Sumter Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
There are very few types of traffic accidents that are more devastating than getting into a motorcycle crash. Motorcyclists unfortunately do not have much protection (aside from their clothing and headgear), and when another vehicle collides into them, the impact of the crash can result in severe and catastrophic injuries.
Motorcyclists have a reputation for living on the edge and taking unnecessary chances, and insurance companies often assume that they are the ones at fault when they get into a crash. While this is true in some cases, more often, other vehicle drivers are to blame. If you or a loved one got injured in a motorcycle accident in Sumter or a nearby South Carolina community, you need strong legal counsel in your corner advocating aggressively for your legal rights and interests.
At Peake & Fowler, we understand that motorcycle accidents can take an enormous physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families, and we are here to provide strong legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time. Our attorneys have over 60 years of combined experience successfully representing clients who have been injured in motorcycle crashes, and those who have suffered all other types of personal injuries in Sumter, Columbia, and communities throughout South Carolina.
We are motorcycle riders ourselves, and we fully understand the challenges that bikers face when they are pursuing an accident injury claim. We stand by your side, and we deal directly with the defendant and their insurance company. Whenever possible, we look to secure a settlement for full and fair compensation in keeping with our clients’ best interests, but if the other side is not willing to negotiate in good faith, we are ready and able to pursue full damages through litigation.
Common Causes of Sumter, SC Motorcycle Accidents
There are number of reasons why motorcycle crashes occur, these include:
- Reckless Driving: Various types of aggressive and reckless driving behaviors increase the likelihood of a traffic related accident. Some of the behaviors that endanger motorcyclists include speeding, tailgating, running stop signs and red lights, vehicles weaving out of their lane, and refusal to yield the right-of-way.
- Left Turns: Making a left turn is among the most difficult driving maneuvers because you are going totally against the grain of traffic. Negligent drivers that do not fully check their surroundings before making the turn often miss motorcycles and other less visible objects or persons.
- Alcohol: Driving while intoxicated is a major contributor to motorcycle crashes and other types of vehicle accidents. An intoxicated driver or biker has slower reaction times, limited peripheral vision, and less ability to spot everything that is going on around them.
- Distracted Driving: Distractions are a major cause of all types of vehicle accidents. Smart phone use has exacerbated this problem in recent years as many people are more focused on their phones than they are on the roadways.
- Vehicle Defects: Some accidents are the result of outside factors, among these being a faulty vehicle or vehicle part that malfunctions in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Examples include tire blowouts, brake failures, and broken/defective steering systems.
Motorcycle Accidents are on the Rise
Motorcycle accident fatalities have been rapidly increasing during the past couple decades. During the 1990s, annual motorcycle deaths were under 3,000 almost every year. During the first half of the 2000’s, that number started to exceed 4,000, and in 2007, motorcycle crash fatalities topped 5,000 for the first time. Since that time, the number of annual fatalities has continued to hover around the 5,000 mark.
Part of the reason for the increase in motorcycle accidents in Sumter and throughout the country is simply the fact that there are more motorcyclists on the road. For example, many baby boomers who are retiring now have more time to pursue their passions, such as motorcycle riding. But experts believe the primary reason for the increase in accidents is the problem with distracted driving.
Motorists who are texting pay very little attention to the road, and they also have a tendency to weave out of their lane or straddle the center line. And because motorcycles have such a small profile to begin with, they are more susceptible to crashes that are caused by a distracted driver. How bad is the problem? A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article reported that roughly 40% of all motorcycle crashes involve a distracted or inattentive driver.
Damages Recoverable from Sumter, SC Motorcycle Accidents
As we talked about earlier, motorcycle accidents can result in some of the most serious injuries. Among the most common include:
- Sprains and strains
- Fractures/broken bones
- Head and brain injuries
- Neck and spine injuries
- Internal injuries
- Crush injuries/amputations
- Wrongful death
An accident injury victim may be entitled to compensatory damages for both economic and noneconomic losses:
- Economic Damages: These are direct monetary losses that the victim incurs, such as medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and funeral and burial costs.
- Noneconomic Damages: These are intangible losses that are more difficult to assign a dollar figure to. Examples include physical pain-and-suffering, psychological distress, loss of enjoyment, disfigurement, and permanent injury. Loved ones may also be able to receive damages for loss of consortium and in the case of a wrongful death, loss of comfort, care, guidance, and support.
In some limited cases in which there is clear and convincing evidence that the actions of the party that caused the Sumter motorcycle accident were willful, malicious, or grossly negligent, punitive damages may also be awarded as punishment for the wrongdoing and to help discourage similarly egregious actions in the future.
It is important to note that an injured person can still recover damages in South Carolina even if they are found to be partially responsible for the underlying accident, as long as they are less than 50% at fault. However, if you are determined to be partially liable, any damage award you receive would be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault you share.
Contact our Experienced Sumter, SC Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you or someone close to you suffered injury in a motorcycle crash in South Carolina, Peake & Fowler is here to help. We will meet with you to thoroughly evaluate your case and inform you of your legal rights and options. And if we do end up representing you, we will not charge you any attorney fees unless we win your case.
For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 803-998-2412 or send us an online message. We look forward to serving you!
Peake & Fowler Law Firm, P.A., is located in Columbia, SC and serves clients in and around Newberry, Lexington, Sumter, Allendale, Orangeburg, St. Matthews, Bishopville, Florence, Blythewood, State Park, Eastover, Columbia, Elgin, Irmo, Hopkins, Ridgeway, Lugoff, Ballentine, West Columbia, Kershaw, Camden, Dusty Bend, and Richland County, Lexington County, Calhoun County, Orangeburg County, Sumter County, Kershaw County, Newberry County, Fairfield County, Lee County, Clarendon County and Florence County.