Wrecks involving motorcycle riders in South Carolina cause serious injuries to the riders and passengers and can have extensive financial impacts. Those who are involved in a motorcycle accident should promptly contact a South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer and arrange for a free consultation to assess the strength of the case without any obligation to hire the attorney. Personal injury attorneys often work on contingency, so their fees are not paid as they go but from a portion of the financial damages that are awarded. If the lawsuit does not result in damages the attorney is not paid. Contact a professional attorney today.
The attorney knows that most collisions with motorcycles in South Carolina are not caused by the rider. They happen because the motorist is driving aggressively, speeding, or is distracted by traffic, a cell phone, or driving while impaired.
Negligence Law in South Carolina
Determining who is at fault in a motorcycle accident is accomplished by South Carolina’s negligence law. Legally, negligence is acting in a way that a prudent person would not act in a similar situation. South Carolina, like many other states, uses the comparative negligence standard. The way it works is if the parties involved share fault in causing the accident, their damages are reduced by the percentage of fault they have.
South Carolina’s ‘51 Percent Rule’
South Carolina has adopted this rule to encourage safe motoring and to punish someone who has more than half the negligent fault in an accident. A driver with any amount over 50 percent then falls under the state’s ‘51 Percent Rule,’ which prohibits that driver from claiming or collecting anything. A South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer can provide more information.
Comparative negligence is proven if all of its five elements, or parts, are supported by the facts of the accident. These elements are:
- Duty of care: Parties have a legal responsibility to act with caution toward others when conducting themselves in a manner that foreseeably could cause harm or property damage to someone else
- Breach: This is an action, or an omission, that violates duty of care
- Causation: The breach resulted in harm or property damage
- Proximate cause: A particular and foreseeable event resulted
- Damages: A financial loss occurred
Motorcyclists and their passengers, if they are not at fault, may claim the total amounts of these common damages:
- Medical care, including X-rays, hospitalization, and nursing care at home
- Therapeutic treatments and rented or purchased equipment
- Loss of present income and future income that cannot be earned
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Punitive, if the negligent act was horrendous
Role of a South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney
A South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident scene with photographs, x-rays, other proofs of the injuries, and other physical evidence. All medical records and receipts are gathered as documentary evidence. The statements of those involved and witnesses are taken under penalty of perjury.
The services and testimony of a professional accident reconstruction specialist may be used to bolster the case and refute the defense’s witnesses and its theories. The attorney also will anticipate the defense’s case and be prepared to counter it. The lawsuit, citing the plaintiff’s facts and legal citations of similar court cases, is written and the lawyer prepares for trial. However, often personal injury cases are settled without a trial by the parties involved. As insurance companies acting in their own best interests try to limit the amount of damages, the attorney will work to achieve all the damages incurred through tough negotiation.