Motorcycles are popular throughout South Carolina, including in the city of Columbia. Throughout the year, Columbia offers many exciting motorcycle-related events. For example, the annual Hawks & Hawgs charity event takes place each fall at the Hamilton-Owens Airport. Not only is it fun for the whole family, but it also raises a considerable amount of money to support a top-notch program for children with cancer that is run by Palmetto Health Richland. Motorcycles also offer many direct benefits to the riders as well. Unfortunately, it also must be noted that motorcyclists do face inherent risks while on their bike. A biker is simply far more exposed than is anyone else on the road. In the event that a motorcycle is involved in an accident with a full-sized vehicle, the motorcyclist will almost always sustain the brunt of the impact. Motorcycle accident injuries can be extremely debilitating, and even life-altering. Lifelong injuries are entitled to lifelong compensation. If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in South Carolina, you need to contact an experienced Columbia motorcycle accident attorney who can help you recover the lifelong compensation that you deserve.
Motorcyclists are Often Victims
Most people are familiar with the stereotypes surrounding bikers. They are viewed by many as risk takers and thrill seekers. This belief, which is both unfair and inaccurate, leads many people to assume that motorcyclists are at-fault for most of their own accidents. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, an extensive study on motorcycle accidents from Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) found that drivers of full-sized vehicles are far more likely to be to blame for accidents. The report noted that when an accident involves both a motorcycle and a full-sized car, the driver of the car is more than twice as likely to be at-fault for that collision.
Types of Compensation Available for South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Victims
- Current and Future Medical Expenses
In South Carolina, motorcycle accident victims are entitled to seek recovery for the full extent of their necessary medical treatment. This includes recovery for hospital bills, rehabilitation expenses, necessary medical equipment and devices, required medication, needed mental health counseling, and any other required medical-related costs. In cases involving very serious injuries, such as an amputation, medical treatment will almost certainly be required for many years, perhaps even for the remainder of the victim’s life. It is imperative that any injury settlement offer includes a fair assessment of those future medical costs.
- Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity
As a general rule, motorcycle accident victims are entitled to be made ‘whole’. This means that they are entitled to recover whatever compensation is needed to put them into an equivalent position as they would have been had the accident never taken place. This requires covering all forms of lost income. If your motorcycle accident caused you to lose out on income, you certainly deserve compensation for those losses. Once again though, it is important to note that reduced future earning capacity should be taken into consideration. A catastrophic injury, such as losing a limb, can undoubtedly alter the victim’s ability to earn income throughout the remainder of their life. Under South Carolina law, victims are entitled to recover compensation that accounts for that reduction in earning capacity. It is critical that victims are able to obtain a settlement offer that fairly includes compensation for reduced future earning potential.
- Pain and Suffering and Emotional Distress
Victims of motorcycle accidents are entitled to recover compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress that they have endured as a result of their accident. Many victims often have questions about these kind of damages. How do you put a value on pain and suffering? There is no easy answer to this question. By nature, non-economic damages are very difficult to quantify. Additionally, there is no definitive formula for valuing them in South Carolina. However, there are key guiding principles, the most important being that these damages are real, and they must be fairly calculated. Often, South Carolina courts will award non-economic damages like pain and suffering as a multiple of the victim’s economic damages. Ultimately though, if you have pain and suffering or emotional distress as a result of your motorcycle accident, you must hire an attorney who can comprehensively review the individual circumstances of your case.
- Disfigurement and Loss of Life Enjoyment
Finally, Columbia motorcycle accident victims are also entitled to compensation for the impact that their crash will have on their life in the long-term. If you have suffered any type of disfigurement in a crash, such as a loss of a leg, you deserve compensation for that damage. Additionally, victims should also be compensated for any loss of life enjoyment that has occurred as result of their injuries. For example, imagine that a motorcyclist lost his leg after getting into a serious accident with a drunk driver. It just so happens that the motorcyclist in question was an avid hiker. He got a tremendous amount of personal satisfaction from spending his weekends on the trails. Clearly, as a result of his accident, his enjoyment of that hobby is likely to be greatly diminished. The accident essentially took that future enjoyment from him. That is a real loss and it will impact the victim for the remainder of his life. Therefore, it must be accounted for when damages are considered.
Were You Injured in a Columbia Motorcycle Accident?
South Carolina motorcyclists often face unfair stereotypes that they are reckless and that they love to take risks. At Joye Law Firm, our motorcycle accident attorneys understands that this is false and we know how to protect motorcycle accident victims. Our team has helped many seriously injured motorcyclists recover the fair compensation that they deserve. If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, please do not hesitate to contact our Columbia office today at (803) 771-3100 to learn more about what our team can do for you. We offer free legal consultations to all injured accident victims.