Even with growing awareness of bicyclists on the roads and precautions taken to keep safe as a bicyclist, being hit by a driver is a real source of danger. If you were hit by another vehicle while cycling, you may have experienced serious injuries from the incident.
Fortunately, you may be able to find help in the form of a qualified personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable Columbia bicycle accident attorney should be up-to-date on bicycle laws and could apply their experience to your situation.
Bicycle Accident Law
According to South Carolina Code of Laws §56-5-3420, bicyclists in Columbia share the same rights and duties as vehicle drivers. A few additional rules apply to bicyclists in particular, some of which include:
- Bicyclists must use specific hand and arm signals when turning and stopping
- A bicyclist must ride in a designated bicycle lane if one is available
- A bicyclist must ride as near to the right side of the road as possible
- A bicyclist must not carry any item that prevents them from having both hands to steer
- A bicyclist must ride on a secure seat and not carry more people than what the bicycle design allows
In addition to their own rights and duties, a Columbia bicycle accident attorney could help an injured bicyclist identify the duties vehicle drivers owed to them. For example, vehicle drivers must yield the right-of-way to a bicyclist before crossing over a bicycle lane, and they must keep a safe distance from the bicyclist on the roadway. Any failure to do that leads to an accident so could constitute evidence of legal negligence.
Types of Bicycle Accidents and Injuries
Bicycle accidents may occur on roadways, within bicycle lanes, or even on sidewalks in certain scenarios, and they can happen in a number of ways. Particularly common scenarios which may give rise to a civil claim include inattentive drivers, poorly maintained roads and lanes, and defective bicycle equipment.
Can Victims Still Recover If They Were Partially Responsible?
Regardless of the particular circumstances, if another party’s careless or reckless actions directly caused the accident in question, an injured party may be able to file suit against them for damages related to any injuries they subsequently suffered. However, since South Carolina civil courts follow a modified comparative fault system, an injury victim may only recover compensation if they are found to be 50 percent or less at fault.
Recoverable damages resulting from a bicycle accident may include medical bills, therapy costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering. A bike crash lawyer in Columbia may utilize many sources of information to show compensable losses, including but not limited to:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Statements from treating medical professionals
- Pay stubs and other financial documents
- Statements and testimony from loved ones
How Could an Attorney Benefit Victims?
Taking the information gathered and being able to relay it to a jury or in negotiations is key to seeking compensation, and qualified legal counsel could help communicate what damages exist and justify the amount of recovery sought. They could also ensure a case is filed within an appropriate period of time, since an injured bicyclist has only three years in which to file a cause of action, with few exceptions, according to S.C. Code §15-3-530.
Get in Touch with a Columbia Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
After suffering a serious injury in a bicycle wreck someone else caused, the next steps you take could be crucial. Consider speaking with a Columbia bicycle accident lawyer who could provide you with a clearer understanding of the law and help you pursue the compensation you need.