If you are hurt in a motorcycle mishap in Columbia, South Carolina, contacting a trusted attorney should be one of the first things you do. Even though roads are supposed to accommodate motorcycles as much as cars or trucks, motorcyclists know they are often treated as second-class citizens when traveling the roadways. Other drivers’ disregard for safety can often result in serious damage to life and limb. Worse, when it is necessary to file a claim for damages, insurance companies can make receiving the money you deserve extremely difficult; in some cases, they may deny your claim entirely.
The Hughey Law Firm is in the business of fighting aggressively for clients injured in motorcycle accidents in and around Columbia, South Carolina. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing injured motorcyclists, including:
- Interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence;
- Thoroughly investigating the accident and potential defendant(s);
- Navigating the tiresome insurance process; and
- Using experts to reconstruct accident scenes, determine the extent of a client’s injuries, and present an effective case before a jury.
We also offer the following:
- Free consultations
- No fees collected unless a settlement or successful verdict is obtained
- Assistance in South Carolina and Georgia
- Out-of-court dispute resolution and settlement negotiation
- Experience arguing cases before the South Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court
- Assisting other attorneys in challenging or novel cases
The Hughey Law Firm Results
The members of the Hughey Law Firm have collected more than $115 Million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients. Naturally, every case is based on its own specific circumstances, and there is no guarantee of the results in any particular case; however, our team’s dedication is clear through our proven track record of success. A few of the victories attained by the Hughey Law Firm include:
- $5,425,000 awarded in a trucking accident in which a client suffered catastrophic wounds from being hit by a truck while in his pick-up
- $3,375,000 awarded for a wrongful death case in which a client fled from a care home and was killed by a drunk driver
- $2,025,000 awarded for a client who was injured when a truck collided with his motorcycle
Those who travel by motorcycle understand the joy of the open road: wind blowing against our faces; the maneuverability of a well-tuned motorbike, and the unmatched views of our state’s southern beauty. These pleasures are also, however, the reasons why motorcyclists are exceptionally vulnerable to the negligence of other motorists. Our firm frequently encounters claims for motorcycle injuries that include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Burns and disfigurement;
- Spinal cord damage;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Fractures and amputations; and
- Wrongful death.
Who Can Be Held at Fault?
Discovering the party or parties responsible for an accident is not as easy as some imagine. While most incidents are caused by the negligence or bad acts of a single party, in some cases, more than one party may be liable; for example, when a speeding driver spins out due to a poorly-maintained section of the road and hits a motorcyclist, who is responsible? The driver, for driving recklessly? The city, for failing to maintain the road? What if the accident occurred on private property, such as a poorly-designed parking lot? Where motorcycle accidents are concerned, assigning liability can be complex, and pursuing justice against many defendants can require substantial investigation, preparation, and in some cases, litigation.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
At times, car drivers may not see motorcyclists if the cyclist is in their blind spot. Additionally, drivers who are making left turns may fail to avoid an oncoming motorcyclist who has bypassed a line of stopped traffic (lane splitting). Drivers who fail to check the areas around their vehicles or make sudden maneuvers are often responsible for serious injuries to motorcyclists.
In other cases, a separate entity might be responsible for the accident. General Motors, for example, is being sued by Oscar Nilsson; Nilsson was hit by an autonomous Chevy Bolt while lane splitting. Though lane splitting is legal in California, this case is still heavily debated. Self-driving cars are still being fine-tuned, but is that any excuse for another injured motorcyclist?
Some accidents involve a manufacturing or design defect. Like automobiles, many motorcycles are recalled annually. In most states, when a motorcycle owner holds a manufacturer or seller liable, the owner must prove the product was flawed when it left the manufacturer’s custody, and that it caused the owner’s injuries.
Last year, the SE Texas Record covered a defective product liability suit brought against Harley-Davidson Motor Company Group. The claim was filed in the Jefferson County District Court by Kenneth and Mandy LaMountain. When traveling on I-10 in Lake Charles, their Harley’s engine oil cooling line malfunctioned. Oil leaked onto the rear tire, and allegedly caused a crash. The business where LaMountain purchased the motorcycle, Cowboy Motorsports, was also accused of failing to warn LaMountain of the defect; the plaintiffs are seeking more than $1 million in damages.
Other reasons for motorcycle accidents may include:
- Objects or defects on a roadway;
- A tire failure;
- Rider error;
- Violation of motorcycle right-of-way;
- Deliberate hostile action by a motorist;
- Age of cyclist;
- Lack of motorcycle driving training;
- Lack of attention to driving;
- Alcohol usage; and
- Not wearing headgear.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Damages
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident through no fault of your own, you may be eligible for specific damages. These often include but are not limited to:
- Compensation for present and future medical bills;
- Payment for lost wages and lost earning capacity;
- Compensation for repair costs, interim vehicle fees, or complete recovery of the price of the motorcycle;
- Payment for pain and suffering; and
- Punitive damages (damages for malicious and willful misconduct to deter the individual(s) against such actions in the future).
Protecting Your Rights
To assure your rights are protected, it’s important to follow these steps in the aftermath of an accident:
- Hire an attorney immediately. The judicial system is complicated. An experienced law firm that has been successful in the past is critical for your case.
- Allow your attorneys, who have a background in understanding how much your claim is worth, to do the math when calculating a settlement demand or pleading for damages.
- Support your attorney in the discovery portion of your case. Discovery is the investigation and sharing of information and evidence pertinent to the case.,
- Understand that many cases settle before going to trial. Settlements are faster, but it’s vital to retain an experienced attorney who can properly negotiate on your behalf; unrepresented claimants often settle for much less than a fair claim would be worth.
- Be aware that defendants, employers, or insurers may attempt to convince you to sign a release form; these can often eliminate your ability to pursue compensation for your injuries. It’s important not to sign any documents or communicate with any parties without first seeking the guidance of an attorney.
What Will You Have to Pay?
Justice is the right of all Americans, which is why our firm handles motorcycle accident cases on a contingency basis. This means you will not be required to pay any attorney fees upfront, and our firm only recovers fees when we reach a settlement or successful judgment.
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident in Columbia, South Carolina, call the Hughey Law Firm at (843) 881-8644 or write to us online without delay. Consultations are free, and our team of experienced motorcycle accident attorneys is dedicated to ensuring victims of motorcycle accidents recover the compensation they deserve.