Motorcycle Injury | Frequently Asked Questions

How dangerous is a motorcycle accident compared to an auto accident?

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are about 18 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a motorcycle accident and about three times as likely to be injured.

Does South Carolina have a helmet law?

  • Yes. South Carolina law requires persons who are under the age of 21 to wear motorcycle helmets and protective eyewear, and the helmet must have reflectors on both sides. But sadly, not everyone follows the law. Helmets are estimated to be 37-percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41-percent for motorcycle passengers.

I was in a motorcycle accident in South Carolina and I am under 21, but I was not wearing a helmet. Can I still file a legal claim?

  • Yes. Just because you did not follow the state’s helmet law does not mean you won’t be able to recover damages for your injuries. However, not wearing the helmet may affect the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive. Speaking with Donnie Gamache, an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, can help answer your questions about potential recoveries.

What should I do after a motorcycle accident?

  • This is a crucial moment in the timeline of your case. Priority one is to seek medical care, of course, especially if your injuries might be subtle or hard to detect. If you are able, however, you also want to collect important information from the scene. This can include anything from the other drivers’ information to specific observations about time, place, road conditions, and any obstacles that may have played a role. In the days ahead, you will also want to be assiduous about assembling documentation from other sources, including police reports, medical records, and any correspondence that occurs with insurance carriers.

Should I release my medical records to the insurance adjuster?

  • Definitely not. Releases should only be signed under limited circumstances and after consulting with a qualified personal injury lawyer. If your medical information gets into the insurance adjuster’s hands, it could hurt your case.

How much money is my case worth?

  • Your case is worth either what you agree with the insurance company it’s worth or the amount of a cash award granted by a judge and jury. We examine all of the conditions surrounding your South Carolina motorcycle accident case in order to arrive at a figure that we believe the insurance company must pay for your injuries. Generally, the dollar value is dependent upon the type and extent of your injuries. Other factors influencing the dollar value of your motorcycle accident case are the amount of medical bills, length of treatment, frequency of treatment, future medical bills, permanent disabilities and any other damage that can be documented. We study every detail so that we can get you the money you deserve for your injuries.

What kind of expenses can I recover?

  • If you choose to pursue a motorcycle lawsuit, it is important to go in with your eyes open about what kind of damages you can seek. South Carolina offers a number of ways to recover what you deserve, and a well-fought lawsuit may result in damages for medical care, loss of income, and pain and suffering. One or all of these can easily stretch into six figures and beyond depending on the circumstances of that accident and the state of your injuries, but it starts by retaining an effective motorcycle accident attorney.

How much will it cost?

  • Our firm works on a contingency basis. This means we do not charge anything unless you win money for your injuries. In other words, there is literally no way to come out of that relationship having lost money – either the case does not prevail, in which case your attorney’s services are free, or you win a settlement, in which case the attorney’s fees are taken out of that settlement.

Who can be held liable for injuries or property damage resulting from a motorcycle crash?

  • Anyone operating a vehicle that was involved in the accident could possibly be held liable. In addition, insurance companies, pedestrians, or public entities responsible for maintaining roadways could also possibly be held liable.

Do I need an expert to testify in a motorcycle liability case?

  • Well, it depends. In motorcycle accident cases that are straightforward and liability is not contested, you may not need an expert. However, in more complicated cases, like those that may involve a potential manufacturing liability, you may require a forensic investigator to evaluate the evidence and provide expert testimony at the trial.

If a car, truck, or other motorcycle drives my bike off the road and then flees, can I file a personal injury claim?

  • Yes, this would be considered a hit and run accident. In such cases, you have to file a claim through your motorcycle insurance company in order to receive compensation for medical care and related accident expenses. In some cases, you can even file a motorcycle accident claim if a family member has the right coverage or even with your car insurance policy company.

Do I need an expert to testify in a motorcycle liability case?

  • Well, it depends. In motorcycle accident cases that are straightforward and liability is not contested, you may not need an expert. However, in more complicated cases, like those that may involve a potential manufacturing liability, you may require a forensic investigator to evaluate the evidence and provide expert testimony at the trial.

If I don’t have motorcycle insurance, can I still make a personal injury claim?

  • Yes. Even if you don’t have insurance, that doesn’t mean you lose your right to hold a negligent party accountable for injuries you suffered.

What if I was partially at fault for causing the accident?

  • If you were at fault to some extent in causing an accident, the amount of money you recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were 20% at fault and your damages were $100,000, you would receive only $80,000.

Is it important to retain an attorney for my motorcycle accident case?

  • It is important to have an attorney in a motorcycle injury case in order to make sure that you are treated fairly by the insurance company. An attorney can take responsibility for a complete investigation of the crash and also can make sure that the injuries you suffer are adequately documented so as to insure that you will receive adequate compensation.

I was in a traffic accident when a car turned left in front of me while I was riding my motorcycle. Who is at fault?

  • Typically a left-hand turning vehicle is found to be at fault since the law requires that a motorist planning on making a left hand turn must yield to all oncoming traffic. In some cases a motorcyclist could be found partially at fault even though he has the right of way if he was speeding or not maintaining an adequate look out.

Who will pay the doctor bills and fix my motorcycle if the other person has no insurance?

  • Even if the other driver doesn’t have any insurance, you may still be covered. Check with our office. We can look at your policy and tell you if you have uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage covers you if you’re in a motorcycle accident with someone who has no insurance.
Gamache Law Firm