Columbia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Motorcycle Accidents in Richland County
While any motor vehicle accident can result in serious or even fatal injuries, motorcycle accidents tend to be the most severe of all collisions. Without the seatbelts, airbags, and other protections afforded by most passenger vehicles, motorcyclists are at a disproportionately high risk of suffering catastrophic injuries and death when they are involved in accidents.
If you or someone you love was involved in a motorcycle accident in Columbia, Richland County, or anywhere in South Carolina, reach out to the team at Tom McGrath’s Motorcycle Law Group. Since 1990, our firm has successfully represented victims of all types of car and motorcycle accidents. As avid motorcyclists ourselves, we understand the unique challenges you are facing—and we are prepared to fight tirelessly for you.
South Carolina Motorcycle Laws
If you own or ride a motorcycle in South Carolina, you should know and follow all applicable traffic laws and safety regulations.
Below, we have provided a brief overview of South Carolina’s motorcycle accident laws:
- Everyone under the age of 21 must wear an approved motorcycle helmet while operating or riding a motor vehicle
- You must keep both hands on the handlebars while operating a motorcycle and may not hold any “package, bundle, or other article” that prevents you from doing so
- Two motorcyclists may ride side by side in a single lane, but no more than two motorcyclists may ride abreast at any time
- Lane-splitting, or riding between lanes of traffic or between designated lanes for traffic, is not permitted in South Carolina
- Motorcyclists may not overtake and pass any vehicle in the same lane in which the vehicle is traveling
- All motorcycles must be equipped with a rear-view mirror, at least one headlight, and a passenger seat and footrests if carrying a passenger
- Unless a motorcycle is equipped with a windshield, the operator must wear a protective face shield or approved eyewear, such as goggles
For more information on South Carolina’s motorcycle statutes, click here. We can also assist you with information related to the state’s motorcycle insurance requirements; to learn more about our motorcycle insurance policy review, click here.
Fault in South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Claims
Like many other states, South Carolina is a “tort,” or fault-based, motor vehicle accident state. This means that accident victims must typically file claims with the at-fault party’s insurance company to recover compensation for damages. This also applies to cases involving motorcycle accidents.
To prove that another person or party is liable for your motorcycle accident-related damages, you will need to establish the following:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care, meaning they had a responsibility to act reasonably and avoid causing foreseeable injury. Because motorists owe an implied duty of care to others on the road, simply proving that the defendant was a fellow motorist is typically sufficient for establishing the duty of care.
- You must also prove that the defendant breached or failed to uphold the duty of care. In most cases, this involves proving that the defendant was negligent, either through act or omission, or that they acted wrongfully.
- Lastly, you must prove that you were injured and that the cause of your injuries was the defendant’s negligent or wrongful conduct. In other words, you must prove that you would not have been injured had the defendant upheld the duty of care.
Because South Carolina follows a rule of modified comparative negligence, you do not have to prove that the other person or party was entirely at fault for the accident, only that they were more at fault than you. If, however, you are found to be partly to blame, your total recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault you are deemed to have in causing the accident.