People come to us all the time who have been hit by a car while riding their bicycle. This is not surprising, considering that South Carolina is the second-most dangerous state in the nation for bicyclists.
Generally, a person on a bicycle has all of the same rights and duties that apply to the driver of a vehicle. If you are driving your car and are injured when another driver negligently runs into you, that driver may be liable to you for damages. Similarly, a cyclist hit and injured by another vehicle may have the right to recover damages from the driver of that vehicle. However, obtaining a recovery is dependent upon you taking the proper steps to protect your rights right away.
One way to protect yourself when you ride is by obeying the rules of the road. These rules generally are designed to protect riders, but are also designed to protect pedestrians from bicyclists. If you are disobeying the rules of the road when you are hit by a car, the driver has an argument that you were completely or partially responsible for the accident.
Ride on the right side of the road as far over as possible, and if there is a bicycle lane ride in it. Make sure you have adequate brakes. Don't carry articles that require more than one hand to hold. Don't hitch rides by grabbing onto other vehicles. Don't let more than one person ride on your bicycle at a time. If you ride a bike at night, make sure that it has proper reflectors and a headlight. Although not currently required by South Carolina law, be smart and wear a helmet.
You are required to use signals when turning. Indicate a right turn by raising your left arm upward, raising your left arm to a square, or extending your right arm horizontally to the right. Indicate a left turn by extending your left arm horizontally. Indicate braking by extending either arm downward. However, these signals are not required to be given continuously if you need your hand or arm to control the bicycle.
If you are injured by a car while riding your bicycle, first contact the police and seek medical attention. Then please call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Toll Free at 1-800-849-SINK (7465) for a free consultation so that we can discuss your rights.
The information relayed in this blog is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. The cases referenced and explained by the blog's author(s) are for informational purposes only and are not intended to imply that certain, or similar, results may be achieved in each client's case.