Helping Charleston Motorcycle Accident Victims
Most motorcycle riders involved in accidents suffer catastrophic injuries. These are very high odds. Despite trying to do everything to avoid motorcycle accidents, the poor decisions of other motorists make them impossible to avoid. Despite advancements in technology and education about motorcycle safety, the rate of motorcycle accidents has increased over the last ten years and, in recent years, has trended upwards.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a motorcycle collision in South Carolina, contact the Hopkins Law Firm at 843-314-4202 or use this online contact form for a free, no obligation review of your case today. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing unless we recover compensation for you.
Motorcycle Accident Stats
Motorcycles represent fun and freedom, but because riders have little protection in a crash, motorcycle accidents cause many serious injuries and deaths. Each year, some 5,000 to 6,000 motorcyclists are killed and tens of thousands are badly injured in crashes nationwide.
South Carolina sees more than 100 motorcycle fatalities a year and about 2,500 riders injured in crashes. Motorcycle accident deaths have increased in recent years while deaths from other types of traffic accidents have been declining.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in South Carolina
Motorcycle wrecks can happen in the blink of an eye — before the rider ever has a chance to react. Here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents involving cars or trucks:
- Left turns. One of the most common and deadly causes of wrecks is when a driver fails to see an oncoming motorcycle and performs a left-hand turn in front of the rider. These types of accidents account for up to 42 percent of all car-motorcycle crashes.
- Lane changes. Cars and trucks can strike an unwary rider during a lane change, especially if the lane change is sudden.
- Rear-end accidents. Drivers may not see a motorcyclist stopped at an intersection ahead and strike the rear tire of the motorcycle, throwing the rider into cross traffic.
- Drunk drivers. Intoxicated drivers can barely operate their vehicle and have a hard time seeing or avoiding other cars, let alone a motorcycle.
Compensation After a South Carolina Motorcycle Accident
Whether your collision occurred on a busy road, interstate, or back road, South Carolina law dictates that you have a right to seek recovery for any harm another driver caused you. That said, after being injured in a crash, a motorcycle accident lawyer in Columbia can help you seek compensation for:
- Medical bills and treatment costs (current and future);
- Damages to your motorcycle or other property;
- Pain, suffering and mental anguish;
- Current lost wages or income;
- Future lost income (if the injury has affected your earning capacity);
- Permanent disfigurement or impairment; and
- Loss of consortium (if the injury has affected the quality of your relationship or companionship).
In cases in which the at-fault driver was particularly careless, you may be due punitive damages. These seek not to compensate victims for damages, but to punish the at-fault party for reckless or careless behavior and to discourage that behavior in the future. For instance, punitive damages are not uncommon in drunk driving cases.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Since motorcyclists aren't protected by the frame of their vehicle like a car or truck driver is, severe injuries can result from what would otherwise be a minor collision between two four-wheeled vehicles. Some of the most common motorcycle injuries are:
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are extremely common, even when riders are wearing helmets
- Neck or spinal cord injuries are common as a result of impact with a vehicle or the ground.
- Leg and foot injuries can result from a side impact when a vehicle crushes the leg against the bike, or when the bike falls to the pavement with the rider's leg underneath.
- Broken bones are a common injury due to the violent impact of a rider hitting the ground or another car.
- Road rash is a friction-based injury caused by the rider's body sliding or skidding across the roadway after being knocked from the bike, and can cause permanent scarring or disfigurement. Wearing the appropriate gear may help protect the rider to an extent, but there is no gear that can fully prevent road rash.
Other types of motorcycle injuries that are common include muscular damage, nerve damage, chest or abdominal injuries, and internal bleeding or other organ damage. All of these injuries typically require specialized medical treatment and weeks of rehab that can leave the injured person with mounting medical expenses. A personal injury attorney can help you identify and secure insurance coverage from the at fault party to help cover the costs of the treatment needed after a motorcycle crash.
Contact a South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you are involved in a South Carolina motorcycle accident, a good lawyer will help you get the compensation you deserve. Motorcycle accidents can greatly reduce quality of life. Don't let at fault parties get away with it. Hopkins Law Firm has the experience to get you a positive outcome.