Under South Carolina law, everyone licensed to operate a motorcycle must carry a certain amount of insurance in order to drive on public roads. However, while this coverage is legally mandatory, it is not necessarily static. Depending on the circumstances, the insurance impact from a Charleston motorcycle accident could be incredibly severe.
The outcome of a motorcycle accident case—particularly if or how the court distributes contributory fault—may have a critical impact on your insurance rates. For that and many other reasons, representation from a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer is almost always in your interests if you want to obtain a positive outcome for your case.
The Effect Motorcycle Accidents Have on Insurance Rates
There are a lot of variables that go into how the insurance company adjusts and determines what future premiums would be. For the most part, though, if a policyholder is driving a vehicle and has an accident for which they are deemed to be at fault, that is something an insurance company would look closely at when determining their future insurance rates.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents can often negatively impact a person’s insurance rates much more than a car accident would due to motorcycles being perceived as dangerous and stereotypes about bikers being reckless. That being said, the exact impact that a motorcycle wreck in Charleston has on a victim’s insurance rates depend on the insurance company representing them, the type of accident, which parties is at fault, the level of fault each liable party is found to bear, and what expenses there are to be covered.
The Role of Contributory Negligence
Contributory negligence can play a significant role in potential changes to a person’s insurance rates after a Charleston motorcycle accident. Any time a person is found either totally or partially at fault for an accident, their insurance company would reserve the right to take those factors into consideration when setting their future premiums.
While this possible effect on insurance premiums is important, it is usually less important than what contributory negligence can do to a case. If a defendant claims that a motorcyclist is somehow at fault for their injuries, either partially or totally, the impact that may have on recoverable damages can be severe.
For example, if a defendant was successful in proving a motorcyclist was 20 percent of fault for the accident that injured them, a court could reduce their maximum recovery by 20 percent. In this scenario, what could have been a $100,000 damage award would be reduced to $80,000 at most.
Mitigating How a Charleston Motorcycle Accident Impacts Insurance Rates
With almost no exceptions, nobody likes dealing with their insurance company under any circumstances, especially not when they are already dealing with a serious injury from a motor vehicle accident. However, if your injuries stem from a motorcycle crash, staying up to date on your insurance policy and the actions of your insurance provider may be crucial, both in terms of ensuring your medical bills are covered and determining how much of a damage award you may have to give back to that provider.
Assistance from a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer may be essential to protecting both your medical and financial best interests, not to mention making sure that you recover and keep as much in compensation as your damages warrant. To discuss how best to approach your particular case, call today to schedule a consultation.