South Carolina Roads Getting Worse for Motorcyclists, Charleston Accident Lawyer Says

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Backing a general downward trend in traffic fatalities, grim statistics show an increase in motorcyclist deaths on South Carolina highways, says Joye Law Firm’s Ken Harrell.

Motorcycle, car, auto, vehicle, accident, crash, wreck, collision, personal injury, wrongful death, attorney, lawyer, lawsuit, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, SC

South Carolina personal injury lawyer Ken Harrell

While it is encouraging to see that fewer people are getting killed while traveling in other motor vehicles, it is very alarming to realize that the roads are getting more dangerous for motorcyclists.

South Carolina’s overall traffic deaths increased last year for the first time since 2007 — and motorcycle accidents were one of the main reasons, according to Charleston accident lawyer Ken Harrell.

Although wrecks are killing fewer drivers and passengers in other motor vehicles, South Carolina motorcycle deaths continued to rise by a double-digit percentage in 2011, according to preliminary figures from the S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS).

“These sad statistics underscore the threat that motorcyclists face on our state’s roads,” said Harrell, who represents victims of motorcycle accidents at the Joye Law Firm, where he is the South Carolina personal injury firm’s managing partner.

The early data from the SCDPS showed that 102 motorcyclists died in South Carolina traffic accidents during 2011, as compared to 82 the year before. The SCDPS reports that 815 people died in all South Carolina traffic accidents during 2011, up from 810 in 2010.

More motorcycle and pedestrian deaths are behind the increase in the fatality count, according to an Associated Press report in the Charleston Post and Courier. Deaths in other motor vehicles, such as cars, pickups, SUVs and trucks, continued their downward trend in 2011. They declined from 591 in 2010 to 559 last year, the AP reports.

“While it is encouraging to see that fewer people are getting killed while traveling in other motor vehicles, it is very alarming to realize that the roads are getting more dangerous for motorcyclists,” Harrell said.

Due to the fact that motorcycles lack the structural protection that other vehicles offer, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer severe injury or death in a wreck, Harrell said.

Harrell said one of the leading causes of South Carolina motorcycle accidents is the carelessness of other drivers. Motorists often fail to use sufficient time and caution to see motorcyclists and share the road with them, Harrell said.

“Insurance companies like to portray motorcycle riders as rebels who take chances and operate their vehicles dangerously. That image is wrong,” Harrell said.

“My experience representing victims of South Carolina motorcycle accidents has taught me that most riders are safe and cautious, and it is often the car or truck driver who was to blame for the accident.”

Harrell said that some of the most common causes of South Carolina motorcycle accidents include:

  •     Other vehicles making left turns into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist;
  •     Other motorists not checking their blind spots for motorcycles; and
  •     Vehicles pulling out from side streets or driveways in front of an oncoming motorcycle.

When these tragic events occur, it is crucial for victims of motorcycle accidents, or their families, to seek competent legal representation from an experienced South Carolina motorcycle accident attorney, Harrell said.

“Too often, motorcyclists who have been injured in a wreck are once again victimized by insurance companies that try to blame them for the accident,” Harrell said. “Our motorcycle accident attorneys fight for the rights of riders, making sure they get the compensation they deserve for their injuries.”

About Joye Law Firm

Since 1968, Joye Law Firm has been fighting to help people throughout South Carolina with their legal challenges in a broad range of practice areas, including personal injury, car accidents, birth injury, brain injury, defective products, drug injury, motorcycle accidents, nursing home abuse, Social Security disability, spinal cord injury, traffic tickets, truck accidents, workers’ compensation and wrongful death. The South Carolina law firm has offices in Charleston and Myrtle Beach and assists clients in areas that include Florence, Richland County, Orangeburg, Columbia, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Summerville and the Horry County communities of Conway and North Myrtle Beach. Contact the firm by calling (888) 324-3100 or filling out its online form.


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