Most motorcycle owners are responsible, hardworking individuals who practice good road safety. However, drivers of other vehicles don’t always watch for motorcyclists and may cause an accident. Since motorcycle riders are not as protected as drivers of cars or trucks, crashes usually result in serious or permanent injuries, scarring (disfigurement), and sometimes even death to the rider(s). If you’ve been in a motorcycle crash you didn’t cause, a Columbia, SC motorcycle accident lawyer can help.
It’s common for victims injured in a motorcycle wreck to have rapidly-mounting medical bills and be unable to work or support their families. All too often, insurance companies play on this economic need and push to settle an accident claim quickly—sometimes before you even know what your long-term medical bills will be. We hear stories all the time about unfair settlement offers that are pushed on motorcyclists.
Hiring a law firm with experience in motorcycle injury cases can make the difference in your settlement’s outcome. By filing a motorcycle injury claim against a guilty driver who caused the accident or an insurance company that’s offering you an unfair settlement, you can get the compensation you need to recover or obtain justice for a loved one who died in a tragic wreck.
The experienced accident attorneys at the Solomon Law Group have the skills necessary to obtain fair and just settlements for injured riders. Let’s go over some basic information about motorcycle crashes, why they occur in South Carolina, how they can be avoided, and how we can help a suffering family find the road to freedom.
South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Everyone knows that riding a motorcycle is inherently risky. Motorcyclists are more at risk for serious injuries and even death due to the unprotected nature of their bikes. When a passenger vehicle or truck hits a motorcycle at full-speed, the motorcyclist will almost always suffer from more serious injuries than the other driver.
Statistics prove this point. According to the NHTSA, motorcyclist deaths occurred 27 times more often in 2014 than fatalities in all other vehicle types. Helmets do work to decrease the number of motorcycle fatalities that occur, but they can’t stop all injuries.
In 2016, 138 motorcyclists died in traffic collisions in South Carolina. This accounted for 14% of all the motor vehicle fatalities in the state. This number may seem insignificant, but when you consider the fact that few motorcycles are on the road at any given time in comparison to passenger cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs, 14% suddenly seems much more significant.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Why do most motorcycle accidents happen? Most, unfortunately, happen due to driver or rider negligence. When a driver gets behind the wheel while distracted, for example, they are far more likely to not see a motorcycle as one crosses their path. The same can be said for riders. If a rider is paying more attention to a new storefront in the distance than to the road, they may miss a pothole or fail to see a driver turning in front of them.
Common causes of motorcycle crashes include the following:
- Driver or rider inattention
- Misjudging a turn or curve
- Failing to follow proper right-of-way laws
- Failing to follow the laws of traffic
- Failing to see a motorcyclist in an intersection
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
- Driving too aggressively
- Motorcycle/vehicle malfunction
- Failing to see a motorcyclist/driver when passing
How to Prevent Motorcycle Crashes in South Carolina
Drivers and riders alike need to do everything they can to share the road responsibly to prevent accidents. Here are some safety tips to help you prevent an accident:
- Wear an approved helmet! South Carolina motorcycle laws state that all motorcycle operators and passengers under 21 must wear a helmet. Riders of any age are strongly encouraged to wear one, however. Helmets save lives every day.
- Wear protective eye gear and clothing that is highly visible or reflective.
- Take a rider safety course specifically for motorcyclists. If you need help finding one, you can find a local course here. South Carolina residents can also enroll in a motorcycle educational program.
- Follow the rules of the road.
- Do not take passengers on your bike until you are experienced.
- Be careful when passing. Before passing a passenger vehicle, make sure your motorcycle is in the left-hand section of the lane and follow at a safe distance until actually passing.
- Drive defensively. Do not assume drivers see you. Be especially careful in residential areas where cars may be backing out of driveways.
- Stay focused on driving—not on the cell phone, radio, etc.
- Watch the road for potholes or debris that might cause you to lose control.
- Never operate a motorcycle while drunk or otherwise impaired. A whopping 43% of motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle accidents in 2014 were under the influence of alcohol.
Recover with Help from a Columbia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has sustained a serious, disfiguring, or permanent injury or has died because of a motorcycle accident, call the Solomon Law Group at 1-877-323-3120 for a free consultation. Our South Carolina motorcycle wreck attorneys care about our clients and will do everything we can to get you the highest settlement amount possible. Get in touch today to learn more.