Whether you are visiting Myrtle Beach for vacation or riding your bike through Horry County as part of your daily commute, a bicycle accident will ruin your day. A collision between a bike and a car almost always turns out worse for the cyclist, and could land you in the hospital or worse. When that happens, you need an experienced bicycle accident attorney ready to stand by your side and see you through the process.
Cyclists in South Carolina are required to follow all the same laws as motorists. That means you need to ride with the flow of traffic and follow all traffic signs and signals. Stop signs are not optional.
Bicyclists should ride in the right lane, as far to the right as "practicable." Where debris, broken pavement, or other obstacles make riding on the right unsafe, feel free to move toward the center of the lane. Riders are also allowed to ride side by side, but only 2 abreast.
If you plan to be riding after dark, make sure your bike is equipped with a white light on the front (visible from 500 feet away) and a red reflector on the back (visible from 50 feet away). Rear-facing lights are not required, but make bicyclists far more visible to drivers.
South Carolina law requires bicyclists to use marked bicycle lanes wherever they are attached to the roadway. However, where bicycle paths are set apart from the road, you may choose to ride in the right lane of the road instead. There is no state law against riding on sidewalks but it is illegal to ride on the sidewalks in Myrtle Beach. Bicycles are also prohibited on the beach itself between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. from May 1 through Labor Day.
Most bicycle accidents happen when a motorist does not see a cyclist, or turns in front of the cyclist leaving him or her little time to react. Bicycle accidents are often worse for the rider because they don't have the same physical protection or safety devices on a bike as you would behind the wheel. That means that many bicycle accidents result in serious, often life-changing injuries. Sometimes, they can even be fatal.
After a serious bicycle accident, it is important to hire an experienced bicycle accident attorney. The Fata Law team can help you follow up with police as they investigate the incident, file the appropriate insurance claims, and file a negligence lawsuit against the driver who hit you.
Your first call after a bicycle accident should be to the police. If someone has been injured, call 9-1-1 immediately. The police will investigate the accident and may take pictures. Be sure to give a full description of what happened and get the card of any officer you speak to. Your bicycle accident attorney can follow up with the police to provide further information on the law and the accident to help determine who was at fault for the crash.
Bicycle accidents involving a motor vehicle are covered under your South Carolina mandatory auto insurance. The driver is legally required to have liability insurance to cover at least $25,000 of your medical expenses and other damages. Some drivers may have more benefits available. Those benefits will only be available if the driver was at fault in the accident. Your bicycle accident lawyer may work with the police or experts throughout the lawsuit to show who caused the crash, and how.
If the motorist who hit you is driving without insurance, or if their insurance doesn't cover your injuries, you can also file a claim with your own insurance company. Uninsured motorist coverage is included in your base policy to cover hit-and-run accidents or cases where the driver doesn't have insurance. You can also elect to purchase underinsured motorist coverage, which will fill any gap between the driver's insurance and your medical bills.
Before you file a claim or consider a lawsuit, contact experienced bicycle accident attorney, Nate Fata. He will help you identify the issues, narrow down your options, and get you the recovery you deserve.