Charleston Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Bicycle Accidents in South Carolina
When you share the road with cars and other motor vehicles while biking, you are inherently at risk. You must rely on drivers to act with reasonable care, follow the rules of the road, obey traffic laws, and do everything possible to avoid hitting you. Unfortunately, some drivers fail to uphold this duty of care.
If you were injured or if your loved one was killed in a bicycle-vehicle collision in South Carolina, you need answers, and you deserve justice. At Clawson Fargnoli Utsey, LLC, we are ready to fight for you. Our Charleston bicycle accident attorneys understand the serious nature of these cases, as well as the importance of maximizing your recovery so that you can get back on your feet. We can help you fight for fair compensation for your current and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. With over two decades of litigation experience, our team has successfully recovered millions of dollars for our clients; learn how we can help you today.
What Duty Do Motorists Owe to Bicyclists?
In South Carolina, cyclists have many legal rights and responsibilities, just like motor vehicle drivers. Because large, heavy vehicles can potentially cause more damage to bicyclists than vice versa, motorists shoulder the majority of the duty of care, meaning they are the ones who are largely responsible for preventing collisions. That being said, cyclists should also exercise caution and follow all applicable state and municipal bicycle laws.
In South Carolina, motorists are required to:
- Safely share the road with bicyclists
- Keep a safe operating distance between the vehicle and bicyclists
- Yield to bicyclists using bike lanes/refrain from blocking bike lanes
Additionally, it is against state law to “harass, taunt, or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle.”
Some bicyclists’ rights and responsibilities under South Carolina law include:
- Using a bike lane whenever one is available
- Riding on the roadway when there is no bike lane or when there is only a bicycle path
- Riding as far to the right of the roadway as possible (when appropriate)
- Exercising “due care” when passing or riding near vehicles
- Riding no more than two abreast (side by side) with other cyclists except in bicyclist-only areas
- Obeying all applicable traffic laws and traffic control devices, including stop signs and signals
- Refraining from holding onto a vehicle/being pulled by a vehicle
- Affixing the proper equipment (brakes, rear reflectors, lights, etc.) to bicycles
Unfortunately, even when bicyclists ride with care, they cannot always prevent crashes. If you or someone you love was hit by a negligent motorist, turn to our Charleston bike accident lawyers to learn how we can help.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
While some bike accidents happen because a cyclist was not being careful, the vast majority of motor vehicle-bicycle crashes occur due to motorist negligence.
Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents that can be attributed to motorist negligence include:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to maintain a safe operating distance
- Drunk driving
- Aggressive and/or reckless driving
- Following too closely (“tailgating”)
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Failure to obey traffic control devices
- Opening car doors into bicyclists’ paths
- Blocking or turning across designated bicycle lanes
- Defective roadways
Sadly, these accidents often have devastating consequences for cyclists. Often, those involved in bike crashes sustain catastrophic injuries, including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe fractures, internal bleeding, and even accidental amputation. In many cases, these accidents are deadly.
When another person’s negligent or wrongful conduct causes you harm, you have the right to take legal action. Our firm can help you determine if you have grounds for a personal injury claim and, if so, will begin taking immediate action to protect your right to a fair recovery.
How Clawson Fargnoli Utsey, LLC Can Help
Our firm has earned a reputation for client-focused, results-driven representation. We are proud to represent clients with creative, compassionate, and relentless advocacy, fighting tirelessly for the maximum compensation they are owed.
As a boutique law firm, we provide personal attention and are always accessible to our clients. When you work with our team, we will be available throughout your case, providing prompt answers to your questions and communicating frequently about the status of your claim. Most of all, you can count on our bicycle accident attorneys to fight for every penny you deserve.
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