Bikes are a great way to get around the city of Charleston. They’re environmentally friendly and they are a great form of physical exercise.
But one problem with bike riding is, it can be very unsafe. A bike’s small size means drivers may not see riders riding alongside them. Plus, because bikes don’t offer the protection a car does, bicyclists in Charleston can get seriously injured when an accident with a car occurs.
There are several laws in place to keep bike riders protected. When drivers neglect to follow these rules, and an accident occurs, they may owe the bicyclist compensation.
Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney can get you the compensation you deserve for a Charleston bicycle accident.
What Laws Pertain to Charleston Bicycle Riders?
What are the Charleston bike rules that bicyclists should be following? They include:
- Bicycles are considered vehicles when they are on road. As such, they have all the rights of car drivers and must obey the same rules a car driver does.
- Bicyclists may ride no more than two abreast on roadways and must stay as far to the right as possible.
- Bicyclists must ride with their legs on either side of their seat.
- Bicycles must not carry more persons or a larger load than they are designed to carry.
- Riders must always keep at least one hand on the handlebar when riding.
- To ride at night, bikes must be equipped with a bright white light on the front and a red light or reflector on the rear.
- Bikes must be equipped with a working brake.
- It is illegal for motorists to taunt or throw anything at bicyclists when they are riding. If a driver harasses you on a bike, take down their license plate and have them reported.
- Bicyclists are not required to wear a helmet in the state of South Carolina, but it is highly recommended.
What are Common Causes of Bike Accidents in Charleston?
Bike accidents often happen for the following reasons:
- “Dooring”: Drivers must check for oncoming traffic before opening their car door. Not doing so can cause the door to interfere with traffic and it can be especially dangerous for bicyclists. This is called a dooring accident.
- Failure to yield to a cyclist: According to Charleston law, a cyclist has the same rights as any driver on the road. As such, cars are expected to yield to them at stop signs, etc.
- Failure to signal when changing lanes: If drivers don’t signal when changing lanes, bikes may be unaware that they are crossing in front of them. This may not give them enough time to yield so they end up colliding with the car.
- Blocking a bike lane: Bike lanes should be clear. If a car is blocking the bike lane, a bike may not be prepared to brake and may crash into it.
- Debris in the road: Debris in the road can be especially hazardous to bikes as they don’t have much weight to steady themselves if they encounter it. They also run the risk of swerving out of the way and hitting a car or another piece of property. A debris accident could be the fault of the city or a construction company working nearby.
- Equipment accident: Equipment can give out on either a car or bicycle. If the car machinery fails, the accident could be the fault of a mechanic or the manufacturer.
- Reckless driving: When drivers drive recklessly, they run the risk of injuring bicyclists. They may be speeding so they don’t stop for a bicycle until it’s too late. Or, they may be intoxicated so they are unable to judge the distance between themselves and the bicycle. Other forms of reckless driving include distracted driving, ignoring red lights, stop signs and more.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Get for a Charleston Bicycle Accident?
Bicycle accidents can result in serious injuries. You may be able to collect compensation for any of the following:
- Medical expenses (current and future)
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Punitive damage
- Wrongful death
The amount you are eligible to collect will vary depending on your personal situation and the extent of your losses. Your Charleston bicycle accident attorney will review your damages and make sure you are fairly compensated.
Contact an Experienced Charleston Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you were injured in a Charleston bicycle accident, you need a reliable lawyer by your side. The right lawyer will help you gather evidence. They will build a strong case and make sure you are covered for your damages.
If you are looking for a Charleston bicycle accident lawyer to represent you, trust Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney. Call us at 843-701-8029!