When riding a bike around North Charleston, you expect vehicle drivers to be careful when they encounter you. Unfortunately, some motorists can be careless, leading to devastating bicycle accidents and consequences for cyclists. If a negligent driver hits you, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Our North Charleston bicycle accident lawyers at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm can help you file a claim or lawsuit against the driver who injured you. We offer free case reviews and handle personal injury cases on contingency, so you don’t have to worry about paying upfront for our services.
South Carolina Drivers Must Exercise Caution Around Bicyclists
South Carolina has laws protecting bicyclists from the larger vehicles they share the road with. For example, S.C. Ann. § 56-5-3230 requires motorists to exercise caution and proceed with care when driving near bicyclists. This responsibility includes maintaining a safe distance from cyclists and using their signals and horn when needed.
If the motorist who collided with you did not exhibit the necessary caution, we could use the police report and evidence from the accident scene to bolster your claim. We can then present that evidence to the at-fault party’s insurer to try to settle your case out of court. If we cannot reach an agreement with the negligent party, we are prepared to fight for you in court.
For a free legal consultation with a bicycle accidents lawyer serving North Charleston, call 1-844-736-8342
How a Lawyer Can Help After a Bicycle Accident
It’s no secret that bicyclists typically lose in collisions with cars, trucks, and SUVs. Many of these collisions could have been prevented if the driver of the passenger vehicle had done their part to act responsibly. When an automobile driver’s negligence causes an accident, an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in North Charleston can:
- Identify the liable party in your accident
- Gather and preserve evidence
- Handle all communication with insurance companies
- Manage all legal matters
- Negotiate a fair settlement
We will also investigate the crash, review your medical records, and estimate the total cost of your accident-related expenses and damages. Understanding the severity of your injuries and the time your healthcare providers anticipate it will take you to reach your maximum medical recovery are critical factors in determining the value of your case.
North Charleston Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 1-844-736-8342
Determining Fault in a North Charleston Bike Accident
The majority of personal injury claims made by bicycle riders against automobile drivers are negligence based. To prove negligence in a South Carolina accident, a bicyclist must establish a couple of things:
The Driver Owed a Duty of Care and Breached that Duty
All motorists must exercise reasonable care to avoid harming others. In order to prove that a driver breached this duty, the bicyclist will have to show that the driver was negligent in some way. One way to do this is to prove that a driver broke the law. For example, the North Charleston Police Department may have cited the driver for speeding or texting while driving.
The Cyclist’s Injury Was Caused by the Breach
Even once it has been established that the driver failed to exercise reasonable care, the bicyclist must also prove that this specific breach of duty caused the collision.
Of course, not all bicycle accidents are caused by vehicle drivers. Other liable parties can include:
- Property owners
- Public entities
- Vehicle manufacturers
When a Cyclist and Motorist are Both at Fault
Cyclists must also follow bicycle laws in South Carolina when riding their bikes. Sometimes, both the bicyclist and the driver of the car or truck have a shared responsibility when an accident occurs, meaning they are both partly to blame.
Because South Carolina follows a modified comparative fault system, the plaintiff’s damages are reduced by their percentage of fault in the incident. Keep in mind that if the cyclist is considered more than 50% at fault for the accident, that individual is barred from receiving compensation.
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Types of Damages You May Be Entitled to After a North Charleston Bicycle Accident
When you become one of our valued clients, you can depend on our North Charleston bicycle accident lawyers to pursue the maximum amount of compensation available in your particular case. To ensure you get a fair settlement or court award, we carefully track and calculate your losses, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering (both physical and mental)
If someone in your family was fatally injured in a car versus bike accident caused by someone else’s negligence, we could request wrongful death damages. Wrongful death compensation for family members can include the damages listed above in addition to other recoverable damages such as burial and funeral costs and loss of companionship and consortium.
Time Limit for Taking Legal Action in South Carolina
Please understand that time is of the essence when you’re pursuing a negligent driver for compensation after they caused your injury. If your accident occurred in South Carolina, you might want to be aware of the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit.
According to South Carolina §15-3-530, the statute of limitations for filing a claim is generally three years from the date of the injury. The same statute outlines the time limit for a wrongful death claim, which is generally three years from the date of the victim’s passing. It is important to note that insurance companies have deadlines as well.
Meeting all critical deadlines is vital to your case since failure to bring a claim before the deadline could cause you to be barred from receiving any recovery. When one of our attorneys takes your case, we’ll ensure that all applicable deadlines are met to help you avoid expensive consequences.
Reach Out to Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys in North Charleston
The personal injury team at Shelly Leeke Law offers free case reviews and can fight for the compensation you need after being injured in a bicycle accident. We’ll help you understand your rights and walk you through the claims process. Remember, we don’t get paid unless you do, so there’s no risk in seeking our help.
A compassionate member of our team will listen to your story and inform you of how our firm can support you during this difficult time. Contact a North Charleston bicycle accident attorney today for a free consultation.