People choose to ride motorcycles for a variety of reasons. Many love the freedom and thrill that riding a bike provides. Others appreciate the affordability and fuel efficiency of motorcycles over cars. Regardless of your reason for choosing to ride a motorcycle, you have a right to be able to do so safely on South Carolina’s roads.
Unfortunately, careless and reckless drivers often make that impossible. If you have been seriously injured in a crash caused by another driver, you could be owed significant damages from that driver. However, due to an inherent bias against motorcycle riders by insurance adjusters and even law enforcement, it can be hard to hold the driver fully accountable. With the help of the motorcycle accident team at Pracht Injury Lawyers, you can fight for the full value of your claim to help you begin what could be a long and difficult road to recovery.
Compensatory Damages Available in South Carolina
Compensatory damages can be awarded to an accident victim if it is determined that another person’s negligent, carelessness, or intentional actions caused the accident, and the victim suffered losses as a result. The goal of these damages is to make the injured party “whole” again. In other words, the money awarded is intended to return the victim to the position they were in before the accident—financially, physically, and emotionally. Of course, this is not always possible, but the damage award should be enough to allow the victim to recover as fully as possible.
As a motorcycle rider hit by a negligent driver, you are entitled to recover the following from the other driver:
- Property damage. The cost of fixing the damage done to your motorcycle and other personal property should be covered by the at-fault driver.
- Medical expenses. Emergency medical services, surgeries, hospitalization, rehabilitation, medications, follow-up doctor visits, medical equipment, and all other medical expenses necessitated by the crash should be included in the damage award.
- Lost income. If you were unable to work while you recovered from your injuries, you should be reimbursed for your lost wages or for the paid time off you had to take.
- Non-economic damages. These damages include things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. A skilled personal injury attorney will know how to demand the full value of these damage claims.
The total of these losses often exceeds the limits of the at-fault party’s liability insurance coverage, but a personal injury lawyer will give you the best chance of recovering as much as you possibly can.
Comparative Fault in South Carolina
Under South Carolina’s comparative fault rule, the amount of damages you can recover would be reduced if it is determined that your actions contributed to the crash. If, for example, the police claim that you were speeding at the time of the crash and are, therefore, 40 percent responsible for the crash, your damage award will be reduced by 40 percent. If the police think you were 50 percent or more to blame for the crash, you will not be able to recover any damages.
This can be a challenge for motorcyclists, who are often blamed for the crashes in which they are involved simply because of a general—and unfair—distrust of motorcycle riders. This is why it is important that you discuss your accident with a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after the crash.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries Can Be Catastrophic
Bikers—even those wearing helmets and protective gear—are vulnerable to very serious injuries in crashes with cars. The very things that make riding a motorcycle thrilling also mean the rider is not protected in a crash. Bikers who are hit by cars often suffer:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Compound fractures
- Road rash and resulting infections
These kinds of injuries require costly life-saving medical procedures immediately after the crash and often require ongoing treatment, therapy, personal care, and assistive equipment for the rest of the victim’s life. It is vital that the initial crash settlement takes these future expenses into account.
Contact Pracht Injury Lawyers Today
Reach out to our team as soon as you can after the accident by filling out our contact page or calling us at 864-226-7222. With offices in Anderson and Greenville, we serve motorcycle riders across the state of South Carolina. We will answer all of your questions and be candid about your options. You have suffered in uncertainty long enough. We will not leave you in the dark!