Whether you bike along the woodland trails in the Harbison State Forest, on the University of South Carolina campus, or for your commute to work, crashes can happen. Therefore, you must be especially vigilant in traffic to avoid reckless drivers.
State laws are written so accident victims harmed by these drivers can obtain compensation through insurance policies or from the motorist themselves. If you sustained injuries while biking around town, a Columbia bicycle accident lawyer at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda can review your circumstances and discuss whether you qualify for compensation. Reach out to a dedicated injury attorney today to learn more.
Proving Negligence in Bike Accidents
Motorists, bicyclists, motorcyclists, or pedestrians that share the road must abide by specific traffic rules. Failing to obey these laws is a breach of the duty to drive safely. Therefore, if a driver’s actions cause another person’s injuries, a case civil claim could ensue. In addition, state law does not consider bikes vehicles, so riders are not restricted to riding on the right side of the road.
Bicycle accidents occur in many situations, including:
- Bicyclists legally walking their bikes across the street in intersections when texting or distracted motorists slam into them
- Motorists parked on the street opening the driver’s door before checking to see if bicyclists are approaching, and bicyclists crashing into the open door
- A speeding motorist making a sudden left turn into a bicyclist crossing the road
- A bicyclist being tauned by a motorist who runs the bicyclist off the road, causing loss of control, a crash, and head injuries to the bicyclist who was not wearing a helmet
South Carolina does not require that riders wear helmets. Therefore, even if a bicyclist suffers severe head injuries, the motorist’s insurance company or attorney cannot reduce a claimant’s damages by stating that the bicyclist was partially liable.
If proven in court, a jury can award an injured plaintiff damages for losses, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain, disfigurement, loss of the enjoyment of life, and future lost income. Contact a diligent Columbia attorney to explore options for compensation after a bike crash.
Comparative Negligence in Columbia
In South Carolina, if an injured bicyclist is partially responsible for a crash, the state can reduce their damages by their portion of fault. For example, the modified comparative negligence rule allows plaintiffs to collect damages if they are not more than 50% liable for the accident.
Thus, if a bicyclist is texting while riding and a speeding motorist turns into the rider’s path, both parties contribute to the accident. If the jury assigns 80% fault to the motorist and 20% to the bicyclist, and the damages award is $100,000, the bicyclist plaintiff will recover $80,000. A knowledgeable local lawyer will study all aspects of your bike collision to ensure you get the maximum compensation for your injuries.
A Bicycle Accident Attorney in Columbia Could Fight for You
Bicycles are not treated as vehicles under South Carolina law. As a result, motorists are supposed to take special care to ensure their safety when sharing the road. If a motorist behaves irresponsibly and causes you to wreck your bike, you have recourse to be compensated for your losses.
Our representatives can help get you justice by fighting for the compensation you deserve. A skilled Columbia bicycle accident lawyer at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda can negotiate with insurance carriers and advocate for you in court. Call us today to discuss your options.