Serving Columbia and South Carolina communities
If you’re reading this, chances are that you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident. First and foremost, we understand how difficult this time can be. The physical pain, emotional distress and financial burden can be overwhelming, and you may feel lost and uncertain about what to do next.
That’s where we come in.
At Smith, Born, Leventis, Taylor & Vega, we specialize in representing individuals who have been injured in motorcycle accidents. We understand the unique challenges faced by motorcyclists on the road and the prejudice they often experience, despite being the victims of another driver’s negligence.
That’s why we’re here to help you fight for your legal rights and seek the compensation you deserve.
When you choose us to represent you, you can rest assured that you’ll have a dedicated and experienced legal team on your side.
Our South Carolina personal injury attorneys are committed to delivering customized legal representation to every client we serve. We have a proven history of obtaining the highest possible compensation for motorcyclists who have suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence.
We won’t rest until we’ve achieved the best possible outcome for you and your family, just like we’ve done for countless other motorcycle accident victims throughout South Carolina.
What types of injuries are common in motorcycle accidents?
Because motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles and lack a protective barrier, motorcycle accidents often result in more serious injuries for motorcyclists than other drivers. These injuries can be life-changing and may include:
- Head injuries. Even with a helmet, riders can suffer traumatic brain injuries in a collision, leading to long-term cognitive and physical impairment.
- Road rash. Motorcyclists may be thrown from their bikes and slide along the pavement, resulting in painful skin abrasions and infections.
- Spinal cord injuries. Damage to the spinal cord can result in paralysis and other permanent disabilities.
- Fractures and broken bones. The impact of a crash can result in broken bones and fractures, which may require surgery and prolonged rehabilitation.
- Fatal injuries. Sadly, some motorcycle accidents result in wrongful deaths, leaving families to cope with the devastating loss of a loved one.
What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents?
Motorcycle accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of these accidents include the following:
- Driver negligence. This can include a driver failing to see a motorcycle, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or violating traffic laws.
- Road hazards. Potholes, debris and uneven pavement can cause motorcyclists to lose control of their bikes and crash.
- Defective equipment. Malfunctioning brakes, tires or other equipment can prevent a motorcycle from working properly and lead to an accident.
- Weather conditions. Rain, snow and ice can make roads slick and dangerous for motorcyclists, especially when visibility is low and other drivers can’t see them.
- Inexperienced riders. Lack of experience or training frequently leads to mistakes and accidents on the road.
- Distracted driving. Drivers who are distracted by their phones or other passengers in their vehicles may not see motorcyclists and cause an accident.
- Speeding. Excessive speed can make it difficult for drivers to react to unexpected changes on the road and can increase the severity of a collision.
- Lane splitting. This occurs when a motorcyclist rides between 2 lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic. While legal in some states, it can be dangerous and lead to accidents.
- Driving under the influence of prescription medications. Certain medications can impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely and may increase the likelihood of a motorcycle accident.
- Aggressive driving. Drivers who tailgate, cut off other drivers, or otherwise harass motorcyclists on the road may cause them to lose control of their bikes and crash.
What should I do after a motorcycle accident?
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s essential to take the appropriate steps to protect your health and legal rights. Here’s what you should do immediately after a motorcycle accident:
- Seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, it’s crucial to get a medical evaluation to ensure that you haven’t sustained any internal injuries. Additionally, failure to seek prompt medical attention often makes it more difficult to prove your injuries are related to your accident.
- Contact the police. Report the accident to the police, and provide them with accurate information about what happened. Their report will provide useful evidence in a personal injury claim.
- Document the scene. Take pictures of the accident scene, including any damage to your bike and the other vehicle involved, as well as any visible injuries.
- Gather information. Collect the names and contact information of any witnesses and the other driver involved in the accident.
- Don’t admit fault. Avoid apologizing or admitting fault, as this can be used against you in a legal proceeding.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. A skilled attorney can help you understand your legal rights and guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your injuries and losses.
What types of financial compensation can I get after a motorcycle accident?
If another driver’s negligence caused the accident that led to your injuries, you might be entitled to the following compensation through a personal injury lawsuit:
- Medical expenses. This includes the cost of emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation and all ongoing medical care.
- Lost income. If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and lost earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering. This can include compensation for physical and emotional pain, suffering and diminished quality of life.
- Property damage. This includes the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle, as well as any other property that was damaged in the accident.
- Wrongful death. If you’ve lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for funeral expenses, lost income and other damages.
How long do I have to file an injury claim in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including motorcycle accidents, is generally 3 years from the date of the accident.
This means that if you want to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and losses, you must do so within 3 years from the date of the accident, or you may lose your right to pursue a claim.
However, it’s important to note that there may be exceptions to this rule, depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, if the at-fault party is a government entity, the deadline to file a claim may be much shorter.
To ensure that you don’t miss any important deadlines or forfeit your legal rights, talk to an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
Understanding motorcycle laws in South Carolina
If you ride a motorcycle in South Carolina, it’s essential to understand the state’s motorcycle laws. Below are some of the key regulations you should be aware of:
- Riding position. All South Carolina motorcycle riders are required to sit forward facing with one leg on each side of the seat and both arms on the handlebars.
- Lane use. No more than 2 motorcycles can be next to each other while driving in a single lane.
- Helmets. In South Carolina, if you’re under the age of 21 and are operating or riding on a motorcycle or other 2-wheeled vehicle, you must wear a helmet that meets certain safety standards. The helmet must have either a neck or chin strap and must be reflective on both sides. These laws are intended to promote safety and prevent injuries in motorcycle accidents, as helmets can greatly reduce the risk of head injuries in the event of a crash.
- Goggles and face shields. If you are under the age of 21 and operating a motorcycle or other 2-wheeled vehicle, you must wear goggles or a face shield that meets certain safety standards. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety is responsible for creating and updating regulations regarding approved types of goggles and face shields, as well as their specifications.
- Footrests. Any motorcycles that are designed to carry a passenger must have footrests for both passengers and drivers.
Columbia accident attorneys serving injury victims in South Carolina
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s essential that you hire an experienced attorney to ensure your rights are protected. At Smith, Born, Leventis, Taylor & Vega, our accident attorneys will gather evidence to support your claim and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to get you maximum financial compensation.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t pay us anything unless we win.
Our team of skilled lawyers will handle every aspect of your case, so you can focus on your recovery.
Contact us today to schedule your first free consultation and learn more about how we can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.