Motorcyclists are not protected during a collision like drivers and passengers in cars and trucks. A motorbike crash, particularly a collision with another motor vehicle, is certain to leave a rider hurt. These accidents often cause serious or fatal injuries, as well as the costly losses that go with these tragic results.
If you or a loved one has been injured in one of these wrecks, you can speak with a personal injury attorney at Schiller & Hamilton. For more than 20 years, our Rock Hill motorcycle accident lawyers have been helping crash victims seek the fair compensation they need to recover and move forward with their lives.
Quality Legal Representation
If you were injured in a wreck, you could count on our lawyers for:
- A fast response: Our team answers phones, replies to email, and chats online 24/7 with clients ─ including at night and on weekends and holidays.
- Direct consultations with our attorneys: We know you are looking for an attorney’s help, and that’s what you’ll get. We don’t hand off potential cases for assistants or paralegals to assess. Our attorneys meet personally with you to evaluate your claim.
- Smart and strategic representation geared toward your goals: Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and respected litigators. We measure our success by your satisfaction.
- Motorcycle enthusiasts who understand you: We ride. We understand why you ride. We also know the disdain, and sometimes outright prejudice motorcyclists face. We don’t let at-fault drivers get away with blaming riders for the harm they cause.
- Outstanding customer service: Our team treats everyone who comes through our doors like family. We will do everything we can to make your life easier during this difficult time. That includes intervening with insurance companies and creditors so you can focus on your recovery and health.
- A sympathetic ear: Schiller & Hamilton is committed to pursuing claims when we believe our attorneys can make a difference. But we won’t decide anything without meeting with you. If we think you can handle your claim without an attorney, we’ll say so. If we don’t think you have a viable case, we’ll explain why. No matter what, we will sit and talk to you to address your questions and concerns.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault, our personal injury attorneys could demand compensation for medical bills and other losses related to the wreck. Before you sign anything offered by an insurance company, you could discuss your motorbike collision case with our respected lawyers.
Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation. We work on a contingency-fee basis, so our legal representation does not cost you anything unless we recover money for you.
For a free legal consultation with a Rock Hill Motorcycle Accident Lawyer call 1-803-366-0333
The Role of a Motorcycle Wreck Attorney
At Schiller & Hamilton, we understand that motorcyclists are an independent breed who might put calling an attorney well down the list of things to do after an accident. And after a severe injury accident, your first priority should be getting the medical attention you need. Then, of course, you want someone to look at your bike to see whether it can be repaired.
What we want you to know is that the decisions you make in the first hours and days after a motorcycle crash can have important and long-lasting consequences, especially if someone else was at fault.
Our team can move fast to investigate your accident, protect your right to make a claim, and take the pressure off you. Our legal team frequently helps clients by:
- Protecting your rights and dealing with law enforcement or insurance accident investigators for you
- Advising creditors of your pending claim to keep them off your back
- Gathering evidence needed to prove your claim, including witness statements, any available traffic or security camera footage, motorcycle damage reports and repair estimates, police reports, medical records, etc.
- Ensuring that your injuries are documented through video, photographs, medical records, and emergency treatment notes
- Hiring experts to analyze the physical and financial effects your injury will have on you over the course of your lifetime
- Helping you find appropriate medical treatment and discussing ways to pay for it
- Identifying all potential sources of compensation available to you
- Finding someone who knows bikes like yours to assess its damage and repair or replacement needs
Do not rely on an insurance company to look out for your interests after a motorbike crash. An insurance adjuster is obligated to settle your claim for the lowest amount possible while protecting the company’s bottom line.
Our dedicated attorneys will have your back throughout your motorbike wreck claim. Only a personal injury attorney you hire has your interests in mind in an accident claim. We do not charge a fee for our services unless we recover compensation for you.
Rock Hill Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 1-803-366-0333
Common Causes of Motorbike Crashes in Rock Hill
Many accidents occur in the same way car crashes do: one or more drivers make an error in judgment or drive recklessly or carelessly and cause a collision. This can be particularly devastating for bikers and their passengers because they have almost no protection from the force of impact in a collision and are often thrown from the bike.
Some of the most frequent causes of these wrecks involving other vehicles include:
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
- Failure to “see” an oncoming motorcycle
- Improper lane change
- Left or right turn accidents
- Intersection accidents
- Driver fatigue
- Rear-end accidents
Not all motorcycle crashes involve other motor vehicles. Some crashes may occur due to a defective design or mechanical part, in which case the manufacturer could be liable for the victim’s injuries. Similarly, if an accident was the result of the motorcycle being improperly repaired, the maintenance company could be responsible.
If an issue with a roadway caused a rider to lose control and crash, a government entity could be held responsible. Our attorneys could work with you to identify the at-fault party based on the cause of your motorcycle crash.
How Is Negligence Proven in a Legal Case?
There are four components of negligence that you will have to prove in any personal injury action. These are the duty of care, violation of the duty of care, causation, and damages.
Duty Of Care
You will have to show that the defendant owed you a duty to keep you safe. This component is relatively easy in motorcycle accident cases. All drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles responsibly to protect the safety of everyone on the road.
Violation of Duty of Care
You will have to show that the defendant violated their duty to keep you safe in some way. This is where you will show that the defendant behaved in some way that put your safety at risk. Evidence from the accident scene and a police report can be useful evidence for this component.
You must prove that the defendant’s violation of their duty of care directly caused your injuries. Medical records often come into play in this component, as they can show that the accident you experienced directly caused your injuries.
Your injuries must have caused you to suffer damages. You can use your billing statements from your medical treatment, motorcycle repair, and more to show that the accident caused you significant hardship.
Proving these four components requires evidence, which is why leaning on our motorcycle lawyers to investigate the accident and preserve the evidence needed to prove the other party was responsible for the crash can be helpful.
When you have been involved in a motorbike collision or crash, you should contact a local law enforcement agency. A police report can be a valuable form of evidence, as officers will typically offer their opinions about how a crash occurred. However, it’s important to remember that the police do not have the final say on civil liability for a crash.
Keep in mind that if a driver is charged with a crime like DUI after a collision but is not convicted, they can still be held civilly responsible because the criminal case is completely separate from any civil action.
You may be able to obtain other kinds of evidence in some cases as well. In a distracted driving case involving cell phone use, for example, your attorney can subpoena that driver’s phone records to prove their negligence caused your motorbike accident.
How Do You File an Insurance Claim in Rock Hill?
People generally have two different types of claims they can file with insurance companies after motorcycle accidents: property damage claims and personal injury claims. Many accident victims have both kinds of claims.
When you file a personal injury claim, you may be entitled to certain damages. In most cases, there are economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to tangible costs like medical expenses and lost income, while non-economic damages are much more subjective and may include pain and suffering and loss of consortium.
When you file an insurance claim, the insurance company will usually assign a claims adjuster to the case. The claims adjuster conducts their own investigation and will usually ask you to provide a recorded statement. You should always decline to make any recorded statement without the advice of your attorney.
Sometimes, an insurer may quickly offer you a lump-sum settlement to resolve your case. Do not accept a settlement offer without getting an attorney to review it first. Initial settlement offers are usually an attempt to make a claim go away quickly and cheaply.
You should get a motorcycle crash attorney in Rock Hill involved as soon as you are thinking about filing a claim, as they will have experience negotiating settlements and can file a lawsuit if no acceptable offer is made.
Recovering Compensation Following an Accident
As riders and lawyers, we know how devastating a motorcycle crash can be. Our team is here to help injured riders demand the compensation they deserve from negligent drivers and other liable parties. Depending on the circumstances in your case, we may work to recover payments for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Punitive damages
Medical expenses and lost income make up the majority of losses in most injury claims. We work with independent doctors and financial planners and, when necessary, life care planning consultants to ensure we have a full accounting of the economic impact of your injuries.
Schiller & Hamilton has a long track record of success in motorbike wreck settlement negotiations and jury trials. Our compassionate attorneys also work with families who have lost loved ones and need to pursue a wrongful death claim. Contact us today for a free review of your case.
What Are the Common Types of Injuries Resulting From Motorcycle Crashes?
A collision causes injuries to a motorcyclist in the initial impact of the crash and the secondary impact as the motorcyclist is thrown from the bike to the ground. Injuries in a collision often go far beyond the “road rash” cuts and contusions a biker knows are coming any time he or she has to lay a bike down.
South Carolina requires all motorcycle operators and passengers under 21 years of age to wear helmets approved by the Department of Highways and Public Transportation with either neck or chin straps and reflectors on both sides. While helmets certainly help reduce the chances of suffering serious head injuries, they cannot prevent all injuries.
In serious cases, we see such injuries as:
- Head and brain injuries, including concussions and more serious traumatic brain injury (TBI), even when a rider was wearing a helmet
- Back and spinal cord injuries, which can lead to paralysis (paraplegia or tetraplegia) if the spinal cord is severed or torn
- Chest and abdominal injuries, which can fracture ribs and/or rupture vital organs, such as the heart, lungs, liver, and bowels
- Fractures or amputations, particularly of a motorcyclist’s extremities, i.e., arms, legs, hands, feet, or jaw and facial bones
These types of injuries require emergency medical care followed by hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation over a lengthy recovery. Too often, injuries are fatal or leave the motorcyclist permanently disabled.
When a person is killed in a motorcycle crash, the surviving family members could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. The family could be eligible to recover compensation for funeral and burial expenses, final medical bills, and other damages.
It is important to always consult with a legal team that has experience helping injured bikers and their families get justice. Turn to a lawyer who understands the specifics of motorcycle accidents and knows how to build the strongest possible case on your behalf.
Rock Hill Motorcycle Accident FAQ
We understand how complex the motorcycle accident claims process can be. When you are still recuperating, you may have many questions left answered.
For this reason, we have addressed some more frequently asked questions regarding Rock Hill motorcycle accident claims below. If you have additional questions we did not cover here, do not hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation so we can learn more about your concerns.
Will I have to go to court?
It is difficult to say whether your case will need to go to court. In many cases, motorcycle accident victims can obtain the compensation they need through an insurance settlement loan. However, insurance companies are profit-driven and are only required to pay out up to the limits of the policyholder’s policy.
When this happens, you may need to file a civil claim against the liable party if you hope to recover fair compensation for your damages. Although going to court may be intimidating, when you have a legal advocate on your side, you can feel more confident in your decision to hold the other party accountable.
Should I give a statement to the insurance company?
It is never a good idea to give a statement to the insurance company without first speaking to your attorney. Insurance companies, as previously mentioned, will often prioritize their own financial interests over that of their claimants and policyholders. Remember, insurance companies are staying in business by paying out less in claims than they bring in through policy premiums.
Every time they pay out on a claim, they lose money. This is bad for profits, so they employ teams of insurance adjusters who pick through insurance claims looking for reasons to deny. One of the most common ways insurance companies take advantage of motorcycle accident victims is by arguing that they share fault for their injuries.
They will argue that motorcyclists are “reckless bikers” who have a complete disregard for the others that share the roads with them. This unfair stigma often leads to motorcyclists being taken advantage of in their greatest time of need. If you give the insurance company a statement, it gives them information they could use to argue you share fault for the accident.
Any information the insurance company needs can be gathered from your attorney. If you are contacted by the insurance company and you have not spoken to your lawyer first, you can give them your lawyer’s contact information, and we will take it from there.
How are insurance claims paid out?
Another issue with insurance claims is the way they are paid out. Many people assume that insurance settlements can cover your damages in full. However, this is not the case. Insurance companies cover certain types of damages and only pay out up to the limits of the claim.
For example, if the policyholder only purchased the minimum amount of coverage needed to cover your medical expenses but your medical expenses exceed this limit, you will be at a loss. The insurance company is only required to pay out after the amount of coverage purchased by the policyholder.
Any excess damages can be recovered, just not through the insurance company. You can expect the insurance company to fight back every step of the way, which is why having a motorcycle accident attorney to negotiate on your behalf can be beneficial.
How long do I have to file my lawsuit?
Under S.C. Ann. §15-3-530, motorcycle accident lawsuits must be filed before the three-year statute of limitations expires. This is one of the more victim-friendly statutes of limitations across the country.
However, three years will go by far more quickly than you think. If you wait to get started on your case, you risk losing access to valuable, time-sensitive evidence that could prove liability in your case. If your lawsuit is not filed before the three-year statute of limitations runs out, you will no longer have the right to recover compensation for your damages in civil court.
If you attempt to, the defense will simply file a motion requesting your case be dismissed. Sadly, the judge will be required to grant their motion. This can all be avoided by getting your motorcycle accident attorney on your case as soon as possible following the accident.
How much does it cost to hire an accident lawyer from Schiller & Hamilton?
One of the top reasons more motorcycle accident victims don’t reach out to a lawyer for help is because they are worried about the cost. However, not only is your initial consultation free, but most reputable motorcycle accident lawyers will be willing to work with you on contingency; our team absolutely does.
You will not be expected to cover any out-of-pocket costs or compensate your attorney for their services unless or until we produce a recovery in your case. If not, you will not have to pay anything. In this way, there is no risk in contacting a motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss and explore your legal options.
What types of evidence could be used to prove liability?
In motorcycle accident cases, there are many types of evidence that could help prove your case. Photo and video of the accident scene, your injuries, and any property damages could be valuable.
Useful evidence could include police reports, accident reports, and reports from accident reconstructionists to support your claim. Your attorney can also hire experts to testify.
Who could be responsible for causing my motorcycle accident?
There are many different parties who could share fault for causing your motorcycle accident in Rock Hill. Your attorney will need to closely evaluate the cause of your accident to determine fault. For example, if your accident was caused by negligent driving, the irresponsible driver would be to blame.
However, if your accident was caused by drunk driving, not only could that negligent driver be held accountable, but if a local dram shop served them alcohol when they were already intoxicated, it could also share liability. Other parties who could share fault based on dangerous road conditions and defective auto parts include:
- Government agencies
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Auto parts manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and designers
- Safety inspectors and maintenance technicians
- Other third parties
Do not be surprised if multiple parties share blame for your injuries.
Importance of a Rock Hill Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Don’t put off talking to an attorney about your legal right to compensation after a serious crash. Our team can start investigating your case immediately while the evidence is still available and before South Carolina’s strict statute of limitations on personal injury claims becomes an issue.
Call for a free consultation with us today. We can meet with you at one of our law offices, in your home, or at the hospital. Wherever is most convenient for you, we can arrange. Contact us now for a prompt response about working with our Rock Hill motorcycle accident lawyers.