South Carolina continues to lose more than 100 motorcyclists annually in devastating motorcycle crashes. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety publishes the most recent motorcycle accident fatality statistics in South Carolina. In 2018 there were 110 fatal collisions involving motorcycles (resulting in 114 deaths), 304 serious injury collisions involving motorcycles, and 1157 “other injury” collisions involving motorcycles. The number of persons killed in South Carolina motorcycle accidents in the last 10 years are as follows:
- 2008: 112 persons killed
- 2009: 95 persons killed
- 2010: 84 persons killed
- 2011: 104 persons killed
- 2012: 109 persons killed
- 2013: 27 persons killed
- 2014: 89 persons killed
- 2015: 141 persons killed
- 2016: 148 persons killed
- 2017: 117 persons killed
- 2018: 114 persons killed.
Attorney Mark Bringardner is an advocate for motorcyclists and their families. He has represented injured bikers and families of bikers whose lives were tragically lost. When negligent motorists cause devastating injuries and heartbreaking losses, he fights to hold wrongdoers accountable to the maximum possible extent.
Charleston Motorcycle Helmet Law
Unlike it’s neighbor states Georgia and North Carolina, as well as nearby states Tennessee, Alabama and Virginia, South Carolina no longer has a universal helmet law that requires all riders to wear a helmet. The law was dropped in 1980. In South Carolina today, anyone over the age of 21 is not required to wear a helmet. Operators and passengers under age 21 must wear a helmet per SC Code § 56-5-3660 (2012).
Where Do Motorcycle Accidents Occur?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with its mission to “Save lives, prevent injuries, reduce vehicle-related crashes” – has reported that approximately 70% of motorcycle-vehicle collisions occur at intersections, because motorcycles are less visible to other drivers. At intersections where vehicles are changing directions and changing speeds rapidly, drivers may not see a motorcycle before it is too late. Causes of motorcycle accidents may include:
- Speeding / Driving too fast for conditions
- Reckless lane changes
- Distracted driving / using cell phones while driving
- Following motorcyclists too closely
Recovering Compensation in a Personal Injury Or Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against a negligent driver or any other party that caused your injuries. If a negligently maintained roadway condition, such as a pothole or pavement crack caused you to lose control of your motorcycle and crash, you may have a case against the city, county, or state authority responsible for maintaining it. Generally, you will have to prove that the agency knew of the condition and did not take appropriate action to correct it.
If you’ve suffered a serious injury, your future may depend on the outcome of a lawsuit. Without compensation, you may suffer financially due to medical bills and lost income from being unable to work. In a personal injury claim for a South Carolina motorcycle accident, damages may be available for:
- Medical treatments and hospitalizations
- Short-term and long-term disability
- Future medical care as necessary
- Occupational and physical therapy
- Prescription drugs and medications
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
If a motorcycle accident causes fatal injuries, a wrongful death claim may be brought for funeral and burial expenses, final medical expenses, lost income and support for what the victim would have been expected to earn over their lifetime, and loss of love and companionship. Although no amount of money can ease the pay of a devastating loss, compensation can be important and necessary for families to prevent financial devastation.
Before you accept any motorcycle or car accident settlement offer from an insurance company, speak with a skilled, knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney. Insurance claims adjusters will do everything they can to pay out as little as possible. In almost all cases, a lawyer can help you recover far more compensation than is initially offered.
Preventing Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle safety advocates and personal injury lawyers will be quick to point out the potentially life-saving benefits of wearing a DOT approved helmet. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety states that a proper helmet is the single most important piece of motorcycle safety equipment.
Like bicyclists and pedestrians, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to serious injury or death than occupants of a motor vehicle. Motorcyclists are even more vulnerable to catastrophic injury or death than bicyclists and pedestrians though, because they travel at much faster speeds. Along with important protection in a crash, helmets protect bikers from debris from rocks, dirt, gravel and even insects.
We know from CDC statistics that Helmets reduce the risk of death by 37% and reduce the risk of head injury by 69%. Of the fatalities in 2018 motorcycle accidents in South Carolina, 48% were unhelmeted, 34% were helmeted, and 17 percent were unknown. Bikers who are not wearing a helmet are three times more likely than helmeted ones to sustain traumatic brain injuries in the event of a crash.
Protect Your Rights Following a Charleston Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
Having represented numerous motorcyclists and their families, attorney Mark Bringardner understands the dangers bikers face on Charleston streets, roads and highways. Call us right away to discuss your case. Free consultations are available seven days a week. As always, with all of our personal injury cases that are overseen by our Charleston personal injury lawyer, there are never any fees unless we recover money for you.