Motorcycle Accident Injury FAQs in South Carolina

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our South Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys are ready to assist you if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident. Our attorneys have extensive experience helping seriously injured victims in many auto accident cases, including those injured in motorcycle accidents. We have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for victims just like you. We will discuss some of the frequently asked questions we receive as motorcycle accident attorneys. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation to learn more about the value of your claim, contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today.

Common Motorcycle Passenger Injuries

It is essential that motorcyclists know their equipment and ensure that their tires and brakes are safe. Unfortunately, even the most safety-conscious motorcyclist can be injured in an accident. Passenger vehicle drivers are more distracted than ever and frequently fail to see motorcyclists in time to prevent a collision. Passengers injured in motorcycle accidents suffer significant injuries, including the following:

Leg Injuries

During motorcycle accidents, leg injuries are among the most common injuries. Motorcyclists' lower extremities, including their calves, ankles, feet, and knees, are more exposed to harm. A passenger's legs could get caught between the road and the motorcycle if a motorcycle slides. Many motorcycle accidents occur when the motorcyclist turns a corner. If the tire slips out from under the motorcycle, a person's leg will be exposed to injury. Most of these injuries are not fatal but can turn into long-term disabling injuries without enough care. 

Road Rash

Road rash is one of the first injuries that come to mind when considering motorcycle accidents. A rider can slide across the pavement after being thrown from the motorcycle in a motorcycle accident. Road rash is much more severe than a simple scrape, bruise, or laceration. In extreme cases of road rash, multiple layers of a person's skin will be scraped away.

There could be muscle exposure underneath. Since motorcycles do not have seat belts, a motorcyclist can easily fly over the handlebars during an accident. Even with protective gear such as riding pants, boots, and jackets, a person can still be injured with road rash. Infection is always a severe risk when treating road rash. Road rash is also excruciating during the recovery period.

Arm Injuries

When a passenger is thrown off of a motorcycle, their arms can be injured immediately on impact. In passenger vehicles, passengers are protected by seatbelts and travel in the direction of the impact when they are hurt. The seatbelt protects them from going into the outside environment. Motorcycle passengers do not have these protections. The arms can be affected by the severity of the force of the impact leading to damage to the nerves and bones in the hands and arms. These injuries can result in fractures, road rash on the arms, or even permanent nerve damage in the arms and upper body.

Head and Neck Injuries

A person's head, neck, and spine are most at risk in motorcycle accidents. Head injuries can range from concussions to serious traumatic brain injuries. A person's skull can become fractured upon impact, or the force of the motorcycle accident can cause the brain to collide with the skull, causing a brain hemorrhage or swelling. Even with a helmet on, motorcycle passengers can suffer serious brain injuries. The spinal cord is also at risk in motorcycle accidents. 

When a spinal cord becomes severely bruised or the bones become fractured, a person can become fully or partially paralyzed from the site of the injury downward. Traumatic brain injuries can be challenging to treat, and patients may not recover all the motor skills and cognition they had before the injury. Ongoing symptoms include fogginess, pain, mood swings, depression, anxiety, and more.

For example, if a motorcyclist or passenger suffers a broken neck, they may be paralyzed from the neck down. These types of severe injuries often require life-long, costly medical treatment. They can also require rehabilitation, physical therapy, and more. Some motorcycle accident victims will never regain their functions before the accident.

How Much is My Motorcycle Case Worth?

After being seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you may wonder whether it is even worth your time to consider filing a lawsuit. Your injuries may have caused you extensive pain, and you may be wondering what steps to take next. When we meet with clients, they often ask us how much their case is worth. Your case's value depends on many factors, including the seriousness of your injuries. 

For example, when a person suffers catastrophic motorcycle accident injuries and becomes dependent on medical care for the rest of their life, they will likely be entitled to a settlement of at least a million dollars. Even if you were not catastrophically injured, your case might be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. When you work with our team, you can rest assured that we will carefully assess your current and future expenses to determine the total value of your settlement. 

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

Contacting an attorney may seem overwhelming after being seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. However, we do not recommend waiting before you speak to a lawyer. Ideally, you should contact your insurance company within a day or two of your accident to notify them that it occurred. In South Carolina, you will have three years from the date of your motorcycle accident to file a lawsuit. There are exceptions to this rule, and an attorney can help you understand which timeframe applies to your unique case. 

How Can I Afford to Hire an Attorney?

If you have been seriously injured, you may be unable to return to work. You may be wondering how you can afford a motorcycle accident attorney. When you work with Arnold & Smith, PLLC, you will not be required to pay any upfront legal costs. We handle motorcycle accident cases on a contingency basis. You will only have to pay us a percentage of your settlement when we successfully obtain compensation for you. Our legal fees depend on us succeeding in your case. 

Should I Take the Other Driver's Insurance Company Offer?

It would be best if you did not accept the insurance company's settlement offer without consulting a personal injury attorney first. Typically, insurance companies will try to offer a settlement that is far too low for what victims deserve. They make lowball offers quickly, hoping the victim, who is experiencing mounting medical bills, will pay so the case will go away. 

However, once you accept a settlement offer, you cannot recover more compensation. You will sign an agreement saying you will not take the case to court. If the settlement covers all of your needs now and in the future, you can avoid bringing a lawsuit to obtain more money. Working with one of our attorneys can ensure you receive a fair settlement offer covering your expenses. 

I Was Not Wearing a Helmet: Can I Still Recover?

You may be concerned that since you were not wearing a helmet, you will not be able to recover compensation. It does not matter whether you were wearing a helmet or not when determining the at-fault driver's responsibility for covering your damages. Still, insurance companies in defendants will probably try to use your lack of wearing a helmet to reduce the money they pay for your claim. 

Working with one of our experienced attorneys can help you level the playing field. Only people who are under the age of 21 are required to wear motorcycle helmets in South Carolina. We will negotiate aggressively with the insurance company and defendant to obtain the most compensation possible.

Contact a South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you or your loved one has been seriously injured in a North Carolina motorcycle accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free initial consultation. 

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