After getting involved in an accident, several factors determine if you can file an insurance claim or lawsuit. In South Carolina, fault and negligence must be determined to demonstrate/prove who is financially responsible for your losses. If the other party involved is found to be at fault, you can recover lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more to compensate you for the damages you suffered after an accident. Whether you were a driver when the accident occurred or a passenger, pedestrian, or motorcyclist, you are eligible to file an insurance claim for the damages caused by the negligence of another party.
When filing your claim, cases differ based on the parties involved. For motorcycle accident claims these cases will not follow the same structure as car accident claims. Hiring a South Carolina motorcycle accident attorney can ensure you do everything needed to receive the compensation you are owed.
To understand what a motorcycle claim involves, here are the top 3 ways motorcycle accident cases differ from car accident cases.
1. Motorcycle Accidents Lead to More Severe Injuries
Traditional motor vehicles offer more protection levels than a motorcycle can offer. Without such protection, motorcyclists have higher chances of sustaining severe or even fatal injuries. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in an accident than people in motor vehicles.
Injuries this severe require more medical attention as they have longer recovery times and often require long-term care. The more severe and life-altering an injury is, the higher a settlement will be, making motorcycle accident claims more involved than car accident claims. Because of this, hiring an experienced lawyer is essential for you, as a motorcyclist, to receive the full benefits you are owed and to keep you from facing financial struggles later on if your recovery takes longer than expected or other unforeseen circumstances occur. When dealing with severe injuries, it can be too overwhelming to handle the complex details of a personal injury claim on your own.
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2. Motorcycles are More Vulnerable to Road Defects
While defects like loose gravel or potholes might be slight annoyances to a motor vehicle, who can drive over them while experiencing nothing more than a bit of jostling, motorcycles do not handle such defects as well. Hitting a pothole or riding over uneven pavement can cause a motorcyclist to lose control ending in a tragic accident with serious injuries.
Accidents caused by poor or defective road maintenance become very different from accidents caused by another driver. These claims involve filing against the government agency responsible for road maintenance. To succeed in such a claim, there has to be a clear failure on the part of the agency to maintain the road, and you must prove that this failure was the cause of your accident.
3. Motorcyclists Face Negative Stigmas
There are many unfair and negative stigmas tied to motorcyclists, and unfortunately, this can play a factor in an accident claim where you might face more intense scrutiny than car accident claims. Stereotypes that motorcyclists are negligent and dangerous risk-takers can skew how an insurance representative looks at your claim as they may immediately assume you committed negligent actions like lane splitting or traffic weaving. Even if this isn’t the case for your claim, such judgments can negatively impact your ability to recover the full compensation you are owed.
If there is a question of fault on your part, the insurance company could use such misconceptions to further undermine your claim by making it seem that you were fully responsible for the accident. If you choose not to settle with the insurance company and go to trial, the court might still reduce your award for any liability you share in the accident. When an insurance company is arguing shared liability, it is very important to have an experienced attorney to negotiate and argue in court so that such allegations don’t cause you to lose compensation.
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If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, our team at the Hammack Law Firm can help! Our attorneys are experienced in the unique challenges that motorcycle accidents involve and will ensure that the negligent party compensates you for your losses. We know the common tricks that insurance companies use to keep you from the settlement you are owed, so we can protect you from getting lowballed. Whether negotiating on your behalf or preparing your case for trial, we will be there for you in every step of your claims process so that you have someone on your side fighting for your rights.