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Shelly Leeke Law Firm, LLC

Who is at Fault For a Bicycle and Car Accident in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, bicycles must follow the same laws as cars because they arebicycle and car collision at fault considered to be vehicles. Therefore, if an accident occurs between a bicycle and a car, as with any personal injury, negligence determines who is at fault for the accident. Even though bicycles are smaller and provide less protection than a motor vehicle, that does not always mean that they did not doing something that was negligent.

Many accidents between cars and bicycles in Charleston take place at intersections of roads. This is because cars may not realize how fast a bicyclist may be travelling, drivers are not used to looking for bikes on the road, and if drivers are making a point of watching out for bikes, they may not see them because they aresmaller and easier to overlook.  

In order to determine who was at fault, it is important to figure out who had the right-of-way when the accident happened.  If there are not any traffic signals at an intersection, then the person who arrived at the intersection first has the right of way. If both the bicyclist and the driver arrive at the same time, whether or not the intersection has a stop sign, then the vehicle to the right has the right-of-way. The exception to this is that if a major road intersects with a minor road, then the vehicle travelling on the major road has the right-of-way.  

If there are traffic signals at an intersection in Charleston, then those signals determine who has the right-of-way. If a person is making a right on red, then they must yield to the vehicles with the green light because those vehicles have the right-of-way. An example of an instance where a bicyclist would be negligent and listed at fault would be if they ran through a red light and was hit by a car. Even though the bicyclist most likely would be critically injured, they were being negligent when they failed to stop at the light.  

In order to avoid these extremely dangerous collisions at intersections, there are steps that both driver and bicyclists can take in order to prevent them. For example, bicyclists should be sure to wear bright reflective clothing, as well as have lights or reflectors on their bicycles. Motor vehicles should make a point of being cautious at intersections and take note of any bicycles that are on the road. Moreover, both bicycles and motor vehicles should ride and drive defensively.  

When bicycle and motor vehicle accidents do occur, there are many other factors that play a role in determining who was at fault and whether or not a lawsuit should be pursued. An experienced bicycle and car accident attorney who offers free consultations will be able to tell you whether or not it would be worth it for you to pursue a personal injury case. 
Shelly Leeke
South Carolina Injury Lawyer

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