Injured in a Bicycle Accident?
REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION WITH A CHARLESTON BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER
South Carolina has consistently ranked poorly in nationwide studies for cyclist safety, bicycle accidents and cyclist fatalities. Each year there are over 1,000 bicycle accidents in South Carolina. Founding Partner Matthew Marin of the Law Firm Marin and Barrett, Inc. serves the Charleston, SC area and is dedicated to winning justice for cycling accident victims and their families. Bicycle Accident Attorney Matthew Marin has been ranked by the SuperLawyers organization as a “Rising Star” and a “SuperLawyer” from 2014 through 2020. Call today to schedule a free SC bicycle accident case evaluation. We are available at (843) 642-2449 to take your call and stand ready to fight for the justice you need and deserve.
Do I Need To Hire Charleston Bicycle Accident Attorney?
Personal injury cases, especially bicycle accident cases, can be complicated and should be handled by skilled and aggressive legal counsel. Obtaining legal representation can give you the time you need to heal physically and emotionally while still ensuring that you will be able to receive just legal compensation for your bicycle accident injuries.
Data from 2018 shows that fatal and non-fatal crash-related injuries to bicyclists resulted in lifetime medical costs and productivity losses of $10 billion. Having the right attorney represent your interests in your bicycle accident claim or that of a loved one can be the difference in hundreds of thousands of damage awards.
Charleston Bicycle Accident Lawyer
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WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU ARE INJURED IN A BICYCLE ACCIDENT IN CHARLESTON, SC?
If you are able to do so, immediately call 9-1-1, or indicate to either the driver or others that they need to do so. The vast majority of bicycle accidents result in serious injuries. Even if you feel you are able to get up and walk away, it is important that you have experienced medical personnel examine you immediately. Ask the police to create an accident report for the incident.
Once you have been evaluated by on-scene medical personnel, make sure you collect the information from the other driver including their name, phone number, insurance information, and their license plate number. If possible, use your phone to take pictures of the scene including the location of the collision, damage to the vehicles and any injuries you have.
TALK TO A LAWYER BEFORE YOU TALK TO INSURANCE COMPANIES
It is important to remember that the driver’s insurance company and their adjusters are not working in your interest – no matter how concerned they seem over the phone. Their goal is to limit their liability and thereby limit your compensation. To limit their liability they will investigate the accident looking for factors that may limit the responsibility of their driver in the accident. This is what they are looking for when they are talking to you. We always recommend that you call our skilled Charleston bicycle accident lawyer for a no obligation consultation. With our experience we can deal with the driver’s insurance company with a goal towards getting you the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Call the Charleston South Carolina bicycle accident lawyer Matthew Marin with Marin and Barrett, Inc. before you talk to any insurance representative. We can provide you with guidance about how to describe the bicycle accident to the adjuster and then conduct our own investigation into the accident and what happened.
We will fight to get you justice. If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, you have the right to hold that negligent party personally responsible. You have the legal right to demand compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We understand that a Charleston bicycle accident can be a traumatic experience and stand ready to help fight for your recovery and we are available 24/7 to help at 843-642-2449.
CHARLESTON BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYERS: HOW CAN WE PROVIDE HELP FOR INJURED BICYCLISTS?
Whether riding for exercise, commuting, or for fun, bicycling in Charleston comes with risks. Because of these known risks, most bicyclists take measures to minimize danger from riding on South Carolina roads, which include wearing a helmet at a minimum, to bicycling on less traveled roads or at specific times of the day in which there is less traffic.
Regrettably, despite the proactive and preventative measures one can take to avoid the chances of a collision with a motor vehicle while bicycling, it is virtually impossible to eliminate all risks of being struck by a motor vehicle while on a bicycle. Distracted driving, aggressive driving, and faulty equipment on vehicles all routinely contribute to bicycle accidents.
WHAT EVIDENCE MIGHT HELP MY CHARLESTON BICYCLE ACCIDENT CLAIM?
Every bicycle accident case is unique. Evidence that may be important for one claim might not be for another claim. Therefore, it is vitally important to seek the counsel of a skilled Charleston bicycle accident lawyer for guidance about the best way to investigate and handle the particular facts of your case.
At Marin and Barrett, Inc., we can tailor our legal strategy to the individual nature of each South Carolina bicycle accident case. Using our experience we will be able to conduct an investigation to obtain time-sensitive evidence and bring in necessary expert testimony and file motions and subpoenas to compel disclosure of evidence that is being withheld.
Some examples of evidence that might be useful to your bicycle accident case include:
THE POLICE REPORT
If you were involved in a bike crash and the police were called, the accident report should include details about the cause of the crash, any injuries suffered, and possibly witness statements. Both your bicycle accident attorney and the insurance company will obtain a copy of the accident report as part of the investigation.
CHEMICAL TEST RESULTS
Alcohol is a large contributing factor in a high percentage of bicycle accidents. Statistics show that among bicycle accident fatalities, 37 percent had alcohol involvement for either the automobile driver (or bicycle driver). If the driver that hit you was impaired, the chemical test results can be used to prove negligence and liability.
CELL PHONE RECORDS
One of the leading causes of bicycle accidents in 2020 is distracted driving. In most cases, cell phone providers will not voluntarily provide those records and our experienced attorneys will not hesitate to file a subpoena to obtain the driver’s cell phone records if they will contribute important evidence to your claim.
If your accident happened in front of a business or an intersection, it might have been caught on surveillance video. If there is a dispute about who was at fault, the surveillance video footage might be critical evidence.
Our investigation will include speaking with all eyewitnesses and asking them to provide testimony if it is helpful to the case.
EXPERT WITNESS TESTIMONY
Injuries from bicycle accidents can be very serious and it is common for the testimony of medical and economic experts to testify in the proceedings. This testimony can be used to prove the severity of the injuries and the total value of any future medical bills and lost career earnings.
PHOTOS OF PROPERTY DAMAGE, SKID MARKS, AND INJURIES
Photographs of property damage, damage to your bicycle and or helmet, skid marks, and injuries can be used to prove negligence and contradict the other side’s assertions about fault in the accident.
BICYCLIST INJURY STATISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES
WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL BICYCLE ACCIDENT CLAIM IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
When you are injured in a bicycle accident and someone else is to blame you have the legal right to demand just compensation. But in order for a bicycle accident victim to have a valid personal injury claim and receive compensation, he or she must prove four elements in civil court (or through a negotiated settlement agreement). First, that the defendant (driver of the automobile) owed the bicycle accident victim a duty of care at the time of the accident. Second, that the defendant failed to fulfill this duty of care through either distracted driving, speeding, driving while impaired/drunk, or another form of negligence). Third, this failure caused the accident. And fourth, that the victim sustained damages (physical, emotional, and or mental) as a result.
WHAT ARE THE LAWS IN SOUTH CAROLINA THAT PROTECT BICYCLISTS WHILE ON PUBLIC ROADS?
South Carolina has numerous laws that provide protections for bicyclists and pedestrians, including:
Cars a Safe Distance from Bicycles – SECTION 56-5-3435 – requires that a driver of a motor vehicle at all times maintain a safe operating distance between the motor vehicle and a bicycle.
Unlawful to Harass Bicycle Rider – SECTION 56-5-3445 – makes it unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.
Unlawful to Cling to a Motor Vehicle – SECTION 56-5-3450 – makes it unlawful for anyone on a bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle to attach it or them or himself to a vehicle upon a roadway.
CAN I RECOVER IF I WAS ALSO AT FAULT IN MY BICYCLE ACCIDENT?
Were you partially at fault in causing your bicycle accident or injury? If so, don’t worry. You are still entitled to a financial recovery as long as someone else also shares blame in causing the accident and you are less than 50% at fault in the accident. The amount of your recovery will be reduced by your proportional share in the fault but you will be barred from recovery if you are more than 50% at fault. Because of this, it is vitally important that you gather evidence that limits your responsibility in the accident.
WHAT ARE COMMON BICYCLE ACCIDENT INJURIES?
A collision between an automobile and a bicyclist can result in catastrophic injuries for the person riding the bicycle. Unlike automobile accidents involving two or more cars where passengers have the benefit of a steel structure, airbags, and seatbelts, there are fewer protections for bicyclist accident victims when automobiles strike them. This lack of protection from serious injury is why cyclists involved in a car crash are 1.5 times more likely to be killed than passenger vehicle occupants.
Fortunately, most bicycle accidents are not fatal accidents. Some of the most commonly reported bicycle accident injuries include:
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI)
Even with a helmet on, the force generated by a crash can cause brain injuries extended beyond a mere concussion. Sometimes these injuries will not be symptomatic immediately, but the effects can be devastating.
NECK – BACK – SPINAL CORD INJURIES
Impact or whiplash to the neck and back can cause spinal cord injuries, potentially resulting in full or partial paralysis and respiratory problems.
Skin abrasions caused by sliding on pavement can result in agonizing pain, scarring, as well as a heightened risk of infection.
BROKEN BONES AND INTERNAL INJURIES
With such a high degree of force broken bones and internal injuries and bleeding are commonplace in victims of a bicycle accident.
Whether from the pavement, a burn, or broken glass and debris, facial lacerations and fractures are a common and unfortunate result of bicycle accidents. Severe cases may involve plastic surgery or partial transplants.
Unfortunately, a significant percentage of bicyclists may not survive the crash. If your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident you may have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact Charleston bicycle accident lawyer Matthew Marin at Marin and Barrett, Inc. if you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a bicycle accident in Charleston, South Carolina. We can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to and we are available 24/7 at (843) 642-2449.
TYPES OF SOUTH CAROLINA BICYCLE ACCIDENT CASES WE HANDLE:
The Charleston roadways are only safe if all involved obey the traffic laws and walk signals. They become dangerous when individuals break the rules, fail to pay proper attention to the road, and fail to properly yield the right-of-way. Far and away the number one cause of serious bicycle accidents in South Carolina is negligence. The most common causes of these accidents include:
- Cars swerving into designated bicycle lanes
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Dooring (parked car door is opened into a rider)
- Distracted Driving
- Aggressive Drivers Injuring Bicyclist
- Alcohol-related Bicycle Accidents
- Failure to Yield the Right-of-Way Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents involving 18-wheelers, scooters, and government vehicles
- Bicycle Accidents Resulting in Catastrophic Injury
- Bicycle Accident Wrongful Death Claims
- Poorly Designed Intersections Resulting in Bicycle Accidents
- Large Cars and SUV Bicycle Accidents
A skilled Charleston South Carolina bicycle accident attorney can investigate your bicycle accident and find out its probable cause and identify the at-fault party or parties. Do not give up home if you think you contributed to the accident in some way. South Carolina law follows a modified comparative negligence system. This means that if you were the victim in a bicycle accident, you can recover a certain amount of compensation for your injuries even though you were negligent in some way, as long as you were less than 50% at fault in causing the accident.
WHAT DAMAGES ARE AVAILABLE TO CHARLESTON BICYCLE ACCIDENT VICTIMS?
As we will explain in more detail below, you are more likely to suffer serious injuries when you are a bicyclist. Your recovery from those injuries can seem overwhelming and difficult. Treatment may require extensive medical care and lengthy rehabilitation. This can often result in medical bills totaling tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Your injuries, treatment, and rehabilitation may limit your ability to continue working. With no income, the total financial costs of a bicycle accident can be daunting. At Marin and Barrett, Inc., Attorney Matthew Marin stands ready to help you recover the financial compensation to which you are entitled. That financial compensation can often include money for:
ECONOMIC DAMAGE – such as tangible out of pocket costs which are often established with bills and invoices
- Medical expenses, including past, present, and future bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Costs of medical devices and modifications and accommodations to your home or vehicle
- Costs of assistive devices
- Expenses for in-home healthcare and household services
- Lost wages, both from missed work and missed future earning potential
- Household bills
- Damage to your bicycle
NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES – which include general intangible damages. These damages affect quality of life, but are oftentimes more significant, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Anxiety and post-traumatic stress (emotional distress)
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Lifestyle Impairment
In the event that loved one has died in a bicycle accident you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim for those left behind. Of course no amount of money can bring your loved on back or provide adequate compensation, but you nevertheless may be able to recover for funeral and burial costs, loss of income, and loss of companionship.
At Marin and Barrett, Inc., Attorney Matthew Marin will fight for every dollar you deserve. On these types of cases it is often helpful to work closely with expert witnesses to ensure that your injuries and damages are valued fully. This extra effort makes sure that you recover all you deserve for your bicycle accident injuries.
CHARLESTON BICYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS
South Carolina has maintained one of the highest cyclist fatality rates in the nation on a population basis. In 2015, South Carolina reported 16 bicycle accident fatalities up from 14 bicycle accident fatalities in 2014. Over the last six years, crashes on South Carolina’s roads and highways have claimed the lives of more than 900 pedestrians and bicyclists, making the state’s roads among the nation’s deadliest. In the Charleston area, pedestrian and bike fatalities have occurred in urban centers as well as along rural roads.
HOW TO AVOID BEING IN A BICYCLE ACCIDENT
Bicyclists who commute in areas without proper bicycle paths or sidewalks are at an increased risk of death or injury. When bicycle paths are not available, bicyclists should stay on the shoulder or sidewalk and should travel with the flow of traffic (same direction). The bicyclist also needs to obey the same traffic control devices.
Bicyclists should practice safe habits:
- Wear helmets (children under age 15 are required to wear helmets)
- Maximize your visibility – wear bright or reflective tape, especially at night
- Obey all traffic control devices
- Travel on the far right of the road if there is no bike lane/path
- If riding on the sidewalk give the right of way to pedestrians
- Do not wear headphones when riding on the road
- Keep a proper lookout when approaching an intersection
- Be prepared to brake suddenly if a car cuts you off
- Avoid a car’s blind spot while approaching from behind or while waiting at a traffic signal
CHARLESTON BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER
Dozens of cyclists are killed on South Carolina roadways every year. If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a bicycle due to the negligence or recklessness of another, you have the right to file a claim for damages. The money you recover can help to cover expensive medical bills, make up for lost income while you recover from your injuries, and compensate you for the emotional stress of the bicycle accident and your injuries.
Drivers responsible for causing injuries to bicyclists will likely have to provide payment under their auto insurance policies. Additionally, injured bicyclists may be able to obtain additional compensation under their own auto insurance policies. Even if the driver that hit you or your loved one has been cited with a moving violation or drunk driving charges, you may be able to take additional legal action against them.
At Marin and Barrett, Inc., Charleston Bicycle Accident Lawyer Matthew Marin has seen first-hand how an accident can turn your life upside-down. We’re here to help you assert your legal rights and recover the money you deserve. Call us 24/7 at (843) 642-2449 for a free, no obligation case review and consultation.
To Learn More About Your Rights and Receive a Free Initial Consultation from a Charleston Bicycle Accident Attorney, Contact us 24/7 at (843) 642-2449
YOU ONLY PAY IF WE WIN
HOW DO I GET STARTED WITH MY BICYCLE ACCIDENT CASE?
First thing is first, be sure to get the medical attention you need. Once you do that, the bills will start pouring in and the expenses add up in a hurry. Realistically you’ll want to contact an attorney as soon as possible. The evidence you may need is often the freshest shortly after the accident, and you can rest assured that the party or parties responsible for your injuries will be gearing up for their own legal fight and you will not want to be left behind.