South Carolina’s bicycle helmet laws do not require that cyclists wear protective gear. Nor does the law prevent someone without a helmet from filing a legal claim involving a head injury from a bicycle accident.
An insurance company might have told you that the bike rider contributed to the wreck, or that he may only receive payment for 50% of his medical bills because he was not wearing a helmet. If an insurance adjuster is arguing that your financial recovery is reduced by “comparative negligence,” I strongly encourage you to at least speak with an attorney before signing any papers.
Brain Injuries & Helmets
Along with assaults, vehicle accidents and falls are leading causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI). When a car hits a bicycle, it essentially combines all these causes into one violent act. Any cyclist who continues to experience headaches, memory loss, dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue, emotional imbalance, or attentional issues more than 4 weeks after a crash should ask to be evaluated by a neurologist or other specialist familiar with TBI.
A helmet may reduce, but not eliminate the risk of trauma ranging from skull fracture to subdural hematoma to concussion. In some cases, helmet manufacturers have been found liable for providing defect products that failed to adequately protect cyclists. Thus, you may be able to recover fair compensation from the manufacturer in addition to the negligent driver.
Seeking Help After Being Hit on A Bicycle
We know that an injured bicycle rider and his/her family are most concerned with a full medical recovery. The last thing they want to worry about is dealing with insurance adjusters. While the individual and his/her family concentrate on getting well, an attorney can help evaluate fault, correspond with the various insurance carriers and medical providers, protect the injured person’s legal rights, and help determine the amount of compensation that should be allowed.
Additionally, if the defendant is found to have been particularly malicious or reckless in causing the collision, the cyclist may also be due punitive damages.
I am familiar with South Carolina law on bicycle helmets, the arguments the insurance companies will make, and the level of compensation people with head injuries should receive. As someone who has dedicated my career to protecting the rights, lives, and dignity of those who have been harmed in accidents, I am here to answer your questions and guide you toward justice. To find out more about what my firm can do for you and your family, call me today at (803) 790-2800.