Injuries are always a possibility when a traffic accident occurs. However, it is especially likely that a motorcyclist will suffer serious injuries after a collision with a larger vehicle. If the crash was due to someone else’s negligence, you should be able to get compensation. Since negotiating with insurance companies can be very difficult, motorcyclists often need help from a Hickory motorcycle injury lawyer.
There are a number of reasons why bikers are so vulnerable. One is that drivers often don’t see them. The drivers are, therefore, unable to yield when they should or brake in time. Motorcyclists are also prone to injury because they have nothing to protect them except a helmet. They usually need a long time to recover from traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, neck and back injuries, or burn injuries. A personal injury lawyer in Hickory will know what to push for in negotiating a settlement.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you will need to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at Harman Law. We will handle the insurance company while you focus on getting better. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you should focus on grieving. We will deal with everything else. We work hard to secure fair and full compensation. Call us at (704)766-8729 to speak with an experienced motorcycle wreck lawyer, risk-free.
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How Much Does It Cost to Hire A Hickory, NC Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Many people who need a motorcycle accident lawyer don’t hire one. They assume that lawyers are expensive, and they would never be able to afford one. What they don’t know is that most attorneys work on a contingency basis in personal injury cases. This means clients don’t pay until they receive a payout from the insurance company or through the courts. The lawyer’s fee can vary from 25 percent to 40 percent of the compensation package. The standard is 1/3 (33.33%) of the settlement value. If your case reaches the trial stage, you may have to pay your lawyer 40 percent of the amount awarded, but if the case settles quickly, without going to trial, you may only pay around 25 percent. Your motorcycle injury lawyer should clearly lay out these scenarios at the time representation is agreed to.
Why Should I Hire A Hickory, NC Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
Your main focus after your accident will be recovering from your injuries. You may have high medical bills and you may have to spend weeks or months away from work. You may assume that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will compensate you. After all, you are the victim and you have all your documents in order. Unfortunately, you may soon realize this isn’t so cut and dry.
Insurance companies will try hard to avoid paying claims in full. They may make you a very low offer in the hope that you will take it and go away. They may even try to blame you for the accident or argue that you are exaggerating your injuries. Your claim may be denied.
This is why you should seek legal representation. A Hickory, NC motorcycle accident attorney will ensure your rights are protected. They know all the usual tricks and they will make sure the insurer doesn’t take advantage of you. A competent attorney will advise you on what to say to the insurance adjuster so you don’t jeopardize your case. Accident victims who have personal injury attorneys tend to get quicker, larger settlements.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Riding a motorcycle can be fun and liberating. But while it brings a sense of freedom, it is also fraught with danger. Research shows that nationally, motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of passenger cars. This statistic is based on miles traveled. While the number of motorcyclists who died in crashes fell to 5,172 in 2017, bikers remained overrepresented in fatalities. Motorcycles represent just three percent of registered motor vehicles in the US, but motorcyclists account for 14 percent of traffic fatalities.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
A number of factors can contribute to motorcycle accidents. Let’s look at some of them in detail.
Failure to See the Biker
Most motorcycle accidents occur because the driver failed to see the motorcyclist. In about half of the cases, the driver’s view is obstructed by other vehicles or glare affects the driver. Motorcyclists are also smaller than other vehicles and therefore, easier to miss. If a driver is distracted by texting or talking on a cell phone, missing a cyclist becomes even more likely. While you should do everything you can to ensure drivers can see you, it may not be enough.
Misjudgment of the Biker’s Speed
Drivers frequently think motorcyclists are traveling more slowly than they really are and they turn into their path. These accidents also occur when changing lanes on the highway or coming to a stop in traffic. Tailgating doesn’t only cause motorcycle accidents. It increases the risk of multi-car crashes and motorcycle ejections.
Weather and Road Conditions
Sometimes the factors which cause motorcycle accidents are out of the motorist’s control. Inclement weather or obstacles in the road can be hazardous for both motorcyclists and drivers. Road users are expected to show extra care when traveling on wet or slippery surfaces. Still, accidents can happen and they can be catastrophic for a motorcyclist who has little protection.
Many accidents occur because motorists are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Sometimes drunk drivers lose control of their vehicles and hit motorcyclists or fail to see them before it’s too late. However, motorcyclists can also be at fault. Half of all fatal motorcycles crashes involving a single vehicle also involved alcohol. Riding a motorcycle requires a lot of skill and coordination and even slight impairment can cause a serious accident.
A Hickory motorcycle injury lawyer will be able to identify the cause of your wreck, and if another person’s actions were the cause, you deserve compensation for your damages.
How Is Liability Determined in A Motorcycle Accident?
Both members of the public and insurance companies automatically assume motorcycle riders are reckless. Whenever an accident occurs, they figure it must have been the motorcyclist’s fault. However, not all bikers focus on speed at the expense of everything else. Many of them obey the rules of the road and ride safely but they get into accidents with negligent drivers. Still, insurance companies try to put the blame on motorcyclists so they don’t have to pay their claims.
When you hire an attorney, they will look into the circumstances of your accident. They will draw on police reports, eyewitness statements, and CCTV to help determine who was responsible. Your attorney may even hire an accident scene reconstruction specialisist to get to the bottom of things. This may be necessary following very serious accidents.
It is important for you to prove that someone else was completely responsible for your accident. North Carolina practices a contributory negligence system. This means that if you were even one percent at fault, the insurance company may not have to compensate you. That’s why we always advise our clients to be very careful about what they say following the accident.
Apologizing to the other driver could be seen as accepting blame. Anything you say or write to an insurance adjuster could also damage your claim. Avoid speaking to anyone about the accident before you speak to an attorney.
In many instances, drivers defend themselves by saying they didn’t see the motorcyclist. However, this can actually be an indicator of negligence, depending on the circumstances. Other examples of driver negligence occur when:
- The driver turns left at an intersection
- The driver hits a motorcyclist head-on while trying to overtake another car
- The driver cuts off the motorcycle
- The driver opens the car door into an oncoming motorcyclist
Can Family Members File a Wrongful Death Claim on Behalf of a Loved One Killed in a Motorcycle Wreck?
Motorcycle crashes can result in injuries that are so serious that the victim doesn’t survive. If the accident was due to someone else’s negligence, relatives may be able to file a wrongful death claim. In North Carolina, the deceased person’s personal representative must file the claim in court. However, the claim can seek damages for both the estate and surviving family members.
If the accident victim had a will, they may have named a personal representative. If they didn’t or the person they named cannot or will not serve, the court will appoint someone else. That person is likely to be a spouse, parent, or adult child.
At Harman Law, we have seen how difficult things can be for survivors. Their lives can be thrown completely into a tailspin especially if the person they lost was the main breadwinner. We work hard to build a strong case and prove that someone else was responsible for the crash. Your family shouldn’t have to suffer both emotionally and financially because of someone else’s actions. Your Hickory motorcycle injury lawyer can seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses resulting from the crash
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of future income the deceased could have earned
- Loss of support
- Loss of health benefits or retirement income
- Loss of services, protection, care, guidance, and companionship
Punitive damages may be awarded in some Hickory, NC wrongful death cases. This compensation is not aimed at reimbursing family members for their losses. It is intended to send a message to the defendant. The courts usually award punitive damages in cases of deliberate, malicious, or reckless conduct.
If you intend to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you have to know about the statute of limitations. This sets out the timeframe within which you must file the claim. You have two years from the date of your loved one’s death. If you don’t act within this period, the court will probably refuse to hear the case.
We Handle a Variety of Transportation Accident Cases
At Harman Law, we represent people whose lives have been affected by traffic accidents. Sometimes our clients are victims. Sometimes they are relatives of people who lost their lives in a Hickory, NC crash. In every case, we do our best to get them the compensation they deserve. We fight to help them get justice. Among the cases we take are:
Most of us pass at least one car crash on our way to work every day. Car accidents are common but they can also be serious. They can be caused by speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving, driver fatigue, and other factors. Regardless of what caused your accident, a Hickory car accident lawyer at Harman Law can help you get compensation.
Huge trucks carry out important functions. However, they can cause severe injuries when they collide with other vehicles. That’s why there are several federal and state regulations that guide the commercial trucking industry. A Hickory truck accident lawyer will know these laws and that when the rules are broken, truck accidents can occur and people can get seriously hurt.
It can be very challenging to get compensation after an accident involving an Uber driver. Sometimes you will need to draw on Uber’s insurance policy. In other cases, the driver’s personal policy should kick in. In either scenario, you will have to fight with an insurance company that’s reluctant to pay up and an Uber accident lawyer will be essential to you.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney at Harman Law for a Free Consultation
Motorcyclists usually suffer the most when they get involved in an accident. They don’t have the frame of a car, seatbelts, or airbags to protect them, so their injuries can be severe. While some make a full recovery, others suffer permanent injuries and they’re never able to work again. Most rack up high medical bills. In the case of a fatal accident, relatives are often left worrying about how they move on.
Getting compensation can’t bring back a loved one or reverse a traumatic accident. However, it can relieve the financial burden which accident victims and their relatives face. This allows them to focus on physical recovery and emotional healing. Contact Harman Law today to start the process of holding the driver who killed your loved one accountable for their actions.
Unfortunately, insurance companies often make it difficult for victims to get the money they desperately need. That’s why a Hickory motorcycle injury lawyer at Harman Law will work hard to help victims recover damages. You shouldn’t have to struggle financially if someone else’s negligence caused you to suffer injuries. If you want the best chance of getting compensation, contact us to schedule a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis so you don’t pay us until we settle your motorcycle accident case. Call us at (704)766-8729 today and let us help you!