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How to Avoid Blind Spot Motorcycle Accidents

Millions of people love to ride motorcycles, and there are few activities that give you a greater sense of freedom. In South Carolina, our weather allows for year-round riding, and the Palmetto State hosts numerous motorcycle events throughout the year. While motorcycle riding is fun and exhilarating, it can also be very dangerous.

Motorcycle deaths have been on the rise for the past two decades. In fact, the number of fatalities from motorcycle accidents more than doubled in the 22-year period from 1994 to 2016, going from 2,320 fatalities up to 5,286 fatalities during that period.

There are many factors that are said to be contributing to the rise in motorcycle fatalities. Alcohol, weather, road conditions, and driver and rider negligence all play a role, but the one factor that seems to correlate with the rise in motorcycle accidents during the past couple decades is the increased use of cell phones while behind the wheel.

Distracted driving has always been an issue that contributes to auto accidents. However, texting while driving and similar activities take this danger to a whole new level, because they take the focus of the driver completely off of the road. 

Approximately two-thirds of the time, the driver of another vehicle is the one most at-fault for a motorcycle collision. And in and large number of cases, the reason vehicles collide into motorcycles is because the vehicle driver fails to see the motorcycle in their blind spot.

Tips for Avoiding Blind Spot Motorcycle Accidents

All cars and trucks have blind spots, and the larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot is. When another vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, or even a pedestrian enters a vehicle’s blind spot, the vehicle driver cannot see whatever is there when they look at their rearview or sideview mirrors. This is the cause of thousands of motor vehicle accidents each year, and it is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents.

Many newer vehicles come equipped with blind spot monitors, and hopefully, this will vastly reduce the number of blind spot accidents in the future. That said, most vehicles do not have these monitors yet. And to avoid blind spot motorcycle accidents, it is important for vehicle drivers and motorcyclists to take extra precautions.

For Motorists

Here are some tips for drivers to help them avoid blind spot motorcycle accidents:

  • Properly adjust mirrors: Adjust your rearview mirror so that your rear window is completely framed; and adjust your sideview mirrors so that they are pointed toward your blind spot. This tutorial from Car and Driver provides more detailed instructions and illustrations on how to ensure that your mirrors are adjusted properly.
  • Look over your shoulders: Even with your mirrors properly adjusted, you can still miss a motorcycle that enters your blind spot. For this reason, it is always good practice to look over your shoulder to the side you are turning to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
  • Use your blinker when changing lanes: Always signal before changing lanes, so motorcyclists and other drivers know your intentions.
  • Stay alert: Pay attention to vehicles and motorcycles that may be entering your blind spot. This means avoiding smart phone activity and other distractions when you are driving.

For Motorcyclists

Here are some tips for motorcyclists to avoid danger when driving near other vehicles:

  • Stay out of blind spots: Ride behind or in front of the vehicle and avoid riding alongside a vehicle to help ensure you are not in their blind spot for any length of time.
  • Practice defensive driving: Stay alert and try to anticipate what the vehicles in front of you and behind you might do. Allow plenty of space between you and other vehicles and avoid distracted driving.
  • Pass carefully: When you pass another vehicle, complete the pass as quickly and safely as possible, so you are able to limit the amount of time you spend in their blind spot.
  • Stay visible: Wear brightly-colored or fluorescent clothing and keep your headlights on at all times to help other drivers see you.

Injured in a Blind Spot Motorcycle Accident? Contact a Seasoned Auto Accident Lawyer

There are times when you do everything right and still end up in an accident. If you or someone close to you was injured in a motorcycle accident that was the fault of another party, you may have a right to compensation. After you have received medical attention for your injuries, get in touch with a skilled personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights and options.

At Peake & Fowler, we have in-depth experience successfully representing clients injured in motorcycle accidents and all other types of personal injury cases in South Carolina. For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 803-998-2412 or send us a message through our online contact form.

I was Injured in a Motorcycle Accident: Do I Need to Retain an Attorney?

Nearly 100,000 individuals are injured in motorcycle accidents each year. And many of these cases result in serious and catastrophic injuries, especially to the rider, who has less protection. A motorcycle accident can turn your life upside down. Medical bills can start to pile up, and you might need to miss several days, weeks, or even months from work. In the most severe cases, injuries can be permanent and debilitating, potentially resulting in the inability to participate in gainful activity.

Those injured in a motorcycle accident often wonder if it is worthwhile to retain an attorney.  After all, the attorney gets a percentage of the eventual settlement, and maybe they would be better off dealing with the insurance company on their own. In most cases, it is in your best interests to at least talk to a lawyer after a motorcycle accident to review the case and discuss your options.

The legal process can be complicated and confusing, and there are many pitfalls that could cause you to lose out on the just compensation you deserve. A skilled personal injury lawyer has the experience needed to navigate the complexities of the process and help bring your case to a successful conclusion.

Here are just a few reasons to consider retaining an attorney if you sustained moderate to severe injuries in a motorcycle accident:

Your Attorney can Properly Value your Case

If you have never dealt with a motor vehicle accident injury before, you may have difficulty determining whether you have a legal claim, and how much compensation to ask for. An attorney with in-depth knowledge of this area of the law can thoroughly assess your case, determine the full extent of your injuries/losses, and explore every potential legal avenue for you to recover full and fair compensation.

Your Attorney can Protect your Legal Rights

Insurance companies often use various tactics to diminish the value of a claim or deny the claim altogether. One of the most common tactics used is to try to get you to admit at least partial fault for the accident. Your lawyer will most likely advise you not to provide any official statements to the insurance company, or to admit any kind of fault for the accident. Your lawyer will also be able to put together the strongest possible argument for the compensation you are asking for, and when necessary, they can bring in expert witnesses (from the medical profession and other industries) to help substantiate your claim.

Your Attorney can Negotiate Directly with the Insurance Adjuster

Insurance adjusters are trained negotiators who deal with injury claims day in and day out. When an adjuster is dealing with an injury victim, they will often present a lowball settlement offer that is worth far less than the value of your claim. Knowing that you are unlikely to file a personal injury lawsuit without a lawyer, the adjuster has far less incentive to present a fair offer. Your lawyer can push back against the adjuster by presenting a strong argument for the compensation you deserve. In addition, the adjuster knows that your lawyer is ready and able to pursue full damages through litigation if necessary.

Retaining an Attorney allows You to Focus on your Recovery

One of the most important reasons to consider retaining an attorney after a motorcycle accident is your health. If you have been injured in an accident, you should be focusing on getting recovered, rather than dealing with the insurance company. Your lawyer can handle the legal process from start to finish, including fully investigating the case, determining the exact cause of the accident, gathering all important facts and pieces of evidence, dealing with complicated paperwork, and negotiating your settlement. This frees you up to concentrate on getting healthy again.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in South Carolina? Call the Seasoned Personal Injury Attorneys at Peake & Fowler

If you or someone close to you has suffered injury in a motorcycle accident, it is important for you to fully understand your legal rights and options. Before accepting any offers from the insurance company, contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation and case assessment. Call our office today at 803-998-2412 or send us a message through our online contact form.

Two Railroad Contractors Killed in Richland County Flooding

The historic flooding that has swept through South Carolina has brought with it widespread property damage to homes, vehicles, and personal belongings as well as at least 17 deaths and other injuries. In Richland County, two out-of-state workers were killed when their truck crashed into a creek that was underneath a 20-foot section of road that had been washed away.

The accident occurred on the night of October 6, when a truck carrying five railroad contractors drove past a barricade in rural Richland County. The truck crashed into the creek with all of the men inside. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department attempted to rescue the men in an effort that was complicated by the nighttime conditions, but only three men survived the accident. The five contractors were part of a team deployed for Norfolk Southern in the region to work on repairing rail lines damaged in the flooding. The men had been on their way back to a hotel after leaving their work site when the accident occurred.

A spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department believed the accident was preventable and urged others to take caution in driving the flood-ravaged roads and to honor curfews. A spokesman for R.J. Corman Railroad Group, the company employing the contractors, disputed the report that the workers drove around a barricade leading to the crash, and said the company believes that an investigation into the accident will show that there was inadequate warning provided for the deadly road conditions.

This tragic case will no doubt lead to legal questions over which parties may be held liable for the deaths of the workers and how their families should be compensated. Because the men were returning from a work site and were indeed in the state for the primary purpose of carrying out their work duties, it is possible that workers’ compensation law will play a part in determining liability. In addition, because one of the deceased workers resided in Ohio and another in Kentucky, while their employer was based in Kentucky and the accident occurred in South Carolina, there may be complicated legal questions over which state’s workers’ compensation and/or personal injury laws may apply to potential claims, and which state tribunals will have jurisdiction. Finally, as the company’s dispute of the Sheriff’s Department report indicates, there appears to be questions of fault with regard to which parties may ultimately be found to have played in a part in the truck accident.

When workers are injured or killed in an accident, it is important to have experienced legal counsel who can guide you and your family through these difficult questions and get you the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, reach out to the seasoned Columbia workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys at Peake & Fowler for a no-cost consultation on your potential legal claim. Call us at (800) 946-9461 or by using our website contact form.

Infestation Problem at Assisted Living Facility Leads to State Findings of Neglect

After repeated complaints of a bed bug infestation at a Florence assisted living facility, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) conducted an onsite investigation into the Carriage House of Florence, resulting in a report highlighting persistent issues of patient neglect and unsanitary conditions at the facility, including insufficient food supplies. The Carriage House has submitted a plan of correction to the DHEC, but it remains to be seen how the facility will actually address the long list of complaints asserted by patients and employees. This case is a sad reminder of the abuse and neglect that our most vulnerable citizens can face in South Carolina nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The DHEC conducted an unannounced inspection of Carriage House in early August in response to complaints of a bed bug infestation, as well as claims that there was a food shortage at the facility and that laundry was being washed with shampoo due to a lack of detergent. The DHEC report found that the facility violated state regulations requiring it to be free of vermin and offensive odors. The report also found that the facility violated state regulations requiring it to keep at least two days of food supplies for facility residents. Residents speaking with local news organizations complained of not being served food that was promised them and of having limited rations on a regular basis.

At least five employees of the facility were reportedly suspended following the reports of the complaints. Carriage House submitted a plan of correction to the DHEC indicating that 33 of the facility’s 80 bedrooms were treated for infestation, and that it determined that 10 bedrooms were infested with bedbugs. The facility indicated it would be ordering new mattresses and treating clothing and linens with procedures to reduce the risk of further infestation.

This is only the most recent of eight complaint investigations undertaken by the DHEC against Carriage House in the past year. The DHEC has also determined in recent investigations that Carriage House violated state regulations by failing to provide sufficient toilet paper to residents, failing to provide sufficient menu options, failing to provide adequate cleaning supplies, failing to provide personal allowance schedules, and admitting a patient who needed continuous care from a licensed nurse. Other complaints from residents submitted to the DHEC related to the quality of food provided to residents and low morale of patients and staff members not conducive to care.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, call on the attorneys at Peake & Fowler for assistance.