Laurens Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
Laurens County has some amazing landscapes, admired from a motorcycle is best. A motorcycle accident lawyer in Laurens can attest that this type of transportation is also an excellent way to beat the crowded traffic. Riding a motorcycle has its drawbacks. It can become dangerous riding a motorcycle. Those who have been involved in a motorcycle accident know this first hand. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident due to someone else's negligence, contact BT Smith Law Firm to speak to one of our motorcycle accident lawyers. The consultation is FREE so call today.
Motorcyclists are the ones who usually incur the most severe injuries and the highest property damage. Their best chance of recovering their losses is to work with a Laurens motorcycle injury lawyer.
At the Law Office of Brian T. Smith Law, we take on new motorcycle accident cases frequently. We know for a fact that motorcyclists are not always to blame for their accidents. When they come to us, our motorcycle attorney advises them and helps them recover their losses.
In our experience, most motorcycle accidents occur because one of the parties violated the law. Common examples of traffic law violations our motorcycle injury lawyers have encountered are:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Exceeding legal speed limits
- Failing to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles in traffic
- Failing to signal a vehicle operator’s intentions in traffic
- Motorcycle law violations.
If you incurred losses in a motorcycle accident in Laurens, you should file a claim to recover your losses. A motorcycle lawyer can help with it. However, before you do that, it helps to make sure you did not violate the law yourself. A discussion with a motorcycle injury attorney will surely help. Until you schedule one, the following information may come in handy.
South Carolina Laws a Laurens Motorcycle Lawyer May Explain to Their Clients
Motorcycle and Related Definitions
SC Code section 56-5-140 defines motorcycles by the number of wheels and the existence of a saddle. They should have two permanent wheels in contact with the ground or a trailer. They should also have a saddle for the rider. As any motorcycle injury lawyer may confirm, the definition excludes tractors.
All motorcycles with motors producing up to 5 horsepower qualify as motor-driven cycles. The term refers to motor scooters meeting the power requirement (SC Code section 56-5-150). SC law also acknowledges three-wheel motorcycles.
Their definition appears in section 56-5-155 of the Code. Any motorcycle lawyer should be able to explain it to their client. It covers vehicles with three permanent wheels in contact with the ground. It includes motorcycles with side attachments. The respective vehicles should have a saddle for the rider and handlebars or similar steering. The definition excludes tractors and automotive vehicles with three wheels.
If you are not sure where your vehicle fits, a Laurens motorcycle injury attorney can help.
Motorcyclists’ Rights and Duties
SC Code section 56-5-3610 stipulates that, generally, motorcyclists have the same rights and duties as drivers. They not exempted from following rules and provisions that refer to other types of vehicles. Also, they have to follow all rules and provisions referring to motorcycles.
SC Code section 56-5-1550 establishes the speed limits for motor-driven cycles. The maximum speed allowed is of 35 miles per hour. Higher speeds are allowed for vehicles with headlamps visible from a distance of 300 feet.
SC Code section 56-5-1520 provides more information on vehicle speed limits according to the circumstances. If you are worried you broke the speed limits, you should consult a motorcycle injury lawyer. They will review your case and advise you accordingly.
Just like drivers, motorcyclists have to signal their intentions in traffic. SC Code section 56-5-2180 sets the rules they should follow. Motorcyclists should signal all their stop or turn maneuvers by using their hand or their arm. The same section specifies that all motor vehicles operated on highways be equipped with signal lamps. The rule covers vehicles longer than 14 feet and wider than 48 inches.
SC Code section 56-5-3630 requires that motorcyclists:
- Ride only on the dedicated seat, carrying other passengers if the motorcycle design allows it.
- Ride astride the dedicated seat, facing forward, and keeping each leg on the corresponding side.
- Avoid carrying packages or bundles that prevent them from holding both hands on the handlebars.
- Avoid carrying passengers in positions that may interfere with their view or maneuvers.
- Never attach themselves or the motorcycle to another vehicle on the road.
If you were in violation of these requirements, give your motorcycle injury lawyer all the details. It helps your case if they know the truth from the beginning. This way, they can prepare your defense and protect your interests.
Under SC Code section 56-5-3640, motorcycles have the right to use an entire road lane. All other vehicles should respect their right. However, motorcyclists may ride two abreast on the same lane.
The same section prohibits motorcyclists from:
- Overtaking and passing vehicles in the same lane
- Operating motorcycles between lanes or adjacent lines of vehicles
- Riding more than two abreast in the same lane
These rules do not apply to police officers on duty. Motorcyclists who know they have violated them should turn to a motorcycle injury attorney. The latter can help assess the role of their actions in the accident. They can advise them on how to proceed.
Motorcycle Equipment and Its Use
- SC Code Section 56-5-3650 requires the presence of footrests for all motorcycles carrying passengers. Also, all motorcycles should have a rearview mirror, to allow the rider to monitor the rear traffic. A motorcycle injury lawyer may interpret noncompliance as a contributory fault.
- Section 56-5-366 makes helmets mandatory for motorcyclists and passengers younger than 21. The helmets should have the approval of the Department of Public Safety. They should have a chin or neck strap and reflectorizing material on both sides.
- Section 56-5-3670 requires motorcyclists younger than 21 to wear goggles and face shields. These need the approval of the Department of Public Safety as well. The operators of motorcycles with windscreens do not need goggles or face screens.
- Section 56-5-4460 stipulates that motorcycles on public roads should have their headlights on. Violations qualify as a misdemeanor and bring about $25 fines and up to 10 days in jail. In case of an accident, it will take an experienced motorcycle lawyer to avoid contributory fault.
- Section 56-5-4490 requires that motorcycles be equipped with one or two headlamps.
- Section 56-5-4500 imposes headlamp placement at a height between 24 and 54 inches.
- Section 56-5-4830 refers to vehicle lights more intense than 300 candlepower.
According to this law, such lights should be oriented outside the roadway. Their beams should not hit the roadway at more than 75 feet. The rule excludes head, spot, and auxiliary lamps, flashing signals, and school bus and emergency vehicles’ warning lamps. Parked vehicles cannot have red or blue center lights unless expressly authorized. Flashing lights are only acceptable on authorized vehicles and as turn signals.
Again, any violation of the above stipulations could qualify as a contributory fault. Motorcyclists involved in accidents who are not sure where they stand should consult a motorcycle lawyer. The latter will analyze their case details and explain their situation. As any motorcycle injury lawyer may explain, contributory fault matters in accident claims.
Contributory Fault and the Need to Work with a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Under South Carolina laws, accident victims can seek compensation for their losses even if they shared fault. However, their share of fault should not exceed 50%. If it does, they lose their right to any compensation. To distribute fault, the authorities, the insurers, and the court will consider the available evidence.
The experience of the motorcycle injury lawyers handling the case usually makes all the difference. The parties will obviously try to blame one another. The motorcycle injury lawyer will focus on defending their clients and proving their case.
If you shared fault for your accident, your compensation will be inversely proportional to your fault percentage. Thus, if you are 25% at fault, you will only receive compensation for 75% of the losses you incurred.
Since those losses will need justifications as well, it helps to work with a motorcycle injury lawyer. If you have not contacted one yet, you should, as soon as possible. Time is a sensitive matter when it comes to motorcycle accidents.
Statute of Limitations or When to Contact a SC Motorcycle Injury Attorney in Laurens, SC
The time limits for civil action in South Carolina are subject to Title 15, Chapter 3 of the SC Code. For action following motor vehicle accidents, the deadline is usually 3 years. Sometimes, experienced motorcycle injury lawyers succeed to obtain a tolling or delay. This is usually possible for a motorcycle injury attorney representing a minor. Another scenario is when their client is mentally disabled and recovers after a long time.
To increase your chances of obtaining compensation, consult a motorcycle lawyer as soon as possible. The evidence is easy to obtain and witnesses are easy to locate immediately after an accident. If you wait too long, evidence may get lost, and witnesses may forget details. They may also change their address. Moreover, the sooner you file the compensation claim, the sooner you receive the money.
Of course, before you can file a compensation claim, you need to know with whom to file it. This is another decision better taken with the help of a motorcycle injury attorney. They will analyze the evidence and insurance coverage available and advise you accordingly.
Why Do Motorcycle Attorneys in Laurens, SC, Care about Insurance?
In motor vehicle accidents, the party at fault or their insurer covers all losses. If the party at fault is insured, most motorcycle injury lawyers will file the claim with the insurer. Their damage inspector will review the claim and answer, usually proposing a settlement.
After a couple of negotiation meetings or letters, the parties will almost always reach a settlement. Otherwise, the claimant or their motorcycle injury attorney can appeal and even go to court. Although the procedure involves quite a few forms and formalities, it is straightforward.
Unfortunately, we cannot say the same thing about lawsuits. They are the alternative to the insurance claim when the party at fault is uninsured. They take a lot of time, and they are costly and difficult to win. That is why almost any motorcycle injury attorney will try to avoid them.
Moreover, a favorable verdict does not guarantee the payment. If the defendant could not afford insurance, they probably don’t have money for compensation either. No wonder most motorcycle lawyers will avoid lawsuits against individuals.
In South Carolina, all vehicle operators, including motorcyclists, need liability insurance. As any motorcycle injury attorney may confirm, the minimum coverage is 25/50/25. For property damage, it is of $25,000 per event. For bodily injury, it is of $25,000 per person and of $50,000 per event. When the party at fault is uninsured, the victims can access their own coverage.
Even if you don’t remember, you probably carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. The law forces all insurers to offer it to their clients. Yours must have offered it to you too. Unless you specifically refused it, chances are you still have it. To discuss available coverage and legal options, consult a Laurens motorcycle lawyer.
Besides offering advice and answers to any questions you may have, your motorcycle injury lawyer will also:
- Help you avoid mistakes at the accident scene and throughout the compensation claim process
- Conduct their own investigations and gather new evidence to support your case
- Fill in all the paperwork and guide you through the procedures you need to follow
- Negotiate with the claim defendant and help you reach a convenient settlement
- Obtain the compensation you deserve for your losses with minimum time and effort from you.
Schedule a Consultation with a Laurens SC Motorcycle Attorney from the Law Office of Brian T. Smith Law!
At the Law Office of Brian T. Smith, we put our clients’ interests above everything else. You can easily convince yourself of that by scheduling a free case evaluation. If you like how our motorcycle injury attorney works, you can hire their services. If you do not, you are free to walk away.
After speaking to a motorcycle personal injury attorney, we are convinced you will accept our offer, especially since we accept contingency agreements. This means that you only pay for the motorcycle accident attorneys services if we win. To benefit, call (864) 662 6821, ask to speak to one of our motorcycle lawyers. Ask any questions relating to your motorcycle wreck. Call our Laurens SC, office now and a motorcycle accident attorney will gladly take over the case and help you out!