As winter turns to spring and summer approaches, more and more pedestrians and bicyclists will be on the roads of Greenville. That means an increase in bicycle accidents which often result in serious injuries and are statistically more fatal than accidents involving only vehicles. And, for obvious reasons, it is the cyclist that is the most at risk. See here for a Road-Safety Bicycle Fact Sheet published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”).
According to NHTSA statistics, in 2015, 818 bicyclists died on US roads and about 45,000 were injured. In 2016, the number was 840, an increase of 1.2 percent. See here for the 2015 data and here for the 2016 fatalities.
If you have been injured as a bicyclist on the roads of Greenville, you are entitled to the same compensation as any other person using the roads. You need to call the talented and experienced personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of H. Chase Harbin. Here is a quick guide.
Greenville Personal Injury Law: South Carolina Legal Principles — Negligence
Vehicle accidents under South Carolina law are governed by the law of negligence. If you — or a loved one — have been injured as a bicyclist by a car or truck, you are entitled to sue the careless or reckless driver of the vehicle. To win your case, you — the victim — must provide evidence showing the four elements of negligence: duty, breach of duty by the careless driver, causation and injury.
Under South Carolina law, any operator of a motor vehicle owes a duty of care. As the courts have phrased it, the duty of care is “to use the same care that would have been exercised by a person of ordinary reason and prudence if that person were driving the same vehicle at the same time and place and under the same circumstances.” In practice, this amounts to a duty, at all times to:
- Avoid accidents;
- Avoid placing him or herself in a situation of danger;
- Keep a proper lookout;
- Anticipate potential dangers — as the courts have said “to see a person or object upon a highway which may be reasonably expected”; and
- Keep the vehicle under proper control so as to be able to slow down, stop or turn such vehicle in order to avoid colliding with a bicycle or another vehicle
A driver who fails to the foregoing has breached his or her duty of care. If injury is caused by that breach of duty, then the careless driver can be held liable to his or her victim.
Greenville Personal Injury Law: Damages That Can Be Recovered
If you have been injured as a bicyclist, and you successfully prove that the other driver was negligent, you may recover the following types of damages:
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Permanent physical or mental injury;
- Property damage;
- Punitive damages – under exceptional circumstances; and
Greenville Personal Injury Law: If You Are Injured, What Should You Do?
If you have been injured in a bicycling accident, it is important to, first, to seek all the medical care necessary to begin your return to 100 percent health. Then, it is crucial to contact experienced legal counsel. The longer you wait to seek the advice of a South Carolina auto accident attorney like the ones at The Law Office of H. Chase Harbin, the more risk you expose yourself to and the more likely that mistakes will be made. The insurance company is going to call, and they are not on your side. The adjusters are going to try and play dirty tricks and, potentially, get you to take less money in settlement that you are entitled to.
Greenville SC Personal Injury Lawyers: Contact The Law Office Of H. Chase Harbin Today
If you want to protect your rights, make the most of your claim and maximize your ability to recover the highest compensation for your injuries and losses, then call the proven Greenville personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of H. Chase Harbin. We understand South Carolina law and understand your legal rights to FULL compensation. Contact us today via email. We have offices in Greenville and Pickens, South Carolina.