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, and that is why you need to consult with a North Charleston bicycle accident lawyer.
Our North Charleston personal injury 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. Call us today for help with your case.
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.
A bicycle accident can be avoided if all parties involved pay attention to their surroundings. This is especially true for motorists. Oftentimes, motorists fail to check their blind spots for bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians.
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. Talk to a bicycle accident attorney in North Charleston today.
Determining Fault in a North Charleston Bike Accident
The majority of personal injury claims made by bicycle riders against automobile drivers are negligence-based. However, it can be challenging to show negligence was present in such a crash. 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, and an example is if 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, which means that if the cyclist is considered more than 50% at fault for the accident, that individual is barred from receiving compensation.
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. The most common bicycle accident losses include the following:
- 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. Schedule a free consultation today.
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. A North Charleston bicycle accident lawyer is here to help.
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. Do not wait to schedule an appointment, as you might run out of time to file a claim.
How Our Bicycle Accident Lawyer in North Charleston Goes to Work for You
At Shelly Leeke Law Firm, our bicycle accident lawyer in North Charleston takes pride in working closely with our clients to provide personalized legal representation. We know that a bike accident can lead to incredible injuries that create a lifetime of challenges. That is why we work closely with our clients to create a legal strategy they feel good about and one that gives them the best possible chance at recovering damages.
We Go to Work to Gather the Evidence
Your case may seem very straightforward – a car hit you, and you expect them to pay for your losses. Yet, there is often more to the process than this. Insurance companies will find any information they can to refute your claim or reduce liability. You could be held partially at fault, for example.
By gathering as much evidence available as possible, we minimize this risk. We also ensure that it is hard for the insurance company to delay your payment. It is clear what your losses are and how you deserve compensation, and we may gather evidence such as the following to support your case:
- Videos and camera footage of the incident
- Witness statement
- Expert statements on your medical care
- Data from the other person’s medical report, especially if they are intoxicated
- GPS data
- Your doctor to help prove the impact of your injuries
We Work with You to Determine the Impact
We already mentioned the types of damages you can seek in a bicycle accident case. A big part of the job we do is to gather data that supports your claims of loss. To do this, we look at all of your medical bills and other economic losses, such as losses in time at work and property.
- Your ability to work at the same job
- Any career limitations this may cause
- Limitations on your ability to engage in activities you enjoy
- Ongoing pain management needs
- Impact on relationships
- The need for career retraining
In addition to this, we also need to consider factors related to your quality of life. Many times, bicycle accidents create an emotional toll and trauma. You may find it very difficult to do the things you like, or in some cases, you may feel so overwhelmed by what you are experiencing that you cannot engage in activities you once loved.
We Review Bills
To determine your losses, we look at any documented medical bills or other financial matters. We also use cases like your own to gather insight into how much other courts have awarded victims’ compensation. Our goal is to gather as much data as possible to prove what you are owed.
We Work with the Insurance Company
Whenever it is possible to do so, our goal is to work closely with the insurance company to file your claim. Avoiding a trial is always beneficial since it costs so much and can lead to a delay. We know the insurance company also wants to avoid that outcome.
For this reason, we will try to work out a settlement with the insurance company. This often involves presenting your losses to them and then working closely to determine what questions they have. Whenever possible, we answer those questions so you never find yourself at risk of answering a question in a way that creates liability risks.
With our highly skilled bicycle accident lawyers in North Charleston, we can often ensure our clients receive the compensation owed to them. To do that, we will negotiate on your behalf aggressively. We never settle your case unless it is the best decision to do so.
We Go to Court to Fight for You
There are some situations where insurance companies may work very aggressively to minimize the compensation they pay out. To do that, they will deny or delay claims. When it is necessary to do so, we go to court for you, providing full legal representation in a court of law if that becomes necessary to do so.
You have a lot on the line and deserve fair, comprehensive legal support. Put us to work for you so we can help you avoid limiting the compensation owed after your accident. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Why You Should Choose Shelly Leeke Law Firm
You have a lot of reasons to seek compensation for your bicycle accident, but why should you choose our law firm to guide you? Our motorcycle accident attorney in North Charleston is here to assist you. There are several big reasons:
- Experience: We have helped many clients throughout our history to get the legal guidance they need. That experience allows us to help our clients maximize their compensation and reduce their risks.
- Proven results: We have helped our clients recover millions of dollars over our history. That includes supporting our clients as they seek compensation from some of the most aggressive insurance companies. We know what it takes to get results.
- Transparency: You need a law firm that is open and honest with you, one that will provide you with exceptional clarity and support but accurate and clear information.
- Aggressive defenders: We protect victims by providing outstanding legal services and one-on-one guidance. We are compassionate to our clients and their challenges while being legal defenders in the courtroom.
- Reputation: Our attorneys have a strong reputation for providing quality service and exceptional results. Our clients refer us because we are committed to them from start to finish.
You need the best North Charleston bicycle accident attorney available to help you. Let the Shelly Leeke Law Firm empower you and guide you through the legal system. Expect outstanding legal services delivered to you by trusted professionals.
Reach Out to Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys in North Charleston
The personal injury team at Shelly Leeke Law Firm 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. We do not collect any money unless your case is successful in North Charleston.