The Waccamaw Neck Bikeway, Huntington Beach State Park, the Conway Riverwalk, the Horry County Bike and Run Park, Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens, and the East Coast Greenway are bike trails the Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau lists on its website. In addition to trails designed specifically for bicycles, many people in the Myrtle Beach area also use bikes as regular means of transportation, including getting to and from work by riding on city streets.
As relaxing and serene a setting as South Carolina might seem for leisurely bike rides, bicycle accidents still occur with disturbing regularity. Many of these crashes involve motor vehicles, and driver negligence is usually to blame.
The immediate aftermath of any bicycle accident is an incredibly stressful and confusing time for a person. Most victims face overwhelming medical bills in addition to an inability to return to work.
If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident in Myrtle Beach, you should retain legal representation as soon as possible. Bicycle crash victims are not treated with the same level of respect as the drivers or passengers of motor vehicles, and insurance companies make it very difficult for victims to obtain compensation in these cases. The Law Office of William J. Luse will fight to make sure that you recover all of the compensation you need and deserve. You can have our Myrtle Beach bicycle accident attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (843) 839-4795 or complete an online contact form to set up a consultation.
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Why Do I Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
Some bicycle accident victims are tempted to believe that they will be able to handle their own injury cases and, thus, keep more of the money they recover for themselves by forgoing an attorney. This logic invariably backfires in one of two ways.
In some cases, a victim may be offered a lump sum settlement to resolve their case. While a settlement may be large enough to cover all of a victim’s past medical expenses, it often leaves nothing else for all future expenses and victims who accept settlements must then pay all of those costs of out of their own pocket.
In other cases, insurers will argue that it was actually the bicyclist who was at fault. Not all insurance companies immediately pursue this tactic, but they will make their position more clear after they get the victim to unknowingly admit to negligence during recorded phone calls.
You want an attorney specifically to deal with these insurance companies on your behalf. The lawyer will also be able to conduct an independent investigation to determine the cause, collect important evidence, and identify all liable parties.
Why Choose The Law Office of William J. Luse?
William J. Luse has over ten years of legal experience and is a member of the South Carolina Association for Justice and the National Employment Lawyers Association. He was included among the Best Attorneys of America by Best Attorneys of America, LLC, was among the 10 Best Attorneys from the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, and won the 10 Best Client Satisfaction Award from the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys.
The Law Office of William J. Luse will take the time to get to really know you and fully understand how your injury has changed your life. Our firm believes that we need to be able to tell a person’s full story to make sure it resonates with a jury.
Our experienced attorneys can negotiate with an insurance company for a fair and full settlement to your case. When an insurer fails to make a satisfactory offer, our firm can file a lawsuit.
The Law Office of William J. Luse provides legal representation on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not have to pay anything unless you receive a monetary award.
Bicycle Accident Cases We Handle
Bicycles have to share roads with motor vehicles, and most accidents involve drivers failing to uphold their expected duty of care. Every accident is different and involves its own unique set of factors that influence liability.
Generally, some of the most common kinds of bicycle crashes that occur in South Carolina include, but are not limited to:
- Right-Turn or Left-Turn Accidents
- Intersection Accidents
- Sideswipe Accidents
- Failure to Yield Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Head-On Collisions
All of these types of accidents can cause potentially life-changing injuries to a victim. Bicyclists are not afforded the same level of protection inherent to automobiles, so they often suffer severe injuries—even when they are wearing helmets.
Possible injuries stemming from bicycle crashes may include, but are not limited to:
- Muscle strains
- Internal organ injuries
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve damage
- Road rash
The simple lack of protection for bicyclists also increases the likelihood of certain injuries being fatal. When a bicyclist is killed because of another party’s negligence, their family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bicycle Accidents in South Carolina
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you likely have many questions. To help, we have included some of our most frequently asked questions below.
What should I do if I was involved in a bicycle accident in South Carolina?
The first thing any person should do after being involved in a bicycle accident is to seek medical attention. You should do this even when you do not think you suffered any injuries. Some injuries have delayed symptoms. Worse yet, any delay in treatment of those injuries will be used by an insurance company to argue that your injuries were not that serious. A victim should also try to take photographs of numerous aspects of their crash scene, including their bicycle, the motor vehicle involved, and any other external conditions that were a factor in the collision. If anybody saw the accident, a victim should be sure to get their names and phone numbers. People who are unable to take these steps should have friends or family members do this for them. Victims should make sure to contact the Law Office of William J. Luse before speaking to insurance companies.
Can I still recover damages if I was partially at fault for my bicycle accident?
Yes. In South Carolina, a plaintiff in a negligence action could recover damages if their negligence is not greater than that of the defendant. The amount of recovery would be reduced in proportion to the amount of the plaintiff’s negligence. As it relates to a bicycle crash, a person can recover compensation so long as they were not more than 50 percent at fault. The reduction in damages means that an individual awarded $100,000 in a bicycle accident case who is found to have been 25 percent at fault will have their award reduced by $25,000 and ultimately receive $75,000.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for my bicycle accident?
The statute of limitations for all personal injury claims established under South Carolina Code § 15-3-530 is three years. The limitations period begins running on the date of an accident, and courts will refuse to hear any case filed after this period. When a bicyclist is killed, their family may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. The limitations periods for a wrongful death action begins on the date of a person’s death, which could be different from the date of the crash.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) stated in the 2016 South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book that one bicyclist is killed every 15.3 days in South Carolina.
The South Carolina Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis for 2009-2017 submitted by Equitable Cities, LLC to the Palmetto Cycling Coalition (PCC) there were 4,570 reported crashes involving bicycles between 2009 and 2017. This translated to an average of 508 crashes per year.
The 18 fatalities reported in 2017 was a decrease from the 24 reported in 2016 but was still the second-highest total of this period. The 466 injuries reported in 2017 was also a decrease from the 485 reported in 2016.
According to the Analysis, 992 crashes (21.7t%) involved bicyclists between 20 and 29 years of age, 817 crashes (17.9t%) involved bicyclists between 50 and 59 years of age, 799 crashes (17.5t%) involved bicyclists between 10 and 19 years of age, 683 crashes (14.9t%) involved bicyclists between 40 and 49 years of age, and 507 crashes (11.1t%) involved bicyclists between 30 and 39 years of age. The Analysis reported that 45 fatalities were bicyclists between 50 and 59 years of age, 32 fatalities were bicyclists between 40 and 49 years of age, 20 fatalities were bicyclists between 60 and 69 years of age, 18 fatalities were bicyclists between 30 and 39 years of age, and 11 fatalities were bicyclists between 20 and 29 years of age.
Contact a Myrtle Beach Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
Did you sustain serious injuries or was your loved one killed in a bicycle crash in the greater Myrtle Beach area? Do not think that you have to handle your injury case on your own. The Law Office of William J. Luse represents clients in Myrtle Beach, Conway, Little River, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Socastee, and nearby communities in Georgetown County, Marion County, and Horry County. Call (843) 839-4795 or contact us online to have our lawyer review your case and discuss all of your legal options.