Myrtle Beach Lawyer for Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Distracted Drivers
One of the most common reasons for motorcycle collisions is distracted drivers. Car drivers often have not received adequate training on how to recognize or interact with motorcycles on the road. When they are distracted, these drivers are much less likely to drive safely and give motorcyclists the space they need. If you have been injured by a distracted driver while riding a motorcycle, there is a good chance you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
The Myrtle Beach motorcycle accident lawyer of Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers is an experienced attorney who can help you figure out how to proceed with your motorcycle accident personal injury claim. While motorcycle safety gear has come a long way over the years, even top-of-the-line helmets and kevlar can only do so much when someone is hit by a distracted driver.
The injuries caused by these accidents can be devastating, and the rehabilitation process can take months, years, or even decades, in some cases. The economic, physical, and emotional cost of recovering from such an accident can be huge, with a much greater cost than initial medical bills and vehicle repair.
At Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers, we have over a decade of experience handling motorcycle accident personal injury claims, and they will fight hard to maximize the compensation you receive for your claim. Get started on your claim today by calling us at (843) 839-4795.
Distracted Driver Motorcycle Accidents
Research on road safety and driver habits has consistently shown that the failure of drivers to identify motorcyclists and respect their right of way is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. South Carolina has one of the highest rates of motorcycle fatalities among U.S. states, with 11.97 fatalities annually per 10,000 registered motorcycles—only Texas and Mississippi have higher rates of motorcyclist fatalities. Distracted drivers in South Carolina are a significant contributor to this issue, as drivers are even less likely to notice motorcyclists when they are talking or texting while driving.
Most motorcyclists understand the risks they are taking when they get on a bike, and they drive carefully in order to minimize those risks. However, even the most careful rider is vulnerable to negligent drivers of other vehicles. Modern cars are equipped with numerous safety features that motorcycles lack, and even the most advanced bikes lack the most important safety feature common to all cars: a reinforced frame.
Distracted Driving Laws in South Carolina
Texting while driving has been illegal in South Carolina since June 2014. However, distracted driving is still a significant problem in the state. This is in large part because these laws are hard to enforce and rarely result in legal action unless the texting/phone use results in an accident.
There are about 140,000 car accidents in South Carolina each year, and many of these are a result of distracted driving. Of all the collisions in South Carolina in 2017, 10,053 are known to have been caused by distracted driving, but it is likely that distraction played a role in many more. 91% of millennials use cell phones when driving, and 1 in 4 teenagers texts while driving.
Additionally, even though texting and emailing while driving have been banned, attempts to ban the use of all handheld devices while driving have repeatedly failed. Many states have implemented hands-free laws, but South Carolina is not one of them. This means that drivers can use their phones for a number of potentially distracting activities, like watching movies, changing music selections, or even playing games.
And phones aren’t the only source of distraction drivers may have in their cars. Eating while driving and talking on the phone while driving are both legal, but studies have shown that both of these acts significantly lower drivers’ ability to focus on the road and react to unforeseen events.
Making Your Case
Filing a claim against a distracted driver who caused an accident in South Carolina can be complicated. Although texting while driving is illegal, in order to make a successful case, the injured motorcyclist must prove both that the driver was distracted at the time of the accident and that their being distracted led to negligent driving, which in turn caused the accident.
Just because a driver was texting or on their phone at the time of an accident does not mean that they caused the accident. In order to recover damages in a personal injury claim, it is necessary to prove that the driver wasn’t merely on their phone. Victims must also prove that the distracted driver was failing to follow the rules of the road. This often requires gathering evidence from witnesses, security cameras, and evidence from inside the car that the driver was not paying attention.
Proving distracted driving in court requires the skills of a seasoned attorney. At Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers, we have been handling personal injury cases against distracted drivers for years. We will research the circumstances of your accident in order to find the details needed to show that distracted driving was at the root of the crash.
Injuries That Can Result from Distracted Driving Accidents
While a minor accident in a car may not leave anyone injured, the same cannot be said for distracted driving accidents involving motorcycles. Because of their lack of protection, motorcyclists can be left with severe injuries after any collision, including:
- Internal organ damage
- Bruises and lacerations
- Spinal injury
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries, including ligament and muscle tears
Distracted Driving Statistics
Here are some eye-opening statistics about distracted driving:
- There are about two distracted driving-related crashes every hour in South Carolina.
- There were 18,936 collisions in South Carolina in 2019 where distracted driving is known to have contributed to the accident.
- Over 2,800 people were killed, and roughly 400,000 were injured in collisions involving a distracted driver in the U.S. in 2018.
- Distracted driving-related collisions have consistently caused between 3,000 and 3,500 deaths each year in the United States.
- The younger a driver is, the more likely they are to engage in distracted driving. Twenty-five percent of the distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2018 were between 20 and 29, and drivers below the age of twenty were even more likely to engage in distracted driving.
- According to a 2019 study by the CDC, 39% of American high school students who drove in the past 30 days either texted or used email while driving at least once.
- 8% of fatal accidents involving teenage drivers involved distracted driving, vs. 6% of accidents for drivers 20-29, 5% of accidents involving drivers 30-49, and only 4% of accidents involving drivers 50-69.
- Older teen drivers are more likely to text while driving than younger teen drivers, possibly because they are less nervous behind the wheel. 60% of 18- and 19-year-old drivers reported texting while driving, vs. only 16% of 15 year old drivers, and 31% of 16-year-old drivers.
- Passengers can also cause distracted driving. A study of 15-17-year-old drivers found that the likelihood of a fatal crashed dropped 21% when there were no passengers in a car vs. two or more passengers.
We handle cases of motorcycle accidents caused by distracted driving frequently. Following are questions we often get at the outset of a case. If you don’t find your answer here, don’t hesitate to contact us at (843) 839-4795.
What is my case worth?
Determining how much your case is worth is a complicated process that requires both a detailed knowledge of the accident and knowledge of payouts for similar recent claims. Every personal injury claim is different, and estimating the value of yours will take time. Consulting with a seasoned attorney at Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers is a good first step to figuring out what kind of compensation you can expect in your case.
Why is filing a claim important?
While it can be tempting to accept a quick payout from an insurance company to cover your immediate medical and vehicle expenses, these settlements generally won’t cover the long-term costs of your accident. Serious injuries may have long-lasting effects, from arthritis to headaches to life-long physical or mental impairment.
Often, the extent of an injury isn’t apparent until weeks or months after an accident. At that point, your injury and any subsequent disability might affect your job, livelihood, and mental health. It’s important to take these possibilities into account when considering whether or not to file a claim. Accepting a settlement generally means you waive your right to pursue damages in court.
Contact Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers Today
Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers has been representing clients in the Myrtle Beach area for over a decade. He knows the people and the community, and he cares about getting them the justice they deserve. Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers has received awards from the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys and Attorney and Practice magazine because he cares about getting his clients the compensation they deserve.
If you or someone in your family has been severely hurt in a motorcycle accident involving a distracted driver, give our offices a call at (843) 839-4795 to schedule a confidential consultation. We can give you a fair and honest assessment of the value of your claim and how to go about getting that compensation. Give us a call today.