Motorcycles are a national pastime that should be enjoyed thoroughly. Riding does not come without its share of dangers. However, that does not mean that you should be left on your own to deal with the consequences if some other person or entity’s negligence causes an accident that injures you.
Motorcyclists are particularly susceptible to accidents involving blind spots, sudden stops, car doors opening into traffic, poorly maintained infrastructure, and drunk driving. In these cases and others, if you can show that the at-fault party’s negligent or reckless conduct caused your accident and the resulting injuries, you can recover compensation so long as you file your claim before the statute of limitations expires.
For immediate, experienced, and personalized legal assistance with evaluating and pursuing compensation for motorcycle accident injuries, call the Sumter motorcycle accident attorneys of Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers today for a free first-time case evaluation at (803) 451-4000.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Sumter, SC
In addition to the typical forms of negligence that could cause a crash, motorcyclists are vulnerable to several additional driving practices that might not take motorcycles into account. Below are just a few examples of instances that may imperil motorcyclists at a higher rate than your average motorist.
In any car, certain areas are obscured from the driver’s natural view. Therefore, drivers are responsible for accounting for the possibility that another vehicle could occupy those areas when turning or changing lanes. This is particularly troubling for motorcyclists, who occupy much less space and may be harder to see in blind spots.
Drivers should always indicate when they intend to stop or turn by using their turn signals and hazards. This is especially important for motorcyclists, who cannot stop short in the same fashion as an ordinary car. Further, the consequences of a rear-end collision with a motorcycle are generally much more substantial for the rider than the other parties involved.
Opening Car Doors
People in stopped cars often think they are beyond the point where they must pay attention to the road. However, this is far from the case. If a driver or passenger on the road-facing side of the vehicle opens their door into oncoming traffic, the bodily harm and property damages could be substantial, particularly if the door opens into the path of a motorcycle.
Obstacles and Poorly Maintained Roads
Infrastructure is crumbling across the country. Large potholes, divots, and other areas of uneven driving surface on the road pose serious issues for motorcyclists. While a car might tackle these challenges and only sustain structural damage, motorcycles may slide, bounce, or be thrown from the ground upon impact. This serves as an example of where an injured motorcyclist may have the grounds for a lawsuit despite the cause not being another driver’s negligence.
Driving Under the Influence
Drunk driving remains one of the largest causes of injury and death in car and motorcycle accidents across the country, not just in South Carolina. If you were injured by a driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, you almost assuredly can file and win a lawsuit against them for your compensable harms, as well as potential punitive damages.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Motorcycle Accident in Sumter, SC
The best way to recover compensation after someone else caused you to crash your motorcycle is to file a lawsuit against them. This process involves several steps, including identifying who was responsible, establishing the elements of a personal injury claim, and meeting the applicable time limits on your case.
Identifying the Defendant
In most cases, fault for a motorcycle accident can be traced to the negligent behavior of one of the drivers involved in the crash. If this party is another driver, you can sue them and recover through their insurance provider. However, it is important to note that not all accidents are caused by other drivers. If your crash was caused by unsafe, poorly maintained roadways, you might have a case against the government entity responsible for them. If your motorcycle malfunctioned, the manufacturing company could be liable for producing a vehicle with defects. One of the first steps that your Sumter motorcycle accident attorney will likely take is to identify who was at fault for causing the accident.
Proving Your Case
All drivers owe a duty of care to others with whom they share the road. To meet this duty and avoid liability, drivers must behave reasonably behind the wheel and abide by the various traffic codes and regulations that apply in the areas where they operate. If a driver’s failure to meet their duty resulted in the accident and that accident caused you compensable bodily injury, you have the ability to file a lawsuit. To prove these essential elements, your Sumter motorcycle accident lawyer will look to introduce physical evidence as well as expert testimony about how the accident occurred, your resulting injuries, and how they have and will continue to affect you.
Filing on Time
Under South Carolina’s statute of limitations for vehicular accident injuries, plaintiffs only have three years from the date of their accident to file their lawsuit. Missing this deadline would be devastating for your chances of recovery, and preparing your initial filing may take some time. Further, you may be facing earlier deadlines for notice if you plan to sue a government entity for damages. Whatever the case may be, it is always best to contact a Sumter motorcycle accident attorney as soon as you have received the immediate and necessary medical treatment for your injuries.
Talk to a Sumter Motorcycle Accident Attorney About Your Case Today
To get your free initial case assessment from one of our Sumter motorcycle accident attorneys today, call Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers right now at (803) 451-4000.