If a Bicyclist Runs a Stop Sign and a Car Hits Him, Whose Fault Is It?
Fault in South Carolina pedestrian accidents is not black and white. This state adheres to a comparative negligence system, per S.C. Ann. 15-38-15. This means that each party in a pedestrian accident can be at fault to a varying degree. The percentage of fault assigned to each party will depend on the context of the case.
Therefore, if a bicyclist runs a stop sign and a car hits him, either party can be at fault. In many cases, both parties are at fault. The outcome of the case will depend on several factors, like:
- The types of evidence available
- Whether or not the case involves a lawsuit
- The actions of the driver prior to the accident
How Does Comparative Negligence Work?
Comparative negligence works by assigning a percentage of fault to each party involved in an accident. Here’s an example:
- The bicyclist: Prior to the accident, the bicyclist runs a stop sign. They were not breaking the law in any other way.
- The driver: Prior to the accident, the driver was talking on their phone. Because they were distracted, they failed to see the bicyclist before causing the accident.
In this example, both parties are at fault in different ways. After the case is reviewed in court, the judge or jury assigns the following degrees of fault to each party:
- The bicyclist is 30% at fault because they ran a stop sign
- The driver is 70% at fault because they were talking on their phone and not paying attention. Distracted driving is illegal in South Carolina.
In this example, the bicyclist can still collect compensation, even though they were partially at fault. South Carolina law allows pedestrian accident victims to collect compensation if they weren’t more than 50% responsible for their crash.
Keep in mind that every case is different. In some bicyclist accidents involving running a stop sign, the bicyclist is completely at fault. If you have questions about your case, a South Carolina bike accident attorney can answer them.
For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving South Carolina, call 803-222-2222
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicyclist and pedestrian accidents are uniquely dangerous. Bicyclists have less protection than other motorists on the roadway. When they’re struck by cars, they can suffer from severe injuries or even death.
Common bicycle accident injuries include:
- Musculoskeletal injuries: The human musculoskeletal system includes bones, muscles, and ligaments. Musculoskeletal injuries involve muscle tears, sprains, and damaged joints. In pedestrian accidents involving adults, these injuries are more common than head and neck injuries.
- Head and neck injuries: While less common, head and neck injuries can be very severe. These injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and spinal cord damage.
- Fractured bones: Fractured or broken bones are another common type of bicycle accident injury. Broken bones don’t usually cause disabilities. However, breaking a major bone, like the femur, can be incredibly painful. The recovery time for a broken bone can take months.
Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me 803-222-2222
What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?
Imagine that you’re out riding your bicycle when suddenly you’re struck by a car. Your mind fills with countless questions, like:
- What should I do next?
- Should I see a doctor?
- Can I talk to insurers?
It’s normal to be stressed and confused after a bicycle accident. Taking these steps could benefit your case:
- Seek medical attention: If you don’t leave the scene of the crash in an ambulance, you should contact a doctor. Seeing a doctor after an accident has two benefits. First, it’s best to begin treating your injuries as soon as you can. Second, a doctor’s evaluation is the best way to document your injuries after an accident.
- Gather evidence: If you can, you should gather the contact information of those involved in your accident. Phone images or videos from the scene can prove beneficial, too.
- Consider hiring a lawyer: Take as much time as you need to research potential law offices. Feel free to call local firms and ask them questions. This way, you can gauge if they’d be a good fit.
- Approach insurers with caution: Remember, the liable party’s insurer isn’t on your side. Be careful about admitting fault to them. You can request that your lawyer speaks to insurers on your behalf.
How Can a South Carolina Accident Attorney Help Me?
A South Carolina accident attorney can support you in many ways, including:
- Answer your legal questions
- Provide you with consistent case updates
- Talk to insurers on your behalf
- Ensure that you meet case deadlines
- Negotiate for a fair settlement offer
You can think of a bicycle accident attorney as your legal guide. They’ll advise you on what to expect from your case and prepare you for the pursuit of a settlement.
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What Can I Expect From Working With an Accident Lawyer?
First, you can expect to pay no upfront fees. Our team at Poulin | Willey | Anastopoulo Law Firm, LLC. works on a contingency fee basis. We don’t get paid unless we win you a settlement.
Second, we’ll evaluate your case for free. During this initial consultation, we can get to know each other better, and tell you if you have a case or not. These consultations are useful, as we can use them to explain what your best legal options are.
Contact our offices to get started whenever you’re ready. We’ll be here to support you as you navigate your bicycle accident case.