Rock Hill Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
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, or elsewhere in South Carolina, you need to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney at Schiller & Hamilton today. For more than 20 years, our dedicated Rock Hill motorcycle accident lawyers have been helping crash victims seek the full and fair compensation they need to recover and move forward with their lives.
Quality Legal Representation
If you were injured in a wreck, you can 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 skilled local attorneys can demand compensation for medical bills and other losses related to the wreck. Before you sign anything offered by an insurance company, you need to 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.
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 help 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.
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 drives 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 knowledgeable attorney could work with you to identify the at-fault part based on the cause of your motorcycle crash.
How is Liability 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 in order 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 you need to contact an experienced motorcycle lawyer to investigate the accident and preserve the evidence needed to prove that another party was responsible for the crash.
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 liable 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 experienced riders and seasoned 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 and 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.
Importance of a Rock Hill Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Don’t put off talking to a skilled and compassionate 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.
Schedule a free consultation with one of our Rock Hill motorcycle accident lawyers 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. Contact us now for a prompt response.