Traveling by bicycle has surged in popularity. After all, it’s a green mode of transportation and great exercise. While bicycles and automobiles are supposed to share the road, too often they collide — sometimes with catastrophic results for the bicyclists. Nationwide in 2010, bike / motor vehicle crashes resulted in 618 fatalities and 52,000 injuries, according to the most recent figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The total cost of bicyclist injury and death is over $4 billion per year, the National Safety Council reports.
In South Carolina, 13 people were killed and 478 injured in more than 500 bicycle crashes in 2009, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. Although the SCDPS determined that cyclists were at fault in 61.2 percent of those accidents, other research from across the country found motorists at fault in bicycle crashes between 56 and 83 percent of the time.
At Joye Law Firm, we know that most bicyclists are safe, cautious and follow the law. Our South Carolina bicycle accident attorneys are on your side, and we fight for the rights of our clients.
Contact Our Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today
Our South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm can help you through the confusion and strain that follow a bicycle accident. Respect and compassion are what you will get from our lawyers and staff. Since 1968 we have helped injured people like you recover not just the money and benefits they deserve, but also their lives.
Let us help you too. Just Call Joye. You can reach us at (877) 537-1920 or fill out an online form for a free case review.
Joye Law Firm has offices in Myrtle Beach, Clinton and Charleston, but our bicycle accident attorneys are ready to handle your case anywhere in South Carolina. We represent clients all over our state, including Florence, Richland County, Orangeburg, Columbia, Horry County (including Conway and North Myrtle Beach), North Charleston, Mount Pleasant and Summerville.
Our personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm are committed to our clients. With more than 110 years of combined litigation experience, our South Carolina bicycle accident attorneys at Joye Law Firm have received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and several have been recognized as Super Lawyers.
While every case is different, and past results are in no way intended to guarantee that a similar result can be obtained in another case, past results obtained by a law firm are an indication of the firm’s experience when it comes to serious injury and wrongful death cases. For more details about the results obtained for previous Joye Law Firm clients, please click on the Our Results tab on our home page.
South Carolina Bicycle Accidents
The most common causes of bicycle accidents, according to Bicycling magazine, include accidents where:
- A motorist fails to see a cyclist and makes a left turn immediately in front of the bike. This accounts for almost half of all bike / car crashes, according to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.
- A motorist passes a cyclist on the left and makes a right-hand turn into the bicycle’s path.
- A cyclist traveling next to parked cars lined up on the street strikes a car door opened by the driver or backseat passenger.
- A motorist pulls out of a driveway or parking lot directly into the path of a bicyclist.
- A motorist hits a cyclist from behind.
That’s why it’s important to use common sense and follow the South Carolina traffic laws, including riding as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable and using proper signals. In turn, motorists, under South Carolina law, must at all times maintain a safe operating distance between their motor vehicle and a bicycle, keeping a proper lookout.
If you’ve been in a South Carolina bicycle accident, your first priority is to make sure you and others involved get medical treatment for any injuries. Even if you don’t feel hurt, you should still see your doctor and describe what happened. Sometimes injuries are not immediately evident. You should keep track of all receipts and documents related to the accident and your treatment. It is also a good idea to keep a simple journal about your recovery and how your injuries have affected your life. Details could be hard to recall later.
Bicycle Accidents When the Driver Has No or Little Insurance
Sometimes when a motorist hits a bicyclist, they leave the scene (hit and run) or do not have adequate insurance. Although South Carolina law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance, surprisingly an estimated 1 in 10 motorists on South Carolina roads don’t have any coverage, according to a study by the Insurance Research Council. Even if South Carolina drivers carry the minimum required liability insurance — state law requires only $25,000 coverage per injured person up to a total of $50,000 per accident — that coverage often isn’t enough to pay for all of your injuries and damages following a serious bicycle accident.
If the at-fault driver who injured you had no insurance or too little, you might be able to recover under your own policy for uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits. Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of policy that pays you for your damages when an at-fault motorist doesn’t have any insurance. It can also pay out under certain circumstances when you were injured by a hit-and-run driver. Underinsured motorist coverage is insurance that helps make up the difference when an at-fault motorist had insurance, but the policy limits were too low to compensate you for all of your losses.
UM coverage is automatically included as part of your coverage when you purchase liability coverage in South Carolina. UIM coverage is optional, and is included in your policy if you chose to purchase it. Typically, UIM coverage is very affordable and we would urge any consumer to purchase the same since many South Carolinians carry nominal liability insurance coverage.
For additional information see our UM/UIM page.
Children who are not yet of driving age may also be able to tap into their parents’ insurance policy if they are hit while riding their bicycle. The bicycle accident attorneys at Joye Law Firm can help you find out what you and your child are entitled to under the law.
Contact Our Charleston Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today
If you’ve been seriously injured in a South Carolina bicycle accident, you can trust our attorneys to work to get you the money and benefits you are entitled to.
Just Call Joye at (877) 537-1920 or fill out our free online case evaluation form.