Bicycle Accident Claims & Helmet Laws in Greenville, SC

Maxey McFarland Law Firm > Blog > Bicycle Accident Claims & Helmet Laws in Greenville, SC
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If you’re a cyclist in Greenville, South Carolina, you know how much fun riding your bike around town or on the many beautiful trails in the area can be. But as much as we love cycling, we must remember that accidents can happen. And if you’re involved in a bicycle accident, you might wonder how helmet laws and use can affect your legal case. 

At Maxey McFarland Law Firm, we’re here to help you understand your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.

South Carolina Bicycle Helmet Laws

First, let’s talk about South Carolina’s bicycle helmet laws. Unlike other states, South Carolina has no statewide law requiring all cyclists to wear helmets. However, some local South Carolina governments have helmet laws, especially for younger riders.

Even if you’re not legally required to wear a helmet, it’s still a good idea. Wearing a helmet can significantly reduce your risk of severe head injuries if you’re involved in an accident. Studies have shown that wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries by up to 85%. Wearing a helmet can also help protect your face, jaw, and neck in a crash.

Impact of Helmet Use on Injury Claims

So, what happens if you’re involved in a bicycle accident and aren’t wearing a helmet? Can that affect your legal case?

The short answer is yes, it can. In South Carolina, the other side might argue that you were partially at fault for your injuries if you were involved in an accident and weren’t wearing a helmet. This is because of something called “comparative negligence.”

Under comparative negligence, if you’re found to be partially at fault for your injuries, your compensation can be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. So, if you’re found to be 20% at fault for not wearing a helmet, your compensation would be reduced by 20%.

It’s also worth noting that South Carolina follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule. Under this rule, if you’re found to be 50% or more at fault for the accident, you can’t recover any compensation. If the other side can prove that your lack of a helmet was the primary cause of your injuries, you might not be able to recover any damages.

Bicycle Accident Claims and Helmet Regulations

If you’re involved in a bicycle accident and you were wearing a helmet, that can help your legal case. Wearing a helmet shows that you are taking reasonable steps to protect yourself and reduce your risk of injury.

In some cases, wearing a helmet is required by a specific regulation. For example, if you were riding your bike on a trail or in a park that required helmet use and were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, that shows that you were following the rules and not being negligent.

On the other hand, if you were required to wear a helmet and weren’t wearing one at the time of the accident, that could be used against you to argue that you were negligent and not taking reasonable steps to protect yourself.

How Not Wearing a Helmet Affects Your Case

If you’re involved in a bicycle accident and weren’t wearing a helmet, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t recover compensation for your injuries. However, it can make your case more complicated and reduce the amount of compensation you receive.

As mentioned earlier, the other side might argue that you were partially at fault for your injuries by not wearing a helmet. They might use that argument to reduce the compensation they have to pay you.

Additionally, if your injuries are more severe because you weren’t wearing a helmet, that could also affect the value of your case. For example, if you suffered a severe head injury that could have been prevented or reduced by wearing a helmet, the other side might argue that you’re not entitled to as much compensation for that injury.

However, it’s important to remember that every case is unique, and your specific facts and circumstances will determine how much your lack of a helmet affects your claim.

Proving Fault in a Bicycle Accident Case

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Regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet or not, proving fault in a bicycle accident case can be challenging. In many cases, it comes down to a “he said, she said” situation, where both parties have different versions of what happened.

That’s why gathering as much evidence as possible after a bicycle accident is so important. This can include things like:

  • Photos of the accident scene and any damage to your bike or other property
  • Witness statements from anyone who saw the accident happen
  • Police reports or accident reports filed by law enforcement
  • Medical records documenting your injuries and treatment
  • Surveillance footage or dashcam footage of the accident, if available

An experienced Greenville lawyer can help you gather this evidence and build a solid case to prove that the other party was at fault for the accident. They can also work with accident reconstruction experts and other professionals to help demonstrate how the accident happened and who was responsible.

How a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, it’s essential to have an experienced lawyer on your side who can help you navigate the complex legal issues involved. A bicycle accident lawyer can help you understand your rights, gather evidence to support your case and fight for the compensation you deserve.

At Maxey McFarland Law Firm, our experienced bicycle accident lawyers have helped many Greenville and South Carolina cyclists get the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. We know how to deal with insurance companies and negotiate fair settlements, and we’re not afraid to take cases to trial if necessary.

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, don’t hesitate to contact us for help. We offer free consultations where we’ll listen to your story, answer your questions, and give you honest advice about your case. And if we take on your case, you won’t owe us a dime unless we win.

You shouldn’t have to suffer because of someone else’s negligence. Let Maxey McFarland Law Firm fight for your rights and help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today at 864-900-4231 to schedule your free consultation and take the first step toward getting your life back on track.

Last Updated: 05-08-2024
Written By: Will Maxey