There are sections in the South Carolina Code of Laws that specifically address the rights and duties of bikers. While you can access these code sections by clicking here, over the next few weeks I will be tackling individual sections of these South Carolina laws here on my blog.

It’s important as a South Carolina biker to take into account motorcycle laws for your safety and for others on the road.

The first section of South Carolina law I am going to discuss is:

SECTION 56-5-3630. Manner in which motorcycles shall be operated.

(a) A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto and the operator shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a motorcycle unless the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, in which event a passenger may ride upon the permanent and regular seat if designed for two persons, or upon another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle at the rear or side of the operator.

Important: If your bike is NOT made to seat 2 people, your only other option to lawfully transport a passenger is to have a side-car.

(b) A person shall ride upon a motorcycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on each side of the motorcycle.

Let’s leave the stunts to the stuntmen.

Image taken from

(c) No person shall operate a motorcycle while carrying any package, bundle or other article which prevents him from keeping both hands on the handlebars.

There are those unfortunate times when you have no choice but to drive a car.

(d) No operator shall carry any person, nor shall any person ride, in a position that will interfere with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator.

(e) No person riding upon a motorcycle shall attach himself or the motorcycle to any other vehicle on the roadway.

From personal experience, I think that when this happens it is NOT done on purpose!

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Look Out For Motorcycles

On September 28, 2010, in Uncategorized, by admin

A few weeks ago I posted a video called “You Didn’t See Me” that sheds light on the tragic consequences of motorcycle accidents. After forty years of practicing criminal defense, workers compensation and personal injury law in South Carolina, I can tell you that motorcycle wrecks are some of the most horrific cases I have been involved in. I can also tell you that after many of these wrecks the other driver reports that they never saw my client or their bike.

To bring awareness to the dangers of motorcycles going unseen on our roadways, I had bumper stickers made. Please feel free to stop by my office to pick one up for your car or bike! We are located next to the Charleston Crab House on James Island (147 Wappoo Creek Drive). Click here if you need directions or give us a call 795-9300.

motorcycle awareness

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South Carolina Biker Events: A Picture Story

On September 23, 2010, in Biker Events, by admin

This past Saturday morning my weekend was off to a great start when I rode my bike up to Ladson to attend the 4th annual Fall Bike Rally and Car Show support Tri-County Bikers Helping Bikers.  Later on I attended the Benefit Poker Run & Fish Fry at Spanky Bottoms in Summerville. Then on Sunday, I was off the 2nd Annual UNDY 500 which ended with a fun after party at California Dreaming.

I can’t think of a better way to spend my free time than getting involved in these great local causes that all support individuals in our community! A few of my pictures are posted below, but to see many more from these great events, please visit my firm’s Facebook fan page.

Benefit Poker Run & Fish Fry

motorcycle event

Benefit Poker Run & Fish Fry

motorcycle Charleston

Benefit Poker Run & Fish Fry

SC motorcycle event

Benefit Poker Run & Fish Fry

Fish fry Charleston

Benefit Poker Run & Fish Fry

motorcycle event SC

Benefit Poker Run & Fish Fry

Bikers Helping Bikers

motorcycle injury attorney

On my bike at the Bikers Helping Bikers Event

bikers helping bikers

Bikers Helping Bikers Event

Charleston bike show

Bikers Helping Bikers Event

motorcycle attorney Charleston

Bikers Helping Bikers Event

UNDY 500

Charleston biker event

UNDY 500

Charleston Events

UNDY 500

To see more great pictures from these events, please visit my firm’s Facebook fan page.

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“My Harley to the End”

On September 21, 2010, in Motorcycle Care, by admin

I found this poem on the Internet last week and thought I would post it on my blog. You can find additional biker poetry on this website.

My Harley to the End

“You wont ask me for much

Just a little of my time

To fix your aching joints

And fill your tanks with wine

To polish those rough edges

Keeping them looking new

Tighten up your spokes

Maybe a new paint job too.

Replace all your plugs,

Wire all your circuits

Bring out those fantastic colors

Painted without smudges

Take off those old rusty nuts

Shine up all those screws and such.

Replace your worn down tires

Works out to be quite a few hours

Of mental meditation

Decisions, contemplations

And some aggravations.

But all in all, I love you so

You take me places people don’t go.

You spend your time just hanging out

Waiting to take me all about

I could not ask for a better friend,

Me and my Harley to the end.”

-Kimberley A. Manning

And below is my motorcycle until the end!

motorcycle lawyer

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What to Do In Case of a Motor Vehicle Accident

On September 16, 2010, in Safety Tips, by admin

car accident

What to do in Case of an Automobile Accident…

These tips can also apply to motorcycle accidents, with the obvious exceptions.

At the Scene:

1- Compose Yourself - Accidents are never planned in advance. They are always unexpected.  Your initial reaction may be confusion and/or anger.  Before doing anything you must gain control of your emotions and assess the situation.

2- Help Those Who are Injured – Call an ambulance if necessary.  Do not try to move an injured person unless you are properly trained.

3- Take Precautions to Prevent Further Accidents – Do not move the vehicles unless it is unsafe to leave the vehicles where they are. To warn approaching vehicles use flares, flashlights or raise your hood.  Above all, do not do anything to incur any further injury to yourself or others!

4- Don’t be Mr. Nice Guy… Call the Police - Their report will serve as a valuable tool in determining liability.  Answer their questions but remember what you say may be used against you. Make no admissions to fault even if you think you caused the accidentSouth Carolina is a comparative fault state. Find out where and when you can pick up a copy of the accident report.

5- If possible, Take some pictures of the Scene – Use a digital camera or cell phone to take some photographs, including the intersection, the damage to your vehicle and damage to the other vehicles.

Record Details:

Click here to access an accident form our firm created to assist you in recording details in the event of an accident. This form provides space to record names, addresses and information regarding the parties involved in the accident as well as witnesses. It also provides space to diagram the event.

The Next 24 Hours:

Notify Your Insurance Company – Notify your insurance carrier and make a report or have your lawyer make the report for you.  You must cooperate with your insurance company, however, you are under no obligation to give statements to the other insurance company. Remember, their primary concern is not your welfare.  It is to make money and pay as little as possible.

Seek Legal Advise - Most personal injury attorneys operate on a “no charge unless you recover” basis.  They do not charge for initial consultations.  A call to your attorney may prevent you from receiving an in adequate settlement or no settlement at all.

Should You Seek Medical Help?

If you have not received obvious injuries such as broken bones, cuts, etc., you may not feel the need to see a doctor.  However, it is important to remember that serious and expensive injuries do not always result in immediate pain.  Your personal injury attorney, in many cases, can refer you to medical professionals who will treat you and may defer payment until the time you receive your insurance settlement.

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SC personal injury attorney

Following a motorcycle accident, choosing the right lawyer is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you are justly compensated for your injuries. Before going to your initial meeting with the lawyer, have a list of questions prepared. Below are some basic questions to get you started. In order to be happy with the final outcome of your case, you must first feel comfortable with the person hired to represent you and protect your rights.

1. How long has the lawyer and the firm been practicing law?

2. Does the lawyer have professional liability insurance?

(Professional liability insurance also protects you in case an error is made that damages your case.)

3. What rights do I have that need protection and what do I need to do to protect them?

  • What forms and papers do I need to get?
  • What claim letters need to be sent; what forms need to be filled out; how many insurance companies must be notified?
  • Can you do this for me?

4. Do you charge a contingency fee?

(A contingency fee is one that is charged at the end of the case and only if you are successful.  This allows anyone who has been hurt in an accident to have easy access to a lawyer.)

5. What percentage will you charge me if my case is settled prior to a lawsuit?

6. What percentage will you charge me if my case is settled after a lawsuit is started?

7. Will I be required to pay for any case expenses prior to settlement or will you advance expenses for me?

8. Will I be charged an additional fee for filling out medical insurance forms or processing my medical insurance claims?

9. Will I be charged an additional fee for helping me to collect reimbursement for my property damage?

10. If I have PIP or Med-Pay coverage, will I be charged an additional fee for helping me to recover these?

11. Will I be charged an additional fee for helping me to collect my lost wages for lost income?

12. Who will pay my medical bills; physical therapy bills; drug bills; transportation expenses; temporary or permanent household help; lost income; property damage; and pain and suffering?

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Startling Statistics for South Carolina Bikers

On September 9, 2010, in Safety Tips, by admin
motorcycle accident


It seems that more often than not, we don’t educate ourselves about a topic until something serious happens that catches our attention and peaks our interest. The South Carolina Highway Patrol shares some pretty interesting statistics on their website about accidents involving motorcycles that I find worthy of sharing:

  • In crashes involving a motorcycle and a different type of vehicle, two-thirds of the time, it is the other vehicle that violates the motorcycle’s right of way.
  • Intersections are dangerous places: twenty-five percent of all motorcycle wrecks result when the other vehicle turns left across the motorcycle’s path.
  • Failing to yield can be lethal: whether it’s the error of the motorcyclist or the other driver, failing the yield results in the most motorcycle deaths in South Carolina.

Sadly, this summer has been filled with numerous motorcycle wrecks in the Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley county area.  Riding bikes is a favored way of life for many of us in the Lowcountry and that isn’t going to change anytime soon! What does need to change is every driver’s level of awareness for other motorists sharing the roadways.

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charleston parkingIt’s been over three years since the City of Charleston and Republic Parking Systems, operator of the City’s 19 parking garages, banished bikers from its shady, covered parking garages onto the hot asphalt and coin guzzling parking meters of the city streets.  The reason for the policy instituted in 2007, was to limit any possible liability that the City faced with motorcycles not always being detected on the loops and the potential of the gate coming down and injuring the rider.  But the affect was to dramatically limit the parking options available to bikers on the Peninsula.

Today, there are a few biker-friendly metered lots located near King Street and Market Street. (Clearly marked as Black or Grey Squares on the map on the City of Charleston Parking Guide. And the City’s new SmartCard Parking Program allows drivers and riders alike to use prepaid cards to feed the meters instead of turning out their pockets and digging in their couches in search of loose change.

When parking in a metered spot, remember the City allows up to 6 motorcycles in each metered spot, so long as all the vehicles are parked within the boundaries of the space. (Municode Section 19-256).

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Tri-County Bikers Helping Bikers

On September 3, 2010, in Biker Events, Safety Tips, by admin

Tri-County Bikers Helping Bikers is a local non-profit dedicated to helping bikers injured in motorcycle related accidents. This group provides tremendous support to bikers and their families in our community. I am proud to support this great cause and hope you will come out on September 18th and show your support, too!

tricounty bikersTo learn more about this upcoming biker event visit

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motorcylce lawyerEthenol (ethyl alcohol) is an alternative fuel made from corn, sugar cane and other grains. Currently, gas in the United States can contain up to 10% ethanol (known as E10), however the federal government is considering increasing that amount to 15% (E85). Unless you ride a “flex-fuel” designated bike, you are advised not to use E85.

While an overwhelming majority of us fill up our cars with E10 and have no problems, this alternative fuel can have a very different effect on motorcycles. For starters, it can seriously damage and corrode steel, aluminum and rubber parts in the fuel system.

Known to loosen sludge in fuel tanks, ethanol can clog fuel lines and filters and block carburetor jets and fuel injectors. Also, for those of us who aren’t able to get out on our bikes as much as we would like to, ethanol is known to attract water. If your bike is left with ethanol blend gasoline in the tank for a long period of time, I have been told that adding a stabilizer is essential. Otherwise condensation, particularly an issue in high humidity climates, can cause the ethanol and water to separate, leading to serious engine trouble.

A variety of fuel conversion kits are available to convert your motorcycle to run on E85, but I am hesitant to make the switch myself. The American Motorcycle Association is not yet convinced, either, and has questioned the lack of research proving that an increase in ethanol will not harm motorcycle engines and parts. For the time being, I plan to be ethanol free!

As a personal injury, criminal and workers compensation lawyer practicing across the South Carolina area, I find myself frequently fueling up. Below is a map I started, which identifies gas stations in the Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester county areas that sell ethanol-free gas. Some of these stations may be limited on the type of ethanol-free fuel they offer.

There’s also a great post from the Post & Courier about Ethenol. Check it out here.

I plan to keep updating this map and welcome anyone to add to this list by posting a comment. To visit the map in your web browser, click here.

ethenol stations

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