Cycling is a ubiquitous mode of transportation and exercise in South Carolina, but it can also be dangerous. Cyclists are vulnerable to accidents and injuries caused by negligent drivers, poorly maintained roads, and defective bike parts.
If you are a cyclist injured in an accident, knowing your rights and options for seeking compensation is important. This guide outlines the steps to file a personal injury claim in South Carolina.
Seek Medical Attention
The first and most important step after a cycling accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you don’t feel pain, you may have incurred internal injuries or a concussion that could worsen over time. Additionally, a medical report can be used as evidence in your personal injury claim. Keep all medical treatment records, including bills, prescriptions, and doctor’s notes.
Report the Accident
If you have an accident with a motor vehicle, you should report the incident to the police. They will create an official report that can be used as evidence in your personal injury claim. If you were hit by an uninsured driver or involved in a hit-and-run, you should report the incident to your insurance company.
You should accumulate as much evidence as possible to strengthen your personal injury claim. This includes taking photos and videos of the accident scene, the damage to your bike, and any injuries you sustained. You should also gather contact information for any witnesses to the accident. This evidence can help establish fault and demonstrate the extent of your injuries.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury claims can be complex, especially involving cyclists and motor vehicles. Therefore, contacting a personal injury lawyer for legal representation is advisable.
A lawyer can help you guide you through the legal system, bargain with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights. They can also help you determine the appropriate compensation for your injuries and damages.
File a Claim
Once you have collected all the necessary evidence and have legal representation, you can file a personal injury claim. In South Carolina, you must file a claim two years from the accident date. However, it is important to file as soon as possible to ensure that evidence is preserved and witnesses’ memories are fresh.
Negotiate a Settlement
After filing a personal injury claim, your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to settle. The settlement should consider the damages you have suffered, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. Your lawyer will work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
Go to Trial
Your case may go to trial if a settlement cannot be reached. A personal injury trial can be lengthy and complicated, but your lawyer will guide you through each step. At trial, your lawyer will present proof and arguments to demonstrate that the other party was at fault and that you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Cycling accidents can be devastating, but you have the right to seek compensation if you are injured. Following the steps defined in this guide, you can file a personal injury claim and receive the compensation you deserve.
Don’t forget to seek medical attention, report the accident, gather evidence, contact a personal injury lawyer, file a claim, negotiate a settlement, and go to trial if necessary. With the appropriate legal representation, you can defend your rights as a cyclist and receive the compensation you need to recover.
If you have been injured in a cycling accident, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Wilkerson, Jones & Wilkerson for experienced and compassionate legal representation. Our personal injury lawyers in Rock Hill, SC are here to help you navigate the complex process of filing a claim and recovering the compensation you deserve. Call us today to know more.