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What Are Your Rights If You Get Injured While Riding As A Passenger On Someone Else’s Motorcycle?


Whether you are driving or in the passenger seat, you have more protection from severe injury in the event of a collision if you are in a car than on a motorcycle.  Motorcycle accidents involve much greater risk of being ejected from the vehicle, which greatly increases the chance of serious injury or death.  Last month, Anna Jorgensen of Lancaster was riding as a passenger on the back of a friend’s motorcycle in Fort Mill, when the motorcycle struck a curb and ejected both occupants into the roadway.  An SUV struck Jorgensen, causing fatal injuries.  She was 52 years old.  If you get injured in a motorcycle accident, you have the right to seek damages for your accident-related losses from the responsible parties, regardless of whether you were driving the motorcycle or simply riding on it as a passenger.  To find out more about your rights after a motorcycle accident, contact a Columbia motorcycle accident lawyer.

South Carolina Motorcycle Passenger Laws

In most cases, it is legal to ride as a passenger on someone else’s motorcycle.  These are some South Carolina laws that apply to motorcycle passengers:

  • On a motorcycle seat designed for two riders, the motorcycle must have footrests for both riders.
  • A passenger can also ride in a separate seat firmly attached behind the original seat. The attached seat must have a footrest.
  • It is against the law for a passenger to ride on the handlebars of a motorcycle or in any other position that obscures the driver’s view of the road.
  • Motorcycle passengers under the age of 21 must wear helmets. Even if you are at least 21, you should wear a motorcycle helmet whenever riding on a motorcycle as a driver or a passenger.  Wearing a helmet sharply reduces the chances of death or serious injury in the event of a collision.
  • It is legal for a passenger to ride in a sidecar or enclosed cab on a motorcycle. In this case, the passenger does not need a footrest.

The Legal Rights of Passengers Injured in Motorcycle Accidents

If you get injured in an accident where you were riding as a passenger on someone else’s motorcycle, you have the right to seek compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit.  If the motorcycle driver was at fault for the accident, then you should file a claim with his or her company.  If a car struck the motorcycle on which you were a passenger, you should go through the car owner’s insurance company.  A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you find the best way to get the money you need.

Let Us Help You Today

The personal injury lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident where you were a passenger riding on the back of someone else’s motorcycle.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.


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