Are you one of the thousands of Americans that are injured in motorcycle accidents every single year? If so, you are uniquely aware of the devastating impact that these accidents can cause. In a matter of seconds, a motorcycle accident can change your life forever, and not for the better.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you are probably dealing with thousands of dollars worth of medical bills or pain and suffering. A skilled motorcycle accident attorney in Summerville can get you that compensation. Contact our Summerville personal injury lawyers today.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle accidents are unique from all other motor vehicle accidents because their severity is often directly influenced by facts such as whether the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet or whether they were wearing proper clothing to ride their motorcycle. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in the last year that data was collected, there were 6,000 deaths in motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycles are far more dangerous than typical motor vehicles, as although motorcycles account for only 3% of all vehicles on the road, they account for 17% of all traffic deaths, more than 5 times as many as would be expected. These accidents are slightly more likely to happen at nighttime (50.4%) and typically involve two or more vehicles (61.2%).
Overall, there are about 992 injuries every year per 100,000 motorcycles. This means that if you own a motorcycle, you have a slightly better than 1 in 100 chance of being injured riding it. While this means that the vast majority of motorcyclists will not be injured, these odds show that motorcycle accidents are not uncommon and could happen to anyone.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
While motorcycle accidents are so common that it might seem impossible to avoid them, this is not the case, and most motorcycle accidents are easily avoidable but for the wrongful actions of another driver. For example, some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents are:
- Distracted driving
- Road rage drivers who cut off or ride too close to motorcycles
- Drivers failing to check their mirrors or blind spots
- Drivers driving recklessly, such as by speeding or erratic driving
- Drivers operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs
In these situations, it can be relatively easy to show that the accident that injured you was someone else’s fault, especially if the other driver was violating local, state, or federal law while driving. If there is any evidence of this sort of poor conduct from the other driver, it is likely that your lawyer will be able to settle the case for recovery for you.
If this is the case, you deserve to be compensated, and you should contact a highly skilled Summerville motorcycle accident lawyer to get you the compensation that you deserve.
What You Should Do to Maximize Your Recovery
It is important to be aware of South Carolina’s law of contributory negligence, which requires that your award be reduced if an accident that injured you was partially your fault. While contributory negligence is not an absolute bar to recovery in South Carolina like it is in other states (namely, Georgia), it is still a good idea to do everything you can to reduce the possibility of your award being reduced.
One thing that you should do is wear a helmet while riding your motorcycle. Helmet use is required by South Carolina state law for any person under the age of 21 on a motorcycle. However, even if you are older than the age of 21, while you might not be required by law to wear a helmet, a jury might consider your failure to wear a helmet contributory negligence and reduce your reward.
Another law that you need to be aware of is that the State of South Carolina has completely banned the common motorcycle practice of land splitting. While this practice is legal in almost every state, it is entirely illegal in South Carolina. If you are injured while lane splitting, it is highly likely that your award will be reduced by at least some amount by the jury.
Damages You Can Recover In a Motorcycle Accident Case
In a motorcycle accident case, you are able to recover two different types of damages for your injuries. First, there are special damages, which are damages that reimburse you for things that you were forced to pay for because of your injuries, such as medical bills. Secondly, there are general damages, which are meant to compensate you for things that are harder to quantify, such as pain and suffering.
In motorcycle and car accident cases, the most common types of special and general damages are:
- Medical bills
- Damages to your motorcycle
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium for your family if you are disabled or die
In other situations where gross negligence–such as drunk driving–is involved, you might also be entitled to punitive damages, which are extra damages that are tacked onto your award for no other reason than to punish the defendant for egregiously wrongful behavior. Your motorcycle accident lawyer in Summerville will be able to create a list of your damages and tell you what evidence you will need to prove them to the jury.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Summerville
You deserve to get justice for your injuries. If you are injured by a negligent driver while riding your motorcycle, you need the help of a highly-skilled, professional, caring, and compassionate Summerville motorcycle accident attorney. Contact Shelly Leeke Law Firm today for a free consultation and case review.