Sumter Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Bicycling is great exercise, not to mention a convenient and environmentally friendly way to get around. Unfortunately, drivers aren’t always quite as careful as they should be around cyclists. Many bicycle accidents are caused by driver inexperience or just poor driving. As a bicyclist, you are at much greater risk for injuries and poor outcomes than those in cars or other vehicles. That’s why it’s important to seek prompt medical care and turn to a lawyer with experience in bike accident claims.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a bicycle accident, our experienced Sumter, SC personal injury attorneys in can help. Call Peake & Fowler at 803-788-4370 to schedule a meeting now.
Relevant Bike Laws in South Carolina
As a bicyclist, it’s crucial that you know state and local bicycle laws. Failing to follow these laws can weaken your personal injury claim and leave you at risk of serious injury. Relevant laws to be aware of include:
- Cyclists must use bike lanes whenever they are available; if this is not an option, cyclists should ride as far right as possible
- Only two bikers may ride side by side when on a road open to motor vehicles
- You may not carry an item that keeps you from having two hands on the bicycle handles at all times
- You should use hand signals to tell others of your intended stops and turns
- Use reflector lights and lamps when traveling at night
- Bicycles must have working brakes
Even if you fail to adhere to these rules when your accident occurs, it is important to tell your bike accident attorney and be honest. One error does not necessarily invalidate your personal injury claim.
Causes of Sumter, SC Bike Accidents
As part of your bike accident claim, we will try to figure out what happened and what caused the accident. This makes it easier to determine liability and assign fault to the appropriate party, which lays the groundwork for a personal injury claim.
- Distracted driving. Drivers are prone to distraction, especially in the age of smartphones and tablets that are always just inches away. In this state, drivers still are likely to see other cars on the road, due to their size. However, it is far easier to miss a bike completely. This may lead a distracted driver to ram or merge lanes into a bicyclist, causing an accident.
- Failure to judge bike’s distance or speed. People often misjudge just how fast bicyclists can travel or how far away they are. This may lead them to turn left in front of an oncoming bicycle if they think they can easily clear the turn. Unfortunately, this often leads to serious injuries for the bicyclist.
- Opening car door into lane of traffic. When cars are parked on the road, they are supposed to check for traffic and bicyclists. While many drivers look for cars, they may fail to check for bicyclists. Opening a door into the lane of traffic may cause a bicyclist to be thrown from their bike or cause them to swerve into traffic.
- Backing out in front of or into a bicyclist. Drivers backing out of driveways or parking spots may not know to check for bicyclists. This can cause serious injuries, even if a driver is backing up slowly.
- Failure to leave proper distance. When behind a bicyclist in traffic, drivers are supposed to leave an appropriate amount of distance for the cyclist’s safety. Too many get as close as possible, though. When a driver misjudges the distance between them and a bike, they may rear end the bike.
- Unleashed dog. Some dogs become aggressive and agitated at the sight of a bicyclist. An unleashed or unrestrained dog may chase down a bicyclist and attack them, leaving them with serious injuries and putting them at risk for disease.
- Road rage. A substantial number of drivers think they are the only ones who belong on the road. Whether a driver actually intends to hurt a bicyclist or just wants to scare them, they may bump the bicyclist or knock them from their bike.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bikes offer minimal protection, and after an accident you could find yourself in serious pain and with a long road to recovery ahead of you. Injuries commonly sustained in Sumter, SC bike accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Abrasions (including serious abrasions that leave you at risk of infection)
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Spinal damage
- Soft tissue injuries
How We Can Help You After a Bike Accident in Sumter
After you get checked out by a medical professional, your top priority should be hiring a Sumter personal injury attorney who can guide you through the claim process. As a bicyclist, you likely have sustained serious injuries and property damage during your accident. But don’t count on the other party’s insurance company to see it the same way.
From the very start, you can plan on the other party’s insurance provider to be looking for a way to shift blame to you and avoid a fair payout. Their ultimate obligation is to their shareholders and minimizing your settlement amount is an easy way to boost their bottom line. They may allege that you weren’t where you should have been on the road, that you didn’t follow safety precautions, or make similar claims.
The team at Peake & Fowler won’t let you get blindsided by these tactics. Our only goal in every case is to get our client the full and fair compensation they deserve. That means investigating the accident, assessing the injuries and property damage, combing through the evidence, and figuring out how much compensation you are entitled to. From there, we tackle negotiations with the insurance company. Most cases end in a fair settlement, but if your case goes to court, you can rest easy knowing that we will fight as hard as possible for you every step of the way.
Let Peake & Fowler Help You with Your Bicycle Accident Case
Your bike accident could leave you laid up for weeks, months, or even years. Don’t take on the insurance companies by yourself and expect them to treat you fairly. Let us help. Call Peake & Fowler at 803-788-4370 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and case assessment.