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 The Motorcycle Law Group. Since 1990, our firm has successfully represented victims of all types of 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 motorcycle accident state. This means that accident victims must typically file claims with the at-fault party’s insurance company to recover compensation for damages.
To prove that another person or party is liable for your motorcycle accident-related damages, you will need to establish the following:
- Duty: 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.
- Deviation: 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.
- Damage: 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.
Motorcycle Accident Statute of Limitations
Like most other states, South Carolina has a statute of limitations on motorcycle accident lawsuits. This means that you only have a certain amount of time to sue the liable party for damages. If you fail to bring your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, your case will likely be dismissed.
The statute of limitations on most motorcycle accident lawsuits in South Carolina is three years from the date of the accident (or the date of injury). This is true whether you are filing a vehicle damage claim, personal injury claim, or wrongful death claim after a fatal crash.
It is important to note that the statute of limitations only applies to motorcycle accident lawsuits, not insurance claims. Although there is no universal rule about when you can file a motorcycle accident insurance claim, most insurance companies require you to file your claim within a “reasonable period of time.” This could mean a few days or a couple of weeks after the accident.
How The Motorcycle Law Group Can Help
We are known as The Firm That Rides®. Our attorneys are not only aggressive advocates for motorcycle accident victims, but we are also avid riders ourselves. We understand the unique physical, emotional, and financial challenges injured motorcyclists face, and we know how to fight to hold negligent motorists accountable for your damages.
We are committed to providing our clients with a high level of compassion, professionalism, and service. We even provide our clients with our cellphone numbers so that they can always reach us when they need us most, at any time or place.
Our team is prepared to handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf. We know how to utilize South Carolina’s motorcycle accident laws to aggressively seek the maximum compensation you are owed. There are no legal fees for you unless we win your case.
Decades of Experience
Our firm has been representing personal injury clients for over 30 years.
We Put Clients First
We make ourselves available after hours and on weekends for our clients. We'll get back to you the same day, even on holidays.
Giving Back to the Community
Our team is proud to support causes close to the motorcycling community as well as educate lawmakers on causes that impact riders and donate part of attorney fees to motorcycle rights for legislation.
We're a Firm That Rides
As avid motorcycle riders, each attorney with our firm understands the unique situations that motorcyclists face every day on the road.
Personable attorneys with expertise in personal injury and a specialty in motorcycle accidents.” - DJ Stephens
“I had contacted the office looking for help, and Matt Danielson and Daisha Schwear went above and beyond to assist me with my case. They made me feel very relieved, kept me up to date on everything, and I would without a doubt use them again. I wasn't able”- Andrew Day
“After being involved in a very serious accident with multiple injuries. My husband and I called on Matt Danielson for advice. It was the best call we ever made. From that moment on the only thing we had to do was concentrate on healing. Matt and his team t”- Christine Turner