SUV Made Illegal Turn and Hit My Moped...

by Terry
(Columbia, SC)

I was riding down a main road in South Carolina at night. An SUV was in the right lane, I was in the left lane. We were approaching an intersection with a traffic light, which was green, when the SUV turned left from the right hand lane without warning and struck me as I was passing.

My moped is totaled and I have a broken ankle and cracked clavicle. I had screws and a plate put in my ankle to ensure proper mending.

The SUV is clearly at fault in this accident right? What sort of settlement amount should I expect and how long will it take to settle? Thanks for the info.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "SUV Made Illegal Turn and Hit My Moped...":

Terry (Columbia, SC):

One of the best ways to confirm fault at a collision scene is to read the police report. The policy of the Columbia, South Carolina Police Department is to respond to “injury-accidents”. This means the police will be dispatched to the scene of a collision when either party has been injured.

In your case it’s fair to assume the police were dispatched. From the facts you present it's logical the SUV is liable for the collision. But there are always exceptions.

Some of those might be:

• If the SUV driver signaled properly and you failed to heed his signal, purposely placing your self in harm's way; or

• Your moped was not qualified to be on the street, possibly as a result of not meeting motor vehicle requirements such as proper lighting, braking, etc; or

• You had been drinking any alcoholic beverages or had ingested any other intoxicating substances.

Presuming you didn’t fall into any of the above exceptions, the next step will be to determine the extent of your injuries and the resulting costs of medical treatment, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

A personal injury claim is based foremost on the extent of medical injuries and the costs to treat those injuries. Matters such as out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering are all factors which are included in the final “extrapolation” of the evaluation of the claim.

Until such time as you are relatively sure of the extent of your injuries and the related costs, it will be impossible to determine the amount of settlement.

The amount of time it takes to settle a case is dependent on several factors. Here are a few of those:

• Does the at-fault driver admit liability?

• If not, will a personal injury lawsuit be necessary?

• Does the at-fault driver have enough insurance to cover your injuries and related costs?

• How long will the at-fault driver’s insurance company take to investigate the claim?

• How long it will take for you to receive the necessary treatment and then have a fair idea of the amount of future time and expense of additional treatment?

Once all of this information becomes clear you will be in a much better position to begin to evaluate the amount of money necessary to settle your claim, and the time it will take to finalize it as well.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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