The first breath of wind as you lift your feet to the pedals, the tension and excitement as you accelerate onto the highway, and the peaceful calm that falls over you as you settle into your journey with the motor humming beneath you can make thoughts of any possible dangers melt away for a time.
For many, the rewards of riding far outweigh the dangers of careless motorists and drunk drivers on the highway. But for some, the dream is shattered when a collision happens resulting in hospitalization or even worse, death.
Motorcycle accidents are unexpected and are not always caused by drivers of automobiles. In a recent motorcycle accident in Williamsburg County, the driver of a Harley Davidson motorcycle rear-ended a Suzuki motorcycle resulting in one death when the passenger on the Harley Davidson was thrown from the motorcycle. Two other riders were injured in the accident…
Do Motorcyclists Assume the Risk of Greater Injuries?
There are some people who believe that motorcyclists are always partially at fault because they are driving a motorcycle. The law disagrees.
“Comparative negligence” allows a jury to find both drivers at fault in an accident and it allows the jurors to decide what percentage of fault to assign to each driver. If the jurors find that the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault in an accident, the plaintiff is barred from any recovery.
The simple fact that a person is on a motorcycle is not comparative negligence, however, and it will not be a factor in any comparative negligence decision by jurors. Comparative negligence only becomes an issue when the plaintiff driver broke a rule or duty such as exceeding the speed limit, failing to yield, or failing to use a turn signal.
Although riding a motorcycle does involve very serious risks that are greater than the risks involved in driving a car or truck, other drivers on the road have a duty to drive safely and to protect the rights of motorcyclists. When another driver’s carelessness causes an accident that results in injuries or death to a motorcyclist, the at-fault driver is responsible for all the damage that they caused regardless of the type vehicle the other person was driving.
Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Motorcycle Wreck
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating. In a wreck, motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured and 26 times more likely to die than a person in an enclosed vehicle. Injured motorcyclists are also more likely to have long-term injuries such as spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Insurance companies know the potential costs that they are obligated to cover. They know that motorcyclists are entitled to full compensation like every other type of driver. They know that spinal cord injuries or TBI 1) do not always show up immediately following a wreck; and 2) are likely to require long-term follow up care that will be a significant and sometimes life-long expense.
Despite this, insurance companies will always initially attempt to write you a check that does not fully compensate you or take into account your future medical expenses and pain and suffering. They will attempt to get a release of liability from you in exchange for the least amount of money possible because this is their job. They are not required to tell you the full extent of damages that you can recover following a motorcycle accident.
How do I Get Full Compensation from the Insurance Company?
Negotiating with an insurance company after a motorcycle accident is never a simple process. If and when they make an offer to settle, it is not the final offer. There is almost always a back-and-forth that occurs before arriving at fair compensation. You must know what damages you are entitled to and you must provide the documentation to support the demand that you are making. Most importantly, the insurance company must know that you are willing and able to take your case to a jury if they do not pay full compensation.
Your Myrtle Beach motorcycle accident lawyer at Coastal Law, LLC, has years of experience dealing with insurance companies and knows how to get the full compensation that is owed to you. You can schedule a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case right now by calling (843) 488-5000 or filling out our online form.