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Protecting the Rights of Injured Riders

South Carolina roads can be dangerous for motorcyclists. Statewide, more people died on motorcycles in 2021 than in any year in the previous four decades, as reported by News 13. Statistics have shown that riders are in more danger on South Carolina roads than in any other state, according to the Post and Courier.

Hazards motorcyclists face in Charleston and throughout the state include distracted drivers, potholes, and pea gravel. Another serious risk is that too many drivers simply fail to register a motorcycle in the roadway before a crash.

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- Julian Allen

What Are the Road Rules for Drivers and Motorcyclists?

Motorcyclists have all the rights and are subject to the same rules as motor vehicle drivers in South Carolina, except for rules that are only applicable to motorcycles. Drivers are obligated to share the road with motorcyclists. They are not allowed to cut them off or crowd them out of a lane. Motorcyclists are entitled to ride in the center of the lane, the same as passenger vehicle drivers.

The following South Carolina traffic rules apply specifically to motorcyclists:

  • Riders must sit on a permanent seat, attached to the bike, and may not carry passengers, except on a seat designed for two people, or on another seat designed for passengers, firmly attached at the rear or the side of the bike. If a motorcyclist is carrying a passenger, the bike must have footrests.
  • No more than two motorcyclists may ride abreast in the same lane.
  • Lane splitting is prohibited. Riders may not pass other vehicles in the same lane or ride between lanes of traffic or rows of cars.
  • Riders under the age of 21 must wear a helmet. On a bike that does not have a windscreen, they are also required to wear goggles or face shields.

When May a Driver Be Held Liable for a Motorcycle Accident Due to Negligence?

Many motorcycle crashes are caused by driver negligence. Drivers of passenger vehicles may be held liable for accidents when they:

  • Drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Text while driving, or otherwise drive distracted
  • Fail to yield to motorcyclists
  • Exceed the speed limit
  • Tailgate motorcycles
  • Cut riders off at intersections
  • Swerve in front of riders
  • Fail to see motorcyclists entering or changing lanes
  • Turn left on a green light directly in the path of an oncoming motorcycle

What Types of Injuries Are Common in Motorcycle Accidents?

In 2021, 154 motorcyclists died on South Carolina roads, representing a 9% increase over the previous year. Riders who survive a crash often suffer serious or catastrophic injuries. Common injuries in motorcycle collisions include:

  • Severe head trauma and brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury and paralysis
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Loss of a limb
  • Fractured bones
  • Scarring and disfigurement

How Can a Charleston Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help?

Riders can suffer serious injuries in a crash caused by someone else’s negligence. It is important to recover full and fair compensation to cover your medical expenses, time away from work, and other losses. You are entitled to claim noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress, in addition to your monetary losses. Your best chance of recovering the maximum compensation available is to have an experienced Charleston motorcycle accident attorney handling your claim.

At Allen Law, we have extensive trial experience, on both sides of the courtroom. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively pursue the compensation you deserve. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle crash that was someone else’s fault, call us at (843) 882-5005. We can tell you if you have a case and what damages you may be able to claim.

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