A bicycle accident can take place in the blink of an eye and leave lasting impacts on your life. The attorneys at Hughey Law in Charleston, South Carolina, understand that working with bike accident victims takes a commitment to understanding and using the law to advocate for the rights of our clients. If you want to discuss your recent bike accident, contact our office for more information.
Common Injuries in a Bike Accident
Every year, millions of people take to the streets on their bikes. This is a great way to get exercise, reduce stress, and enjoy the scenery. Unfortunately, cars are not always aware of how to share the road with cyclists, and accidents result. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported about 48,000 cyclist injuries in one year in the United States when bikers collided with motor vehicles. A bike accident is especially dangerous because of the lack of protection a person has on a bike. Hopefully, a rider is wearing a helmet—but sometimes even a helmet isn’t enough to protect a person from serious injury.
Common injuries in a bicycle accident include:
- Concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI) – this is especially risky if the rider was not wearing a helmet
- Broken bones (especially a collarbone, arms, and legs)
- Torn muscles and ligaments
- Spinal cord strains and injuries
Negligent Motorists Often Cause Serious Bike Accidents
Although bicyclists must obey all of the normal traffic laws when they travel on public roads and bike paths, accidents still happen. The law states that bikes must behave on the roadways as if they were motor vehicles. This means that bicyclists need to remember that a car might have the right of way (for example, at a stop sign). The unfortunate reality is that many drivers don’t realize or respect how to share the road with cyclists. In the event of a bike and motor vehicle collision, the bicyclist will almost always fare worse.
To collect compensation for damages, a cyclist will need to show that the negligent acts of a motorist caused the accident. This means proving that the motorist did not exercise the degree of care that a reasonable driver in the same situation would use. Examples of driver negligence that can result in a bike accident include:
- Driving while intoxicated or otherwise impaired
- Tailgating or following a bike too closely
- Distracted driving
- Speeding and not allowing enough time to stop
- Running through a red light or a traffic sign
- Turning without using a signal
- Drifting into a bike lane
Timing Is Crucial in Bicycle Accident Cases
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations states that a person must bring legal action against a negligent driver within three years of the accident date. Despite a few exceptions to this rule, you generally lose the right to a case if you wait for more than three years to file a suit.
This law might seem unfair, but the time limit is in place for good reasons. After a certain amount of time, evidence is often no longer reliable, and defendants should learn if they are up against a lawsuit within a reasonable amount of time.
Although it might seem difficult to imagine going through a lawsuit when your primary objective is to recover from a serious injury, delaying a claim can prove detrimental to your case—so hire an experienced lawyer who can take the worry out of your hands and advocate for a fair resolution on your behalf.
The Insurance Company Wants to Settle. Should I Still Hire an Attorney?
The common answer to this question is “yes.” It might seem like a quick and easy resolution—the insurance company has offered to settle for a specific amount. Sure, it might not be as much as you were hoping for, but you need to pay your medical bills, and something is better than nothing, right?
One of the biggest misconceptions in personal injury cases is that you don’t need a lawyer if you decide to settle outside of court. When the liable party or insurance company concedes that they were at fault, the last important step to resolving the case is to agree on the amount of damages due. This is where things can become complicated.
Hiring a lawyer to help you through the process of establishing the amount of compensation due can have a huge impact on your settlement. Certain damages, like potential future earning losses and pain and suffering, are harder to calculate and victims might overlook them without a lawyer. An attorney will help assess all current and future damages and will determine how much your case is really worth. They will make sure that you receive the representation you deserve when dealing with the insurance companies.
The insurance company offers an initial settlement amount with the hopes that you will take it, no questions asked. This amount is always the smallest number they are willing to pay out. Retaining legal assistance will help you seek the compensation you deserve. Your job is to rest and recover. Your attorney’s job is to collect just compensation for your damages. In the event that the insurance company is not willing to budge on an initial offer, your attorney can file a lawsuit and bring the case to court, if necessary.
Contact a Charleston, South Carolina, Bicycle Accident Attorney at Hughey Law Today
A bicycle accident is unexpected—it comes out of nowhere and can derail your life in a split second. When a bike accident injures you, you need experienced legal representation who will fight aggressively for your rights. The attorneys at Hughey Law will do exactly that. We use every means possible when working for our clients and advocating for just compensation. You deserve to have the best team on your side as you go through this process. The insurance companies hire experts to work on your claim, and so should you. Call our office at (843) 881-8644 or contact us online for a free consultation today.
“Thank you Hughey Law Firm! It was a pleasure to work with you on my case! From the beginning, every contact I had with your firm was professional, kind, helpful, and painless! I always felt kept in the loop, and important to you as a client. If you are looking for a personal injury attorney with integrity, I would highly recommend Hughey Law Firm!”
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