Bicycle Accidents Our Team Can Stand Up for You

Charleston Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Fighting For Injured Cyclists Across South Carolina

When a bicycle is involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, the cyclist is almost always the one who suffers the most severe injuries. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that bicyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than the occupants of passenger vehicles.

If you or someone you love were injured in a bicycle accident, our Charleston bicycle accident attorneys at CR Legal Team can evaluate your options for pursuing legal action and financial compensation for your losses. We’ve been fighting for injured victims since 1989 and have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for clients.

Learn more about your rights and legal options during a FREE consultation. Call (866) 691-0607 or contact us online today. CR Legal Team serves bicycle accident victims across Charleston County and beyond and works on contingency, which means there’s no fee unless we win.

South Carolina Bicycle Accident Statistics

Bicycling is a popular hobby and form of transportation in the Charleston, but our region has long struggled with cyclist safety. For example:

  • South Carolina was ranked among the top 5 most dangerous states in the country by a study published in Cycling Weekly. Based on data from NHTSA, the study found that South Carolina had a per capita bicyclist fatality rate of 3.5 per 100,000 residents. However, a study from Streetlight Data that used a new metric to assess bicyclist deaths by bike miles traveled found that South Carolina was the second most dangerous state for cyclists.
  • Charleston County has also been ranked high among the nation’s most dangerous metro areas for bicycling. In one study that analyzed counties with 250,000 or more residents, Charleston County came in as the #5 worst county in the country for cyclists.

While there are many factors behind the poor ratings for South Carolina and Charleston, advocates and cyclists have noted a lack of protected bicycle lanes and dangerous road designs as major reasons for why it’s so dangerous to be a bicyclist in these parts. Many also say there’s a need for improved awareness and education efforts among drivers who routinely disobey traffic laws or fail to see or yield to bicycle riders.

Other bicycle accident statistics from the South Carolina Department of Transportation show the need for improved bicycle safety:

  • Between 2009 and 2019, bicycle fatalities more than doubled across South Carolina.
  • Of the 109 fatal bicycle crashes that occurred between 2015 and 2019, most involved a bicyclist who was struck when being passed by a motor vehicle.
  • Between 2015 and 2019, Charleston had among the state’s rate of fatal and serious injury bicycle crashes.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

In South Carolina, most bicycle accidents are caused by the negligence of a motorist. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents involving negligence include:

  • Driver inattention: When drivers are not paying attention to the road, they may not see a bicyclist until it is too late to avoid a collision.
  • Failure to yield: Drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to bicyclists when they are turning left or right. When a driver fails to yield, they may collide with a bicyclist.
  • Dooring: Dooring occurs when a driver or passenger opens their door into the path of a bicyclist. This can cause the bicyclist to be thrown from their bike and into oncoming traffic.
  • Speeding: When a driver is speeding, they may not have enough time to stop or slow down to avoid a collision with a bicyclist.
  • Drunk driving: Alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to safely operate their vehicle. Drunk drivers often overlook bicyclists and frequently fail to stop in time to avoid collisions.
  • Distracted driving: When a driver is texting, talking on the phone, eating, or engaging in any other activity that takes their attention away from the road, they may not see a bicyclist until it is too late to avoid a collision.

Common Bicycle Accident Injuries

Bicyclists are vulnerable road users who have virtually nothing to protect them against collisions with motor vehicles. This can result in severe injuries such as:

  • Broken bones: When a bicyclist is thrown from their bike, they may try to break their fall by putting their hands out in front of them. Wrist, arm, and collarbone fractures are common bicycling accident injuries for this reason. .
  • Head injuries: Bicyclists face elevated risks for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that can result in long-term cognitive impairments and other complications. While wearing a helmet can help reduce risks of concussions and head injuries, they don’t eliminate them.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Bicyclists thrown from their bikes can land with tremendous force, creating real risks for devastating spinal cord injuries and the potential for paralysis and lasting disability.
  • Internal organ damage: Collisions with motor vehicles can cause internal trauma. Some bicyclists hit by drivers suffer damage to vital organs, which can be life-threatening.
  • Road rash: Soft tissue injuries, often known as road rash, are common among bicyclists. These injuries can be severe, necessitating surgery and painful recovery, and may result in disfigurement, infections, and other serious complications and consequences.

Your Right to Compensation After a Bicycle Accident

If you've been injured in a bicycle accident due to someone else's negligence, you have the legal right to file a personal injury claim. This claim is a crucial means by which you can seek compensation for the injuries, expenses, and losses incurred because of your accident.

When it comes to personal injury law, negligence is the major focus. That’s because a successful claim hinges on a plaintiff’s ability to prove that another party – usually a motorist – was negligent in causing your accidents and injuries. Some common examples of how negligence can cause a bicycle accident include:

  • Drivers failing to give right of way to cyclists at intersections.
  • Motorists opening their car door without checking for passing cyclists.
  • Texting and driving or other forms of distracted driving.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Hazardous roadway conditions created by contracted companies or property owners.

Establishing negligence is the foundation of your claim and critical in determining liability. It’s also something that requires a great deal of insight, effort, and resources, which is why it is best to work with experienced legal counsel who can help protect your rights and build the strongest possible case on your behalf.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?

Bicyclists face increased risks of suffering serious injuries and considerable losses that can change their lives forever. Fortunately, South Carolina law allows victims to recover a broad scope of economic and non-economic damages when they prevail in personal injury claims.

Some examples of recoverable damages in bicycle accident lawsuits:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Lost enjoyment or quality of life
  • Other emotional and financial damages

What to Do After a Bicycle Accident

Knowing what to do after a bicycle accident can help you protect your health and your right to compensation. Here are some steps to take:

  • Call 911: If you are able, call 911 and report the accident. The dispatcher will send an ambulance to the scene if anyone is injured.
  • Get medical attention: Immediate medical attention is vital after a bicycle accident. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), may not be immediately apparent. Additionally, seeing a doctor will create a record of your injuries, which can be useful if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
  • Collect information: If you are able, collect the names, phone numbers, and insurance information of the driver and any witnesses. You should also take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and any damage to your bicycle.
  • Do not admit fault: Even if you think you may have been partially to blame for the accident, do not admit fault to the driver, the police, or the insurance company. There may be factors that you are not aware of that contributed to the accident.
  • Don’t speak to insurance companies: If a driver was involved in your accident, their insurance company may call you. You’re under no obligation to speak with them about the accident or your injuries and should decline all conversations until you’ve contacted a lawyer. Insurance companies care more about profits than people and often look for ways to quickly settle claims for as little as possible.
  • Call a bicycle accident lawyer: An experienced bicycle accident attorney can help you understand your rights and guide you through the claims process. They can also handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf.

How Long Do I Have to File a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in South Carolina?

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time frame, you will be barred from recovering compensation for your injuries. Additionally, the longer you wait to file a claim, the more difficult it may be to gather the evidence needed to prove liability.

How Our Charleston Bicycle Accident Attorneys Can Help

Given the technical nature of cycling laws and the complexity of personal injury litigation, a bicycle accident attorney can make all the difference when it comes to fighting for full compensation.

At CR Legal Team, our award-winning attorneys leverage decades of experience to provide step-by-step support to bicycle accident victims in the fight for justice. This includes help with:

  • Conducting a thorough investigation of the bicycle accident to gather evidence.
  • Consulting medical experts to demonstrate the scope of your injuries.
  • Identifying potentially liable parties and evaluating available insurance coverage.
  • Handling communication with insurance companies to avoid lowball offers.
  • Litigating your case in court if a fair settlement can't be reached.

Request a Free Case Evaluation: (866) 691-0607

CR Legal Team has been trusted by injured victims throughout Charleston County and beyond since 1989. We’re backed by a record of success that includes millions of dollars in compensation recoveries and numerous testimonials from satisfied clients. Learn how we can help you by calling (866) 691-0607 or contacting us online.

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If you've been injured and would like legal help, call 1-800-288-1LAW today, or fill out the form below and we'll get back to you.

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