

“No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.”

Crossing Outside a Crosswalk

If crossing the road anywhere except within a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, pedestrians must yield to any oncoming vehicles.

Pedestrians Must Use The Sidewalk

Pedestrians in South Carolina are required by law to use available sidewalks when accessible. Walking on the road – instead of using practicable and provided sidewalks nearby – is prohibited.

Understanding and abiding by the pedestrian and bicycle laws in South Carolina helps create safety and harmony on the roads. Unfortunately, accidents still happen even when rules are in place. If you’ve been injured in an accident as a pedestrian or a cyclist, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Compensation Available in South Carolina Bicycle Accident Cases

By filing an insurance claim or lawsuit after a bicycle accident, you have the right to recover compensation for any physical, emotional, and financial losses that you experienced. In South Carolina bicycle accident claims, there are two categories of damages that you can claim: economic and non-economic

Economic damages involve the financial hardships that you incurred due to the accident, such as the following.

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Specialized treatments and therapies

On the other hand, non-economic damages refer to the physical and emotional hardship that you endured. Also known as pain and suffering, common types of non-economic damages include chronic pain, permanent disability, and emotional distress.

A South Carolina Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You Today

The South Carolina bicycle accident attorneys of Mickelsen Dalton LLC are here to help you after sustaining an injury in a bicycle collision.

Please contact our South Carolina office at (843) 804-0428 or our Georgia office at (678) 641-9054 to go over your legal options. The sooner you call, the sooner we can start your case. You can also write us an email at help@mickelsendalton.com or use our website’s online message system. We are available at all times of the day or night.