Charleston, SC Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Many Americans use motorcycles to get where they need to go every day. There are benefits that motorcycles have over other motor vehicles like compact size and better fuel efficiency. Additionally, even more people use motorcycles for recreational purposes because they are fun to ride. However, motorcycle crashes can and do happen, and people are often seriously injured in these accidents. The medical bills of victims of motorcycle collisions will rack up and can easily reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, which can end up being a serious problem.

If you were hurt while riding your motorcycle, you need professional legal help. We can provide just that. Our attorneys know personal injury cases – including those involving motorcycle crashes – inside and out so we know what it takes to effectively fight for you in court and to give you the best shot at a good outcome for your claim.

If you need help, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s motorcycle accident legal team at the number (803) 219-4906 and get a free case review.

What Do I Need to Prove to Win a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Charleston, SC

To win a motorcycle accident lawsuit, you need to prove that the defendant was negligent. In law, “negligence” means that someone was careless. There are four “elements” of negligence that you need to prove in a personal injury case:


A “duty” implies an obligation one party has to another. In the context of motorcycle accidents, drivers have a duty to follow all traffic laws and act reasonably. While violating a traffic law can be proved by comparing a defendant’s conduct to a statute, whether they were reasonable is a question for the jury to decide.


Breach simply refers to a failure to uphold a duty. For example, if a driver runs a red light and hits you on your motorcycle, they have breached their duty to be a safe driver.


Causation is one of the most important elements in any personal injury case. If the defendant did not cause your injuries, you cannot hold them liable. Moreover, you must prove not only that the defendant is the actual cause of your injuries but that they are the “proximate cause.” Essentially, this means that their conduct was closely related to your injuries. For example, if a mechanic incorrectly installs brakes in a car and, later down the line, a driver is speeding and hits your motorcycle in that car, the driver is liable for your injuries, not the mechanic, because their conduct gets “cut off” by the driver’s negligent act.


Finally, you need to prove that you were actually injured. This can be done through photos, hospital bills, or even your physical appearance in the courtroom.

Damages From Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits in Charleston, SC

If you are successful in your claim, the court will award you damages in the form of financial compensation. Damages are how courts put the plaintiff back in the financial and physical state they were in before an accident. Of course, this is often impossible due to the nature of a plaintiff’s injuries and other factors, so financial payouts are the form virtually all damages take.

When you ask for damages in your claim, you have to explain the basis for them. One way to do this is to break them down into categories. Often, damages can be divided into economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic Damages are based on things that can have their value relatively easily displayed to the court. Things that fall under this category include bills for surgery, hospital stays, and other long-term medical care. You can also get economic damages for damage done to your motorcycle if it was totaled or needed expensive repairs. Finally, you can seek economic damages for lost wages, which could mean a couple of things. First, if you had to take time off of work and were not earning income from that job during that time, you can get compensated for the income you missed out on. Second, if you have to change to a job that pays less because of your injuries, you can get damages based on the difference in pay. Finally, if you are so injured that you are no longer able to work at all, you can get damages based on what you would have earned for the rest of your career.

Evidence to support economic damages often includes things like hospital bills, invoices from mechanic shops, and other “paper trails” denoting your expenses.

Non-Economic Damages

In contrast to economic damages, non-economic damages can be harder to prove through tangible evidence. Items that fall under the category of non-economic damages include physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress. These things are very real, but there will not be a bill or receipt for “pain” or “distress.” Therefore, you will have to work with our attorneys to convince the court of their value. For example, you can testify on the stand about how your injuries have affected you in order to show the jury the damage the defendant has caused.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are different from economic or non-economic damages in that they are not based on your condition but on the defendant’s conduct. They are only awarded by courts when defendants have done something particularly egregious, rising above mere negligence. Therefore, you should talk with our lawyers about whether seeking them at all makes sense in your claim. Do not worry if we come to the conclusion that seeking punitive damages is a bad idea, as awards for economic and non-economic damages can often sufficiently compensate a plaintiff for harm done to them.

Chat with Our Charleston, SC Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s motorcycle accident attorneys can give free case analyses when you contact us at (803) 219-4906.