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Do I Have A Motorcycle Accident Case?

car accident case

Motorcycle accidents can leave victims with severe injuries, immense pain, and extensive medical bills. In such distressing situations, victims are often left wondering if they have the right to file a claim against the party that caused the accident. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help determine whether a person has a case – and if they do, they can help build the strongest case possible in order to maximize the victim’s chances of receiving fair compensation.

Motorcycle Accident Injuries Can Be Serious

Motorcycle accidents can have severe consequences due to the lack of protection and direct contact with vehicles and the road. The absence of a protective enclosure leaves motorcyclists vulnerable to devastating injuries.

One common injury resulting from motorcycle accidents is road rash. When a rider is thrown off their bike and skids along the pavement, the friction between their skin and the road can cause painful abrasions. Road rash injuries range from superficial scrapes to deep wounds that may require skin grafts, leading to long recovery periods and potential scarring.

Broken bones are another frequent occurrence in motorcycle accidents. When a motorcyclist collides with another vehicle or is thrown to the ground, the impact can result in fractures to various bones, including arms, legs, ribs, and even the spine. These injuries often require surgery, immobilization with casts or braces, and extensive rehabilitation to regain functionality.

Muscle damage is not uncommon in motorcycle accidents, as the force of impact can strain or tear muscles. These injuries can lead to significant pain, limited mobility, and a protracted healing process. Physical therapy is often necessary to regain strength and range of motion.

Perhaps the most severe injuries associated with motorcycle accidents are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs can result in permanent disability, cognitive impairments, and even death.

Spinal cord injuries are another grave consequence of motorcycle accidents. The abrupt impact can cause fractures or dislocations in the vertebrae, leading to paralysis, loss of sensation, and a lifetime of disability.

Factors to Consider in Determining If You Have a Case

Various factors need to be carefully evaluated to ascertain the strength and viability of your case. An experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyer can listen to your situation and advise you on whether you should file a claim against the guilty party’s insurance company. 

Evaluating the Value of Your Claim

The severity of your injuries directly affects the value of your personal injury claim. Insurance companies and legal professionals consider various factors such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering when determining the potential compensation you may receive. Generally, the more severe your injuries, the higher the value of your claim. Extensive injuries that require long-term rehabilitation, result in permanent disabilities, or significantly impact your ability to work or enjoy daily activities are likely to receive more substantial compensation.

Establishing Liability and Negligence

The severity of your injuries can also impact the establishment of liability and negligence in your personal injury case. Severe injuries often leave substantial evidence, including medical records, expert testimony, and witness statements, that can validate your claims and demonstrate the negligence of the at-fault party. Conversely, minor injuries may be more challenging to prove and may require additional evidence to establish liability. 

It’s also important to note that South Carolina recognizes comparative negligence, which means you can receive compensation even if you were partially responsible for the motorcycle accident – just as long as you were 50% or less at fault. If you played a role in the accident occurring, your award will be reduced accordingly. 

Adapting to Long-Term Consequences

If your injuries result in long-term consequences and impairments, such as chronic pain, permanent disability, or psychological trauma, it is crucial to consider the impact these changes will have on your life and future financial stability. Severe injuries often require ongoing medical treatments, therapy, and lifestyle adaptations, which can result in significant expenses and adjustments. Understanding the long-term consequences of your injuries allows you to accurately assess the potential compensation you may need to cover medical bills, future treatments, lost earning capacity, and other relevant costs.

Evidence from the Accident Scene

Evidence from the accident scene plays a crucial role in supporting an injury case. There are several types of evidence that can be gathered from the accident scene, each providing valuable information to strengthen the case.

Firstly, pictures of the crash scene are highly significant. These photographs capture the immediate aftermath of the accident, documenting the damages, injuries, and the overall scene. They can reveal important details such as skid marks, road conditions, and the positioning of the vehicles involved. Similarly, surveillance videos can provide a visual account of the accident, showing the sequence of events and potential negligence of the parties involved. Moreover, evidence from Google Earth can be utilized to provide an aerial view of the accident scene, which can aid in reconstructing the incident.

Besides visual evidence, other types of evidence may also be necessary to support the injury case. This may include witness testimonies, police reports, and expert opinions. Written statements and depositions can be acquired through spoliation letters to prevent the destruction of relevant evidence.

However, one of the most crucial aspects of an injury case is medical evidence. This can include x-rays, doctor questionnaires, medical expert affidavits, and medical illustrations. These medical records objectively establish the extent of injuries sustained and the consequences they have on the victim’s health and well-being.

Traffic Laws & Liability

When it comes to personal injury law, it’s helpful to remember the basic elements of negligence – duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. This, in a nutshell, is what an attorney will be examining when determining whether you have a case. 

  • Duty: The responsible party (defendant) owed a legal duty of care to the injured party (plaintiff). This duty is often based on the relationship between the parties or the circumstances of the situation.
  • Breach of Duty: The defendant failed to fulfill their duty of care. This is often described as a breach of the standard of care expected under the circumstances.
  • Causation: There must be a direct link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the harm suffered by the plaintiff. In other words, the breach of duty must be the proximate cause of the injuries or damages.
  • Damages: The plaintiff must have suffered actual harm or damages as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty.

Liability is often determined by whether any traffic laws were violated. For instance, if a motorcyclist was speeding or failed to yield right of way, they may be held partially or fully liable for the accident. Similarly, if a motorist was distracted while driving and caused the accident, they would be considered at fault under South Carolina law.

Reviewing all evidence is crucial in establishing liability in motorcycle accidents. Authorities and legal professionals must thoroughly examine the scene of the accident, gather witness statements, assess the damage to vehicles, and analyze any available surveillance footage. Additionally, it is essential to obtain cell phone records to determine if distracted driving played a role. By reviewing all evidence, a clear picture of the events leading to the accident can be formed, helping to determine liability accurately.

Property Damage

In a motorcycle accident case, property damage to your motorcycle holds significant importance and can serve as a crucial factor in determining compensation. Including property damage expenses as a form of economic damages is essential to ensure fair compensation for the losses incurred.

Firstly, property damage is a form of economic damage that encompasses the costs of repairing or replacing your damaged motorcycle. By including these expenses in your case, you are rightly seeking reimbursement for the financial burden caused by the accident. It not only covers the visible damage but also considers any potential hidden damages that might have resulted from the collision.

Moreover, property damage serves as compelling evidence to support your claim for compensation. Photos, videos, and repair estimates can provide clear documentation of the extent of damage suffered by your motorcycle. This evidence strengthens your case by showcasing the tangible and quantifiable losses you have experienced.

Including property damage as part of your case also helps establish the severity of the accident and its impact on your life. It demonstrates the physical force involved and the resulting devastation, allowing for a better understanding of the accident’s consequences. This understanding is essential for ensuring you receive adequate compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other damages you have encountered due to the motorcycle accident.

Contact McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates Today

McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates has been helping South Carolina motorcycle accident victims for over 40 years. Our attorneys are experienced and extremely knowledgeable, and fight hard for their clients. 

Our law firm has seven locations across the Midlands of South Carolina, in AikenCamdenColumbiaLexingtonNewberryOrangeburg, and Sumter. We have an excellent track record of securing compensation for motorcycle accident victims, and we would love to help you if we can. 

Give us a call today at 888-353-5513 for a free case evaluation. It won’t cost you anything to see if we can help.®