Riding a bicycle is a gentle form of exercise as well as an affordable and environmentally friendly way to get around. Too often, though, bicycle riders are badly injured or killed in collisions with motor vehicles, despite laws that require both to share the road. The hard truth for bicyclists everywhere is that even wearing a helmet and carefully following traffic laws may not be enough to prevent them from being involved in a serious or even fatal roadway accident.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle, then you may want to consider taking legal action by promptly contacting a Lexington bicycle accident lawyer. The primary benefit of hiring a personal injury attorney is having someone in your corner who could diligently attempt to obtain financial compensation on your behalf. Depending on your injuries, you could have a right to be compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning ability, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
There are many different ways that someone pedaling a bicycle can be injured in a collision with a motor vehicle and subsequently require the help of a bicycle accident injury lawyer in the Lexington area. While there certainly are cases in which the bicycle rider is at fault, statistics show that it is motorists who are far more likely to be responsible for causing these types of accidents. Bicycle accidents – specifically those involving motor vehicles – are most often caused by a number of factors.
An extremely common characteristic of vehicle-on-bicycle collisions is poor positioning, like when motorists do not give enough to space to bicycle riders and vice versa. Examples of poor positioning include rear-ending accidents, side-swiping accidents, and dooring accidents.
Distracted driving is a habit that seemingly affects everyone on the road – motorists and bicyclists alike. A common source of distracted driving is cellphone usage, and an attorney could determine if the wrongdoer in your wreck was distracted in this manner moments before your wreck.
A motorist who is speeding has less time to react to situations on the road in front of them, including bicyclists who are either stationary or moving. To compound the already substantial likelihood of serious injury, speeding wrecks with cyclists often end with extreme consequences and life-altering injuries.
Reckless Bicycle Riding
Riding a bicycle does not give someone permission to pedal around in a reckless or otherwise unsafe manner. For example, a bicyclist who makes sudden movements while in traffic, blows through a stop sign or red light, or fails to make themselves more visible at night can put themselves at risk of being struck by a motor vehicle.
Modified Comparative Fault
When a motor vehicle and a bicycle collide, the individual riding the bicycle is clearly at a disadvantage and would likely be badly injured, if not killed. Determining how much compensation victims might receive – or whether they are entitled to it all – could be affected by a state law called modified comparative fault. This rule would come into play if the accident was not the fault of a single party but the fault of both, in some proportion.
As a bicycle injury attorney in Lexington might explain to a client they are representing, the modified comparative fault rule followed in South Carolina has a 51 percent bar. This means that a bicyclist who collides with a car and is injured may receive compensation but only if they were 50 percent or less at fault. If the bicyclist is 51 percent or more at fault, the modified comparative fault rule dictates that they are ineligible for any compensation at all.
Contact a Lexington Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
Being injured in a bicycle accident can be a terrifying experience that disrupts the normal course of your life. You may have to be hospitalized, miss work or school, and either temporarily or permanently be unable to enjoy riding a bicycle to the extent you once did. Contact a Lexington bicycle accident lawyer today to speak with a local legal professional about the circumstances of what happened and whether you might have a viable claim for compensation.