South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Injured In A Motorcycle Crash?
The South Carolina personal injury attorneys of Stewart Law Offices represent bikers who are hurt by negligent motorists. We help injured motorcyclists across South Carolina seek justice and compensation.
We have seen a wide variety of motorcycle crash cases. We know all too well the catastrophic injuries that motorcycle riders and passengers can suffer if they are involved in a crash with a car, truck, or other motor vehicle.
While motorcycles have the same rights to the road as other vehicles under South Carolina state law, other drivers do not always respect the rights of bikers to share the road with them, and they may fail to exercise due caution when driving near them.
When someone else’s reckless or negligent actions cause a motorcycle crash, riders and passengers may suffer severe or even fatal injuries. When this happens, the injured rider or the surviving family members of the deceased could be eligible to pursue legal action against the party responsible for the crash. With the help of an experienced motorcycle lawyer, the victim and their family members can pursue compensation for their losses.
Don’t let the reckless or careless actions of another driver cost you everything. Call the motorcycle accident lawyers of Stewart Law Offices to discuss your rights and legal options. Our consultations are always free, and if you cannot visit our offices, we will arrange to meet you in the hospital or your home when possible to support you during your recovery.
Call us, chat with us live, or fill out a contact form to get help today.
Why Are Motorcycle Claims More Complicated?
As any experienced rider will tell you, riding a motorcycle is much different from driving a car. Handling a bike is different, the speed feels different, and, unfortunately, the consequences of a crash are far more serious in most cases.
These inherent differences and others make injury claims much more complicated than accidents involving just regular passenger vehicles.
Some of the main ways that motorcycle injury claims are more complicated than other claims include:
- Injuries are often much worse – In the event of a motorcycle crash, the rider may be thrown from the bike, which can increase the likelihood of catastrophic injuries. Broken bones, internal organ damage, and traumatic brain injuries are commonly reported after a serious motorcycle accident. Because motorcycles lack the protective exterior that cars have, the rider is completely exposed and is at risk of crushing injuries and other very serious harm when they collide with a much heavier vehicle, even at relatively low speeds.
- Social biases – Unfortunately, some jurors may not be sympathetic to the plight of injured bikers. Unfair stereotypes may cause them to view all bikers as aggressive outlaws or gang members. It takes additional work to convince some members of the jury that the victim was a law-abiding citizen who was harmed due to someone else’s recklessness, not theirs. Others may believe that people who ride motorcycles accepted a certain amount of risk with their choice of vehicle and may not be as understanding as they should be.
- Lack of awareness – While most jurors will know how to drive a car, not everyone understands how to ride a motorcycle. This lack of knowledge can pose a challenge when trying to demonstrate how the victim’s actions followed safe driving protocols, and how the other driver’s recklessness was to blame for the crash.
- Insurance companies know these challenges and will try to exploit them – The lawyers for the insurance companies understand these challenges all too well and will often use them to their advantage. Keep in mind that it’s their goal to make sure the company pays as little as possible for injury claims. They will likely exploit juror biases, lack of awareness, and any evidence they can use to minimize or deny your claim.
Fortunately, you do not have to fight this battle alone. With an experienced motorcycle lawyer on your side, you can fight unfair stereotypes about motorcyclists and unfamiliarity with motorcycles.
Types of Compensation in a Motorcycle Claim
Our motorcycle accident attorneys have worked extensively with people injured in motorcycle accidents. We know that the injuries they suffer are often severe, and in some cases, may cause permanent disabilities.
Depending on the circumstances of your crash and the extent of the injuries you’ve suffered, you could be eligible for compensation such as:
- Costs of medical treatment (past, present, and future)
- Loss of income – Not just your lost wages, but also any impact the accident had on your future earning ability
- Property damage – This includes repairs or replacement of your damaged vehicle, clothing, and other personal belongings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment – If the accident leaves you unable to do things that you once enjoyed doing, like hobbies, sports, exercise, and other activities, you could be owed specific damages for those losses
- Loss of consortium – If the accident impacts your relationship with your spouse, compensation could be awarded to them directly
In very rare instances, a jury may decide to award the victim punitive damages. These are non-economic damages that are designed to punish the defendant for particularly egregious actions. Punitive damages are meant to send a message and serve as a deterrent to others.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you are involved in a motorcycle crash, you should take the following steps:
- Remain at the scene – Do not leave the scene of the accident. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in both South Carolina. If you leave the scene, any injury claim that you would need to make could be placed in serious jeopardy.
- Contact police and EMS – Call 911 to report the accident and request emergency assistance. If you are hurt, make sure to communicate (if possible) with first responders when they arrive on the scene.
- Seek medical attention – Even if you are not taken to a hospital right away for treatment, you should still seek medical treatment in an emergency room or from your personal physician as soon as possible. Many victims report pain in the days following an accident, so it is a good idea to get any injuries diagnosed, treated, and documented right away. Don’t treat your injuries yourself. Seek medical attention instead.
- Assist the police with the accident report – You are required to cooperate with law enforcement officers if they respond to the scene, but keep in mind that any statements you make at the scene of the accident may impact your claim for compensation, including polite apologies, which may be misconstrued as an admission of responsibility.
- Take pictures if possible – The more pictures of the immediate aftermath of the crash and the entire scene, the better. If you can take them yourself, take pictures of the vehicles from multiple angles and distances, and be sure to document any skid marks, obstructed road signs, or any other relevant information. If you were severely hurt and need to be transported for immediate medical attention, have friends or family members document the scene for you.
- Exchange information – Get the information of the other drivers involved, including their full names, phone numbers, and insurance information. If witnesses were at the scene, make sure to get their contact info too. They could become vital to an injury claim later on.
- Notify your insurance company – Most insurance policies require policyholders to report accidents right away. Ask if your policy includes medical benefits as part of your coverage.
- Document everything – Keep a file with all of the documents related to your accident, including the photos you took at the scene, the official police report, your medical records, medical bills, wage and earnings statements, and others.
- Contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer – Hiring a lawyer who has successfully handled motorcycle claims in the past can be the key to a success.* While some individuals may be tempted to pursue compensation on their own and negotiate with insurance companies for a settlement, an attorney will understand how to investigate the accident, identify who is liable for your injuries, and place a fair value on your claim that will be negotiated with the insurance company. If they do not offer you a fair settlement, your attorney can file a lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Claims
The statute of limitations for filing injury claims or wrongful death claims varies from state to state. In South Carolina, injured individuals or representatives of the deceased must file injury actions or wrongful death actions within three years of the date of injury or death.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Accidents can happen anywhere at any time. Some common causes of motorcycle crashes include:
- Failure to leave adequate distance between vehicles
- Aggressive driving
- Driver fatigue
- Failure to yield right-of-way, particularly when making left hand turns
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Distracted driving (texting, eating or drinking, using in-vehicle devices, daydreaming)
- Driving while intoxicated
- Failure to signal lane changes
This is far from a comprehensive list of the causes of accidents that cause harm to riders and their passengers every day. If you’ve been hurt in a crash, don’t let the reckless actions of another driver or entity cost you everything. Turn to a motorcycle lawyer for help.
Contact Us for Legal Help After a Motorcycle Accident
When other drivers fail to exercise caution and drive safely around motorcycles, catastrophic accidents can occur.
At Stewart Law Offices, it is our mission to help injured bikers and their families pursue justice. We will aggressively seek compensation on your behalf and will be with you every step of the way. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our team to discuss your legal options and have us answer any questions you may have about the injury claims process.
Our office is available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact us by phone, fill out a contact form, or chat with us live today.
*Disclaimer: Case results vary. Prior results not guaranteed. After recovery is made, attorney fees will be computed before deduction of incurred expenses.