Tragic bicycle accidents are often caused by negligent drivers violating South Carolina’s bicycle laws. Bicyclists are especially vulnerable on streets, where impatient or inattentive drivers often pass too closely and recklessly endanger bicyclists. A bicycle rider simply does not have a chance when a barreling truck or car collides into a bicycle.
Because bicyclists have less protection, the results can be disastrous. Even when a bicycle rider wears a helmet and other personal protective equipment, a collision with a car is likely to seriously injure the bicyclist, causing fractures, head injuries, or even death. Bike accidents are rising nationally, and in South Carolina, because of the increase in population, it is safe to assume that bicycle versus car accidents will rise.
If a motor vehicle driver negligently or recklessly caused injury or death to you or a family member, you are entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses, damage to property, lost income, pain, suffering, and other damages. Contact David R. Price Jr., P.A., a Greenville bicycle accident attorney, to learn more about the compensation entitled to you.
Bicycle Safety Laws in Greenville, SC
With the expansion of the Swamp Rabbit Trail, bicycle accidents are increasingly common in Greenville. As the community continues to educate drivers about sharing the road with bicyclists, it is important to realize that South Carolina’s laws consider bicycles to be vehicles on state roadways. With that designation, bicyclists are entitled to the same rights enjoyed by operators of other vehicles.
Drivers are required to look for bicyclists when turning, entering a roadway, or opening the door to exit a vehicle. In addition, motor vehicle operators should reduce their speed as they approach bicycle riders and give at least a three foot berth while passing a bicycle on roadways.
Bicycle Safety Tips for Greenville, SC
Bicyclists have road responsibilities as well. At all times, bicyclists must ride in the right-hand lane, obey traffic laws, and signal their actions, whether they are slowing down or turning. A bicyclist should always wear personal protective equipment including helmets, reflective gear, and other equipment that makes them visible to cars, trucks, and other motorists.
Driver Negligence in Bicycle Accidents
Most collisions occur from inattentive or distracted drivers. Driver inattention or distraction stems from many problems, including people using their cell phones for either business or entertainment. It only takes one moment for a distracted driver to look down, check their phone, and cause a life changing accident.
Traffic conditions and other driver errors also contribute to bicycle collisions. Some of the behaviors that drivers can negligently engage in include:
- Illegally turning or passing
- Excessive speeding
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Failure to make required stops
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving
If a bicycle collision is due to an inattentive, distracted, or negligent driver, the injured bicyclist has legal remedies available to him or to her.
In order to determine whether injuries from a bicycle collision were caused by a negligent driver, a court evaluates the circumstances of how the injury happened. Part of the process of proving the circumstances of how the injury happened requires someone to gather evidence such as:
- Photos of the accident
- Accident scene reconstruction
- Police reports
- Witness statements
Bicycle Manufacturer Liability
In some bicycle accidents, bicyclists are victims of defective equipment. In that case, the manufacturer may be culpable. In order to prove manufacturer liability in a bicycle accident, a bicyclist need only prove that the defective part caused the accident and injury, there is no burden to prove that someone acted negligently.
Bicycling Accident Fatalities
In more than one-third of bicycle accident fatalities, alcohol consumption plays a factor. Additionally, in the vast majority of bicycle accident fatalities, the bicyclists most severe injuries are those to the head. Wearing a helmet greatly reduces the risk of head injury in bicycle accidents.
Bicycle crashes increase the chance of brain injuries for the bicyclist. When a bicyclist is struck by a motor vehicle, the momentum of the accident forces the bicyclist into the vehicle. The rider has little protection as a two-ton car collides into them. Upon impact, the bicyclist is at a high risk of receiving the following injuries:
- Brain swelling
- Internal bleeding
- Skull fractures
These types of serious brain injuries can lead to permanent brain damage, affecting memory, basic motor skills, language, and vision.
Contact a Greenville Attorney to Handle Your Bicycle Accident Case
A bicyclist injured in a motor vehicle collision is greatly disadvantaged. If a car plows into them, they have less protection than the driver. If a driver negligently collides into a bicyclist, the driver must be held responsible for the bicyclist’s medical expenses. In addition to medical expenses, a bicyclist is entitled to recover other damages, such as lost income, property damages, and payment for pain and suffering.
If a bicyclist has been injured in a motor vehicle collision in South Carolina, the experienced bicycle accident attorneys at David R. Price Jr., P.A. can help. We will work tirelessly to investigate the details of your accident and injuries, and aggressively work to secure all of the compensation you deserve. We have investigation teams ready to be assigned to your case to ensure that your claim fairly represents all of your accident related costs and losses. Finally, we will challenge any claim by the car driver’s insurance that you, the bicyclist, should share some of the responsibility for the accident.
Please contact us to set up a consultation about your case and the legal recourse you have available to you.