Motorcycles offer an exhilarating way to experience the open road. While Greenville, with its scenic South Carolina landscapes, is a motorcyclist’s paradise, the risk of accidents and subsequent injuries simply can’t be ignored.
In fact, because of motorcyclists’ increased risk and vulnerabilities compared to car and truck occupants, the injuries sustained in accidents are often far more severe.
If you or a loved one are involved in such an accident, understanding your legal rights is essential. Here’s what you need to know about the types of injuries most commonly involved in motorcycle accidents.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Despite South Carolina’s helmet laws, which require riders under the age of 21 to wear helmets, many riders opt to forgo this protection. Even with a helmet, a significant impact can cause TBIs, ranging from concussions to more severe brain injuries. These injuries can lead to lifelong disabilities, memory issues, and personality changes.
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When a motorcyclist is thrown from their vehicle and slides across the pavement, the resulting abrasions—known as road rash—can be more than superficial skin wounds. Severe cases can damage the underlying tissue, leading to infections, scars, and even the need for skin grafts. Treatment and physical therapy can be extensive, and road rash injuries often leave riders with visibly disfigured or scarred skin.
Fractures and Broken Bones
Without the protective shell of a car, motorcyclists often bear the brunt of the collision. The most common fractures involve the arms, wrists, legs, and collarbone. Without immediate or proper treatment, these injuries can lead to permanent impairment.
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Spinal Cord Injuries
Among the most serious of any kind of motorcycle accident injury, injuries to the spinal cord can have devastating consequences. From herniated discs to complete spinal cord damage, victims may experience pain, limited mobility, neurological impairment, or even paralysis.
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The force of a motorcycle crash can cause damage to internal organs, leading to internal bleeding. These injuries might not be immediately apparent, making prompt medical attention after an accident crucial.
Facial and Eye Injuries
Even with a full-face helmet, debris from the road or the accident can cause significant facial or eye injuries. These can range from cuts and bruises to shattered bones and vision loss.
Beyond physical harm, many motorcycle accident victims experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.
Legal Implications and Seeking Compensation
If you’ve experienced physical injuries or emotional trauma due to a motorcycle accident in Greenville, SC, the law is on your side. By working with an experienced local attorney, you can:
1. Establish Liability
An attorney can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and communicate with law enforcement to build a strong case and establish exactly who was at fault in your motorcycle collision.
2. Calculate Damages
This includes medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and any long-term disability or rehabilitation costs. Because non-economic damages such as pain and suffering are harder to quantify, an experienced attorney can help to establish the baseline amount of what your damages are worth.
3. Negotiate and Litigate
Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts. A seasoned lawyer will negotiate on your behalf and take the case to court if necessary.
Motorcycle accidents change lives in an instant. The road to recovery—both physical and financial—can be challenging, but by understanding the common injuries and enlisting the expertise of a dedicated Greenville attorney, you can navigate the aftermath of a motorcycle wreck with confidence. Additionally, by hiring a legal expert, you can exponentially increase your odds of receiving a fair and maximized settlement offer to compensate you fairly for your accident.