Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the deadliest cities in the United States for people who bike or walk. If you suffered injuries in a bicycle collision caused by a careless driver, our team can help you. You could make a financial recovery, and we can help you demonstrate that the other party is liable.
Our Charleston bicycle accident lawyers from Louthian Law Firm, P.A. seek compensation and justice for injured riders and their families. Connect with our team today for your free case consultation. We can explain your options for taking legal action. You do not have to fight alone.
Louthian Law Firm, P.A. Represents Charleston Bicycle Accident Victims
Since Attorney Herb Louthian founded Louthian Law Firm, P.A. in 1959, our team has served every client with compassion, respect, and courtesy. Our family-run law firm has more than eight decades of combined experience fighting for clients’ rights. We pursue justice and compensation for victims to the fullest extent supported by a case’s evidence and allowed by South Carolina law.
When attorneys Herb Louthian or Bert Louthian represent you, we put this 80 years of experience to work for your case. We investigate what happened, develop a strong case, and fight to get the justice you deserve. Then, we navigate the legal system for you with no upfront fees or costs. Unless we win the case and recover compensation, you pay nothing.
Our clients count on us to listen to their concerns, discuss their cases honestly, provide sound advice, and work on their behalf. Our Client Bill of Rights ensures that each client receives that treatment. Our testimonials also reflect our values and goals to deliver high-quality service.
Previous clients say that Louthian Law Firm, P.A.:
- Treats clients with dignity and respect
- Is a down-to-earth and friendly team that means business
- Treats clients like individuals and not as dollar signs
- Treats clients with compassion and dignity
- Displays genuine concern for clients’ families
In addition to our testimonials, our case results show we know how to navigate the insurance claims process and legal system, securing compensation for our clients. We seek favorable settlements and verdicts for our clients based on their unique cases and the damages they suffered. You can expect one-on-one attention from a lawyer who knows your name and your story and can pursue results in your case.
Charleston and South Carolina Are Risky Places to Ride
Whether you ride for recreation, commuting, exercise, or another reason, you should not have to ride in constant fear of suffering injuries in a collision caused by a careless or reckless driver. Unfortunately, this is an ongoing worry in South Carolina—and Charleston specifically.
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), 27 cyclists died from accident injuries statewide in 2019. In 2020, this number dropped to 16. While this seems like a significant drop, South Carolina still ranks as a dangerous state for non-motorized travelers.
Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that bicyclists comprised almost three percent of South Carolina’s traffic accident fatalities in 2017. In addition, data from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) notes that the state’s fatality rate for cyclists was 32 percent higher than the national average in 2015.
Where Are the Greatest Risks to Cyclists?
According to Live 5 News (WCSC), certain locations create more close calls and dangers. A Charleston-based nonprofit and the Charleston Police Department accepted reports from the public about close calls with motor vehicles. They compiled information about collisions to determine the risky spots around town for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized road users.
The Calhoun Street Corridor is often among the most dangerous stretches in Charleston for bicyclists and pedestrians. This includes the intersection at Calhoun Street and Ashley Avenue. St. Philip Street also brings dangers for many College of Charleston students, per Live 5 News (WCSC).
Building a Case and Pursuing Compensation After a Bicycle Accident
Charleston’s narrow streets and heavy vehicle traffic make for a congested downtown area. The infrastructure contributes to the beauty of the old city. However, Charleston is currently better designed to handle vehicle traffic. Drivers unfamiliar with sharing lanes with bikes and other non-motorized traffic can also lead to crashes.
When a motor vehicle collides with a bicycle, the car’s occupants often avoid injury. The cyclist, though, is rarely as lucky. Catastrophic, life-altering injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and major orthopedic injuries are common.
The cost of managing these injuries should not fall on the bicyclist and their family. South Carolina’s personal injury laws allow you to claim compensation or sue the liable party for money damages based on your expenses and losses.
Grounds for a Bicycle Accident Claim
You don’t want to put in the effort of pursuing a bicycle accident claim in Charleston if you aren’t reasonably convinced that you’re going to win. Although there is never a promise that you’ll win, there are certain ways that you can tell your claim is likely to be successful.
For example, if someone else is responsible for your bicycle accident, such as by hitting you with their car, you may have a shot at compensation. Your lawyer will need to show that, based on a majority of the evidence, the defendant is at fault for what has happened to you. If you know or suspect that someone else is liable for your injuries, you may have grounds for a bicycle accident claim.
The other way you can tell that you have a chance to win your Charleston bike accident case is if your injuries have clearly affected your life. Whether you have suffered financial, emotional, or physical trauma from your injuries, when your life is turned upside-down because of someone else’s negligence, you may be owed compensation.
Let Louthian Law Firm, P.A. Develop Your Charleston Claim
At Louthian Law Firm, P.A., our Charleston bicycle accident attorneys know how to navigate the financial recovery process and fight for the best outcome for our clients. From the day we agree to work together, we take steps to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you need and deserve.
We can perform the following tasks for you:
- Handling all communication with all involved parties
- Providing regular case updates
- Providing prompt and responsive answers to your questions and concerns
- Investigating what happened
- Gathering and analyzing evidence to support the case
- Preparing all necessary paperwork
- Determining the estimated settlement value or range for the case
- Negotiating with the insurance company, when possible
- Ensuring our client knows what to expect
If necessary, our lawyers can sue the accused parties and take them to trial for causing your injuries and other harm.
Showing the Other Party’s Negligence and Liability
Most traffic accidents occur because of a negligent driver. Careless or reckless drivers also cause many bicycle accidents. However, to hold the at-fault driver legally responsible, we need evidence to show they acted negligently.
The four elements of negligence include:
- Duty of care: The driver owed you a basic level of care.
- Breach of duty: The driver failed in that duty.
- Causation: They directly caused the accident and your injuries.
- Harm: You suffered damages as a result, such as financial and non-financial losses.
For example, imagine a driver turning right on red as you pass on your bike. The driver has a duty under traffic law to stop completely. They must be aware of any other traffic, including your bicycle. Failing to stop and check the bike lane caused the collision and your physical and financial harm.
Our lawyers can investigate what happened and identify the available evidence.
This varies depending on the case but frequently includes:
- The crash report filed by law enforcement
- Witness statements
- A survey of the scene
- Accident reconstruction
- Physical evidence
- Video of the crash, if available
We use this evidence to show the insurance company that their policyholder struck your bicycle because of their negligence. This supports your insurance claim and should make it easier to negotiate a fair settlement. If not, the jury will hear the available evidence at trial.
How to Recover Compensation Following a Charleston Bike Collision?
Most traffic accident cases settle without going to court. We can often negotiate a fair and appropriate settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Their payout can cover the expenses and losses you face.
However, we may need to sue the at-fault driver under some circumstances. For instance:
- If the insurer will not accept that their policyholder caused the crash
- If the insurer will not provide a fair settlement
- If the deadline to bring your case approaches
Recovering Compensation Based on Your Accident’s Damages
At Louthian Law Firm, P.A., we pursue fair and appropriate payouts for our clients. We seek compensation for the expenses and losses the accident caused you. We recover compensation based on a wide range of damages. These differ from case to case but often include:
Recoverable expenses include current and future treatment for accident injuries. This includes ambulance transportation, rehabilitation, mobility devices, prescribed medications, and other medical costs.
Most injuries cause victims to miss time at work. This lost income is recoverable. This includes salaries, hourly pay, tips, commissions, gig pay, and other types of income. When injuries prevent you from working long-term, you can seek diminished earning capacity damages.
If you suffered injuries in a collision, you likely have broken or damaged personal property, too. This could include anything from your bicycle to your smartphone to your eyeglasses. We seek compensation for the repair or replacement costs.
Pain and Suffering and Other Intangible Losses
South Carolina law allows us to seek compensation for our clients’ intangible losses, including physical pain, emotional suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, and more. We know how to value these non-economic damages using our experience, industry standards, and the case’s facts.
Wrongful Death Damages
Families who lost a loved one in a Charleston bicycle accident can seek compensation under South Carolina law. This statute allows a representative of the accident victim to file a claim or lawsuit and recover damages for the surviving family members. This includes funeral and burial costs, loss of income, and the intangible losses survivors suffer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Some of the most common questions Louthian Law Firm, P.A. hears about Charleston bicycle accident cases include:
What Should I Do If I Am Not Sure Who Caused the Accident?
The best way to understand your rights and options following a Charleston accident is to get a case review from our team. We can evaluate the facts of your case. Then, we can explain your rights and possible next steps based on this assessment. You can get a consultation for free after a Charleston bicycle accident.
Where Are Bicycle Accidents Most Likely to Occur?
Bicycle accidents commonly occur in urban areas where traffic congestion is high. Statistically speaking, intersections and high-speed roadways are the most dangerous areas for cyclists.
In addition, bicycle lanes, parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, and other areas also pose dangers for cyclists.
What if I Did Not See a Doctor Immediately?
If you did not see a doctor for your injuries immediately following your accident and develop symptoms later, see a doctor promptly. Even if there was a delay in your diagnosis and treatment, you could recover compensation.
Is There a Deadline for Filing an Insurance Claim?
There is a deadline for filing a lawsuit for your Charleston bicycle accident and injuries. Per South Carolina law, you generally have three years after your accident to do so. Missing this deadline makes it difficult to recover compensation through a negotiated insurance settlement, as well.
What if the At-Fault Driver Left the Scene?
If the driver who caused your accident left the scene, you still have rights. Our team will assess your options and explain them to you during your free case review. Police, insurance companies, or our team could identify the hit-and-run driver and help you seek compensation.
Call Us Today for a Free Case Review at Louthian Law Firm, P.A.
Louthian Law Firm, P.A. provides free legal consultations for those hurt in Charleston bicycle-vehicle collisions. We can help you determine your rights and options. We offer sound advice based on the unique details of your case and explain the steps we may take to help. Our bicycle accident lawyers can represent you and your family in an insurance claim or lawsuit with no upfront expenses.
Contact us at (843) 544-7272 to discuss your options and learn more about how we can recover compensation for you.