Bicycle Accident Attorney in Sumter, South Carolina
Our Sumter Bicycle Accident Lawyers at the Strom Law Firm are familiar with litigating South Carolina personal injury cases and can often help victims recover substantially more compensation than they would be able to retain on their own, so it is highly advisable for anyone injured in an accident to discuss their options with one of our Sumter Bicycle Accident Lawyers.
Bicyclists are at major risk on Sumter roads. Barely any of the local streets and highways contain clearly marked bicycle lanes. Unfortunately, a helmet is a cyclist’s only real line of defense against serious injury in an accident.
According to a 2018 study of South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) data, from 2009 to 2017, South Carolina saw 4570 reported bicycle accidents, resulting in 4147 injuries and 146 deaths.
If someone else has caused a Sumter bike accident by their inconsiderate or negligent actions, and your life has been affected by injury or the tragic death of a loved one, contact a Sumter Bicycle Accident Lawyer to work diligently towards securing compensation from the people who caused the accident.
Bicycle Crash Lawyers in Sumter
Victims of Sumter area bicycle crashes do not need to look hard to stumble upon a lawyer willing to represent them and attempt to recover compensation. However, the harm caused by bicycle accidents call for a compassionate and experienced Sumter Bicycle Accident Lawyers.
At Strom Law Firm, our Sumter Bicycle Accident Lawyers understand that our clients are coming to our offices during their most vulnerable and painful moments. Our team awaits each client with an open door, and we remain ready to fight for justice, accountability, and compensation on behalf of those harmed by another.
What Causes Sumter Cycling Accidents?
Under South Carolina law, a bicyclist is treated the same as a driver of any vehicle. The SC Bike Law puts it as follows:
“A person riding a bicycle upon a roadway must be granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special provisions in this article and except as to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.”
South Carolina motorists have an obligation to treat bicyclists as equal counterparts on the roads. Sadly, however, motorists often treat road cyclists as afterthoughts on Sumter roads, which leads to catastrophic accidents. The most common causes of these accidents include:
- Aggressive drivers. Rushed drivers tend to become irritated with cyclists on the road. They attempt to speed past bicycles, holler at bicyclists, and tailgate. This behavior risks causing cyclists to lose their balance, which could cause a terrible accident. Cyclists deserve no less respect and consideration than any other occupant of the road.
- “Dooring.” Anybody who rides bikes on a parallel parking Sumter street probably realizes the threat of being “doored.” This action occurs when a driver or passenger opens their car door directly in the path of a riding bicyclist. Cyclists can suffer catastrophic injuries from this seemingly minor occurrence. An interesting technique known as the Dutch reach can prevent such accidents from occurring.
- Failure to yield a right-of-way. This is a common circumstance of cycling collisions, which involves a vehicle altering their route or shifting lanes into a bicyclist’s path. The driver often does not register that the cyclist is in their path even while perfectly visible in a driver’s rearview mirror. This human flaw is known as inattentional blindness and is a fairly common occurrence. Drivers should always be on alert for all types of shapes and objects while driving.
- Poor visibility. Cyclists should take steps to increase their visibility. Flashing lights and reflectors, both on your bike and your body, should help accomplish this goal.
- Impairment. This may go without saying, but impaired drivers, those who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, are far more likely to get in any car accident, including an accident with a bicyclist.
Common Sumter Cycling Injuries
A cyclist involved in a Sumter bicycle accident could suffer from a multitude of injuries. Unfortunately, in any bicycle accident, whether bike versus car or bike versus bike, a cyclist is fortunate to escape with her life. Severe, life-changing injuries are all too common in Sumter bicycle crashes, including:
- Breaks, fractures, and tears. Often the best case scenario for a bicyclist in an accident is a series of breaks, tears, and other orthopedic injuries. As anybody knows who has suffered such an injury, the medical bills for treating this type of harm can be incredibly high. Many times, surgery is necessary to fix the issues.
- Severe road rash. Road rash occurs when the momentum of the cyclist causes friction between the cyclist’s skin and the road’s asphalt or concrete. Such an injury causes significant burn-like wounds to the body and can ultimately lead to infection and disfiguration. Road rash causes cuts and scrapes, bruises, and even burns, which can take weeks, months, or years to heal.
- Spinal cord damage. A spinal cord injury can change a cyclist’s life forever. Such an injury can result in numbness, weakness, or even permanent paralysis. These injuries are often caused by a cyclist being thrown over their handlebars in a rash, colliding with the road, trees, or vehicles. A cyclist who suffers such an injury will likely take on tremendous expenses while seeking medical care.
- Traumatic brain injury. While South Carolina has no bicycle helmet requirement by law, helmets exponentially lessen the risk of losing one’s life or suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a bike accident, and should be worn whenever operating a bicycle on the roads. A TBI can occur when the brain suffers damage from a collision or shock to the head. A TBI can cause a victim to suffer long-term cognitive, physical, and mental impairments. Often, a TBI can cause temporary or permanent unconsciousness. A concussion is a form of TBI, and can cause a cyclist to suffer life-long headaches, confusion, and tiredness well into the future.
No matter the extent of harm a bicycle crash causes you or a loved one, the Sumter Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Strom Law Firm have the passion, experience, and most importantly the resources to assist you in recovering the compensation owed to you.
The Right Steps to Take Following a Sumter Bicycle Accident
While it is impossible to truly plan for the disturbance caused by a bicycle crash, you can understand the essential steps you should take after a crash to protect you or your loved one’s rights and finances. Those steps are as follows:
Get the Medical Care You Need
Regardless of the amount of pain or discomfort after a Sumter bicycle accident, always immediately seek medical care. The symptoms of many injuries slowly appear, but a physician can often quickly diagnose such injuries. Seeing a doctor also ensures that proper records are kept of your injuries for future insurance claims or litigation.
Preserve Any Evidence
Your bike is likely a vital piece of evidence in a potential legal claim. You should always preserve your bike and any other evidence to allow your attorney and any hired experts to evaluate its condition. While understandably difficult for any cyclist to resist, do not get your bike fixed or throw it out until the previously mentioned professionals have had the opportunity to examine it. It could prove crucial in proving liability and securing your compensation for your damages.
Do Not Speak to Insurance Adjusters or Their Lawyers
Most insurance companies will attempt to speak with you in an effort to settle your claim against the other driver. Do not speak with these companies. You should always have your case reviewed by a personal injury lawyer before settling too quickly. Many insurance companies will attempt to take advantage of accident victims in frantic and confused states of mind.
Contact a Sumter Bicycle Accident Lawyers immediately
There is no drawback to consulting an experienced Sumter bicycle accident injury attorney. We will never charge for an initial consultation, and we will be able to help in assessing any legal rights to recover the financial compensation you may have. A lawyer is also important to serve as protection from insurance companies trying to contact you for a quick settlement.
Sumter Attorneys for Injured Cyclists
Strom Law Firm is experienced in representing victims of Sumter bicycle accidents and other traffic accidents. Our lawyers are ready to meet with you in person at your convenience. You can also contact us online or by phone at (803) 252-4800 to schedule a time to talk with a Sumter Bicycle Accident Lawyer.