Motorcycle Accident Attorney – Sumter & Columbia, SC
There are few things that may be more physically, emotionally, and financially devastating than being involved in a motorcycle accident. To be sure, a motorcycle crash can leave a motorcyclist with serious and permanent injuries, high medical bills, the inability to work and earn an income, and various other stressors. At the Marc Brown Law Firm, we know how much is at stake when you’ve been in a crash and are pursuing a motorcycle accident personal injury claim. To help improve the chances of recovering your maximum compensation award, here are some tips to help along the way.
Learn more below, and contact us today to request a free consultation with a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
When determining the at-fault party, knowing some of the most common causes of motorcycle collisions can help. Here are some of the most common events that lead to motorcycle crashes:
- Drunk Driving. Drivers under the influence are impaired and may not spot a motorcycle. Motorcyclists who are riding under the influence are a danger on the road as well.
- Left Turns. Negligent drivers may not check their surroundings completely when making a left turn. As motorcycles are smaller and less visible than other vehicles on the road, they may not be spotted if the other driver is paying full attention.
- Tailgating. If a motorcyclist is driving too close behind another vehicle, they may not be able to stop quickly enough. They may collide with the vehicle and/or be launched from their bike.
- Lane Splitting. Lane splitting is illegal in South Carolina, yet certain scenarios, like attempting to avoid an oncoming vehicle, may require it to protect your safety. If you were involved in an accident while lane splitting, you may still be entitled to compensation if you can prove you were not the primary cause of the accident and that your actions were taken to help prevent worse injuries.
- Distracted Driving. Phone use is a major cause of distracted driving that commonly results in collisions between vehicles and motorcycles. The other driver’s phone records can be checked to verify if distracted driving may have caused the accident.
There are many other ways a motorcycle collision can occur. As determining fault is a major factor in your recovery, it’s important to speak with an attorney right away for assistance.
Common Injuries In Motorcycle Crashes
As motorcyclists are exposed to the roadway with limited protection, riders involved in collisions often experience serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Here are some of the most common injuries resulting from these accidents:
- Broken bones
- Neck and spine injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Burns and road rash
- Internal organ injuries
Wearing the appropriate safety gear, like helmets and motorcycle jackets, can help to reduce the severity of injuries during an accident.
What Damages Can You Recover?
Victims involved in motorcycle collisions can seek both economic and non-economic damages. Common damages recovered include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Long-term disability
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages (in some cases)
The best way to understand your rights to compensation is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney, who can review the specifics of your case. Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations for these claims. You have three years following your accident to file a claim, so it’s important to act quickly.
After An Accident
Identify Who You Will File Your Claim Against
One of the first things that you should do after being involved in a motorcycle accident is to identify who you will be filing your claim against. The party who is liable for your injuries is the party whose negligence caused your crash. This may be the driver of the vehicle involved in your crash, a vehicle or motorcycle part manufacturer, or even the party responsible for road or traffic light maintenance. You maintain the right to file a claim directly against this party’s liability insurance or to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Gather Evidence To Prove Fault & Causation
In order to recover the compensation award that you deserve, you’ll need to prove that your accident would not have happened but for the fault of the other party. You’ll also need to prove that the accident was the proximate cause of your injuries. To do this, you should start compiling evidence that tells this story as soon as possible, including:
- Police reports
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Photographs of the accident and damages
- Vehicle event data record evidence
Keep in mind that you may share some fault as well. If you are found to be partially at fault, your compensation may be adjusted accordingly.
Exercise Caution When Speaking To Insurers
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim is on your side. They’re not. Insurance companies are a for-profit business, and the primary goal of the insurance adjuster is to make sure that the insurance company pays you as little money as possible. Therefore, the insurance adjuster will be looking for ways to reduce the value of your claim, such as tricking you into an admission of fault. Exercise caution and remember that it’s best to have legal representation when dealing with an insurance company.
Get Your Medical Documents In Order
You’ll need to prove the extent of your injuries in order to be compensated for them. This means that you’ll need to present several forms of medical evidence including, in some cases, the opinion of a medical expert. Start organizing all documents related to medical treatment now, and whatever you do, remember to follow your doctor’s orders!
Work With An Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
It’s important to reach out to an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as you can after being involved in a motorcycle accident. Attorney Marc Brown understands the difficult time you are going through and is here to help you fight for your rights and get the compensation you need to recover. It’s also important to be aware that motorcycle laws are complex and differ in many cases from standard vehicle traffic laws. Marc Brown knows these laws well and is ready to put his experience to work for you.
Get Legal Help Today
We can advise you regarding strategies for recovering a full compensation award, help you collect evidence and build your case, negotiate on your behalf, and represent you throughout the process. For personal injury cases, there is no upfront cost to you. You only pay us a percentage of your recovery when we succeed. This means that we will work hard to help ensure you can recover what you deserve for your injuries.