Lancaster Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Riding a bicycle is a green way to exercise while enjoying the scenery around Lancaster. Unfortunately, motorists do not always exercise due care, and bikers are vulnerable to injury in the event of an accident.
If a negligent motorist injured you or a loved one, you may be eligible for compensation. With help from an experienced personal injury attorney, you may be able to hold the at-fault driver accountable for your losses. A Lancaster bicycle accident lawyer could guide you through the legal procedures for your claim.
Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half a million Americans were treated in emergency rooms for cycling-related injuries in just a single year. Because cyclists are relatively unprotected, collisions with automobiles can be especially devastating.
Bikers struck by cars may suffer a variety of serious injuries, including broken bones and head trauma. Additionally, cyclists are often burdened with hefty medical bills and lost wages. Fortunately, an experienced Lancaster bicycle accident attorney may be able to pursue a lawsuit to recover compensation for these losses.
How Does Comparative Negligence Work in Cycling Accidents?
A key consideration in any personal injury lawsuit is comparative negligence, or the fault each party shares for an accident. Under S.C. Code §15-38-15, injured bicyclists may not recover any monetary award if the court decides that they were more than half at fault for their injuries. If the victim was partially to blame for the accident, the damages award may be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if an injured cyclist was 20% at fault for the accident, their award would be reduced by 20%.
What is a Motorist’s Duty of Care to Bikers?
Under South Carolina law, cyclists and motorists are held to many of the same standards of due care when on the road. These duties are codified in S.C. Code §56.
Under S.C. Code §56-5-3425, drivers and bicyclists are required to share the roads, and when a bicycle lane is provided, a driver may not block that area. This rule helps prevent riders from crashing into cars.
As directed by S.C. Code §56-5-3435, a motorist must leave adequate space between their car and a person’s bicycle. This may help to avoid sideswipes of riders.
Additionally, it is unlawful to verbally harass or throw an object at a biker from a car. These behaviors could cause a cyclist to lose their balance and crash.
Rules of the Road for Lancaster Bike Riders
Bicyclists are also required to follow regulations described within the transportation code. Some laws are specific to bikers, and others are general rules for all types of vehicles.
Although some Lancaster motorists may not realize it, a cyclist may proceed through a steady, red light under some circumstances. Under S.C. Code
§56-5-970, a rider who approaches a stale, red stoplight may continue through an intersection, if they first stop for two minutes and then proceed with caution.
When dedicated bicycle lanes are available, bikers are required by statute to use them. Per S.C. Code Ann. §56-5-3425, a cyclist should remain within the boundaries of the bike lane unless they are passing a fellow rider or avoiding something blocking the path. When there is not a painted roadway for bikes, a bicyclist should stay as far to the right as possible while traveling with the flow of traffic.
If an accident does occur, a bicycle accident attorney in Lancaster may examine the conduct of the driver to determine if they violated any traffic laws. If so, their behavior may be considered negligent.
Meet with a Lancaster Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in a cycling accident, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. A knowledgeable Lancaster bicycle accident lawyer could analyze the circumstances of your accident and determine who was at fault. If a negligent or careless driver was responsible for your injuries, an experienced attorney could hold them accountable and pursue compensation on your behalf. Call today to schedule a consultation and discuss your situation.