There were two motorcycle crashes in Berkeley County this month, one on Lebanon Road and the other on Henry Brown Boulevard, and there was also a fatal motorcycle crash on I-26 this week.
All three incidents were tragic, and the drivers’ families are left picking up the pieces and wondering, how did this happen? What now?
In all three cases, the families may be able to seek compensation from at-fault drivers or their own insurance policies, depending on the circumstances and the type of insurance policies that covered the deceased motorcyclists.
Single Motorcycle Crashes in Berkeley County, SC
The two crashes in Berkeley County appear to be single-motorcycle crashes where the driver was killed after running off the road. Can the family of a motorcycle rider who was killed get compensation from their insurance company if no other vehicles were involved in the crash?
Motorcycle Crash on Lebanon Road
One motorcyclist was killed after their bike went off the road, hitting a ditch and then a utility pole on Lebanon Road near Lockspur Way in Berkeley County:
BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) – The South Carolina Highway Patrol says one person is dead following a motorcycle crash in Berkeley County Thursday afternoon.
It happened around 2:39 p.m. on Lebanon Road near Lockspur Way.
A 2004 Kawasaki Motorcycle was traveling north on Lebanon Road ran off the left side of the road, hit a ditch, then a utility pole, Lance Cpl. Nick Pye says.
The driver suffered fatal injuries, Pye says.
The Berkley County Coroner’s Office has not yet released the name of the victim.
Troopers are investigating.
Motorcycle Crash on Henry Brown Boulevard
A second motorcycle crash in Berkeley County resulted in another death, when a motorcyclist ran off the road and hit a guardrail on Henry Brown Boulevard:
BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) – The Berkeley County Coroner’s Office has identified a man who died in a motorcycle crash in Goose Creek.
Authorities say 19-year-old Matthew Miller of Goose Creek died following an accident on Henry Brown Boulevard.
The crash happened on March 26 around 8:55 p.m.
A motorcycle traveling westbound ran right off the road and hit a guardrail, ejecting the driver, according to Master Trooper David Jones.
The driver was taken to a hospital where they later died from their injuries, Jones said.
When another driver causes a motorcycle crash, the at-fault driver is responsible for the damage that they caused. But what can you do if there were no other vehicles involved in the crash?
The answer depends on a number of things, including the circumstances of the crash and the types and amount of insurance coverage that the deceased motorcyclist or the owner of the bike purchased.
- Were there witnesses to the crash? Video cameras in the area? Is it possible that another driver contributed to the crash and left the scene? If so, and if they can be located, they will be liable for damages (and likely charged with criminal offenses for leaving the scene).
- What caused the crash? Was there a defective road condition that caused the motorcyclist to leave the roadway and crash? If so, a municipality, contractor, or property owner may be liable for injuries that are caused by a hazardous condition like gravel in the road or obstructions.
- The driver’s uninsured motorist (UM) coverage should pay compensation to the family up to the policy limits, but did the driver purchase the minimum limits or did they purchase additional UM insurance coverage?
- In some cases, the driver’s underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage may also pay compensation – SC does not require drivers to purchase UIM coverage and the insured must choose to purchase UIM coverage at the time they buy their policy.
- There may be multiple policies attached to the driver, the driver’s family, the vehicle, or even other vehicles that will cover injuries to the deceased motorcyclist.
- Insurance policies can be “stacked” in SC when their policy limits do not cover the damages, and
- There may be an umbrella policy that provides additional coverage for catastrophic events.
Motorcycle Crash on I-26
There was another fatal motorcycle crash on I-26 near mile marker 216 when a motorcyclist hit the rear of a vehicle that was stopped in the roadway:
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) -The South Carolina Highway Patrol says one person was killed in a crash on Interstate 26 near mile marker 216 Thursday morning.
Master Trooper Brian Lee says the crash happened around 2:10 a.m. Thursday morning when a motorcycle hit the rear of a vehicle that was disabled in the roadway.
Lee says the driver of the motorcycle was killed in the crash.
The victim has not yet been identified.
The accident shut down all lanes on the interstate for several hours. The lanes were finally reopened around 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
Whether the crash victim will be entitled to compensation from the driver of the vehicle that was stopped in the roadway or whether they must rely on their own insurance coverage will depend on the details of how the crash happened – was the other driver negligent in failing to remove their vehicle from the roadway, and was their negligence the cause of the crash?
If so, the at-fault driver is liable for the damage caused by their negligence, and the crash victim’s family can seek compensation in a wrongful death action.
Motorcycle Crash Lawyers in Charleston, SC
Charleston personal injury lawyer Dan Boles devotes a significant amount of his time to helping injured motorcyclists and has the experience that you need to investigate your motorcycle crash, negotiate with difficult insurance carriers, and try your case to a jury if you aren’t paid the full and fair value of your claim.
Call us at 843-576-5775 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation at our North Charleston or Walterboro offices or send us a message through our website.