Few things are more physically, emotionally, and financially devastating than being injured in a motorcycle accident. You may be facing a lengthy recovery and wondering how you will pay your medical bills and other expenses. You need answers to your questions and a clear understanding of your legal options to pursue compensation.
If you were injured on your bike due to another driver’s negligence, our motorcycle accident lawyers in South Carolina could help. During our initial consultation, we will discuss the details of your accident and determine whether you have a valid personal injury claim.
When we take you on as our client, our South Carolina personal injury lawyers at Shelly Leeke Law Firm will relentlessly fight for the compensation you need.
Motorcycle Laws in South Carolina
When pursuing a motorcycle accident claim, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with South Carolina motorcycle laws. Whether or not you were abiding by those laws when the collision happened can drastically impact your chances of getting a full recovery for your injuries and other damages.
Relevant motorcycle laws in South Carolina involve helmet use and lane splitting:
Wearing a helmet is one-way motorcycle riders can reduce their risk of injury from a crash. In South Carolina, anyone 21 years of age or under must wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. If you were legally required to wear a helmet but did not, you could be assigned more liability for your head injury.
South Carolina is one of a few states that have explicitly made lane-splitting illegal. Simply put, lane splitting is when a motorcyclist rides between two lanes of traffic. If you were caught lane-splitting, your liability for the accident could be increased substantially.
As South Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys, we keep abreast of the pertinent state laws and statutes for South Carolina, and we will be happy to explain how these laws might affect your claim.
Evidence to Collect After a South Carolina Motorcycle Wreck
After a crash, you may be badly injured and need an ambulance ride to the nearest hospital. However, if you are able to remain at the accident scene for a while, there is information you should collect that will help insurance companies and your lawyer determine who was at fault.
The most important information to collect is the name, contact info, and insurance information of the driver who hit you. You should also ask for the contact info of any witnesses who saw what happened.
You should also gather evidence pertaining to any vehicles involved. Write down the make, model, color, and license plate number of each involved vehicle.
Any details you can write down about the accident site can also be helpful. Take note of where lights and signs are located, whether there are skidmarks, and what the weather conditions are. Also, try to pinpoint the location of the crash by noting street signs, nearby addresses, or mile markers.
Photos and Video Footage
If anyone has a dashcam or helmet cam, obtaining that footage could prove your case. A nearby storefront or home might have captured the accident on a security camera, and that footage could also prove to be valuable evidence.
If possible, take photos of the accident scene, the damage to both vehicles, and any injuries you sustained. Allowing the insurance companies, a judge, and a jury to see what the accident scene looked like immediately following the accident will help provide a clearer perspective of what took place.
Filing an Insurance Claim Against or Suing a Negligent Driver in South Carolina
In most cases, motorcycle accident victims can sue the driver who hit them. Unfortunately, negligent drivers will often try to blame the motorcyclist for the collision.
Insurance companies, courts, and lawyers will all examine the facts of the case to determine who was at fault. It’s essential to have an aggressive South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer on your side in these situations.
Car and truck drivers are responsible for hitting a motorcyclist only when they do something negligent that causes the accident. This could mean failing to keep an eye out for other vehicles, including motorcycles, or it could mean violating traffic laws.
When the Motorcyclist Is at Fault
Sometimes, courts can find that the automobile driver was mostly at fault but that the motorcycle rider also did something wrong. As long as the victim is deemed 50% or less at fault, they can still recover damages for their injuries.
In a single-bike crash, the injured biker might not have anyone else they can sue. In that case, the bike rider might still be able to file a claim with their own insurance company. An injured motorcycle passenger may be able to sue the driver of the motorcycle.
Available Compensation in a Motorcycle Claim
Our motorcycle accident attorneys in South Carolina realize that the injuries riders sustain in a car versus motorcycle accident are often severe and may cause permanent impairment. Every case is unique. However, depending on the circumstances of the crash and the severity of your injuries, you could be eligible for compensation, including:
- Medical treatment (past, present, and future)
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium (loss of a relationship)
- Property damage
In rare circumstances, a jury may award an accident victim punitive damages. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for particularly egregious behavior. Punitive damages are also called exemplary damages because they are meant to make an example of someone and serve as a deterrent to others.
Contact Our South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorneys for Legal Assistance
An important step in regaining control of your life after a motorcycle accident is talking to an experienced attorney at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm. Someone from our compassionate team will listen to your story, answer your questions, and explain your legal options during a free case evaluation.
Understanding your legal options can help you make informed decisions about your recovery after a motorcycle injury. A South Carolina motorcycle accident attorney can help you put the accident behind you and move forward with your life. Contact us today to get started.