From the top of Paris Mountain to the entire almost 19 mile Swamp Rabbit Trail, the Upstate of South Carolina is a cyclists’ paradise. We have outstanding bicycle infrastructure, George Hincapie, one of the world’s most recognized professional riders calls Greenville home, numerous professional cycling events are held here each year and both local and national organizations do a great job of educating the public on everything from the importance of wearing proper riding gear to road etiquette for both cyclists and motorists.
While we all know knowledge is power and no matter how vigilant people are, accidents can and do happen. As a local Upstate attorney who specializes in motor vehicle collisions as well as personal injury claims, we here at Dan Pruitt Law Firm want to make sure you understand your legal rights if you are ever involved in a bicycle versus car accident.
In most accidents, someone ends up being at fault due to negligence; it could be the driver, the cyclist or both the driver and the cyclist. In very rare incidences, it may be determined the accident was caused by the local Department of Transportation or a particular town’s highway maintenance department. For example, there could be a missing intersection stop sign, bushes and shrubs may be obstructing either or both parties’ view or poor road conditions could be a factor.
First we are going to discuss what you need to know if, as the driver of a motor vehicle, you are involved in an accident with a cyclist.
- Immediately stop and call 911. Unless both parties are in total agreement don’t move the accident out of the roadway. The investigating officer will need to measure skid marks, canvas the immediate area for evidence, photograph the accident scene and interview witnesses.
- Never leave the accident scene until the police are finished. It is important to have an accurate official report for your insurance.
- Don’t admit the accident was your fault. You never know what future ramifications may occur from this verbal admission of guilt.
- In order to reduce costly insurance increases, many drivers, especially those involved in a minor accident, will try to negotiate with the other party themselves. This is never a good idea.
If as a cyclist involved in an auto/bike accident, you should also follow these additional tips.
- Perhaps the accident appears to be so minor the responding officer doesn’t feel a written report is necessary. If this occurs then make sure you get the driver’s contact and insurance information.
- Always seek prompt medical attention. Seemingly innocuous injuries could easily and quickly turn into something much more serious. If you decide against a trip to the urgent care center, then take pictures and keep a written list of your physical injuries and symptoms.
- As previously mentioned, unless agreed upon by both you and the driver, don’t move your bike or pick up any gear such as your helmet, gloves or water bottle, whether damaged or not. Take photos of your bike, equipment and anything else that may be pertinent to the accident.
If you’ve been involved in a vehicle/bicycle accident and are concerned your case isn’t being handled fairly, please reach out to an auto accident attorney Dan Pruitt. Call 864-232-4372 to schedule your complementary consultation. Your legal rights are our only concern.