The unfortunate reality of riding a bicycle for a commute or recreation on any road is that it is very dangerous. When these roads also contain vehicular traffic, any accident will have serious consequences for the bicyclist.
Accident scene includes one vehicle and an injured cyclist
The Charleston Police responded to the area near the Cosgrove Bridge to find that a Chrysler Town and Country vehicle had been travelling at a high rate of speed. The driver went into the left lane, and did not see the cyclist on the shoulder nearby. The Chrysler vehicle and the cyclist collided as the driver approached. Photos of the scene posted on social media by the local news in moments after the crash showed several emergency vehicles in the area.
The incident happened at around 5 am that morning, and the cyclist was taken to Medical University Hospital nearby. The victim was confirmed dead at this location about two hours later around 7 am. He was a male in his 50s from Charleston.
The Charleston County Coroner’s Office released his identity and other details the following morning. No information was given regarding whether the driver of the vehicle was injured or if he will face any criminal charges. A full investigation into the cause of the accident was still pending.
Bicycle regulations in South Carolina
As a general rule, people riding bicycles on or near the roads are expected to follow the same traffic regulations as other drivers and vehicles. However, there are some particular rules that are meant to ensure the safety of cyclists, especially when it comes to the use of helmets. A cyclist who violates a traffic law may receive a citation from the police just like a motorists who is stopped on the road by law enforcement.
Following this idea of rights and responsibilities on the road, cyclists must obey all traffic laws such as maintaining speed limits, looking for stop signs, traffic lights, and using turn signals. A personal on a bicycle is not allowed to grab onto another vehicle nearby while on any road in the state. Multiple people are also prohibited from riding on a single seat bike. There must only be the number of passengers that the bicycle was designed to hold. The person operating the bicycle must also keep their hands free, so that both hands will be placed on the handlebars or used for signalling when necessary. The state recommends that bicyclists use the shoulder on any road when it is available, although this is not a requirement and they are allowed to ride in the traffic lanes with other vehicles. In areas where there is a bike lane, the law states that a bicycle rider should stay in this space.
There is no state law that requires a helmet to be worn by all cyclists at all times. However, it is still recommended to wear safety gear to avoid serious injuries such as concussions and broken limbs. The state’s driving under the influence law also does not generally apply to people riding bicycles because they are not operated by a motor, although it is not safe to ride a bicycle after consuming drugs or alcohol.
Accidents and cyclists
When an accident involves a cyclist, the injuries are often serious or fatal because there is little to protect someone from the impact with a larger and heavier vehicle traveling at a faster rate of speed. The main remedy for anyone injured by a motor vehicle while on a bike is to file a civil injury lawsuit for negligence. These kinds of cases are often related to car collisions, work injuries, and other common situations where people get hurt. A plaintiff’s lawyer must prove that all four elements of negligence occurred to win the lawsuit. This entails showing that the defendant breached their duty of care on the roads and caused someone to sustain an injury. Damages must also be proven to show that the victim suffered some kind of tangible harm due to the defendant’s actions.
Plaintiffs will benefit from South Carolina’s system of comparative negligence. This allows fault to be divided between all parties involved in an accident, and a plaintiff can collect money even if they are found to be partially at fault for causing a collision. The level of fault can be divided when several parties are involved to equal one hundred percent.
Speak with a local lawyer in South Carolina after an accident
There are attorneys in Charleston who serve local clients with information about personal injury lawsuits and other remedies. They can talk to you about the value of your case, the odds of winning a lawsuit, and other important issues during an initial consultation. To learn more, contact The Clekis Law Firm.