You could file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party if you sustained injuries in a South Carolina bicycle accident. This lawsuit can help you recover financially from the stresses the bicycle accident caused you.
Consult a lawyer to learn about your legal options. Be sure also to note if the police have identified the party at fault. Your lawyer will have to prove negligence to file a personal injury lawsuit. Once the liable party is identified, you can sue them for damages.
Damages You Could Seek in Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
Some common recoverable damages we see at our practice include:
- Medical bills, both current and future
- Lost or diminished earning capacity due to injury and lasting impairments
- Lost wages during recovery
- Damages to the bicycle and your riding gear
- Emotional pain and mental suffering
If a cyclist passes from injuries sustained in an accident, their family could file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit after a bicycle accident allows you to recover a fair financial award. Instead of worrying about the cost of everything, you could focus on getting better and healing from the trauma of the accident. Financial compensation is determined on a case-by-case basis and depends on:
- Each victim’s damages
- What the other party’s insurance is willing to pay
- What the court rules
South Carolina Laws That Help Keep Cyclists Safe
There are many bicycle accidents in South Carolina each year. They result in many injuries, some serious and others minor. There are laws governing how cyclists and drivers share the roads. These protect bicycle riders and make it easier for accident victims to seek compensation for injuries.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety states that state bicycle laws include:
- Bicycle riders should use proper lanes when appropriate.
- If no cycling lanes are provided, cyclists should ride to the right side of the road at the edge.
- A bicycle rider cannot carry any item that prevents them from keeping both hands on the wheel.
- No more than two riders should ride side by side unless on demarcated bicycle trails and paths.
- Bicycles must have reflector lights and headlamps, and cyclists must have reflective gear when riding at night.
- Cyclists should always use appropriate bicycle hand signals to indicate stops and turns.
- Bicycles should always have working brakes.
Under S.C. Ann. § 56-5-3500, If a driver violates these laws and causes an accident, the court usually imposes fines. In the case of minor injuries inflicted on the bicyclist, a fine of $500 will be imposed. If the bicyclist suffered major injuries, the court can fine up to $1,000. The imposed fines are independent of any civil lawsuits brought against the driver at fault.
How a Cyclist Can Keep Themselves Safe in South Carolina
To ensure your safety as a cyclist, you can take the following steps:
- Wear protective gear while cycling. This includes a helmet, knee, and elbow pads. They will protect you from injury in minor accidents.
- When you are at an intersection or are exiting the driveway, ensure you follow the first rule of crossing the road. Stop and look both ways before you pull out to ensure there is no oncoming traffic.
- Wear brightly colored clothing to make yourself more visible to other drivers. At night, put on a reflective vest as well.
- Always do a pre-ride check. Check that your tires are well inflated, your lights are working, and your brakes are in working order.
- Don’t bike under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Stay alert on the road. Avoid plugging your ears with earphones or headphones.
These protective measures can differentiate between a safe ride and a major accident. Be sure to look out for yourself on your next ride.
How George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Can Help You After a Bicycle Accident
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, has handled personal injury cases in South Carolina for decades. Our team of attorneys has over forty years of experience and is ready to help you with your bicycle accident case. We can answer questions about how long your case could take and whether car accident insurance applies to your bike accident case.
You can retain a bicycle accident lawyer from our firm and seek compensation for your damages today. With more than 5,000 cases resolved, we strive to give our clients the settlements they need. Contact us today for your free consultation. Our firm could help you file a bike accident claim or sue someone personally for your losses.