Motorcycles offer a sense of freedom on the road. Unfortunately, for what they offer in terms of enjoyment and freedom, they lack in safety. Riders face an increased risk of injury in an accident, and when a crash happens, the resulting injuries can be devastating and even life-threatening for motorcyclists.
One minute you’re riding on your motorcycle, and the next, you’re swerving to avoid an unexpected pedestrian or a car that took a sharp turn in front of you. The crash happened too fast – and it was not your fault. The experienced and enthusiastic Easley motorcycle accident lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra are passionate about protecting the rights of motorcycle accident victims.
At Hernandez & Cabra, we have years of experience obtaining fair compensation for motorcycle accident victims. We understand the severity of the injuries caused by these accidents and that most riders may not have the money they need to deal with the aftermath of a crash. It’s time you put our experience, skills, and extensive knowledge on your side and fight for the compensation you deserve.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With My Compensation Claim?
If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle wreck, it’s crucial you get professional legal help immediately. Motorcycle wrecks present a unique set of circumstances, as injuries are often severe. Besides, the blame for the crash is often shifted to riders for no reason. When you work with a trusted and experienced Easley motorcycle accident lawyer, they will work help you at each step of your case, including:
Investigating Your Crash
Our legal team is supported by a team of experienced investigators who are retired law enforcement officers. We will utilize their skills and resources to gather and analyze the evidence to determine the cause of the crash and who was responsible.
Retaining Qualified Professionals
We consult professionals such as accident reconstructionists, economists, medical practitioners, and life care planners to help interpret the evidence correctly. This way, we can build a strong case and fight for the maximum possible compensation.
Calculating Insurance Coverage and Other Damages
Our motorcycle accident attorneys will help evaluate the insurance coverage available, the potential damages, and the long-term care you or your loved one may need to rehabilitate the injuries. It is important to know how much insurance coverage is available and have an estimate of potential damages before any settlement negotiations can begin.
Handling Settlement Negotiations
Without a lawyer, you can expect the insurance company to try and blame you for the accident or offer a lowball settlement that does not reflect the severity of your losses or injuries. Our team at Hernandez & Cabra, Attorneys at Work, LLC, has experience dealing with insurance companies and will handle settlement negotiations on your behalf.
Seeking Justice in Court
Our motorcycle accident attorneys successfully settle most cases out of court. But if the insurance company fails to offer a satisfactory settlement, you can rest assured we will be prepared to file a lawsuit and fight for the justice you deserve in court.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
We know the vulnerability that motorcyclists face on the road. A significant number of motorcycle accidents involve another, mostly a passenger vehicle. And the most frequent collisions and crashes are caused by some form of another driver’s negligence.
When we help riders involved in motorcycle accidents, we often see accidents caused by:
- Failure to pay attention to motorcycles
- Distracted driving
- Open car doors
- Drunk driving or drugged driving
- Lane splitting and unsafe lane changes
- Faulty mirrors, brakes, or lighting
- Sudden stops
- Unexpected pedestrians in the road
No matter what type of motorcycle wreck you were involved in, our Easley motorcycle accident lawyers know how to thoroughly investigate the incident to determine the other driver was negligent.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics for South Carolina
For motorcyclists, nothing compares to cruising the road. Tragically, riders have little protection if involved in an accident. Many riders are either severely injured or die.
In fact, in 2019, there were 153 motorcyclists killed, which accounted for 15% of all traffic fatalities in South Carolina. Other key findings (according to the National Highway Traffic Administration) regarding motorcycle accidents in South Carolina include:
- The number of motorcyclist fatalities in 2019 increased from 2018, from 141 to 153.
- 75% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were riding without helmets.
- The 40-and older age group accounted for 63% of motorcyclists killed in 2019.
- 4 people lost their lives in motorcycle accidents in Pickens County.
What Are the Motorcycle-Specific Laws in South Carolina?
South Carolina has a host of statutes that directly relate to motorcycle riders, including licensure, inspections, and operation on public roads.
This statute dictates how motorcycles shall be operated. Some of the rules outlined in this section include:
- A person operating a motorcycle shall do so while sitting with a leg on each side of the seat, facing forward.
- Riders shall not operate a motorcycle while carrying a bundle, package, or any other article that prevents them from keeping their hands on the handlebars.
- A rider shall operate a motorcycle only when seated on the permanent and regular seat. They shall not carry another person unless the motorcycle is designed to have more than one person.
- No operator shall attach themselves or the motorcycle to another vehicle on the road.
According to this statute, motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane. That means that an operator shall not overtake or use the same lane occupied by another vehicle being overtaken.
Helmets must be worn by motorcycle operators and passengers under age 21. The helmet must include a neck and chin strap and must be approved by the Department of Public Safety.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Seen in Motorcycle Accidents?
While drivers of passenger vehicles can safely walk away from typical car wrecks, motorcycle riders and their passengers are not always so lucky. Motorcycles don’t offer much protection; the absence of airbags, seat belts, and an enclosed metal structure puts riders at risk every time they’re involved in an accident. In most cases, the resulting injuries cause life-altering damage.
If you need representation after sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident in Easley, SC, our lawyers are here to help. We are familiar with the catastrophic and life-changing injuries that often occur in these accidents, such as:
- Broken bones
- Head and brain injuries
- Road rash
- Loss of a limb
- Severe lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe bruising
- Damage to internal organs
How is Fault Determined in an Easley, SC Motorcycle Accident?
If you get hurt in a motorcycle crash, navigating the unique motorcycle laws, terms, categories, and time limits related to accident recovery can be confusing. Our attorneys discuss some of the laws that come into play when determining fault after a motorcycle accident.
South Carolina utilizes a fault-based insurance system for dealing with motorcycle accidents. That means that the individual or entity at fault and their insurance company are responsible for the damages and other losses.
The theory behind parties being at fault for motorcycle crashes is negligence. In other words, the person or entity at fault for the wreck was driving negligently. Negligence has four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Modified Comparative Negligence Rule
While South Carolina uses a fault-based insurance system, many accidents are not black-and-white, and the fault may be “distributed.” It is not uncommon for injured motorcycle accident victims to have contributed to the crash. Because of this, a more specific rule is used: the “modified comparative negligence” rule. This rule places a limit on how much blame/fault a plaintiff may have to recover compensation.
A plaintiff who is more than 50% at fault for a motorcycle accident cannot recover from the other at-fault parties. However, if you’re 50% or less at fault, you can still recover from the other at-fault person or party.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive For My Easley Motorcycle Accident?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Easley, SC, you have a right to seek damages. While money will never turn the clock back, it can cover medical bills and help you move on with your life. There are several forms of damages our reputable Easley motorcycle accident lawyer may be able to recover in a motorcycle accident insurance claim and the lawsuit, such as:
- Economic Damages: Such as property damage, medical expenses (including doctor’s visits, surgical procedures, rehabilitation, and future medical care), and any lost wages.
- Non-Economic Damages: Include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive Damages: If the other driver was malicious or extremely reckless.
Why Was My Easley Motorcycle Accident Claim Denied?
It is common for insurers to blame motorcycle operators after a crash; you can expect them to make excuses to deny your claim. Here are some of the common reasons we often see when helping motorcycle accident victims.
- Lack of Coverage: The driver was not insured under the policy, or the policy was canceled or lapsed
- Delayed Medical Care: They don’t believe you were really hurt
- Disputes about Liability: They believe the accident was your fault
- Pre-Existing Conditions: They don’t think the motorcycle accident is what caused your injuries
Are There Time Limits to Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim in South Carolina?
Under South Carolina law, motorcycle accident victims wishing to file a claim for damages – whether they stem from damage to property or personal injury – have three years from the date of the motorcycle crash.
If the claim mentions a municipality or government agency, then the time limit is much shorter, and the claim must file specific paperwork to give the municipality notice.
The sooner you speak with an Easley motorcycle accident attorney, the sooner they can go to work for you to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Get Help From a Trusted Easley Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
The experienced Easley motorcycle accident lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra are passionate about representing motorcycle accident victims. We understand the intricacies of personal injury claims and the tactics that other lawyers and insurance companies use. Don’t get caught off guard. Turn to our lawyers who have extensive experience investigating and litigating motorcycle accident cases. We’ll be on your side every step of the way.
Call 864-501-4384 and schedule a free case review.