According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, since 2000 the per capita bicycle fatality rate in South Carolina has doubled the national average for six years. Bicyclists injured in collisions with motor vehicles are also able to recover compensation for their injuries so long as the cause of the collision is not more their own fault than the fault of the driver. A bicyclist who disobeys traffic laws and rules, who takes unnecessary risks while riding, who is not wearing appropriate protective equipment, and/or who is not looking where he or she is riding may find that the compensation award to which he or she is entitled is reduced because of his or her own behavior. In certain extreme cases, the bicyclist may not be able to recover any compensation at all if his or her own behavior was the primary cause of the collision.
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Like injured motorists, injured bicyclists can recover compensation or all economic and noneconomic injuries that the bicyclist sustains as a result of the collision. In determining whether an injury or loss was in fact caused by the collision, the bicyclist and his or her attorney may find it necessary to employ one or more expert witnesses. These witnesses can be called upon not only to establish that the driver’s behaviors caused the crash but also to minimize the role of the bicyclist’s own behavior in causing the crash or his or her resulting injuries.