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    The cycling community in Columbia is vibrant and growing. The city was recently named a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community, and it has taken steps to make cycling safer. However, there is still much work to be done. Until more changes are made, cyclists remain in danger when pedaling on the streets of Soda City. Since 2020, seventy-two people have lost their lives while cycling in Richland County and another 603 have been injured.

    At Joye Law Firm, we understand the profound impact a bicycle accident can have on your life. That’s why our team of experienced Columbia bicycle accident lawyers are on standby, ready to help.

    You don’t have to face this difficult journey alone. The team at Joye Law Firm is here to listen to your story, answer your questions, and provide the dedicated legal representation you need to move forward with your life after a bicycle accident.

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    What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in the Midlands

    Take the following steps to protect your health, safety, and legal rights after a bicycle accident:

    1. Follow up with medical care: If you haven’t already, seek medical attention, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and it’s crucial to have a thorough medical evaluation. Follow any treatment plans your doctor provides and keep records of all medical visits and expenses.
    2. Take note of witnesses: If you are able, preserve as much evidence as you can by identifying witnesses and gathering their contact information. Take note of any cameras that may have footage of the crash including traffic cameras, dash cams, and security cameras from local businesses and homes.
    3. Review the police report: If you called the police, follow up with the department to obtain a copy of the official accident report. Review the report for accuracy, and note any discrepancies or missing information.
    4. Avoid discussing the accident: Do not discuss the details with anyone, especially the at-fault driver or their insurance company. Do not post about the accident on social media, as this information could potentially be used against you.
    5. Contact a Columbia bicycle accident lawyer: Reach out to a skilled Columbia personal injury attorney. They can provide valuable guidance on your legal rights, help you navigate the complex claims process, communicate with insurance companies, and work to secure the compensation you deserve.
    6. Take care of yourself: Remember to prioritize your physical and emotional well-being during this challenging time. Follow your doctor’s advice, get plenty of rest, and don’t hesitate to seek support from family, friends, or mental health professionals as needed.

    Taking these steps after a biking accident can help protect your health and legal rights.

    If you have any questions or concerns about your case, don’t hesitate to contact a trusted Columbia bicycle accident attorney at Joye Law Firm for guidance and support.

    Why Hire a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Based in Columbia?

    At Joye Law Firm, our entire team is dedicated to providing exceptional client service throughout the legal process following your bicycle crash. Columbia attorney Mellissa Mosier

    Our primary focus is to protect your rights as an injured cyclist. We work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve through:

    • Thorough investigation: Our team will conduct a detailed investigation of your accident. This evidence forms the foundation of a strong case and is used to protect your best interests.
    • Taking on the legal system: We recognize that the legal system can be overwhelming. That’s why we handle all the paperwork, meet critical deadlines, and provide skilled representation in court when necessary. With tens of thousands of cases settled, including many multi-million dollar case results, our experienced attorneys have a proven track record of successfully navigating the legal system for our clients. You can trust that your case is in capable hands when you choose Joye Law Firm to represent you.
    • Compassionate support: We are here to listen to your story, answer your questions, and provide the compassionate, personalized attention you need during this challenging time. Once you are a Joye Law Firm client, you will not only have a dedicated attorney on your case, but you will also have a dedicated Case Manager. The role of our Case Managers is to ensure that your needs are met, they will keep you updated on the status of your case and guide you to additional resources you may need while your case is pending.
    • Allowing you to focus on recovery: Our goal is to alleviate your stress and allow you to focus on your recovery. At the same time, we fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.

    Common Causes of Bike Accidents in Columbia

    Bike accidents can occur due to various factors, often involving other road users’ negligence or reckless behavior.

    Some common causes of bike accidents include:

    1. Distracted driving: Collisions can occur when drivers are distracted by phones, GPS devices, or other distractions and fail to notice bicyclists on the road.
    2. Speeding: Excessive speed reduces a driver’s reaction time, increasing the risk of accidents.
    3. Failure to yield: Accidents can happen when drivers fail to yield the right of way to bicyclists at intersections or when making turns.
    4. Dooring: Bicyclists can crash into car doors when drivers or passengers open them without checking for oncoming traffic.
    5. Drunk driving: Intoxicated drivers have impaired judgment and slower reaction times, increasing the likelihood of causing accidents.
    6. Poor road conditions: Hazards such as potholes, cracks, and debris can cause cyclists to lose control and crash.
    7. Inadequate bike infrastructure: A lack of designated bike lanes or poorly designed lanes can lead to conflicts between bicyclists and motorists.

    Typical Injuries Sustained by Cyclists in Accidents

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    Due to the limited protection bicyclists have compared to occupants of motor vehicles, they are particularly susceptible to injuries in accidents.

    Some common injuries include:

    1. Head injuries: Even when wearing a helmet, cyclists can suffer from concussions, skull fractures, and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
    2. Spinal cord injuries: Damage to the spinal cord can result in partial or complete paralysis, depending on the severity and location of the injury.
    3. Broken bones: Fractures to the arms, legs, ribs, and collar bones are common.
    4. Road rash: Severe skin abrasions, or road rash, can occur when a cyclist slides across the pavement during an accident.
    5. Internal injuries: Blunt force trauma to the abdomen can cause internal bleeding and organ damage.
    6. Soft tissue injuries: The impact of a collision or falling off the bike can result in sprains, strains, and tears to muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

    Furthermore, the costs associated with bicycle accident injuries can be substantial. Recognizing the high costs associated with treatment and recovery emphasizes the value of working with an experienced bicycle accident attorney who can help secure the resources you need to move forward after an accident.

    Here are some common prices in Columbia, South Carolina, related to the typical injuries sustained by cyclists in accidents:

    1. Head injuries:
    • Emergency room visit: $1,500 - $3,000
    • Brain imaging (CT scan or MRI): $1,000 - $5,000
    • Concussion treatment: $500 - $2,000
    • Traumatic brain injury rehabilitation: $10,000 - $100,000 or more
    2. Spinal cord injuries:
    • Emergency room visit: $2,000 - $5,000
    • Spinal surgery: $50,000 - $150,000 or more
    • Rehabilitation and therapy: $10,000 - $100,000 per year
    3. Broken bones:
    • Emergency room visit: $500 - $2,000
    • X-rays: $200 - $1,000
    • Casting or splinting: $500 - $2,000
    • Surgery (if required): $5,000 - $20,000
    4. Road rash:
    • Emergency room visit: $500 - $2,000
    • Wound cleaning and dressing: $100 - $500
    • Antibiotics (if prescribed): $50 - $200
    5. Internal injuries:
    • Emergency room visit: $2,000 - $5,000
    • Diagnostic imaging (CT scan or MRI): $1,000 - $5,000
    • Surgery (if required): $10,000 - $50,000 or more
    6. Soft tissue injuries:
    • Emergency room visit: $500 - $2,000
    • Physical therapy: $100 - $200 per session
    • Chiropractic care: $50 - $100 per session
    • Pain medication: $50 - $200 per month

    Please note that these prices are rough estimates and can vary significantly depending on the severity of the injury, the specific treatment required, and the healthcare provider.

    Additionally, these costs do not include other accident-related expenses, such as future medical needs, lost wages, or property damage. Your lawyer will work to uncover all costs associated with your crash so that you can be given the best chance possible to return to the medical and financial position you were in before your injury.

    Bicyclists’ Rights in South Carolina

     

    In South Carolina, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists when riding on the road.

    Some specific laws and rights of bicyclists include:

    1. Must ride in the same direction as traffic and obey all traffic signs and signals
    2. Should ride as close to the right side of the road as safely possible, except when turning left, avoiding hazards, or when the lane is too narrow to share safely with a motor vehicle
    3. May ride two abreast (side by side) on the road, but they should not impede traffic
    4. Motorists must maintain a safe distance when passing bicyclists and should only pass when it is safe to do so
    5. Must use hand signals when turning or stopping
    6. Should use a front white light and rear red reflector when riding at night

    Time Limits for Filing Bicycle Accident Injury Claims

    In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim, including those related to bicycle accidents, is generally three years from the accident date. However, this rule has some exceptions, such as claims against government entities, which may have shorter deadlines.

    It is essential to be aware of these time limits, as failing to file a claim within the appropriate time frame can result in losing the right to seek compensation for injuries and damages. The longer you wait to file a claim, the less likely it is for evidence from the crash to be preserved. Preserving evidence is crucial to proving that the collision caused your injuries.

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    Types of Compensation Available in Your Bike Accident Case

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    If you were seriously injured after your bicycle accident, you may recover compensation for:

    1. Medical expenses: This includes costs related to your emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgery, medication, rehabilitation, and any future medical care necessary due to your accident injuries.
    2. Lost wages: If you cannot work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for lost income, including future lost earning capacity, if your injuries result in a permanent disability.
    3. Pain and suffering: This category of compensation covers the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish you experienced as a result of the accident and your injuries.
    4. Property damage: You can seek compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing your bicycle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.
    5. Punitive damages: In cases where the at-fault party’s actions were particularly egregious or intentional, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are often sought in drunk driving claims and are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter future misconduct.

    The specific amount of compensation available to you will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. This includes the severity of your injuries, the extent of your damages, the liability of the parties involved, and the available insurance coverage.

    Insurance Considerations in Bicycle Accident Claims

    Insurance plays a significant role in the compensation process following a bicycle accident. In South Carolina, motorists must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance to cover damages they may cause to others in an accident. Currently, the minimum coverage is $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 property damage per accident.

    When a bicyclist is injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, they may be able to recover compensation through the driver’s liability insurance policy. However, dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, as they often prioritize their financial interests over the well-being of the injured party.

    Sometimes, the at-fault driver may not have sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate the injured cyclist. In these situations, the bicyclist may turn to their insurance policies, such as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection (PIP), [NC1] for additional compensation. South Carolina drivers are required to carry uninsured motorists (UM) coverage with the same 25/50/25 minimums as liability insurance. Underinsured coverage is not required, but it can often make a crucial difference for personal injury victims.

    Seeking Legal Assistance from a Columbia Bicycle Accident Attorney

    We understand the physical, emotional, and financial challenges that often accompany bicycle accidents. We work to alleviate our clients’ stress and concerns by conducting thorough investigations, gathering evidence, building strong cases, and negotiating with insurance companies on their behalf.

    The lawyers and case managers in our Columbia office have a wealth of experience and skill to offer our clients. Attorney Sydney Lynn opened the doors to our Columbia office in 2016 after starting her Joye Law Firm career in our Myrtle Beach office. Lynn has an impressive resume including serving as the President of the South Carolina Association for Justice. Attorney Melissa Mosier is also well respected in the field of law and produced several landmark settlements and verdicts for her clients including a $3,000,000 settlement for a Simpsonville man injured by a drunk driver.

    We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means our clients do not owe any fees unless we successfully recover compensation on their behalf. This allows everyone access to quality legal representation, regardless of their financial situation.

    To discuss your bike accident case with one of our Columbia personal injury lawyers, call us at (888) 324-3100 or contact us through our website. We bring years of experience and aggressive litigation to bike accident victims who deserve justice.

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    Ken Harrell and Columbia SC Attorneys discussing a case