Bicycle Accident Lawyers Serving Spartanburg and Greenville, SC
A bicycle rider is at serious risk of injury if he or she is involved in an accident with a car. Even with a helmet and other protective gear, a cyclist is likely to suffer such injuries as broken bones, head injury or death if they are hit by a car.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says 726 “pedalcyclists” were killed and 49,000 were injured in crashes involving motor vehicles in one recent year. Pedalcyclists are riders of two-wheel, non-motorized vehicles, tricycles and unicycles powered solely by pedals.
If a bicycle accident has been caused by a car driver’s negligence or recklessness, the injured cyclist or the family of a deceased cyclist can seek compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost income, pain, suffering and other losses.
Contact Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., today to learn more about your rights if you or a loved one has been struck by a car while riding a bicycle in Spartanburg, Greenville or elsewhere in Upstate South Carolina. We can provide you with a free consultation.
Cars and Bicyclists Must Share the Road to Avoid Accidents
The NHTSA and other safety organizations report that the number and average age of cyclists killed and injured in car accidents have increased in recent years. This is due to more adults riding bikes for economic, health and environmental reasons. Local communities have promoted bicycle riding through initiatives like Greenville, South Carolina’s, Bikeville program.
Communities are working to educate drivers to “share the road” with bicycle riders and respect their rights. For instance, South Carolina law considers bicycles to be vehicles with full rights to the state’s roadways.
Drivers must look for bicyclists before making turns, pulling onto a roadway or opening the door to exit a car parked on the street. They should reduce their speed when approaching bicyclists and allow at least three feet of space when passing a bicycle on the road.
Car / bicycle collisions are more likely when drivers engage in such negligent or careless driving as:
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Making illegal turns or passes
- Running stop signs or stoplights
- Driving drunk or under the influence of drugs
- Driving while distracted, including texting while driving.
The NHTSA says alcohol involvement – either consumption by the driver or the cyclist – is reported in more than 37 percent of the traffic crashes that result in cyclist fatalities.
Bicyclists, it should be noted, have certain responsibilities as well. They must ride in the right-hand lane, obey all traffic signs and signals and signal their intentions when turning, slowing and stopping. They should also wear protective helmets and use reflective gear and other techniques to make themselves more visible to those in cars, trucks and other motor vehicles.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) says in a majority of bicycle accident fatalities, the cyclist’s most serious injuries are to the head (traumatic brain injury, or TBI). Wearing a bicycle helmet has been estimated to reduce the risk of head injury in a bicycle accident by 85 percent, according to the IIHS.
Bicyclists who are hit by a car are also likely to suffer bone fractures, particularly broken arms, legs and ribs, spinal cord injuries and other catastrophic injuries.
Contact an Upstate South Carolina Bicycle Accident Lawyer
A bicyclist injured in a collision with a car through no fault of his or her own should be compensated for medical expenses, damage to what may be an expensive bicycle, lost income during recovery and pain and suffering.
An experienced bicycle accident attorney from Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., can investigate the circumstances of your accident and injuries, and work to obtain all of the compensation you deserve. We will investigate your accident to ensure your claim represents all of your accident-related costs and losses, and we will aggressively challenge any contentions by the car driver’s insurance company that you somehow contributed to the accident.
Please contact us today to set up a free consultation about your case and the legal options available to you.
Sources / More Information
- Traffic Safety Facts – Bicyclists and Other Cyclists, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Fatality Facts – Bicyclists, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
- Bikeville, City of Greenville, South Carolina
- Bikeville Bicycle Safety Brochure, Greenville, S.C.