Bicyclists know to use caution on Myrtle Beach roadways. Compared to a car or even a motorcycle, a bike simply cannot provide the same amount of physical protection to a cyclist if an accident occurs. But even the most responsible rider is at risk for serious and life-threatening injuries when motorists break the law.
It’s especially important for cyclists and motorists to take extra precautions in a busy recreation area like Myrtle Beach. Bike routes abound in the city. Whether you’re riding on Ocean Boulevard or on roads for views of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s essential for everyone to be vigilant to avoid a crash. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
If you’ve been injured on a bike along the Grand Strand or surrounding areas, contact a Myrtle Beach bicycle accident attorney at the Jebaily Law Firm. Our lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience representing injured people throughout South Carolina. Our skilled and effective legal approach has won our clients the full and fair compensation that they deserve.
Contact us now for a free consultation to learn more.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Myrtle Beach
Any number of factors could contribute to a bicycle crash. A pothole could throw the cyclist off balance and into oncoming traffic. A driver could fail to check his or her blind spot when making a turn. Weather conditions could impact visibility. Alcohol played a role in nearly one-third of U.S. bicycle crashes in a recent year.
However, the general cause of most bike accidents is negligence. That means that somebody — or perhaps several parties ― failed in their duty to protect others from being injured. Even the injured cyclist could be partially at fault.
A thorough investigation by a bicycle accident lawyer can help determine who is responsible for causing the crash. A proper assessment of fault plays a huge role in how much compensation an injured cyclist can recover under South Carolina law.
South Carolina law gives bicyclists the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists. Our bike accident lawyers often see crashes that result when:
- A driver makes an unsafe lane change.
- A motorist fails to see a bicyclist when making a left turn.
- A driver makes a right-hand turn into a bicycle’s path.
- Vehicle occupants open doors without checking for bikes first.
- Visibility is limited (particularly in bad weather, at night or during sunrise and sunset).
- The cyclist is struck in a backover accident (common in driveways and residential areas).
- The driver or bicyclist is distracted.
- Either the motorist or bicyclist is intoxicated, or both.
- The victim is struck in a hit and run.
- Motorists harass bicyclists by shouting, teasing or throwing items at them.
- Defective road design or maintenance creates unsafe road conditions.
It’s important to get a lawyer started on your case as soon as possible. Myrtle Beach is full of tourists who could be important witnesses. It can be harder to track them down once they head home. Valuable evidence can also be lost if too much time passes before an investigation begins. Contact us to get started today.
What Do I Do After a Bike Accident in Myrtle Beach?
It’s natural to feel shocked and confused in the moments after a bike crash. Check yourself for injuries. This is not always possible for bicyclists because the trauma can be catastrophic. Some of the most severe bike accident injuries include brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, internal bleeding and severely broken bones.
The following checklist provides general tips for what to do after a bike accident:
- Call 911.
- Seek medical attention even if you feel OK. Cyclists are especially vulnerable on the roads. A hard impact could mean a concussion even if you were wearing a helmet. You could also be suffering from internal injuries from a rough hit on the pavement.
- Obtain a copy of the police report. Get the name, insurance information, address and phone number of the involved parties and any eyewitnesses.
- Report the crash to your insurance company. Do not give a recorded statement about what happened.
- Contact a Myrtle Beach bike accident attorney. The Jebaily Law Firm offers case reviews at no cost to you.
What If the At-Fault Driver Has No Insurance?
A bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle is covered under South Carolina auto insurance laws. When you make a claim for damages, you will be seeking compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company to pay for your medical expenses and other losses.
Sometimes the driver’s insurance policy limits are not enough to cover your expenses. In South Carolina, a driver must carry a minimum of $25,000 of liability insurance for bodily injury or death per person. Today’s medical costs can easily exceed that amount if you are seriously injured. In that case, you may be able to seek the remaining compensation from your own insurance policy if you purchased underinsured motorist coverage (UIM).
If the negligent driver has no insurance, you may also pursue compensation through the uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your policy.
UM and UIM coverage under your auto policy typically applies even when you – or your child – are injured in a crash while riding a bicycle.
How Our Myrtle Beach Bike Accident Lawyers Can Help
Our mission at Jebaily Law Firm is to pursue full, fair compensation and maximize case value on your behalf. Sadly, life is never the same for some bike accident victims. We fight hard so that you can afford the best care you need as you move on in life.
How do we do that? We work with the best experts, accident analysts, financial planners and vocational representatives to prove how the accident has impacted your life. We also account for any anticipated medical treatment, future lost earnings and pain and suffering when calculating our demand.
Our legal team also sticks by your side throughout all settlement negotiations. If necessary, we’ll represent you aggressively at trial. All the while, we will be listening to you and crafting a legal strategy that seeks to accomplish your goals.