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North Myrtle Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Bicycle Accident Lawyer North Myrtle Beach SC

From commuting to work to pedaling on the beach, bicycle riding is a fun and healthy way to get around North Myrtle Beach. But when careless or inattentive motorists are on the road, a pleasant bike ride can end in a catastrophic or deadly accident.

While cars, trucks, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles are required to share the road with cyclists, their relative size, weight, and speed make for an unfair match in the event of an accident.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that there have been more than 8.2 million nonfatal pedal-cyclist injuries since 2001. Roughly 800 people die every year in cycling accidents, the vast majority of them caused by collision with motor vehicles, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

People injured in bicycle accidents face a number of hardships: painful injury and the related hospital costs, lost wages caused by the inability to work, damage to property, and more. If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle accident in the North Myrtle Beach area and a careless motorist is at fault, you shouldn’t be on the hook for these losses. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, and the North Myrtle Beach personal injury attorneys at the Jebaily Law Firm, P.A. are ready to fight for you.

Call us or contact us online for a free consultation today.

Causes of Bike Accidents in North Myrtle Beach

According NHTSA, there were 840 fatal bike accidents in the United States in a single recent year, 800 of which involved a single-vehicle collision. South Carolina experienced the second highest fatality rate of any state, behind only Florida, and nearly double the national rate.

The CDC reports that in one year, there were almost 467,000 bicycle-related injuries nationally, making it the 13th most common cause of nonfatal injury in the country.

While collisions with motor vehicles account for the vast majority of fatal bicycle accidents, they are far from the only cause. Inclement weather, poorly maintained equipment, cycling at unsafe speeds, failure to adhere to the rules of the road, and general recklessness are all bike injury risks. And, according to the NHTSA, more than a third of bicycling fatalities involved alcohol consumption.

Types of Injuries in North Myrtle Beach Bike Accidents

Bicycle collisions with motor vehicles often result in traumatic injuries. According to American Family Physician, as many as 47% of inured bicyclists suffer some form of head injury, and head injuries account for more than 60% of all bicycle-related deaths.

Common injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Back injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Contusions (bruises)
  • Joint damage
  • Eye damage
  • Strains
  • Organ rupture
  • Internal bleeding
  • Abrasions (road rash)
  • Lacerations (cuts)

North Myrtle Beach Bike Safety Rules

Given how vulnerable bicyclists are in the event of a collision, it’s important to familiarize yourself with South Carolina’s bike safety laws before you hit the pedals. South Carolina Code of Laws Title 56, Article 27 concerns “bicyclists and users of play vehicles.”

Highlights of the law include:

  • Bicyclists are granted all the rights and are subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a motor vehicle.
  • When a bicycle lane is present, bicyclists must ride in the lane, and motor vehicles are prohibited from entering it.
  • When a lane is not present, bicyclists are required to ride as far to the right of a roadway as possible.
  • Bicycles cannot be used to carry more than the number of cyclists for which they are designed.
  • A bicyclist may not attach themselves to a moving vehicle.
  • A cyclist may not carry a package that prevents them from safely operating their bicycle.
  • Bicyclists must signal turns through the use of designated hand signals.

A complete list of South Carolina’s Code of Laws can be found on the legislature’s website.

What to Do Following a Bike Accident in North Myrtle Beach

Being involved in a bicycle collision with a motor vehicle is terrifying, and it can be difficult to keep a clear head in the often painful and disorienting immediate aftermath. However, it’s important to know what to do after a bike accident.

If possible, follow these steps:

  1. Wait for the police to arrive. The police will file a report on the accident, which could be vital in identifying the driver and establishing fault in future legal proceedings. Drivers often apologize and accept blame in the heat of the moment, only to deny it later when they realize the consequences. Be sure that the police take down your statement, and report all injuries, even seemingly minor ones.
  2. Obtain contact information from the driver and all witnesses. If possible, get the driver’s name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and license plate number. Try to get names and contact information from anyone who saw the accident. While the police should include this in the report, there’s no guarantee that it will.
  3. Document what happened. Make careful mental notes of everything that led up to the accident, as well as its immediate aftermath. Write this information down as soon as possible, and date it. If you have your phone on you, and you’re able to, take photos of the scene of the accident. Also photograph and document any injuries, however seemingly minor they may be.
  4. Preserve any evidence. Keep your bike in its damaged state as evidence of the collision. Don’t attempt to fix anything, and don’t wash the clothes you were wearing at the time of the accident. Take photos of the damaged equipment, and don’t send it to anyone other than your lawyer.
  5. Talk to an attorney. A lawyer can help you understand who was at legal fault for the accident, and what next steps you can take in order to secure compensation. Accidents between cyclists and motorists can be legally complex, but an experienced bike accident attorney will know how best to proceed with your case.

Insurance Coverage for Bike Accidents in North Myrtle Beach

While some insurance providers offer specific bicycle insurance packages, you and your children may already be covered by your existing car insurance policy — including for uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorists.

In many instances, the UM/UIM portion of an auto policy will cover injuries suffered by an insured who was riding a bike during a collision with a motor vehicle. The coverage may extend to the insured’s children and other relatives living at the residence. This coverage may be particularly important if the driver failed to stop at the scene.

If a motorist was at fault for the collision, their liability insurance should apply to the bicyclist’s injuries.

Call our North Myrtle Beach Bike Accident Attorney Now

In the aftermath of a bike injury, you may be left with debilitating injuries and mounting medical bills. You may be missing work and finding it difficult to make ends meet. Insurance adjusters representing the other party may be harassing you and claiming that you were somehow at fault for an accident you didn’t cause. An experienced attorney can help.

The North Myrtle Beach bike accident lawyers of the Jebaily Law Firm, P.A., a prepared to handle all of the legal legwork so you can focus on what’s most important: recovering from your injuries. We’ll deal with insurance companies, file bike injury claims on time, and pursue the compensation you’re owed.

Call us or contact us online today for a free consultation.