South Carolinians own motorcycles in large numbers. The unfortunate reality, however, is they also suffer serious injuries in large numbers.
The Palmetto State has one of the highest motorcycle fatality rates in the nation, and not everything can be blamed on bikers. Drivers struggle to share the road with motorcyclists and behave responsibly.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident in South Carolina, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation if someone else was negligent. Jordan Law Center’s motorcycle accident lawyers in Greenville will fight for your legal right to a settlement check when another driver caused your injuries.
Dangers of Motorcycles Crashes in South Carolina
The fatality rate for motorcyclists across the country is rising to record highs. First, there are more motorcycles than ever across the road, as people take advantage of their right to enjoy a hobby and use bikes for transportation.
The fatality rate in South Carolina is far higher than the national average. A 2021 study shows that South Carolina has the nation’s eighth-highest fatality rate for motorcyclists. Generally, fatality rates are higher for all types of accidents in South Carolina, and motorcycles are no different.
Some speculate that there are three reasons behind the higher fatality rate in South Carolina:
South Carolina has a higher rate of drunk driving than most states, and motorcyclists or motorists may be intoxicated.
The warmer climate in Southern states means that there are more motorcyclists on the road because they can enjoy their bike in better weather.
South Carolina does not make it mandatory for most riders to wear helmets, and helmetless riders have a much higher rate of fatalities and serious injuries.
Just because riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous does not mean that you assume all risks every time that you get on a bike. Drivers still owe you a duty of care, and they have a legal obligation to pay you if their own negligence has injured you.
So long as you exercise your own proper due care, and you can prove that the driver was to blame, you may be able to receive a motorcycle accident settlement.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
All it takes to cause a serious crash is for a driver to make a brief and momentary mistake. They may not have been paying attention, or they may have simply made a miscalculation behind the wheel. It takes extra effort to properly spot a motorcyclist because they are not on the driver’s eye level. Drivers who are not focused may not see a motorcyclist before they hit them. Drivers need to approach motorcyclists differently, and they may not take the time to focus.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
Following too closely behind motorcyclists
Illegal turns, cutting across the left-hand lane
Failure to check blindspots before changing lanes
Losing control of the car due to reckless driving
Not seeing a motorcyclist because the driver is distracted
Potential Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists are not protected by the exterior of the car or the airbag. They may be wearing a helmet (it is not required in the state, however) and have some safety gear to protect them in the event of an accident. Even with those, a motorcyclist has a high chance of suffering some type of injury in an accident. There is a much higher chance that they will be seriously hurt.
Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
Broken bones and fractures
Road rash (burn-like marks on your skin from skidding along the pavement)
Neck and back injuries
Internal injuries and organ damage
Spinal cord injuries
Traumatic brain injuries
Soft tissue injuries
Lacerations and contusions
More than one in every 100 motorcyclists will suffer some type of injury in a given year. If you’ve been hurt, there could be significant financial and physical costs associated with your injury. You need an experienced attorney to fight for you to get financial compensation.
How Long Will My Motorcycle Accident Case Take?
You should not expect your motorcycle accident settlement to come instantaneously. An insurance company will write your check, and the money will be coming from their account.
Therefore, the process will seem slow — the insurance company will make it that way. They could easily give you the full check upfront; they know what your case is worth practically to the dollar. But they will never do that, because they are in business to make as much money as possible.
Several milestones can impact the timing of your motorcycle accident settlement, including:
How long it takes to perform an investigation of the accident and prove fault
When you reach the point of maximum medical improvement, which is when you would generally file a claim or lawsuit
Whether the insurance company is motivated to settle the case, making you reasonable offers that could lead to an agreement
It is difficult to know how long your case will take until you begin the legal process. Generally, it could take 6-18 months as a timeframe, although cases that are on the longer end of the spectrum are far more common than immediate settlements. If you are in too much of a hurry to get your money, you could end up sacrificing quantity for speed. The insurance company is more than happy to pay you less in a quick settlement that terminates your ability to get any compensation in the future. The best advice is to be as patient as necessary and let your attorney work tirelessly on your behalf.
South Carolina Motorcycle Law FAQs
Do I have to wear a motorcycle helmet in South Carolina?
Motorcycle helmets are not mandatory for riders over the age of 21. Still, the insurance company may try to blame you for all your injuries if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
What happens if I was partially to blame for the accident?
South Carolina allows you to receive financial compensation if you were less than half to blame for the accident. Your check would be reduced by the amount of fault that you bear. If you were more than 50% responsible, you cannot receive anything for the accident.
Do I need insurance to ride a motorcycle in South Carolina?
Yes. South Carolina law specifies certain minimum coverage levels that motorcyclists must maintain.
Is lane splitting legal in South Carolina?
No. As a motorcyclist, you have the right to one lane of traffic, just like any other driver. However, you cannot split lanes. However, a vehicle driver never has the right to run you off the road.
How Jordan Law Center Can Help You
The legal process for a motorcycle accident case is complicated. There is a reason why insurance companies want you filing claims with them on their own — because they know that they can get away with more. Legal representation is a must in any motorcycle accident case.
As your attorneys, below are some of the services we will do for your motorcycle accident case:
Speak to you and explain the path forward in your case
Investigate your accident and assemble the legal case that would qualify you for financial compensation
Work with experts to know how much you may deserve in financial compensation
File a claim and negotiate a settlement with the insurance company (or file a lawsuit in court)
Handling details on your behalf, or giving you advice on what to do
You are already going through enough. Trying to deal with the insurance company is both counterproductive and costly. Let us take care of your financial recovery.
Contact a Greenville Motorcycle Accident Attorney Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need a tenacious legal advocate on your side. The Jordan Law Center represents South Carolinians in personal injury actions, fighting for full financial compensation. Your legal process begins with a free consultation. Call us today at 864-808-1810 or message us online to schedule a time to speak to a lawyer. You do not need to pay us anything unless you win your case.