Bicycles offer no protection when involved in an accident with larger, heavier vehicles, so it is no surprise that bicycle riders are highly susceptible to severe injury and even death in a crash. Survivors may be left facing large medical and rehabilitation costs at a time they are unable to work, and their lives may never be the same.
If you or a loved one was injured or someone has died in a bicycle accident in South Carolina that was due to another party’s negligence or fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through insurance or a personal injury lawsuit. However, personal injury laws are complicated, and insurance companies are out for profit and will often attempt to deny claims, get you to accept the lowest amount possible, or even make it seem as if the accident was your fault.
Fortunately, you do not have to fight for fair compensation alone. The Greenville bicycle accident lawyers at Whalen Montalvo know the courts and the system, as well as the tactics insurance companies use, and are fully prepared to help you win the full compensation you deserve. We understand the unique laws and circumstances involving bicycle accidents and will handle all aspects of your case, whether negotiating with an insurance company or taking your case to court.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your bicycle accident and determine the best way to move forward, so call us today to get started.
Bicycle accident cases are complicated, so it is important to find an attorney you are not only comfortable with, but who has the experience and resources needed to handle your case. Here are some reasons why we believe you should choose Whalen Montalvo to represent you:
We Offer: Advocacy. Service. Results.
To prevent costly mistakes and loss of evidence, it is important to get started investigating your bicycle case as quickly as possible. When you have Whalen Montalvo on your side, we will start working for you immediately. We will:
At Whalen Montalvo, we know how important each case is to our clients, and we fight aggressively for the compensation they deserve.
To win your case, our bicycle accident lawyers must show that another party or parties, (the defendants in the case) were negligent and at fault for causing the accident that caused your injuries. This typically involves an in-depth investigation into how the accident occurred and whether other parties acted negligently or violated any laws. To fight your case, insurance companies and opposition attorneys will try to prove that you were negligent and did something to cause or contribute to the accident. We expect this and will be prepared to counter their arguments.
Showing fault legally means establishing the existence of the following elements:
Bicyclists and motorists must follow the same traffic safety laws in South Carolina. Vehicle drivers are required to maintain a safe distance, exercise due, and refrain from harassing a bicyclist to avoid a collision. Bicyclists must ride with traffic, as far to the right as possible, and obey all traffic signs. If there are bicycle lanes, cyclists must remain in them and must use reflectors and other safety equipment when riding at night. Depending on the situation, either party could be legally at fault for an accident or found to contribute to the accident.
In addition, sometimes there may be other parties who may have done something to cause or contribute to the accident. Some examples are:
After thorough investigations, our attorneys would name all potentially liable parties as defendants in the lawsuit, as they all may have insurance and assets that can go toward a settlement.
Once we can prove another party’s negligence, our bicycle accident attorneys will fight for an award called damages that covers the costs, losses, and pain and suffering from your injuries.
South Carolina allows the recovery of compensatory damages. These are compensation for both economic damages to cover your monetary costs and losses, and non-economic damages, for effects from the accident that do not have a specific dollar value, but negatively impact your life.
South Carolina does not limit the amount of economic or non-economic damages that you can recover in bicycle accident cases, except for cases naming municipalities or government defendants.
In some rare cases, when it can be proven that the defendant’s actions were “willful, wanton, or reckless,” you may also be awarded punitive damages. These are intended to punish a defendant and to deter such behaviors in the future.
There is a wide range of damage amounts that you may receive in a successful bicycle accident lawsuit, from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the individual factors and circumstances of your case. If injuries are severe, involve permanent damage, require long-term care, or result in death, settlement awards tend to be higher. Other factors affecting damage award amounts include the age and family situation of the victim, the degree of fault, whether the case goes to a trial, and the skill and negotiating power of your attorney.
After a serious bicycle accident, it is natural to have questions and concerns. Your individual concerns can best be addressed at your free initial consultation, but to get started, here are some answers to questions our attorneys are often asked:
Will Insurance Cover My Bicycle Accident?
If you are injured while riding a bicycle, your own car insurance probably will not cover your injuries, but the other driver’s auto insurance policy should cover your damages as long as the driver was at fault. Depending on the policy, injuries might be covered by provisions in a homeowner’s or health insurance policy. To receive full compensation for your non-economic damages, you may need to file a lawsuit.
Should I Speak to The Insurance Companies?
The less you say to insurance companies the better. Insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible and often use tactics such as getting you to accept a lowball offer for less than your case is worth or tricking you into admitting you did something reckless and were at fault for your injuries. Let Whalen Montalvo handle all dealings and negotiations with insurance companies to prevent costly mistakes.
What If I Did Something to Contribute to The Accident?
South Carolina has a modified comparative fault rule (SECTION 15-38-15), so even if you did something to contribute to the accident, you may still be able to get a settlement. As long you were not more than 50% at fault, damages will be awarded, but the amount will be reduced by the percentage you are found to be at fault.
What If My Loved One Died in a Bicycle Accident?
If a loved one died from a bicycle accident, our attorneys can file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation from the at-fault parties. According to South Carolina law, (Section 15-51-10 and 20), when a death is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another, a wrongful death claim may be brought for the benefit of the deceased’s spouse and children, and if there are none, for the deceased’s parents or heirs.
Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Case?
Yes, South Carolina has a statute of limitations for filing personal injury cases. There are some exceptions, but in general, you have three years from the date of the accident to file, and if you fail to do so on time, the courts will most likely dismiss your case.
How Long Will It Take to Settle My Case?
The amount of time to settle a bicycle accident case can vary greatly from weeks to even years, depending on the factors such as the extent of the injuries, whether there is evidence to show clear fault, and whether insurance companies are willing to negotiate. In cases where serious injuries take a long time to resolve or there are multiple defendants, it may take longer to settle, especially if the case goes to court.
Our Whalen Montalvo attorneys understand how difficult the aftermath of a bicycle injury can be. Rest assured that we will be there to support you, answer all your questions, and keep you informed throughout the entire legal process.
After a serious bicycle crash caused by someone else’s negligence, the legal team at Whalen Montalvo is ready to help take the burden off you and fight for the maximum settlement you deserve.
We will handle all investigations, negotiations, court appearances, legal hurdles, and requirements, so you can concentrate on your recovery. Call us today for your free, no-obligation consultation.
Get help now by calling us at (864) 770-7710.
Get the best legal representation possible. Give the Greenville, SC attorneys at Whalen Montalvo a call today at (864) 770-7710 or use our online form.