Riding a bike in Columbia should be a pleasant, safe experience. However, many drivers fail to share the road with bicyclists, leading to serious accidents. A bicycle accident can leave a victim with debilitating physical injuries and crippling medical debt. However, the victim can pursue compensation for their damages.
You or your injured loved one can pursue compensation with a personal injury claim. A lawyer from our firm can handle the claim for you, negotiating a settlement or fighting for a court verdict to get the damages you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation so we can tell you more about what a Columbia bicycle accident lawyer can do for you.
What Makes Us Different From Other Personal Injury Firms in Columbia?
You need a personal injury firm like ours to manage your case. Our firm takes on personal injury cases almost exclusively, so we know how to handle a bicycle accident case like yours. Additionally, our firm can offer several things that other firms may not be able to offer, including:
#1. The Personal Touch of a Family-Owned Business
As a family owned firm, we can offer a personal touch that many other firms can’t provide. We’ll treat you like family and an individual, not just another client. We also know how important your family is to you and what you are going through, so we’ll do everything possible to relieve your legal and financial burdens.
#2. The Benefits That Come With 90 Years of Experience
With more than 90 years of combined personal injury case experience, our attorneys understand how to handle a stubborn insurance company, represent a case to a judge, and push hard for a client’s due damages. Our Columbia bicycle accident attorneys also know what it takes to achieve a fair outcome for our clients. Your attorney can do everything in their power to achieve a fair outcome for you.
#3. The Reassurance That Comes With Our Case Results
You can rest assured that you’ll be in good hands with us. Our attorneys have outstanding case results and a 98 percent approval rating with our clients. That should tell you how dedicated we are to our clients and achieving results.
#4. An Affordable Contingency Arrangement
Many firms require hourly payments, but we work on a contingency basis. This means you’ll only pay for your attorney’s services if your attorney is successful with your case.
This fee arrangement makes hiring an attorney affordable for anyone. Additionally, it encourages attorneys to work hard for their clients to obtain a fair payout. Since clients pay their attorneys out of their settlement or award, the higher the payout is, the more the attorney earns.
Fighting for Damages in Your Columbia Bicycle Accident Case
Sharing the road with bicyclists means watching for them, giving them space to ride, and driving with care. When a driver doesn’t do all those things, and a bicyclist suffers an injury, the injured cyclist can hold the negligent motorist liable.
In a personal injury claim, you can request all of your damages related to your accident.
A Columbia bicycle accident lawyer from our firm can help you list all your damages, which may include:
- Your bill for the repair/replacement of your bike
- Medical costs, such as the costs for emergency and continual care
- The cost of physical therapy/rehabilitation
- Your bills for any assistive/adaptive devices you may need
- Your lost income during your recovery period
- Any loss in earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lowered quality of life
Wrongful Death Damages for a Deceased Loved One
You may have lost a loved one in a tragic bicycle accident. If so, we’re very sorry this happened.
You and your family may want to pursue legal action and wrongful death damages, such as:
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of spousal support and parental support
- A decrease in family income
- The costs of a funeral and cremation or burial
Nothing can make up for the loss of a loved one, but our lawyers can still help you fight for financial justice. This compensation can help your family deal with some of the hardships associated with your loved one’s passing.
How Common Are Bike Accidents in South Carolina?
Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are quite common in South Carolina. According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), South Carolina’s bicycle and pedestrian accident fatality rates were among the highest in the U.S. in 2020, which is the most recent data available. Compared to other states, South Carolina had the 17th highest cyclist fatality rate.
South Carolina bicycle laws
In South Carolina, bicycle laws are more relaxed than in most other states, which may account for the higher cyclist fatality rate. No law requires bicyclists to wear helmets, and most bicycle accident fatalities are due to head injury.
Do I have to ride on the shoulder of the road?
A bicyclist is supposed to stay to the right in the right-hand lane and going in the same direction as other traffic. Many accidents are caused by motor vehicles that don’t give a bike sufficient room and either sideswipe it or cause it to run off the road and crash.
What Are Some Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in South Carolina?
The underlying cause of many bicycle accidents is vehicle driver negligence. Driver negligence occurs when a driver doesn’t share the road respectfully and doesn’t drive responsibly.
Drivers can exhibit negligence by:
- Crowding or sideswiping a bicyclist on the road
- Opening a parked car door into a passing bicyclist’s path
- Making a turn in front of a bicyclist, cutting them off
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to a bicyclist
- Running a stop sign or red light and hitting a bicyclist
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while intoxicated
What Common Injuries Do Victims Suffer in SC Bicycle Accidents?
Bicycle accident injuries can be much worse than car accident injuries. A car and its sturdy frame protect vehicle occupants. The only form of protection a bicyclist may have is a helmet and any other protective gear they’re wearing.
It’s common for bicycle accident victims to suffer severe and even fatal injuries. Some of these include:
- Bone fractures
- Road rash
- Neck or head injuries
- Organ injury
- Spinal injuries
- Brain trauma
Do Bicycle Riders Have the Same Rights as Motorists?
Generally, in South Carolina, bicycle riders have the same rights (and responsibilities) as motorists. Both groups must share the road, and both have the right to compensation if another party was negligent and caused an accident.
Who Could I Hold Liable for My Bicycle Accident in Columbia?
If a motorist caused your accident, they may be liable for it. However, they could also share liability with another party. For example, if you lost control of your bike due to a road hazard and a motorist hit you, the local government and the motorist could be liable.
Alternatively, another party could have or share liability, such as:
- Your bike’s manufacturer: If the bike’s faulty design caused your accident, you may hold the manufacturer liable.
- A bike part manufacturer: Perhaps a part used in your bike wasn’t designed well. In this case, the part’s manufacturer could be at least partially liable.
- A company: If a company’s truck hit you, that company may be liable for the accident.
One of our firm’s bike accident lawyers in Columbia can determine who was liable for your accident, even if multiple parties were involved.
What to Do After a Bike Wreck in Columbia?
Taking care of yourself after a Columbia bike wreck is important. If you don’t, serious consequences to your health and even your legal claim could result. Your family can assist you if you can’t do certain things independently or at all due to injury. It’s essential to:
Seek Medical Care
You might not know whether a bicycle accident injured you. Even if you seem fine, you may have a serious injury, like a concussion, that could worsen if left untreated. So, you should see a doctor immediately if you haven’t already.
There’s another reason to see a doctor quickly: You need documentation for your case and your claim. Getting medical attention immediately lets the insurance company know you sought treatment immediately and didn’t let your injuries worsen.
Report the Incident
Law enforcement may file an accident report when after they respond to the incident, but if they do not, make sure that you do so. You must also report the accident to your insurer. This allows you to create a paper trail that your lawyers can use to build your case.
After you report the accident to the authorities, you can request a copy of the police report. This report could be invaluable evidence in your case. For example, it could help prove the driver who hit you was negligent, such as by driving while intoxicated.
One of our firm’s Columbia bicycle accident attorneys can report the accident and collect a copy of the police report for you.
Contact a Lawyer
Finally, you should contact a lawyer very soon. A lawyer from our firm can represent you, so you won’t have to pursue compensation on your own. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the more time you’ll give them to review your case, gather evidence, and take legal action.
What Your Columbia Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Do for You?
Managing a claim or lawsuit isn’t easy. To handle a case on their own, a person should be familiar with bicycle laws, personal injury law, and legal processes in South Carolina. The person should also know how to handle an insurance company and address a court
You don’t have to know or do any of that. Instead, you can leave it all up to an attorney from our firm.
Your lawyer can:
- Help you meet deadlines: If you’re considering filing a personal injury or wrongful death suit, your lawyer can help you meet the deadline for the particular case. Per South Carolina law, the filing deadline for a personal injury suit is three years from the date of an accident, and the filing deadline for a wrongful death suit is three years from the victim’s death date.
- Gather evidence for your case: Your lawyer can gather evidence like the police report for your accident, your medical bills/receipts, vehicle dash camera recordings of the accident, traffic camera recordings, accident scene photos, witness photos, witness testimonies, and expert testimonies. Solid evidence is necessary for a strong case.
- Evaluate your damages: After listing your damages, your lawyer can determine their fair value. This is an invaluable service because the insurance company may otherwise devalue your damages, reducing your payout. Your lawyer can even evaluate your pain and suffering and any other intangible damages.
- Negotiate your settlement: The insurance company’s representatives may do everything possible to protect their profits, including refusing to negotiate a fair settlement. Your lawyer can pressure the insurer to negotiate fairly, such as by threatening a lawsuit.
- Litigate your case, if necessary: If the insurer doesn’t offer a fair settlement, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and take them to court. In court, your lawyer can resolve your case with a judge and jury instead.
Contact Louthian Law Firm, P.A. to Work With a Columbia Bicycle Accident Lawyer
With a Columbia bicycle accident attorney from our firm on your team, you or your loved one won’t have to pursue compensation alone. Your attorney can manage the claim or lawsuit for you, taking care of negotiations and, if necessary, litigation. You can focus on other matters, like your wellness, and you won’t pay your attorney anything unless they deliver results.
You won’t pay for your consultation with us, either, so there’s nothing to lose by speaking with us. During the consultation, we’ll tell you more about working with our Columbia bicycle accident attorney. Our clients are important to us, and we’ll treat you like family.