Charleston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
A motorcycle can be a great alternative to a car, but the freedom may come at a price if a careless driver causes you to crash. Speak to a Charleston SC motorcycle accident lawyer for help with your recovery.
Many Charleston residents choose motorcycles as a convenient, fun way to travel. Two-wheeled vehicles are fuel-efficient and compact, and they give you a sense of freedom that a car simply cannot provide. Unfortunately, they also leave motorcycle riders more vulnerable when accidents occur.
Many motorcyclists in South Carolina have experienced catastrophic injuries because of the carelessness of other drivers. Because motorcycles are fragile and more difficult to control, there is a good chance you will need plenty of compensation for your injuries if you have been in an accident.
Unfortunately, there’s also a good chance that you will face opposition when you try to get that compensation. You will need to fight back against the insurance company, but you are already feeling overwhelmed. Instead of filing your claim for compensation alone, get in touch with a Charleston motorcycle accident lawyer at HawkLaw, P.A., who can offer you sound legal advice.
A personal injury attorney can simplify the claim process for you. While you focus on your recovery, we will plan your case, calculate your damages, and fight back if the other side tries to pin blame on you. Before you start this difficult process, get in touch with our law firm. Call us at 1-888-HAWK-LAW (429-5529) or complete the online contact form today.
A Motorcycle Crash Is Devastating
Unfortunately, recovering from a motorcycle crash is not easy. While most vehicle accidents can be deadly, a motorcycle leaves you especially vulnerable to injuries on the road.
Motorcycles and mopeds do not even have the large frame of a car that can absorb some of the impact—let alone airbags and seat belts. While riding a motorcycle can be freeing, there is a chance of traumatic injuries that can threaten your life and damage your health for years to come.
Wearing the proper safety gear can help, but you might not have been required to have that. Riders older than twenty-one in South Carolina are not required to wear helmets. A traumatic brain injury can do permanent damage to your cognitive function, and these injuries are especially common in motorcycle crashes.
Even your skin is at risk if you are in a motorcycle wreck. Thick clothes can protect you from burns, including friction burns, which can be serious injuries that lead to infections and further damage. Even with all the protective motorcycle gear in the world, you are still vulnerable to life-changing injuries when other drivers are careless.
What Are Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Motorcycle riders do not have the same physical protection as motorists driving automobiles and, as a result, even a mild motorcycle crash can lead to a devastating injury. Common motorcycle injuries include wounds to the lower extremities (below the waist), chest, and head. More specific injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal and spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Road rash
- Facial disfigurement
- Broken bones, including ribs
- Amputated limbs
- Organ damage
- Pelvic injuries
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports motorcyclists are four times more likely to be injured than car passengers and 29 times more likely to suffer a fatality. Sadly, fatalities are also common, especially if the cyclist is hit hard and thrown from the bike.
How Do You Protect Yourself From a Motorcycle Accident?
To protect yourself from the above injuries, you can take a few measures of safety and make them a habit each and every time you plan to ride.
- Obey all traffic rules and regulations.
- Always, always wear a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet, even though South Carolina state law only requires it for riders under the age of 21.
- Slowly hit the brakes if it appears an accident is imminent – use front brakes deliberately to prevent or lessen the impact and then apply rear brakes to better distribute weight.
- Slide into your fall (e.g., sliding into a base during a baseball game), but never use your hands to break your fall.
- Let the motorcycle go and do not cling to the handlebars so you are not crushed by your bike – focus on saving your life, not your bike.
- Choose a soft spot for impact if possible, such as a grassy area, rather than crashing on concrete or roads.
Another technique to become familiar with is the tuck and roll. Since you will have to make a snap decision during a motorcycle crash, knowing what to do beforehand can reduce any injuries and even save your life. Furthermore, carry a medical card noting your emergency contacts, blood type, any allergies, or other health-related issues first responders should know.
What Evidence Should I Collect at the Scene of the Accident?
In all motor vehicle accidents, not just motorcycle crashes, it is important to collect evidence that will be needed down the road. If another motorist or insurance company adjuster tries to pin the cause of the accident on you, which sadly is common due to stereotypes portraying motorcyclists as reckless, you will have definite proof showing the true cause of the accident.
After making sure everyone involved is OK and calling paramedics (if needed), contact the police and have them make an official report. Take pictures of the vehicles involved, including skid marks, road signs, vehicle debris, potholes, road conditions, and any other pertinent information. Exchange name, address, and the insurance company with other drivers involved in the crash (if any are driving a work vehicle, get employer information). If any eyewitnesses are present, get their contact information because they may have seen events that can offer important testimonials to supply to the court.
Who’s Responsible For My Charleston Motorcycle Crash?
When you have suffered serious injuries in a moped or motorcycle crash, you will need to identify the person responsible and determine how they caused the accident. Identifying the correct at-fault party is extremely important because in South Carolina car accident cases are considered a “fault” vs. no-fault.
Fault states do not allow motorcycle accident victims to simply file a claim for their damages with their own insurer and receive a settlement. Instead, you must recover compensation from the at-fault party or their insurer.
Keep in mind, however, that the other driver in your motorcycle accident is not always going to be the only person responsible for compensating you for your damages. For example, you might have crashed because a part of your motorcycle malfunctioned. In such a case, you might need to sue the manufacturer of the defective part or your motorcycle for damages.
What if your motorcycle was the only vehicle involved in your wreck? That does not necessarily mean you are to blame. Motorcycles are vulnerable to road hazards like potholes and uneven roads, and if a problem with the road caused you to crash, you may be able to hold a government road authority financially accountable.
No matter who is responsible for your motorcycle collision, a Charleston motorcycle accident lawyer can help you identify the proper at-fault parties and fight for every dollar you are owed for your injuries.
Dealing With Insurance After A Motorcycle Accident
Insurance companies are already focused on protecting their profits, and unfortunately, injured motorcyclists might be in trouble because of that. Insurers may try to lower your settlement’s value by claiming that you were partly responsible. To avoid paying you, they may even use untrue “reckless biker” stereotypes to paint you as dangerous and reckless.
By connecting with a Charleston, South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer, you will know someone is standing with you to present your side and fight back against those who do not care about your injuries and other accident-related challenges you face. Because motorcycle crashes can be so expensive, accepting a diminished compensation award will not be enough. Instead, you will need to make sure you are getting the compensation you deserve. This is why it is so important to contact a qualified and experienced motorcycle crash attorney.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Charleston?
Tragically, motorcycle injuries can result in much pain and suffering. In accidents involving motor vehicles (including motorcycles), South Carolina law holds the responsible party at fault. However, determining pain and suffering is not as simple or clear-cut as it is for medical bills, loss of income, and other losses that have a tangible monetary value.
An experienced Charleston motorcycle accident lawyer can evaluate the types of damages you have suffered and empower you to pursue a fair settlement and calculate a Charleston claim the same as it would be calculated anywhere else in South Carolina. Your attorney will pursue financial damages for pain and suffering, including, but not necessarily limited to emotional distress, anxiety, spousal and other relationship issues, and other emotional issues associated with injuries or disabilities suffered.
Compensation For Injured Motorcyclists In Charleston
Calculating the financial value of your damages after a motorcycle crash can be complex because you are not just dealing with the physical and financial losses you have suffered. Motorcycle accidents can leave deep emotional scars that haunt you for years after the accident. You deserve compensation for that, too.
Fortunately, you should know quickly whether you are being offered a reasonable amount for your economic damages. These damages should cover the expenses that come with an accident. They can be calculated by adding them up and estimating any future monetary costs. For example, you might have suffered from any of the following economic damages:
- Current medical expenses and future medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost income during your recovery
Non-economic damages are not so easy to calculate. These damages compensate you for the emotional and mental toll a motorcycle crash can have on you. Because these are intangible and can vary, depending on your situation, they are tough to calculate fairly.
If you are struggling to get compensation for damages like the ones below, a Charleston motorcycle crash attorney can help you calculate what you are owed:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Your motorcycle accident attorneys will fight in your best interests and help accurately calculate the damages you have suffered.
Laws Affecting Your Charleston Motorcycle Accident Claim
Once you have determined the value of your Charleston motorcycle accident case, it is important to fight for what you deserve. This is especially true for motorcyclists, who face the disadvantage of more serious injuries and stereotypes that may be used against them.
First, make sure you are filing your motorcycle accident case on time. You will generally only have three years via the statute of limitations to file your claim. If you do not act in time, you could be barred from recovering compensation through a lawsuit. Even if you are busy receiving treatment or caring for a family member who suffered injuries, the law does not take this into account for injury cases. However, a Charleston personal injury lawyer can provide legal representation or deal with insurance claims in your absence.
Unfortunately, that is not the only way to lose your compensation. If the other side uses stereotypes to blame you for the accident, your compensation could be reduced proportionally to the amount of fault pinned on you. For instance, they might claim you were being reckless and assign you 15 percent of the blame. In that case, you would only receive 85 percent of your awarded compensation.
Worse, if they somehow prove you are more than 50 percent to blame, your claim can be dismissed. Fortunately, a motorcycle collision lawyer in Charleston or North Charleston will know how to fight back when the other side tries to accuse you of being at fault. To protect yourself and get the justice and compensation you deserve, call a Charleston motorcycle attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
Connect With A Charleston Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycle accident injuries are painful, frightening experiences that can be tough to overcome. Worse than that is you have been hurt by someone else, but they are not willing to simply cover the costs of any personal injury or damages they caused. Instead, you will have to navigate complicated laws to fight for your compensation.
If you, or a loved one, have been in a motorcycle or moped crash, speak to a lawyer from HawkLaw, P.A. Starting with a free consultation*, we will guide you through your injury claim and fight back when the other side tries to avoid compensating you for your injuries or the wrongful death of your family member.
Reach out to the Charleston motorcycle accident lawyers at HawkLaw today. To take advantage of our free case review*, call us at 1-888-HAWK-LAW (429-5529) or complete the online contact form at the bottom of this page. One of our SC motorcycle accident lawyers will get right back to you.