The potential for a serious injury during a bicycle accident is great. If you suffered harm from a bicycle collision, you might benefit from the help and support of a dedicated legal professional. You could save hours of time and frustration, and reduce the risk of missing opportunities for your compensation by seeking the advice and counsel of a local personal injury attorney. To learn more about what a Florence bicycle accident lawyer could do for your case, reach out today.
The Duty of Care Owed to Victims
Accidents happen, unfortunately. But that is why drivers and bicyclists alike both have a duty to operate their vehicles with a duty of care to help prevent accidents from occurring. South Carolina Code §56-5-3420 grants bicycle riders all of the rights, and duties, applicable to all drivers under the law, unless there is an applicable exception.
Under the negligence standard, there are four elements: duty, breach, causation, and harm. Plaintiffs injured in bicycle collisions in Florence could bring an action for personal injuries based on negligence if another driver, who automatically owes a duty of care, breaches their duty of care.
Breaching a duty of care could be anything that restricts their ability to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Speeding recklessly or driving under the influence are clear examples of breaching a driver’s duty of care. However, to win on a negligence claim, the other driver’s breach of duty must cause the plaintiff’s injuries. A “near miss” or “close call” is not sufficient to uphold a negligence lawsuit.
The Modified Comparative Fault Rule
The modified comparative fault rule has two separate standards which are used to assess whether or not a plaintiff could recover damages. One standard is called the 51 percent bar rule, and the other is the 50 percent bar rule. South Carolina, along with twelve other states, follow the 50 percent bar rule.
The 50 percent bar rule states that plaintiffs who are 50 percent or more at fault for causing the accident are not allowed to recover damages in court. However, if the plaintiff is 49 percent or less at fault, they may recover, but their total damages would be reduced by the percentage of fault they contributed to the accident.
For example, if a bicyclist and a nearby driver were both in a shouting match with one another on the road, and they end up in a bicycle crash in Florence, the court could assess the facts and say maybe the bicyclist was 45 percent at fault and the driver 55 percent at fault for the accident. The bicyclist would receive 45 percent less of the amount of damages they would have been entitled to, had they not contributed any negligence to the cause of the crash.
Damages for Personal Injuries in Florence
There are two main categories of compensation bicycle accident victims in Florence could pursue, economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages, or monetary damages, allow plaintiffs to seek recovery for medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and other monetary losses that resulted from the accident. These are usually easily proven in court through documentation.
Noneconomic damages are not as easy to show because they cover intangible losses. Losses such as loss of enjoyment of life, pain, and suffering, and emotional distress are examples of noneconomic damages injured parties could pursue for their personal injuries.
How a Florence Bicycle Accident Attorney Could Help
Fighting over your compensation with insurance adjusters and opposing lawyers could be overwhelming, especially when you are already fighting physical pain and financial pressures. You could seek legal support from a Florence bicycle accident attorney who could be there for you. A local attorney could review the facts of your case and help you fight for your recovery. Start exploring your options, schedule a consultation today.