A near-collision between a motorcycle and a car at an interstate interchange in Anderson County, South Carolina (SC), left the man driving the bike dead, his passenger badly injured and the two people in the car hurt. The fatal incident highlights the dangers of failing to yield right of way while turning left and also raises uestions about insurance claims and the legal principle of comparative negligence.
State Highway Patrol and county police investigators determined that a married couple were traveling straight on SC 24 south of Townville when a car's driver cut them off while attempting to enter an on ramp to I-85. The man driving the motorcycle swerved to avoid crashing into the car and lost control of his bike. He and his wife were thrown from the motorcycle. He died after being taken to the hospital, and the female passenger survived with critical injuries.
The 80-year-old man behind the wheel of the car also sustained injuries when running off the road, as did the person in the car with him. They were treated and released. It is unclear if charges for failing to yield right of way or for causing an injury and a death will be filed.
Too many motorcyclists end up hospitalized or dead when a car or truck turns in front of them. The most common excuse heard after such crashes is that the person in the larger vehicle never saw the motorcycle. That excuse does not hold up for lifting an at-fault driver's responsibility for settling personal injury and wrongful death insurance claims. The solution to not seeing is to look more diligently.
The other issue at play in this particular South Carolina accident is that neither of the motorcycle riders were wearing helmets. State law does not require adults to put on helmets when riding motorcycles, which, among other things, means an insurance company cannot automatically deny claims from the victims of this wreck. Insurance agents can be counted on, however, to argue that the man who lost his life and the motorcycle passenger who got so badly injured bear primary responsibility for the harms they suffered. Consulting with an experienced Carolina wrongful death and personal injury lawyer will help family members fight through objections related to comparative negligence.