The Open Road, Avoiding Personal Injury In South Carolina
Riding into work this morning on my 2003 Harley Davidson Electra Glide, I couldn’t help but think about the many ways in which a ride could turn tragic. For those who ride, I am confident that similar thoughts are not so far removed. It seems that many drivers these days are distracted, rushed, or simply impatient. Most motor vehicle accidents are not accidents at all, but rather the result of a conscious decision to do something other than drive.
The dangers motorcycle riders face on the road unfortunately result in serious and catastrophic injuries when they are not avoided. As I rode in today, some of the dangers I witnessed were drivers making left turns in front of me as I approached, drivers texting in the vehicle next to me, another one failing to leave a safe distance behind me, and a young driver pulling out from a side street into my lane. Thankfully I avoided all of the errors made by other drivers. When riding there is a heightened awareness of all of the things going on around you. Being properly prepared, trained and rested before you take to the open road can help you avoid many of the dangers and decrease your risks as a biker.
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Unfortunately, not all of these risks can be avoided. Cars failing to yield the right of way is the most common cause of motor vehicle collision involving a motorcycle. Vehicles pulling out in front of you, turning left in front of you or changing lanes beside you can make riding a motorcycle feel like a video game. Over the 20 years that I have been representing bikers and their families, I have handled many cases involving each of these types of wrecks.
While most of these situation would clearly appear to be wrecks caused by the other vehicle, insurance companies will always try to place the blame on the biker. Common defenses used by insurance companies against bikers include assuming the risk, driving too fast, stopping too fast, lane-splitting, improper lane changes, and inadequate turn signals. Having handled thousands of these types of cases, I know that many of these defenses can be overcome. Prompt investigation and knowledge of riding techniques make a huge difference in the outcome of motorcycle wreck claims.
If you are a biker and have been injured in a wreck, call me today. I want to help you get back on the road because I know that despite the risks, there is nothing that compares to the freedom of the open road. Happy Biking. – Bennett Schiller
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