Who is liable in a motorcycle accident?

I’ve heard people say that a motorcycle rider should be liable in a motorcycle accident simply because they are on a motorcycle – motorcycles are inherently dangerous, and anyone who rides one should be liable for their own injuries if there is an accident, right?


Motorcycles are safe if the rider is driving safely and if other motorists pay attention and don’t hit them. A driver who is negligent and causes an accident with a motorcyclist is absolutely responsible for the full extent of the injuries that they cause, whether the accident victim is in a car, on a motorcycle, or walking down the sidewalk…

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver’s negligence, get a Myrtle Beach motorcycle accident lawyer on your side immediately who understands personal injury law and how it applies to motorcycle crashes. Call Coastal Law now to begin the process of investigating your accident and collecting compensation.

Who is Liable in a Motorcycle Accident in SC?

Who is liable in a motorcycle accident? That depends on who caused the accident.

Motorcycle accident law is the same as auto accident law – it’s based on the law of negligence. If a driver of a car, truck, or motorcycle breaches their duty to operate their vehicle safely and that results in damage to another motorist or motorcyclist, they are liable for damages.

Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents

Negligence is the failure to use the care and caution that a reasonable person would have used under the circumstances and will result in the negligent party being responsible for the accident victim’s medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any other damages that were a result of the accident.

Motorcycle accidents can be caused by:

  • Drunk drivers;
  • Failure to look for motorcycles;
  • Failure to follow the traffic laws;
  • Speeding;
  • Texting while driving;
  • Failure to follow traffic signals; or
  • Any other type of negligence that would result in liability if the accident was in a car or other vehicle.

Gross Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents

While negligence is best described as “carelessness,” gross negligence can be described as “recklessness,” or a reckless disregard for the safety of others.

If I make a left turn without looking and cause a crash with a motorcycle, that’s negligence. On the other hand, if I am purposefully “tailgating” a motorcycle because I’m suffering from road rage and cause a crash, that’s most likely gross negligence.

What’s the difference? Gross negligence can result in an award of punitive damages at trial, in addition to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other “ordinary” categories of damages.

Myrtle Beach Bike Week 2019 Dates

Myrtle Beach Bike Week 2019 is upon us! The Harley Davidson Spring Rally begins this weekend, while Atlantic Beach Bike Week begins in a few weeks on May 27.

Myrtle Beach Harley Davidson Spring Rally

Myrtle Beach Bike Week, or the Harley Davidson Spring Rally, begins this weekend and runs from May 10 – May 19.

Atlantic Beach Bike Week – Black Bike Week

The Atlantic Beach Bike Week, aka Black Bike Week, begins on May 27 this year during Memorial Day Weekend.

Motorcycle Accidents in Myrtle Beach, SC

If you are in the area for Bike Week, or headed this way, be cautious – there have already been a number of motorcycle accidents, including fatalities, in the area. Just in the past few weeks:

North Myrtle Beach Motorcycle Accident

woman was killed in a North Myrtle Beach motorcycle accident on Hwy 17 near 46th Ave. South. She was the passenger on the motorcycle – the driver was also injured with a fractured leg and fractured ribs.

Who was liable in this motorcycle accident?

According to police, the driver of a car made a left turn into the path of the motorcycle, failing to yield the right-of-way. The driver was also charged with felony DUI resulting in death…

Surfside Beach Motorcycle Accidents

A Murrell’s Inlet firefighter was killed in a motorcycle accident a the intersection of 707 and Holmestown Road near Surfside beach.

Another motorcyclist was killed on Hwy 544 near Hwy 707 when the motorcycle collided with the back of a pickup truck.

Loris Motorcycle Accident

motorcyclist was killed in a single-vehicle accident on Hwy 9 near Log Cabin Road in the Loris area of Horry County when he lost control of his bike and went off the side of the road.

Who is liable in these motorcycle accidents will depend on the circumstances. When a drunk driver makes a left turn in front of a motorcycle and causes an accident, for example, liability is probably an easy question.

On the other hand, in a single-vehicle accident, the motorcyclist may be responsible for their crash, in which case they will need to rely on their own insurance policies to recover damages. Although recovery may be limited in a single-vehicle motorcycle crash, the motorcyclist’s uninsured or umbrella policies may provide some relief.

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Myrtle Beach and Conway, SC

The SC motorcycle accident attorneys at Coastal Law can help you to determine who is liable in a motorcycle accident and how to collect maximum damages whenever possible.

Call now for a free consultation to discuss your case, by calling (843) 488-5000 or filling out our online form.

Ready to Speak with an Attorney?

Contact Coastal Law to discuss your situation.

Get in Touch

20 Years Representing Locals & Tourists
+ +