If you ride a motorcycle in Myrtle Beach, SC and get into an accident, you may not be responsible. A negligent motorist or another at-fault party may have caused your crash. In this instance, partner with a Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer to explore your legal options.
The Shelly Leeke Law Firm has a proven track record in personal injury lawsuits. Our Myrtle Beach motorcycle accident lawyer is available to review your case. Contact us today.
How a Motorcycle Crash Is Different from a Car Accident
Motorcycles and cars are two very different types of vehicles. At the same time, a court may treat motorcyclists and motorists differently. Bias can come up in a motorcycle accident claim that makes it difficult to get a fair settlement.
For example, you may follow South Carolina’s motorcycle laws. However, if you bring your motorcycle crash case to trial, the defendant and their attorney may try to argue that you were weaving in and out of traffic, which led to your collision. If a judge or jury agrees with this claim, you may not get any compensation.
A Myrtle Beach motorcycle accident attorney understands the challenges associated with personal injury lawsuits. They can help you prepare an argument that explains why you deserve compensation. Your attorney uses videos, photos, medical records, and other pieces of evidence to build a compelling argument.
South Carolina Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
Those who operate a motorcycle in Myrtle Beach are legally required to have insurance coverage. There are minimum coverage limits for motorcyclists. These limits are:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 in total coverage for bodily injuries per accident
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
You are also required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. This protects you following an accident caused by a driver who does not have insurance. In addition, the coverage helps you if your crash losses exceed the at-fault motorist’s insurance policy limits.
What to Do Before You File a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Prior to filing your claim, it helps to calculate your pain and suffering and other losses. A motorcycle accident lawyer in Myrtle Beach can help you with this. They can review quantifiable and subjective losses relating to your accident, such as:
- Medical bills
- Damage to your motorcycle
- Lost wages
- Emotional trauma
The Shelly Leeke Law Firm has helped plaintiffs in many personal injury cases get outstanding case results. Our motorcycle accident attorney in Myrtle Beach can help you file your claim in accordance with South Carolina’s laws. To get started, reach out to us.
How Much Time You Have to File a Motorcycle Crash Claim
South Carolina has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. You have a maximum of three years from the date you get into a motorcycle collision to sue any at-fault parties. If you decide against submitting a claim during this window, you cannot do so at a later time.
To begin your claim, notify your insurance company about your crash. At this point, your insurer contacts the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. This may allow you to get compensation.
Of course, it is common for the insurance company of an at-fault driver to shy away from taking responsibility. The business may do everything within its power to avoid having to pay the full cost of your claim. If you cannot receive 100% of the damages you incur from the motorist’s insurance company, it may be beneficial to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
What to Do if You Receive a Settlement Offer After Your Motorcycle Accident
Just days after your motorcycle crash, you may get a call from the driver who caused your collision or their insurer. They may pressure you to accept a settlement offer. If this happens, the best thing you can do is decline the proposal and consult with an attorney.
Hiring a motorcycle crash lawyer gives you access to a legal professional who negotiates for you. Your attorney can teach you how a settlement is determined and help you request a reasonable amount of compensation. They keep the lines of communication open and make sure you are up to date on any settlement proposals from an at-fault driver or their insurer.
If you do not get a settlement offer that meets your expectations, you have nothing to worry about. Your attorney can represent you during a trial and explain to a judge or jury why you deserve the damages you are requesting. They will make sure you are prepared for your trial date and know what to expect when you enter the courtroom.
How Compensation Is Awarded in a Motorcycle Accident Trial
Even if you have a strong argument, do not take anything for granted. You are responsible for the burden of proof in your case. This means you must provide a body of evidence that compels a judge or jury to rule in your favor.
With any evidence you share, you must show that the at-fault party was negligent. This requires you to illustrate that this party had a duty of care toward you and violated this legal obligation. Once the duty was breached, your accident occurred, and you suffered losses as a result.
The South Carolina Contribution Among Tortfeasors Act may impact your damages as well. Based on this act, the compensation you are awarded may be reduced based on your percentage of fault. If you are found to be more than 50% responsible for your collision, you cannot receive any damages.
How a Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death Claim Works
If a family member dies in a motorcycle crash caused by someone else, you may be eligible to pursue damages from the at-fault party. This requires you to file a wrongful death claim. Like a personal injury lawsuit, you have up to three years from the date of another person’s death to submit this claim.
According to South Carolina Code §15-51-10, only certain individuals can file a claim on the grounds of a wrongful death. You may be eligible to submit this claim if you are the spouse, parent, or child of a decedent (deceased person). Also, a decedent’s heir may be able to sue.
If you are considering a wrongful death claim, meet with an attorney. This gives you the opportunity to discuss the motorcycle accident that led to a death. Your lawyer can explain what options are available to request damages from any at-fault parties.
Hire a Myrtle Beach Motorcycle Crash Lawyer
The Shelly Leeke Law Firm can walk you through the steps required to file a motorcycle accident claim. Our Myrtle Beach motorcycle crash attorney is here to help you in any way we can. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today.