Columbia, SC Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Bike accidents are more likely to cause injury to the cyclist than to the driver of the car that hit them. Bicycle riders are also less likely to have insurance that might help them in the event of a crash. If you are facing serious physical injuries after a bicycle accident, consider talking to a lawyer about your case.
Our Columbia, SC bicycle accident lawyers help victims of bicycle accidents get back on their feet. With financial compensation to help pay for your medical bills and to cover your lost wages, you can recover from your injuries knowing that your financial situation is taken care of. An attorney can also fight to get you compensated for the physical pain and mental suffering you faced.
For help with a bicycle accident in Columbia or the surrounding areas, contact Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers today. Insurance companies and defense lawyers are often unwilling to let their drivers admit fault or pay damages they can avoid. To get your own lawyer on your side, call our Columbia bicycle accident lawyers today at (803) 451-4000 for a free case consultation.
Can You Sue for a Bicycle Accident In Columbia, SC?
Many people think that when they get hit by a car, they have to file an insurance claim. Insurance laws in South Carolina use a fault-based system. This means that each driver carries insurance to cover their mistakes on the road. Moreover, victims are encouraged to file claims against the driver who hit them. However, insurance is not the only way to get compensation; injury victims are often able to file lawsuits to recover compensation for their injuries.
Whether suing or filing an insurance claim, the victim needs to prove who was at fault to get compensation. Your Columbia bicycle accident lawyer can help assemble evidence from the scene, records of your injuries, and testimony from you and other witnesses to help prove the driver who hit you was at fault for the crash.
When you sue, you are often entitled to any damages that resulted from the crash. This can include money for economic damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and even repair or replacement costs for your bike or other damaged property. In a lawsuit, you can also claim damages for pain and suffering, even if that is not something you can easily show other people.
Many insurance payouts will be intentionally low to save insurance companies money. They may also pay only a portion of the damages they owe you in a settlement. They might also try to cut damages for pain and suffering. Talk to a lawyer about any insurance offers to avoid agreeing to any low-ball settlements. If you do accept an insurance payout, that may function as a settlement that prevents you from taking your case to court later.
Law Pertaining to Bicycle Accidents in Columbia
One important thing to understand about the laws surrounding your bicycle accident and questions of fault is that bikes are not considered vehicles in South Carolina. Many states have laws saying that bicycles are legally considered vehicles, which gives the riders the same rights and responsibilities as the drivers of cars and trucks. In South Carolina, bikes are a separate classification, and drivers are required to keep an eye out and work to keep cyclists safe in many situations.
In South Carolina, bikes are permitted to ride on the right side of a roadway, on bike paths, and even on the sidewalk. Some localities have laws against biking on the sidewalk, but most of Columbia does allow sidewalk-biking. However, it isn’t allowed within a block of Main St. If you are biking safely and in the right place, then cars need to be careful when passing you. Drivers have to give bikers space when passing them, and many accidents happen because drivers fail to do this.
Bike riders in South Carolina are not required by law to wear helmets. Wearing a helmet is certainly safer, but the fact that you were not wearing a helmet should not legally be used against you in a Columbia bike accident case. This is especially true if your injuries were to other parts of your body.
One other thing to consider is that cyclists on the road need to follow the rules of the road. This means stopping at red lights and obeying speed limits, among other things. If you were violating a traffic law when your accident occurred, it’s possible that could be used against you in court.
Getting Compensation for Bike Accidents in SC
If you were hit by a car while riding a bike in Columbia, you can file a lawsuit or an insurance claim against the negligent driver. For a court to order a driver to pay damages for a crash, your bicycle accident lawyer must first prove what the driver did wrong.
Many drivers are held liable for hitting bike riders when they pass too closely. Others are responsible because they failed to yield to cyclists. Drivers are also liable for speeding, driving under the influence, texting while driving, or violating other traffic laws.
When you prove your case, the court can award damages for any harm you faced from the crash. This often involves payments for economic damages like your medical bills and lost wages. It can also involve payments for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. Talk to a Columbia, SC bicycle accident lawyer for help calculating damages and making claims in your case.
Our Columbia Cycling Accident Attorneys Can Help
The Columbia bicycle accident lawyers at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers represent victims of bicycle accidents throughout the Columbia, SC area. If you or a loved one was hit by a car while riding a bike in Columbia, call our law offices at (803) 451-4000 for a free case consultation.