The Myrtle Beach area has more than it's share of motorcycle crashes, and, with thousands of motorcyclists expected to pour into Myrtle Beach for the 2018 Atlantic Beach Bikefest and the Spring Harley Davidson Rally next month, we can expect there will be crashes in the coming days.
Just in the last couple of weeks, we have had:
- A fatal motorcycle crash in Marion County;
- A motorcycle crash on Highway 17 in Myrtle Beach where a motorcycle collided with an SUV; and
- A motorcyclist who was killed yesterday morning after a car hit him on Gardner Lacey Road in Myrtle Beach.
Because motorcycles offer much less protection than other vehicles, riders are at a greater risk of catastrophic injury or death in the event of a crash. But, whether the victim is driving a car or a motorcycle, the at-fault driver must pay full compensation for all the damage they caused.
If someone you love is killed by a reckless driver in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to make the other driver pay and to hold them accountable - get an experienced SC motorcycle accident lawyer on the case as soon as possible after the accident.
"I Didn't See the Motorcycle" is no Excuse
Drivers are expected to be aware of everything they may encounter on the road. Unfortunately, when it comes to motorcycles, many drivers just don't pay attention - when a motorcyclist is involved in an accident with another vehicle, it is usually because the other driver failed to yield the right-of-way.
The at-fault driver often claims they didn't see the motorcycle (it's more likely they never looked for it), but this excuse doesn't cut it. In most cases, when a driver fails to see another vehicle on the road, that's negligent driving.
What Is A Wrongful Death Lawsuit in SC?
If another driver kills your loved one because of their negligent driving, they can be held liable for failing to exercise reasonable care.
Under SC law, a wrongful death claim can only be brought by, or on behalf of, the executor or administrator of the deceased's estate.
It's a civil lawsuit, and the burden of proof in a wrongful death case (a preponderance of evidence) is lower than it is in a criminal case (beyond a reasonable doubt). If your case is successful, you can force the at-fault driver to pay you for your expenses including the deceased's medical bills, and for the pain and suffering that they caused.
No amount of money will bring back your loved one, but getting full compensation from the other driver can ensure that you have what you need to put your life back together.
What Is Gross Negligence?
If the fatal accident was caused by gross negligence or a deliberate act, you may be able to ask for punitive damages, as well.
To prove gross negligence, you would have to show that the driver operated their vehicle in a way that any reasonable person would know would lead to someone else being injured or killed.
One example of gross negligence would be driving while intoxicated. By getting behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol or other drugs, a driver shows a willful disregard for the safety of other motorists.
SC law caps punitive damages in most cases, but there is no cap on punitive damages for drunk driving accidents.
If you are hurt in a motorcycle crash during Bike Week 2018 or Atlantic Beach Bikefest 2018, or if a loved one was killed by a careless driver, call your Myrtle Beach personal injury attorney at Axelrod and Associates as soon as possible. We will take on the burden of investigating the crash, negotiations with the insurance company, and litigation so you can focus on healing and taking care of your family.