TheSouth Carolina Department of Public Safety announced that for the weekend of Jan. 30 through Feb. 1, 2015, a preliminary number of seven persons were killed on South Carolina roadways. That brought the total motor vehicle fatalities in the year 2015 to 63 through Feb. 1. Five of those victims killed on South Carolina highways were motorcyclists.
Victims of motorcycle accidents caused by someone else deserve legal representation from a Charleston motorcycle accident attorney consistent with the unique nature of the motorist’s vulnerability. And by “victim,” we also mean the surviving family members of those who died from injuries they sustained in motor vehicle accidents that someone else caused.
Motorcyclists are more exposed to serious injury when they are involved in a crash because they have neither seatbelts, airbags nor a surrounding chassis. South Carolina officials join their federal cohorts in trying to find ways to enhance motorcycle safety — with good reason. For instance, the state’s Motorcycle Safety Task Force was scheduled to meet Feb. 5, 2015, in Blythewood.
Motorcycle accidents, to no surprise, wound up in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s budget request for fiscal year 2016. The agency submitted the request to the appropriations committees in February 2015.
The agency’s report read that despite a slight decline in the number of motor vehicle fatalities, the nation “still lost 32,719 people in crashes on roadways during 2013.”
Specifically dealing with motorcyclists, there are additional discouraging numbers.
“Motorcyclist fatalities (rider/operator and passenger) accounted for 14 percent of traffic fatalities in 2013,” the agency stated. “Motorcyclist fatalities have increased in 12 of the past 14 years, from 2,897 in 2000 to 4,668 in 2013. Motorcycle riders had the highest percentage of alcohol impairment (BAC ≥ 0.08) of any motor vehicle operator involved in fatal crashes in 2013 (27 percent for riders, 23 percent for car drivers, 21.3 percent for light truck drivers and 2 percent for large truck drivers).”
The NHTSA issued a separate report last year that delved into figures from 2011 and 2012. It begins, “In 2012, 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes — an increase of 7 percent from the 4,630 motorcyclists killed in 2011. There were 93,000 motorcyclists injured during 2012, a 15 percent increase from 81,000 in 2011.”
Further, although only 3 percent of registered vehicles nationwide were motorcycles, “In 2012, motorcyclists accounted for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities, 18 percent of all occupant (driver and passenger) fatalities, and 4 percent of all occupants injured. Of the 4,957 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes, 93 percent (4,625) were riders and 7 percent (332) were passengers.”
This NHTSA figure is astounding: “Per registered vehicle, the fatality rate for motorcyclists in 2012 was 6 times the fatality rate for passenger car occupants.”
Protecting the Victim’s Interests
Victimized motorcyclists or the families of decedents should have one of the Charleston motorcycle accident attorneys at Pierce, Herns, Sloan & Wilson LLC on their side. If you are in this unfortunate situation, then you need an attorney experienced in dealing with the insurance companies, investigating the cause of the accident, analyzing motorcycle law, and fighting for the maximum compensation.
The motorcycle accident attorneys at Pierce, Herns, Sloan & Wilson LLC have a successful track record in obtaining accident awards for the victims of someone else’s negligence.
There are so many things to consider, even if it is not a wrongful death case. For example, the injuries may require long-term treatment; wages may be lost and future earnings may be diminished; and the pain and suffering can be prolonged consistent with the severity of the injuries. Let one of our motorcycle accident attorneys handle the case.