Charleston Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Over the past several years, the number of bicycle riders has increased significantly. Some people ride for exercise or recreation. For others, cycling is a convenient and eco-friendly way to get around. One would think that drivers would keep a sharper lookout for riders, now that there are more of them. Sadly, however, that’s usually not the case.
At the Gus Anastopoulo Law Firm, our dedicated Charleston bicycle accident lawyers work hard every day to build solid, evidence-based claims. We believe in simple values, like hard work, attention to detail, and open communication. As a result, we are usually able to achieve results that exceed our clients’ expectations.
What Causes Bicycle Crashes?
As mentioned, driver negligence is primarily responsible for most bicycle accidents. Unsafe roadway design is often a contributing factor.
When most Charleson-area streets were built, bicyclists were few and far between. So, most streets have wide lanes and high speed limits, so motorists can get where they’re going as fast as possible.
Features like these are convenient for some and potentially lethal for others. Decision-makers could rather easily install designated bicycle lanes and lower speed limits. But many voters often oppose such measures, a phenomenon known as bikelash.
Generally, the failure to add protection for bikers is not negligent, even if there is a fatal accident in the area. That’s why our Charleston bicycle accident lawyers victims advocate for change in city hall.
Driver inattention, in one form or another, usually causes bicycle wrecks. Two main legal theories are available. Device distraction illustrates them both.
South Carolina law bans texting and driving. If emergency responders cite drivers for this violation, and that violation substantially causes injury, the driver could be liable for damages as a matter of law.
But the law is extremely narrow. Most people use their phones for many reasons, and texting is just one of them. Other activities include streaming video, taking pictures, playing games, and surfing the web. These and other activities are technically legal for drivers.
The ordinary negligence doctrine is available in these situations. These plaintiffs must prove negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. Most drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must watch the road and drive defensively. Evidence on this point includes things like device use logs and the driver’s statements about cell phone use.
Your Claim for Damages
If liability is relatively clear, most insurance companies have a duty to quickly settle the dispute. However, there is almost always at least some question about liability, mostly due to insurance company defenses.
Comparative fault is a good example. This legal loophole shifts accident blame from the tortfeasors (negligent driver) to the victim. For example, the insurance company might admit that the insured driver made an illegal turn and blame the victim’s intoxication for the wreck.
Disputes like this one usually settle during mediation. A third-party mediator meets with both sides and tries to forge a settlement agreement. If both parties negotiate in good faith, which basically means they are willing to compromise on some points, mediation normally works.
Contact an Experienced Charleston County Bike Accident Lawyer
Bicycle wreck victims are entitled to fair compensation for their serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced Charleston bicycle accident lawyer, contact the Gus Anastopoulo Law Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.