$1.35 Million Motorcycle Accident Settlement in Lancaster County by Attorney Sydney Lynn of Joye Law Firm's Columbia office.

In a tragic instant, lives can be irreversibly altered. This case study explores a motorcycle accident on Rock Hill Highway in Lancaster County, S.C. A responsible rider, meticulously equipped for safety, collided with a negligent driver who failed to yield the right of way.

The victim’s injuries were so severe, they left him unable to seek legal help himself. Thankfully, the victim’s parents knew they needed legal assistance, and contacted Joye Law Firm on a friend’s recommendation. Attorney Sydney Lynn alongside Case Manager Jamie Ross from our Columbia office took on the case. Through Attorney Sydney Lynn’s unwavering advocacy, they secured a $1.35 million settlement, offering the victim hope and much-needed financial relief as he navigated his recovery.

Driver Fails to Yield to Motorcycle on Rock Hill Highway

On a Tuesday evening in October, our client, a 35-year-old from Edgemoor, was on his way home from work after a long day. He stopped to get groceries and tucked them into the storage compartment of his 2012 Suzuki DL650 Vstrom before heading home. As a dedicated motorcycle enthusiast, he always prioritized safety. He always wore full protective gear, including a full-face helmet and eye protection while riding. However, even with all precautions taken, he’d still fall victim to a negligent driver.

As he was cruising west on Rock Hill Highway (SC-5), his worst fears were realized. A Buick SUV failed to yield to his right of way when they attempted to turn onto SEC-385.

While our client tried to avoid the collision, his attempt was futile. He was too close to avoid the wreck as the other driver pulled out in front of him. Our client’s motorcycle hit the driver’s side of the SUV at 45 mph, shattering both the windshield and passenger window of the SUV. Our client was ejected from his motorcycle upon impact. He was discovered by EMS, in agony and covered in blood, approximately 20 yards away from the crash site.

Traumatic Brain Injury and Fractured Bones After Crash

Our client was immediately transported by EMS to the nearest airstrip for medical flight transport. The responding EMS administered an IV of emergency pain medication and sedation because he was unable to speak and was in shock. They also determined that he had a Glasgow Coma Scale (GSC) score of 9, indicative of a moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). A score of 9 is only one point away from being categorized as a severe TBI, which is typically indicative of an individual being in a coma.

Once he arrived at Atrium Health in Charlotte, NC, he was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The emergency room physician noted a decreased mental status, and they ordered CT scans of his cervical spine, abdomen/pelvis, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, and head.

Our client was diagnosed with a closed fracture of his left distal radius (wrist fracture) and a subdural hematoma (brain hemorrhage). He also suffered from additional fractures on his thoracic spine and ribs. An MRI of his cervical spine showed spinal canal stenosis and neural foraminal stenosis at multiple levels.

During his hospital stay, he underwent a left open reduction internal fixation procedure to repair his broken arm. He also received an acute occupational therapy evaluation, which showed cognitive deficits in awareness, sequencing, problem-solving, and memory. His cognitive deficit was so great that he needed assistance with the most basic personal care tasks.

Hospital Discharge Marks Beginning of Rehabilitation for Motorcycle Crash Victim

Upon discharge from the hospital, our client began rehabilitation at Carolinas Rehabilitation. He required care 24 hours per day, 7 days per week just to address his basic bodily functions, skin integrity, and nutrition.

During his inpatient rehabilitation, he received therapy to regain his mobility, ability to shower and dress independently, and strengthen his long-term memory. He received intensive speech therapy, including rehabilitative exercises to address his communication and swallowing deficits.

When he was discharged from inpatient therapy, he was instructed to continue physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.

Client’s Damages and Losses

As expected, our client’s hospital stay, surgeries, and rehabilitation resulted in significant medical bills. At the time of our firm’s demand to the insurance company, these bills totaled over $370,000. Our client’s injuries meant he also had to take an indefinite leave of absence from his job, rendering him unable to cover these expenses for the foreseeable future.

Beyond the financial burden, our client endured considerable physical pain and negative psychological impacts stemming from his injury, medical procedures, and ongoing recovery process.

Attorney Lynn Fights for All Available Insurance Coverage

Despite the unfortunate circumstances surrounding our client’s traumatic crash, there was a glimmer of hope for his financial recovery. The at-fault driver carried a liability policy with $250,000 in coverage per person, with an additional $1,000,000 umbrella policy.

Under South Carolina law, drivers are only required to carry $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident. This revelation that additional insurance was available was significant since many accident victims face limited avenues for compensation due to these low requirements.

Our client also carried two Under-Insured Motorist (UIM) coverage policies totaling $100,000. Understanding the gravity of our client’s injuries and the situation surrounding the crash, Attorney Lynn demanded that all available insurance money be paid.


$1.35 Million Settlement Allows Young Biker to Look to the Future

Attorney Lynn skillfully presented her client’s case, leaving no doubt about the facts, liability, and damages. As a result, she successfully persuaded all three insurance carriers to fully tender their policies, resulting in a $1.35 million settlement for our client. This compensation will cover all current and future medical expenses.

We’re pleased to share that our client has made a remarkable recovery, bearing only scars as reminders of that pivotal day. Despite the ordeal he underwent, continues to pursue his passion for motorcycles. He does so with a new appreciation for life, as he knows firsthand how fleeting it is.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle collision caused by another driver, it’s crucial to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney. Our legal team will diligently investigate the crash’s cause and advocate for the full insurance compensation you rightfully deserve. We take cases across the state of South Carolina and have offices in Columbia, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Summerville, and Clinton.

Disclaimer: past results do not guarantee future outcomes.