Myrtle Beach is a great spot for motorcyclists. Fair weather and ocean views can make for the perfect ride, and many people explore our town on a motorcycle. There are risks, however, as there were more than 2,300 accidents involving motorcycles in South Carolina in 2017. The victims of these accidents and their families have rights to compensation, but these rights are often challenged or even ignored by at-fault drivers and insurance companies. It’s important to know the ways insurance companies take advantage of injury victims and how to ensure that your rights are protected.
Why Motorcycle Accident Victims Face Unique Challenges
After a crash, motorcyclists face some significant and unique challenges. First, motorcycle accident victims often experience more serious injuries than those involved in other types of crashes. A motorcycle has little protection to offer in an accident, as it lacks virtually all of the safety structures provided by passenger cars and trucks. Motorcyclists are vulnerable, and those vulnerabilities can result in a devastating injury during a crash.
Second, when pursuing compensation after a crash, motorcyclists are often faced with an unfair prejudice. Law enforcement, witnesses, others involved in the crash, and insurance companies typically assume that motorcyclists behave carelessly on the road and are to blame for the accident. While most motorcyclists are safe and responsible drivers, this bias often prevails, and it can affect their ability to obtain the compensation they deserve.
The Importance of a Solid Legal Claim
It’s important that motorcycle accident victims mount a solid, comprehensive legal claim. With serious injuries come significant medical bills, and often the injuries sustained in these crashes leave victims unable to work for a period of time, if they are able to return to work at all. The financial stress can affect victims and their families for years to come, so it’s vital to obtain all available compensation. Settling for too little or losing your claim altogether can leave victims without the necessary time and medical care they need to recover as fully as possible.
Additionally, addressing the bias against motorcyclists is typically necessary to file a successful claim, so it’s important to fully understand your rights and be prepared to combat this prejudice. An experienced attorney with knowledge of the motorcycle accident claim process can provide valuable insight and advice.
An Attorney Can Ensure Your Fair Treatment
The right attorney for your claim will have experience with motorcycle accident cases. While you and your family focus on your physical and emotional recovery, an effective attorney will do the legal work. He will:
Effective lawyers will investigate your accident and both identify and gather evidence that can help support your claim. This can include police reports, eyewitness accounts, expert opinions, and photo and video evidence. For motorcyclists, solid evidence is especially important to combat any possible bias.
Notify Insurance Companies
It is necessary to let the insurance companies know that an accident has occurred, and a claim will be filed. Throughout the entire legal process, the attorney can ensure that deadlines are met. This is important, as failing to file the claim or provide necessary information by certain dates can negatively impact a victim’s ability to obtain compensation.
Prepare For Negotiations
In any injury claim, the victim must be prepared to show that the at-fault driver is liable for the accident. The victim must show that the other driver had an obligation to behave responsibly, that he ignored that obligation, and that the behavior led directly to damages that have negatively impacted the victim.
Make A Demand For Compensation
The attorney for the injury victim will make a formal demand, which typically includes a demand letter seeking compensation and provides evidence to support the claim. At this stage, it’s important to understand how much your claim is worth. Seeking too little compensation can be damaging in the future, should you still require medical care or other special considerations.
It’s unlikely that an insurance company will simply agree to the demands of the victim. Because insurance companies are out to save as much money as possible, they will likely attempt to reduce their own liability. An experienced attorney understands insurance company tactics and can stand up for what is right for the injury victim.
Pursue The Claim In Court If Necessary
If the insurance company refuses to provide fair compensation, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. Insurance companies have a duty to award payment when warranted, and they can be held accountable under the law if they refuse to respect victims’ rights.
Have You Been Injured In A South Carolina Area Motorcycle Accident?
If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident you should to speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.