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Over 8 million Americans ride on motorcycles today. The experience of riding one can be thrilling, but the risk of getting in an accident on one is also significant. Motorcycle accidents are often more fatal and dangerous than car accidents since the rider is exposed and they are more susceptible to injuries caused by the impact. Motorcycle accidents are more complicated to resolve, and before you know it, the insurance companies will be on your neck. There’s where a Charlotte motorcycle accident lawyer can help.
In such a scenario, you might be injured and shocked by the whole turn of events. In your mind, you might contact the responsible insurance underwriter and expect them to compensate you without any qualms, right? This is not the case, and it is helpful to contact a Charlotte, NC, personal injury lawyer, and have them help you through the case.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help with My Compensation Claim?
Normal car accident cases are resolved quickly. This is because the laws surrounding these accidents are clear, and owing to their frequency, most motorists are aware of them. On the flipside, laws surrounding motorcycle accidents are not known by many since the experts who handle such cases are few. If you have been involved in a car accident in the past, it is easy to assume that you will solve your motorcycle accident case in the same way. You expect to provide evidence to the insurance firm, they account for the injuries and damages to the car, and you receive a check.
Things do not always work that way with motorcycle accidents. Insurance companies in Charlotte, NC try to save as much money as they can on these accidents since there is a stereotype that motorcycle riders are reckless and get involved in frequent accidents. This way, adjusters try to reduce the insurance company’s financial burden by employing a couple of tactics. These include denying that the injuries suffered came as a result of the motorcycle accident. They might also try to prove that you were at fault for the accident and not the other party.
These are just a few of the tactics, and here is where a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer comes into the equation. Our attorneys have a clear understanding of your legal rights and how much compensation you should get. We can see through some of these tactics employed by the adjusters and will stand up against them to ensure that you get the rightful claim. We will negotiate on your behalf, offer you valuable legal advice, and communicate with the insurance company. All these are useful things that boost your odds of getting a satisfactory resolution.
What Are The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents are often fatal, and on average, a rider is 27 times more likely to succumb to the injuries suffered in an accident than a car passenger. Some of the common causes of these accidents include;
- Drivers and passengers opening car doors in the path of a rider
- Unsafe lane changes by a driver
- Over speeding which gives either party a reduced window to react
- Driving or riding under the influence of drugs
- Lane splitting
- Abrupt stops in the middle of the road
- Inexperienced drivers
- Left-turn accidents
- Poor road conditions
- Motorcycle defects
What Are North Carolina’s Motorcycle Laws?
North Carolina has several statutes that relate to motorcyclists, especially those surrounding licensing, inspection, and code of conduct when using public roads. To drive a motorcycle, one must have a certified license. For those with driving licenses, they can get a motorcycle endorsement by paying a certain fee and taking a test to demonstrate their competency and knowledge of riding bikes.
All motorcycles operated on the road should have at least one brake and a working horn. They should also be equipped with a rear-view mirror that is mounted correctly. The exhaust system should be in proper working condition and equipped with emission control devices for older ones manufactured after 1967.
All motorcycles should be equipped with at least one headlamp that can project enough light to illuminate an object at a distance of 200 feet. They should also have a working rear lamp that exhibits a red light that is visible under typical weather from a range of 500 feet. Specific laws describe what the additional permissible lights are on bikes.
The number of passengers on a motorcycle should not exceed the designated number, and all of them should wear helmets.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Seen In Motorcycle Accidents?
Some of these injuries include;
- Head injuries including cracked skulls, concussions, and brain injuries
- Broken arms, legs, hips, feet or wrists
- Road rash including bruises, cuts, gashes, muscle and nerve damage
- Neck injuries such as broken collar bones
How is Fault Determined in a Charlotte Motorcycle Accident?
North Carolina is a fault-based state. This means that a negligent driver should be held liable for the injuries caused in an accident. First and foremost, motorcycle riders should have a minimum amount of insurance cover. While most drivers go for higher policy limits, around 6.5% of North Carolina motorists are uninsured, and they only carry the minimum coverage.
The amount of recovery in an accident is determined by the facts and circumstances surrounding the crash. You will need strong evidence to prove that a driver is at fault for any accident. Ensure that you get medical records, witness statements, accident pictures, lost income calculations, and documentation of how your life was affected after the crash to help establish fault.
Understand all the weaknesses in your claim, for instance, North Carolina is a contributory negligence state, and you can lose the right to compensation if your actions contributed to the accident. In a nutshell, if your evidence supports the claim that a driver was at fault and there is no reasonable doubt, the responsibility will be established.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for My Motorcycle Accident?
When valuing a motorcycle accident, two things come into the picture, and they are liability and damages. If there is no liability, the case won’t be worth much. This is because it is the plaintiff’s burden to prove that the defendant was negligent. If they were not negligent, they do not owe you anything.
It is essential to understand the difference between settlement and trial value. The settlement value is often lower than the trial one since it is what you hope to obtain without having to go to trial, where there is a risk of losing. The value should cater for the damages and troubles caused by the accident, assuming that you have enough proof to show that the other party was at fault for the accident.
Why Was My Motorcycle Accident Claim Denied?
A motorcycle accident claim comes down to two critical factors, which are liability and damages. If the other party involved in the accident acted negligently, that establishes their liability. In order to claim damages, you should have suffered from losses as a result of the accident. If neither of these two can be established in a case, your claim will most definitely be denied.
An example is where you get involved in an accident and suffered severe damages, but the driver involved was not negligent. In simple terms, the accident might have been your fault. Here, the claim can be denied since the driver was not negligent, and their insurance company is not obliged to pay you anything. Another example is where you were rear-ended while waiting for a light to change but did not suffer from any damages. Here, you won’t have a case to present since there is nothing to compensate you for. In the best-case scenario, you will be reimbursed by your insurance.
Are There Time Limits to Filing a Claim in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit is three years from the date for the crash. Note that this is not the same as the deadline for reporting the crash to your insurance firm. You should start the process with them as soon as you are out of the crash.
Contact a Charlotte Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Some of the essential things surrounding motorcycle accidents have been covered, and the whole process can be overwhelming. No one wants such cases to drag their lives, and this is why you should let the experts do their job. Contact a reliable Concord motorcycle accident lawyer today at Harman Law and let us handle the process.
Our Charlotte injury firm has a team of attorneys who are familiar with the statutes that apply to motorcycle accidents in North Carolina. We will handle your engagement with the negligent party, insurance company, and jury if we have to go to court to ensure that you receive rightful compensation for all your troubles. Do not wait any longer after getting involved in an accident and contact us immediately.