The 31-year-0ld father committed himself to getting healthier for his wife of a year-and-a-half and 13-month-old daughter. He wanted to be the best dad he could be. So he took up bicycling, which is known to be an excellent way to get some exercise and improve both physical and mental well-being.
But all that was cut short recently in a Spartanburg bicycle accident. According to WFXG.com, the fatal crash happened around 6:45 p.m. on S.C. Highway 101 in Spartanburg, near Woodruff. Although the exact details haven’t been released, it appears the driver of a Toyota sport utility vehicle struck the young man from behind. The cyclist was wearing a helmet, but was rushed to Spartaburg Regional Hospital with critical injuries. Shortly thereafter, he was pronounced dead.
The driver of the SUV was not cited for any infraction at the scene, though authorities were careful to note that the Multi-jurisdictional Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) was continuing to investigate. The agencies involved did not rule out the possibility of charges being filed at a later date.
As our Spartanburg bicycle accident attorneys can explain, however, such a determination is not the final word on liability. Of course, if investigating agencies choose not to file charges against the driver, her auto insurance company may try to use this as evidence to assert she was not at-fault. However, that determination is disputable and ultimately subject to review by the courts if necessary.
If the other driver is found at-fault and she either doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the full scope of loss (which is likely in a wrongful death lawsuit), bicyclist’s family may want to explore whether the accident was covered under uninsured/ underinsured motorist benefits (UM/UIM). This is coverage that is provided in the event the at-fault driver’s insurance is inadequate. Although it’s a type of car accident coverage, it would still apply to an insured who was on a bicycle at the time of a collision with a motor vehicle.
Because his young family certainly had not anticipated losing him so soon, exploring all legal options is imperative to shoring up their financial future.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2015, preliminary counts are that 818 bicyclists were killed and 45,000 were injured in collisions with cars and trucks. That’s an uptick of 12 percent, which is the largest increase the agency has seen since 1995. In 2014, there had been 726 cyclists injured. Most of these crashes occurred in urban areas (71 percent) and half occurred during daylight hours.
Although the number of children injured and killed in bicycle accidents in the U.S. has fallen substantially in the last couple decades, the number of adult bicycle fatalities has risen sharply – with adult males seeing the largest increases. South Carolina reported 14 bicyclist fatalities in 2014, which represented 1.7 percent of the total. That may not sound like much, but it breaks down to 2.90 bicycle deaths for every 1 million people. That’s substantially higher than many other states.
Those who have suffered injury or those who have lost a loved one in bicycle accidents should contact an experienced Spartanburg injury attorney.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
Cyclist killed in Spartanburg Co. collision, Sept. 2, 2016, By Rachel Cumberbatch, FOX 54 WFXG
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