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Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in South Carolina
Let us fight for your rights when you suffered an injury in a motorcycle crash
Motorcycle accidents are some of the most serious accidents we handle. If you’re in an accident on your bike, you may sustain a catastrophic injury. A loved one may have even lost his or her life because some other driver made a careless error. Getting justice can be difficult, whether you were injured or lost a loved one.
Insurance companies know that many prospective jurors have a bias against someone who chooses to ride a motorcycle. At McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, we understand that it can be an uphill battle against an insurance company that wants to blame the victim. That is why we take an aggressive approach to building your case. If you were hurt on your motorcycle while riding in South Carolina, we have the resources, skills, and experience you want on your side.
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How Can We Help?
- How do your attorneys help with my South Carolina motorcycle accident case?
- How are motorcycle accidents different than car accidents?
- How often do motorcycle accidents happen in South Carolina?
- What are the causes of South Carolina motorcycle accidents?
- What kinds of injuries happen in South Carolina motorcycle accidents?
- How is fault determined in a South Carolina motorcycle accident?
- Do you have a motorcycle accident attorney near me?
How do your attorneys help with my South Carolina motorcycle accident case?
Our knowledgeable South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyers are familiar with many of the common causes of motorcycle accidents. That’s because we have worked with many people seriously injured in motorcycle accidents. Injuries can often be extremely severe, including spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries that result in paralysis. You need someone who will fight to recover the compensation you need to pay for your medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages. We will fight on your behalf to hold the negligent individual accountable.
Some of the common motorcycle accidents we deal with include highway accidents and rear-end collisions. In certain extreme cases, accidents can turn deadly. If your family is dealing with a fatal motorcycle accident, please contact us. We can help guide you through the legal process, including whether to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Our highly skilled lawyers also know how to deal with insurance companies after an accident. Because of the bias against those who are injured in motorcycle crashes, insurance companies will aggressively fight claims. They want to pay victims and families as little as possible. At McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, we work with medical experts and accident reconstruction experts to build a case that will stand up to scrutiny, so that you have the best possible chance of recovering the full amount of compensation you deserve.
We will take your case seriously
With so much at stake, you will need a South Carolina motorcycle accident attorney who will aggressively fight to protect your rights. You’ll need someone who will fight the bias. Whether representing someone in a highway accident on I-20 outside Batesburg or a biker who was injured in a rear-end crash on Assembly Street in Columbia, SC near the South Carolina Statehouse, we take our work seriously. You have the same rights to ride your motorcycle on any of these South Carolina roads as the people who drive cars. The attorneys at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips LLC, are well-versed in state law and have years of experience handling complex injury cases.
How are motorcycle accidents different than car accidents?
Motorcycle accidents differ from car accidents in several significant ways, primarily due to the unique characteristics of motorcycles and how they interact with the road and other vehicles.
One of the biggest distinctions is the vulnerability of motorcycle riders. Unlike car occupants who are protected by the vehicle's structure, motorcyclists are exposed. This exposure means that in an accident, motorcyclists are at a much higher risk of suffering severe injuries. These injuries can include head trauma, road rash, fractures, and more. Even with safety gear such as helmets and protective clothing, riders remain significantly more vulnerable to injury compared to passenger car occupants.
Another difference lies in the balance and stability of motorcycles. Motorcycles have only two wheels, which makes them inherently less stable than cars. Riders must maintain balance at all times, and factors such as road conditions, weather, and sudden maneuvers can lead to a loss of control and accidents. This increased instability can result in accidents that would be unlikely in a four-wheeled vehicle.
Additionally, the size and visibility of motorcycles play a critical role in accidents. Motorcycles are smaller and less conspicuous on the road than cars. Other drivers may have difficulty seeing motorcycles, especially in blind spots or when changing lanes. This reduced visibility can lead to collisions where the driver of the car simply didn't notice the motorcycle.
The dynamics of motorcycle accidents also often differ from those of car accidents. For example, motorcycle accidents are more likely to result in ejections from the vehicle due to the lack of restraint systems like seat belts. This can lead to more severe injuries as riders may be thrown from their motorcycles upon impact.
Finally, the legal and insurance aspects of motorcycle accidents have unique characteristics. In some cases, bias or stereotypes about motorcyclists may affect how these accidents are investigated. Motorcycle accident victims may face challenges in proving liability and recovering compensation, making it important for them to seek legal representation experienced in handling motorcycle accident cases. The attorneys at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips can help.
How often do motorcycle accidents happen in South Carolina?
The 2021 South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book discusses traffic accidents throughout the state, including motorcycle accidents. One motorcyclist was killed every 2.3 days in 2021. Further, 173 motorcyclists were involved in fatal collisions, 396 suffered serious injuries, and 1,197 suffered injuries in accidents.
Across the United States, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports the following: “Although motorcycles make up only 3% of all registered vehicles and 0.6% of all vehicle miles traveled in the United States, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities, 17% of all occupant fatalities, and 3% of all occupant injuries in 2021.”
The NSC also notes that most motorcyclist fatalities occurred:
- In good weather
- On urban roads
- When wearing helmets
- In crashes involving two vehicles
- During the nighttime
Additionally, “72% of the motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes were NOT alcohol-impaired.”
What are the causes of South Carolina motorcycle accidents?
Motorcycle accidents in South Carolina can happen for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common causes include:
- Lack of visibility. Motorcycles are smaller and much less visible than other vehicles on the road, making them more susceptible to being overlooked by other drivers. This can result in collisions when drivers fail to see motorcycles while changing lanes, making turns, or merging into traffic.
- Distracted driving. Driver distractions, such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or using in-vehicle entertainment systems, can divert their attention from the road. When drivers are not fully focused on the task of driving, they may fail to notice motorcycles or react promptly, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Speeding. Excessive speed is a significant factor in motorcycle accidents. Motorcycles can be particularly vulnerable to high-speed crashes due to their reduced stability and limited protection compared to other vehicles. Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to react to hazards or other vehicles like motorcycles and increases the severity of injuries in the event of a collision.
- Intoxication. Operating any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs an operator’s judgment, coordination, and reaction time. Intoxication increases the likelihood of accidents and exacerbates the severity of injuries.
- Unsafe lane changes and turns. Motorcycles can be more challenging to see during lane changes or when making turns. If drivers fail to check their blind spots or accurately assess the distance and speed of an approaching motorcycle, they may collide with the rider.
- Unsafe road conditions. Motorcycles are more vulnerable to road hazards such as potholes, loose gravel, uneven pavement, or debris. These hazards can cause a loss of control, leading to accidents.
- Vehicle failure. Mechanical failures or defects in motorcycles, such as brake failures or tire blowouts, can lead to accidents.
In addition to these, some specific factors can contribute to motorcycle accidents in South Carolina. For example, South Carolina has many rural roads, which are more likely to have poor road conditions and less likely to have shoulders. South Carolina also has a warm climate, which can lead to more motorcycle riders on the road and more traffic congestion.
What kinds of injuries happen in South Carolina motorcycle accidents?
Motorcycle accidents in South Carolina, as in many other places, can result in a wide range of injuries due to the inherent vulnerability of motorcycle riders. These injuries can vary in severity, but they often include:
- Head injuries. Head injuries are a significant concern in motorcycle accidents, even when riders wear helmets. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can range from mild concussions to severe, life-altering brain damage. Helmets can reduce the severity of head injuries, but they cannot eliminate the risk entirely.
- Road rash. When riders are thrown from their motorcycles, they can suffer abrasions and lacerations, often referred to as "road rash." This type of injury occurs when the skin makes contact with the road surface, resulting in painful and sometimes severe skin injuries that can lead to infections.
- Fractures and broken bones. Motorcycle accidents frequently lead to fractures and broken bones, including broken legs, arms, wrists, ribs, and collarbones. These injuries may require surgical intervention and extended periods of rehabilitation.
- Spinal cord injuries. The impact of a motorcycle accident can cause spinal cord injuries, which can result in partial or complete paralysis, loss of sensation, and long-term disability.
- Soft tissue injuries. Muscular and soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains, and tears, are common in motorcycle accidents. These injuries can be painful and may require physical therapy and rehabilitation.
- Internal injuries. The force of a motorcycle accident can cause internal injuries, including damage to organs such as the liver, spleen, kidneys, and lungs. These injuries can be life-threatening and often require immediate medical attention.
- Burns. Motorcycle accidents can lead to burns if the motorcycle catches fire upon impact. Burns can be severe and may require extensive medical treatment, including skin grafts.
- Emotional trauma. In addition to physical injuries, motorcycle accidents can cause significant emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other psychological conditions, which may require counseling or therapy.
- Death. Tragically, some motorcycle accidents in South Carolina result in fatalities. Families of victims may be entitled to pursue wrongful death claims to seek compensation for their losses.
It's important to note that the severity of injuries in motorcycle accidents can vary widely depending on factors like speed, helmet usage, protective gear, and the point of impact.
How is fault determined in a South Carolina motorcycle accident?
Fault in a South Carolina motorcycle accident is determined using the same principles that apply to other types of car accidents. The four elements of negligence that must be proven to establish fault are:
- Duty. The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.
- Breach of duty. The defendant breached that duty of care.
- Causation. The defendant's breach of duty caused the plaintiff's injuries.
- Damages. The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of their injuries.
In the context of a motorcycle accident, the duty of care that a driver owes to a motorcycle rider is to operate their vehicle safely and reasonably. A breach of this duty of care can occur if the driver engages in behaviors such as distracted driving, speeding, or failing to yield.
If the plaintiff can prove that the defendant breached their duty of care and that this breach caused the plaintiff's injuries, then the defendant will be found liable for the plaintiff's damages. Damages in a motorcycle accident case can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.
In some cases, multiple parties may be at fault for a motorcycle accident. For example, if a motorcycle rider is injured in a collision with a car, both the car driver and the motorcycle rider may be at fault. In this case, the plaintiff's damages will be apportioned among the parties at fault based on their percentage of fault. Our attorneys work to show that the accident was not your fault.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in South Carolina, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case. The lawyers at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips LLC can help you determine who is at fault for your accident and can help you file a claim to recover your damages.
Do you have a motorcycle accident attorney near me?
McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC is located at 1539 Health Care Drive in Rock Hill, SC. If you are too ill or injured to visit us, we can see you in the hospital or meet via telephone or video conference.
We also maintain offices in or near Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, and Greenville, and serve clients throughout the State of South Carolina in all 46 counties, including Sumter, Anderson, Orangeburg, Hilton Head, Aiken, and Spartanburg.
Help for South Carolina motorcycle riders when it’s needed the most
The most common myth about motorcycle accidents is that motorcycle riders cause most accidents. The reality is most accidents are caused by other drivers. When you choose to hire McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips LLC, we will work tirelessly for you to set the record straight. You didn’t do anything wrong. Why should you pay for someone else’s mistakes? We’re ready to help. Contact us or call our offices at 803-327-7800 for your free case review. Let us help you take back control.