Columbia, SC Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience. Cruising down the road in the open air gives you a sense of freedom and liberation. But motorcycle transportation can also be quite dangerous, even deadly, when other drivers are negligent.
At the Louthian Law Firm, we’ve seen what happens when a motorcycle pleasure trip on South Carolina roads turns into a trip to pain and loss. Our motorcycle accident lawyer has helped many injured bikers receive financial compensation to help them and their families get back on the road to normal.
If you’ve been in a motorcycle crash and think it was caused by the actions or inactions of another driver, or even the manufacturer of a defective motorcycle part, get in touch with Bert Louthian at (888) 254-8573. His law firm has been handling accident claims since 1959. Tell him how your crash happened and he will assess whether you have a good claim . . . for free. No charge for getting his seasoned advice about the options open to you to collect damages in compensation for your injuries. You can also get started by using the online contact form.
Why Motorcycle Accidents Happen And Who Can Be Held Liable
Did a reckless driver cause your motorcycle crash?
Drivers of cars and trucks involved in accidents with motorcycles often report that they “didn’t see” the bike. In most cases, they weren’t trying to run the motorcycle off the road or cut into its path. But that’s no excuse. All drivers have the duty to be aware of their surroundings and to safely share the road with other vehicles, even motorcycles. These days, it’s not unusual for a driver to fail to see a motorcycle on the road because they’re not even looking at the road — they’re looking at their smartphone. Distracted drivers endanger everyone around them.
The definitive report on the causes of motorcycle accidents, the Hurt Report, showed that about three-quarters of all motorcycle accidents are multi-vehicle accidents. Two-thirds of those accidents — half of all motorcycle accidents — happen because another driver has violated the motorcycle’s right of way, often by turning left in front of an oncoming bike.
Were you injured by a driver with a bad attitude?
As you probably know from riding a motorcycle around Columbia, SC, some people don’t like sharing the road with bikers. They fail to respect motorcyclists’ equal right to use the road. This may cause them to be aggressive or put the motorcyclist in a dangerous position. When a crash results from their reckless actions, they can be held liable for the injuries and expenses they caused.
Did a part on your motorcycle fail, causing your injuries?
If your motorcycle had a defective part or there was a fault in the design of the part, the manufacturer might be liable for the costs you face after your motorcycle crash.
Examples of faulty motorcycle parts include…
- Brakes or brake pads
- Tires or rims
- Fuel tanks
- Engine and engine components.
It’s also possible that a retailer or mechanic didn’t do their job. You may not be sure whether a faulty motorcycle part was to blame for your crash. But you don’t have to figure that out. Part of the job of a good motorcycle accident lawyer is to investigate the crash, look at all the details and possibilities, so that the injured drivers and passengers receive the compensation they deserve, from every source.
Did you wreck because of a road hazard?
Motorcycle riders are especially vulnerable when it comes to avoiding road hazards . Things that are of little or no consequence to a passenger vehicle can throw a motorcyclist for a loop, literally. Debris that has fallen from an open truck can present a sudden crisis for a bike rider. Potholes or poorly maintained roads can cause a motorcycle driver to lose control. Construction equipment or road repair cones or barrels that are misplaced can be deadly hazards for a motorcycle rider who has no steel protection around him. Even loose dogs can cause a crash. Bert Louthian will study the circumstances of your motorcycle accident to identify the parties responsible for your damages and hold them accountable.
MOTORCYCLE INJURIES ARE RARELY MINOR
Did you know that bikers are 27 times more likely to die in a vehicle crash than drivers of cars or trucks, and about 5 times more likely to be injured? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), 145 people lost their lives in motorcycle accidents in South Carolina in 2017.
Because of their size compared to cars, SUVs and trucks, and because by their very design motorcycles offer less protection in an impact, drivers and passengers on bikes are likely to sustain serious injuries in a crash, especially when there is another vehicle involved in the wreck.
People in motorcycle accidents commonly suffer injuries to their feet and ankles; legs, knees and thighs; hips and pelvis. Broken bones, scrapes and crush injuries are not unusual. Head injuries actually happen less often, but when they do, they tend to be severe. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.
In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of “older” motorcyclists (over 40 years of age) being victims of fatal motorcycle accidents. The reason is that they have a higher incidence of chest injuries and multiple rib fractures because they tend to ride larger, heavier machines which may crush them in a crash.
HEAD INJURIES AND HELMETS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Are motorcyclists required to wear a helmet in South Carolina? Some do and some don’t. The helmet law in our state requires people under the age of 21 to wear a helmet while on a bicycle. This applies to both motorcycle operators and their passengers. Additionally, operators under 21 must wear goggles or have a face shield attached to their helmet or have a windshield attached to the front of the bike. (The full list of SC motorcycle laws is published online by the South Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles.)
Even if you are over 21, there are plenty of good reasons to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. For one thing, if you’re wearing a helmet when you get into an accident, you are 30 percent less likely to sustain a head injury. Motorcycle accident victims are 40 percent more likely to be killed in a crash if they aren’t wearing a helmet.
A less obvious consequence of not wearing a motorcycle helmet is that insurance companies are likely to try to use that against you if you make a claim after an accident. South Carolina has a comparative negligence law, which means that the compensation a person receives can be reduced if their own negligence contributed to their injury.
Many complex legal issues can arise in motorcycle accidents, even ones that don’t cause a serious injury. If you’re dealing with the fallout from a motorcycle wreck, you should speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Columbia, SC at the Louthian Law Firm. Call us today at (888) 254-8573.
GETTING COMPENSATION FOR YOUR DAMAGES
Catastrophic injuries can be costly. Not only can medical expenses quickly add up, the injured person may not be able to earn a living, temporarily or even permanently.
Economic damages available to victims of a motorcycle crash include payment for:
- Doctor and hospital bills
- Physical therapy and rehab
- Lost wages, both present and future
- Property damage
- Funeral costs.
Some consequences of motorcycle crashes can’t be measured in dollars, but they can still be included in your claim for damages. This includes compensation for…
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (ability to maintain a relationship)
- Mental anguish
- Disfigurement and scarring.
Our Law Firm Supports These Top 10 Safety Innovations
Safety has never been as important as it is now for riders of motorcycles. With increased speeds, heavier traffic, and a slowly-aging motorcycle population, it might seem as if the odds are stacked against lowering the frequency of serious motorcycle crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported in 2014 that bikers were 27 times more likely to die in a vehicle crash than drivers of cars or trucks, and about five times more likely to be injured. With approximately 8.6 million motorcycles on our highways and byways, that’s a lot of lives. Safety must always be a top priority… read more
HOW MUCH CAN I GET IN DAMAGES AFTER A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
That’s a question we often hear when contacted by an injured motorcycle rider. The answer, of course, is different in every case because it depends upon the circumstances of the crash.
But in almost every case one thing holds true: The insurance company’s first offer is not going to be adequate for your needs. They’re going to lowball it and hope you are desperate enough to take it. Remember, you DO NOT have to accept this offer. Your motorcycle accident attorney can help you negotiate a better offer.
It’s best to turn the matter over to a competent, thoroughly prepared motorcycle lawyer, one who is familiar with South Carolina laws regarding motorcycles and negligence. Bert Louthian has the knowledge and skills you need to get full and fair payment for your losses.
WHAT DOES A MOTORCYCLE LAWYER COST?
You can get a free evaluation of your case by calling an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at the Louthian Law Firm today at (888) 254-8573. You can also fill out our confidential case evaluation form. If we find that you have a good claim and you decide you want to pursue it, we will not charge you anything until we achieve a settlement or jury award in your favor. And if we don’t win, you won’t owe us anything.
CLIENT REVIEW OF OUR COLUMBIA, SC MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER
“I have had the pleasure of working with Bert on several cases and have been thoroughly impressed with his client service, legal acumen, and ability to work through complicated legal issues. I highly recommend Bert and his staff for your legal needs and would not hesitate to recommend friends or family members to him.” – John W.