Were you injured in a motorcycle accident and need a Charleston attorney to defend your rights?

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Charleston, South Carolina's Motorcycle Accident Attorney

motorcycle accident injury in Charleston, SC - The Hartman Law Firm, LLC Charleston, South Carolina accident injury attorney

There are more than one-hundred motorcycle deaths every year in South Carolina.

In fact, South Carolina is one of the most dangerous states to drive a motorcycle in the country

Motorcycle related accidents are often caused by negligence

If you or someone you love have been injured in motorcycle collision, contact The Hartman Law Firm, LLC for your Charleston motorcycle accident attorney. Don’t talk to anyone else until you’ve spoken with an experienced and knowledgeable motorcycle injury lawyer.

The motorcycle accident law firm of The Hartman Law Firm, LLC has extensive experience in helping motorcyclists and their families with legal claims. Please call us so we can help you if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident because someone else broke the law.Motorcycling is a popular recreational activity and mode of transportation for thousands of South Carolina residents. Motorcycle ownership has increased dramatically in the past few years. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there were 1,984 people injured in motorcycle accidents, and the average hospital charge after a motorcycle accident was $78,825.Wrecks are usually caused by another driver, not the cyclist. Because motorcycles are small, oftentimes other drivers have a hard time seeing them. That’s especially a problem where the vision of other motorists may be obscured. Motorcycle accidents typically occur during a car accident, when the two vehicles collide. Some important facts about motorcycle accidents include:
  • About 70 percent of all motorcycle accidents occur at intersections, where bikers may be less visible than cars.
  • Other accidents occur where a motorist’s line of sight is partially blocked by buildings, parked vehicles, trees or undergrowth.
  • Motorists who do not keep a proper lookout for motorcycles may turn or pull out in front of them, causing a catastrophic collision.
  • In some instances, motorcyclists are hit from behind because they’re able to brake much more quickly than heavier vehicles.
The end result of a collision between a motorcycle and a car can be devastating, and the motorcyclist usually suffers the most severe injuries and damage. A collision between a larger vehicle such as a truck or bus can be even worse due to the sheer size and weight of these vehicles.

Motorcycle Collisions can Cause Severe Injuries

Who can be Held Responsible for a Motorcycle Crash? In many cases, drivers are at fault for causing a motorcycle collision. However, motorcyclists can be involved in a wreck that does not involve any other vehicles. These may be caused by dangerous roadways or malfunctioning motorcycle parts. Therefore, liability in an accident is not always clear just because there was another driver involved.  An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will know how to evaluate your case and determine whether someone was negligent and caused your accident so that you can file a claim against that party. Some examples of negligence that can lead to motorcycle crashes include:  Distracted driving Drunk or drugged driving Fatigued driving Running traffic signals or signs Speeding or tailgating Dangerous lane changes Violating other traffic laws Selling defective motorcycle parts Not properly repairing a motorcycle Allowing dangerous road hazards to exist Proving negligence is necessary to recover from an insurance company or in a personal injury claim in civil court. A skilled attorney will have the resources needed to investigate the circumstances of your motorcycle crash to collect evidence that someone else was at fault.  Recovering for Your Motorcycle Accident Losses If you can prove negligence, you can seek compensation for any damages that you can prove, which can include both tangible and intangible losses. Some damages commonly recovered in a motorcycle wreck case include:  Already incurred medical bills Estimated future medical costs Lost income Estimated lost income and earning capacity Permanent disability Physical pain and suffering Emotional and mental trauma Loss of enjoyment of life Wrongful death It’s important to know what steps to take should a motorcycle accident occur. Those include notifying your insurance company and contacting an attorney knowledgeable about motorcycle laws. Insurance companies are especially cautious with motorcycle-related claims, and the insurance difficulties that normally face automobile drivers are magnified for bikers. Hartman Law Firm, L.L.C. knows insurance company defense tactics. We also know how to present your case to maximize your recovery for your injuries.  If you or someone you love has been hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another motorist, Hartman Law Firm, L.L.C. has the experience and the compassion to help you. To learn more about our impressive credentials, please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation at 843-300-7600.  Contact a North Charleston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today At Hartman Law Firm, LLC, understands the risks that motorcyclists take and are committed to helping motorcyclists in South Carolina remain safe and healthy. In the event that a crash does occur, we are on your side to make sure you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. We will assist with any insurance claims and lawsuits that may be necessary to help you recover. Please contact our firm at 843-300-7600 to discuss how we can help you after a motorcycle accident.As mentioned above, motorcyclists tend to be the ones to suffer the most serious injuries when they are in a crash with another vehicle or even when they wreck on their own. Motorcycles do not have nearly as many safety protections as cars and trucks do, such as airbags or seat belts. There is no metal frame around a motorcycle to shield them from an impact with a vehicle or the ground. For this reason, motorcyclists often sustain severe impact injuries. Some of these injuries include the following:
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – A TBI can result from any type of trauma to the head and motorcyclists commonly hit their heads when they crash. Even a helmet only helps prevent brain injuries a percentage of the time and does not provide complete protection. A TBI can have lasting cognitive and physical effects and may cause permanent impairments.
  • Spinal cord injury (SCI) – Any damage to the spinal cord from an impact can be dangerous. Depending on where the injury was located on the spine, a victim may be completely and permanently paralyzed below that point. This includes the inability to walk, feel sensation, control the bladder or bowels, or even to breathe on their own.
  • Broken bones – While broken bones are common and can heal quickly, the bone fractures from a motorcycle accident are often more severe. Bones can shatter, can be crushed, or there can be compound fractures. These often require several surgeries, extensive rehabilitation, and the injured may never have normal use of that limb again.
  • Facial or jaw fractures – Motorcyclists are often thrown forward off of their bikes, especially in a rear-end wreck. If they are not wearing a helmet with a full face shield, they can easily sustain damage to the bones in their face and jaw, which can require extensive reconstructive surgery and may cause disfigurement.
  • Neck and back injuries – Even if the spinal cord is not damaged, collisions on a motorcycle can result in many types of injuries to the neck and/or back. These injuries can be debilitating, may require surgery, can be extremely painful, and often keep a victim from working for a long period of time.
  • Burns – If a motorcyclist crashes at a higher speed, chances are they may be thrown from their bike and may skid across the pavement. This also may occur if the bike gets laid down and their leg is pinned underneath it as skids. Such intense friction with pavement can result in serious burns that may require months of treatment and may leave scarring.
Each of the above injuries also has many complications that must be addressed and treated. Treatment can include hospitalization, surgeries, home health care, medical equipment, rehabilitative therapy, and more, and can result in overwhelming medical bills, as well as lost income from missing work. Motorcyclists deserve to recover compensation for all of these losses and more from the party who caused the accident.

How To Prevent Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Car drivers violate motorcyclists right of passage on a daily basis. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), this happens because:

Motorcycle-safety-course-The-Hartman-Law-Firm-LLC-Charleston-SC-motorcycle-accident-injury-lawyer

  • Motorcycles are smaller than cars and drivers don’t see them
  • Drivers don’t understand how to anticipate movements of motorcycles
  • The driver’s view of the cotorcycle is obstructed, sometimes by the vehicle’s blind spots or even other vehicles
  • Drivers are operating their vehicles while distracted.

Operate Your Motorcycle Safely

No one should ride a motorcycle without understanding the rules of the road, training to ride with skill, and wearing the appropriate safety equipment. Below are some tips for keeping yourself safe on a motorcycle.

7 Things You Should Do to Protect Yourself on a Motorcycle

  1. Choose a motorcycle that "fits you" well.

a biker riding on the road - The Hartman Law Firm, LLC biker injury attorneyIt should be common knowledge that motorcycles come in a large variety of shapes and sizes. Motors, styles, decorations, and several add-ons give every rider the options to personalize their vehicle.

But, before purchasing any bike, a rider should choose one that fits them. They should feel comfortable with the weight and handling of the vehicle.

Another NSC statistic states that motorcycle accident deaths are four times more likely on a “supersport bike” than standard models.

  1. It's common sense: Wear a helmet

Marlon Brando depicted a classic biker gang leader in the Wild Bunch. His signature look has been captured time and again by passionate motorcyclists.

motorcycle accident injury in Charleston, SC - The Hartman Law Firm, LLC Charleston, South Carolina accident injury attorney

However, unlike movie accidents, where the stuntman gets back up, a real life motorcycle collision is often deadly. One of the most common injuries in any bike wreck is severe head trauma.

Wearing a Department of Transportation approved motorcycle helmet can mean the difference between staying alive, or becoming a fatal statistic.

  1. Don't ride while intoxicated.

motorcycle accident injury in Charleston, SC - The Hartman Law Firm, LLC Charleston, South Carolina accident injury attorneyIt may seem cool to leave the bar with your “MC” after a few drinks and go for a ride. However, numbers show that more than 40 percent of motorcycle riders who die in single-vehicle crashes are alcohol-impaired.

  1. Don't Speed

the-road-speeding-through-the-eyes-of-a-motorcyclist-The-Hartman-Law-Firm-LLC-motorcycle-injury-law-firmOne of the most common variables in a motorcycle accident is speed. Riders talk about the rush of going fast on the open road.

Speeding can make it more difficult to control your bike, not to mention making your movements more unpredictable to other motorists. Ask yourself: “Is the rush worth my funeral?”

  1. Know the Rules of the Road

motorcycle-police-officer-riding-his-bike-The-Hartman-Law-Firm-LLC-motorcycle-accident-injury-attorneyIt should make sense that knowing the laws about riding a motorcycle is good practice. But, there’s more than just legal rules when it comes to riding a bike.

Learn about the best practices for riding safely, driving defensively, and being considerate of other motorists.

  1. Watch out for hazards on the road

a-pothole-in-the-road-Frank-Hartman-is-North-Charleston-South-Carolinas-biker-accident-lawyerOne report about South Carolina motorcycle accidents states that bikers blame poor road conditions for many of the collisions. A car may be able to go over a pothole and maintain course. But, when a bike in motion hits one, it’s difficult to stay in control.

Learn to scan the road ahead for any potential safety conditions. This can include potholes, puddles, oil slicks, and other similar issues.

  1. If You're In a Motorcycle Accident, Contact a Charleston Accident Injury Attorney

The costs of any injury can be devastating. If you were injured while riding your bike because of the actions of someone else, you need to get legal representation as soon as possible.

motorcycle-accident-debris-The-Hartman-Law-Firm-LLC-Charleston-South-Carolina-motorcycle-accident-injury-lawyer.

Your attorney will tell you what you should and shouldn’t say to the insurance adjuster. He will also discuss your strategy for getting the settlement you deserve.

Conspicuity Issues with Motorcycles

One of the major issues that can result in a crash between a motorcycle and a larger vehicle is that the driver simply was not aware that the motorcyclist was there. Because of the relatively small size of a motorcycle, drivers who are used to watching for full-sized vehicles may not pay close enough attention to notice a motorcyclist before they try to turn or change lanes.

Motorcycle-in-a-rear-view-mirror-Frank-Hartman-is-a-Charleston-SC-motorcycle-collision-injury-lawyerMotorcyclists can take steps to make themselves as conspicuous to drivers as possible. Consider taking the following steps to keep yourself safe:

  • Wear bright and colorful clothes
  • Wear reflective clothes at night
  • Use your headlights
  • Always use signals
  • Avoid blind spots on cars and trucks
  • Slow down and be vigilant at intersections
  • If a car is changing lanes, do not try to pass them first
  • Avoid riding in low-visibility weather conditions

If you are being safe and a driver still fails to notice you and causes you injuries, you deserve to hold that driver accountable for every penny of your losses.

Safety Information for South Carolina Motorcyclists

While motorcyclists cannot control the actions of others on the road, they can ensure that they follow certain safety guidelines to increase the chances of arriving to their destination alive and well. The following are only a few important safety tips for motorcyclists to remember:

  • Know how to select the right helmet for you. Consider the snugness of the helmet, the pressure against your forehead, ear coverage, and other important factors to ensure you have the safest helmet.
  • Know what to do if you are about to run over something in the roadway. This can include braking to your maximum ability prior to hitting the object, understanding how to roll-on and roll-off your throttle as you pass over the object, and knowing how to come to a controlled stop once you are all the way over the object.
  • Take the proper steps before you dismount, including properly shutting off the engine, turning off your ignition switch, turning off your fuel valve, locking your side stand, and squeezing your front brake lever.
  • Take precautions when fueling up your motorcycle, which includes turning off the engine, getting all the way off your bike, taking off your gloves, not overfilling the tank, and replacing the cap before ever turning your bike back on.
  • Listen to your inner judgment while riding a motorcycle. If you get a feeling that a situation may be dangerous, move back and remove yourself as much as possible. Wait an extra minute if you think traffic is too heavy or conditions are not right to pull into the street.

Another very important key to staying safe is to know when it is appropriate to take your car instead of your motorcycle. When the weather conditions are less than ideal and a storm may be coming, it is always a safer bet to take you car. In addition, even when the weather is perfect, you should never take your motorcycle if you are running late. While a bike’s agility may get you there faster, you may also put yourself at risk by driving faster than you usually would or making risky maneuvers that may result in a crash.

Important Laws in South Carolina that Apply to Motorcyclists

Another important way for motorcyclists to stay safe is to be aware of all of the South Carolina laws that apply to owning or riding a motorcycle and ensure you are always in compliance with them. The following are brief descriptions of some laws regarding SC motorcyclists:

  • SECTION 56‐5‐3610 – Motorcyclists have all the rights and duties as drivers of other types of motor vehicles.
  • SECTION 56‐5‐3630 – Motorcyclists may not carry passengers or objects unless the bike is intended to carry them and if they do not interfere with safe operation.
  • SECTION 56‐5‐3640 – Motorcyclists have the right to use the full traffic lane, can ride two abreast in a lane, but cannot engage in lane-splitting.
  • SECTION 56‐5‐3660 – Helmets are required for anyone under the age of 21.
  • SECTION 56‐5‐3670 – Goggles or a face shield is required for anyone under the age of 21.
  • SECTION 38-77-140 – Motorcyclists must carry minimum amounts of motorcycle insurance including $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person or $50,000 per crash, as well as $25,000 for property damage. (Note: it is recommended that motorcyclists carry more than the minimum amount of coverage, as injuries from motorcycle accidents tend to be severe.)

Who can be Held Responsible for a Motorcycle Crash?

In many cases, drivers are at fault for causing a motorcycle collision. However, motorcyclists can be involved in a wreck that does not involve any other vehicles. These may be caused by dangerous roadways or malfunctioning motorcycle parts. Therefore, liability in an accident is not always clear just because there was another driver involved.

An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will know how to evaluate your case and determine whether someone was negligent and caused your accident so that you can file a claim against that party. Some examples of negligence that can lead to motorcycle crashes include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Running traffic signals or signs
  • Speeding or tailgating
  • Dangerous lane changes
  • Violating other traffic laws
  • Selling defective motorcycle parts
  • Not properly repairing a motorcycle
  • Allowing dangerous road hazards to exist

Proving negligence is necessary to recover from an insurance company or in a personal injury claim in civil court. A skilled attorney will have the resources needed to investigate the circumstances of your motorcycle crash to collect evidence that someone else was at fault.

Recovering for Your Motorcycle Accident Losses

If you can prove negligence, you can seek compensation for any damages that you can prove, which can include both tangible and intangible losses. Some damages commonly recovered in a motorcycle wreck case include:

 

  • Already incurred medical bills
  • Estimated future medical costs
  • Lost income
  • Estimated lost income and earning capacity
  • Permanent disability
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional and mental trauma
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Wrongful death

It’s important to know what steps to take should a motorcycle accident occur. Those include notifying your insurance company and contacting an attorney knowledgeable about motorcycle laws. Insurance companies are especially cautious with motorcycle-related claims, and the insurance difficulties that normally face automobile drivers are magnified for bikers. Hartman Law Firm, L.L.C. knows insurance company defense tactics. We also know how to present your case to maximize your recovery for your injuries.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another motorist, Hartman Law Firm, L.L.C. has the experience and the compassion to help you. To learn more about our impressive credentials, please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation at 843-300-7600.

Contact a North Charleston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today

At Hartman Law Firm, LLC, understands the risks that motorcyclists take and are committed to helping motorcyclists in South Carolina remain safe and healthy. In the event that a crash does occur, we are on your side to make sure you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. We will assist with any insurance claims and lawsuits that may be necessary to help you recover. Please contact our firm at 843-300-7600 to discuss how we can help you after a motorcycle accident.

Want to know more?

CONTACT THE HARTMAN LAW FIRM FOR YOUR FREE CONSULATION

FREE CONSULTATION & CASE EVALUATION

Frank offers a Free Case Evaluation and Consultation. He will visit with you at your convenience at your home or hospital bed to evaluate your matter. This is done on a case by case basis.

The Hartman Law Firm, LLC

6650 Rivers Ave, Suite 600
North Charleston, SC 29406
Phone: (843) 300-7600
Email: frank@thehartmanlawfirm.com

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