Bicycle riding isn’t just for kids anymore. Today, in Columbia and communities throughout South Carolina, many adults ride bicycles, too, for exercise and basic transportation. In fact, Car and Driver magazine reports that the number of biking commuters in our country went up by 51 percent between 2000 and 2016.
At The Jeffcoat Firm, we understand the life-altering consequences of bicycle accidents. We work skillfully and tirelessly to pursue compensation for cycling accident victims in Columbia and throughout South Carolina. If you recently suffered accident injuries in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, or if you lost a loved one in a bicycle crash, you can count on us to protect your rights. Call our bicycle accident lawyers or reach us online today to get started with a free consultation.
Why Do Bicycle Accidents Happen in Columbia?
Attorney Michael Jeffcoat and our bike accident law firm, know that most bike-car collisions are preventable. They result from careless and reckless decisions by car drivers who either don’t know or don’t care about sharing the road safely with cyclists. Frequently, our cycling accident attorneys see bicycle accidents that involve:
- Inattention or distraction – Drivers (especially teens) try to multi-task when driving, including texting or talking on phones. As a result, they may fail to see a biker crossing the street or riding next to them.
- Failing to yield the right of way – Under South Carolina bicycle law, bicyclists have the same rights as any other vehicle driver. So, car drivers must yield to bicyclists when they have the right of way at intersections. Many bicycle crashes occur when drivers turn left into approaching bicycles. Additionally, cars cannot enter designated bike lanes.
- Failing to check mirrors – Drivers should pay attention to bicycle riders and check their mirrors before they make a right turn or move into another lane ahead of a bicycle. (They should also use their turn signals.) Additionally, drivers should look for cyclists – especially young children – before they back out of driveways or parking spots.
- Passing without enough room – Car drivers are required by South Carolina law to leave at least three feet of room between their car and any cyclist they are passing. All too often, car drivers cause injuries by “buzzing” cyclists and running them off the road.
- Dooring – When a person parks on the street, the person should check for passing traffic, including bicyclists, before opening the car door and getting out.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a bicycle accident due to the suspected negligence of a motor vehicle driver, our bike accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case and get to the bottom of what happened.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Bike Accident in Columbia?
In addition to determining the cause of a bicycle accident that injured you or caused the loss of a loved one, The Jeffcoat Firm will identify all parties who should be held responsible. Our goal will be to discover every source of compensation available to you.
For instance, if a negligent driver caused your crash, we can help you to file a claim through that driver’s liability insurance policy. In some instances, another party may be liable as well. The employer of a driver who hit you while “on the clock,” for example, may be liable for that driver’s negligence or for its own negligence in hiring and retaining an unfit driver.
Sadly, many car drivers in South Carolina still don’t know how to safely share the road with the growing number of cyclists they encounter. According to a recent Governors Highway Safety Association report, bicyclist deaths in the U.S. rose by 12.2 percent in 2015 – the highest percentage increase among all roadway users. (The average age of bicyclists killed was 45, and the majority of victims were men.) Another study found that “street crashes” – or accidents involving a bicycle and motor vehicle – accounted for an increasing portion of accidents, while injured riders ages 45 and older accounted for the majority of crash-related costs, which have soared above $24 billion per year in our country.
If you were hurt in a hit-and-run crash – where the at-fault driver fled the scene and cannot be identified – you may be eligible to file a claim through your own insurance policy. We will leave no option unexplored.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Columbia Bicycle Accident Claim?
Even when you wear a helmet while riding your bike, you can still suffer traumatic brain injury and other severe harm if you collide with a motor vehicle. Neck, back and spinal cord injuries are highly common in these accidents. Victims also frequently sustain fractures, burns, cuts, scars and soft tissue damage.
If you were injured by a negligent driver, The Jeffcoat Firm will pursue full and fair compensation for you, including:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost income (lost earnings and diminishment of future earning ability)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium.
Depending on the facts of your case, punitive damages may be available as well. Those damages are awarded to punish and deter willful, reckless or wanton conduct such as drunk driving.
If your loved one died in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, our bicycle injury lawyers can pursue a different set of damages through a wrongful death claim. You could be eligible to recover the costs of putting your loved one to rest, for instance, or to recover compensation for the loss of financial support that your loved one would have provided.
Our Columbia Bicycle Accident Attorneys Will Help You
Working with a trusted, experienced bicycle accident lawyer from The Jeffcoat Firm who truly cares about your situation can make all the difference to you after a serious bicycle accident. Our cycling accident lawyers will help you to avoid mistakes, understand the value of your case and explore all legal options available to you. We will also protect you when dealing with insurance companies. We will demand the compensation that you deserve and fight for you at every stage in your case.
We will only be paid a percentage of what we recover for you, and our advanced expenses will get repaid from the recovery. If we don’t recover anything for you, then you will never have to pay us anything at all. It all starts with a free consultation. Contact us today to discuss your case.