Motorcycle Accidents Lawyers in Charlotte, Helping Riders and Their Families Seek Justice
North Carolina has one of the lowest rates of motorcycle ownership of any state in the nation. Of course, this matters little to those who know and love their “hogs,” “choppers,” “bikes,” and other variations of the two-wheeled vehicle. Unfortunately, these motorcyclists often can’t enjoy their rides fully because they have to focus on the potential for negligent drivers. It only takes a simple mistake on the part of passenger vehicle drivers to upend the life of a biker. If you or a loved one have found yourself in such a situation, you likely feel overwhelmed. A motorcycle accident lawyer in Charlotte can help you shoulder some of these burdens.
At Harman Law, you’ll work with skilled attorneys with extensive experience in personal injury claims. We know you’re likely facing significant medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages at work, and a variety of other unfair hurdles. Our goal is to help you overcome these difficulties and recover damages to help you achieve some sense of normalcy. At times, normalcy may not even be an option — but it’s still important to hold negligent parties responsible. And since Harman Law offers a free consultation and doesn’t charge unless we recover compensation for our clients, you have nothing to lose by reaching out for help.
Are You Entitled to Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident?
One of the first questions that most injury victims ask a motorcycle accident attorney is, “Is my case worth money?” or some variation thereof. If you’re looking for a direct answer from this page, we unfortunately cannot provide one. Every motorcycle accident claim is unique, and even two cases that seem nearly identical could have drastically different outcomes. However, there are some elements that remain consistent across all successful personal injury cases involving motorcycle wrecks. If each of these elements exists in your case, there’s a good chance you may be entitled to compensation:
- Defendant with a duty of care: A duty of care is a legal requirement dictating how a person must behave toward others in regard to preventing harm. For instance, the drivers of passenger vehicles are expected to look out for motorcyclists and not take actions that could cause them harm (e.g., improper lane change).
- Violation of duty: A successful motorcycle accident lawsuit will also prove that a liable party violated their duty of care. Any negligent, reckless, or illegal act could fall into this category. For instance, the failure of a driver to properly maintain their lane is considered a violation of their mandated duty to others.
- Damages caused by violation: Most violations of duty result in no serious consequences. The majority of people who fail to stay in their lane will not cause a motorcycle crash. In these instances, recovery isn’t possible because no harm occurred. However, this changes if someone suffers harm due to such a violation.
One important thing to remember is that “damages” do not necessarily have to relate to physical harm. For instance, many people are able to recover compensation for property damage. However, such cases don’t typically require going to court or lengthy settlement negotiations. People have also been able to receive financial recovery related to non-economic harm. For instance, emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and various other non-economic damages could lead to compensation.
The important thing to remember here is to not make assumptions on your own. There are situations where it may seem like no one is at fault for an accident, but we’ve proven time and again that this isn’t always the case. We’ve even seen injury victims recover compensation from government entities over a failure to fix potholes! Let us review your case with a free initial consultation. We’ll help you better understand whether you have a valid case and how to move forward.
What Compensation Are Injured Motorcyclists Entitled To?
In the majority of personal injury cases, a settlement is reached without having to go to court. This happens in more than 90% of instances. The simple fact is that an insurance company will prefer to avoid court. Unfortunately, they often do this by presenting a settlement offer they claim is fair but is actually much lower than the injured individual deserves. In such cases, motorcycle accident lawsuits may be necessary for a victim to get fair compensation. Once you opt to go this route, there are two types of damages you may be entitled to:
The most common form of damages received in court are compensatory. These are meant to compensate the victim for their losses — both economic and non-economic. Special damages are awarded to cover monetary losses. These could be related to medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and more. General damages reimburse victims for non-monetary losses. This means that — in addition to compensation for the cost of physical motorcycle injuries — a plaintiff could also recover damages for things like pain and suffering, mental health problems, reduced quality of life, and other issues that you can’t easily put a price tag on.
Injury victims are far more likely to receive compensatory damages than special damages. Your legal counsel can help you better understand if you may be entitled, but this form of compensation does not relate to plaintiff losses. Instead, these damages are meant to punish the defendant. Courts will usually only hand down such a ruling if they deem that the at-fault party acted particularly egregiously in causing an injury. This could be through extreme recklessness, malicious acts, or willful conduct. With the help of a motorcycle accident attorney in Charlotte, you may be able to get far more than just compensatory damages.
What Causes Most Motorcycle Accidents?
Recent reports have spoken of an “alarming increase in motorcycle wrecks” in North Carolina. While these numbers fluctuate yearly, the fact remains that there are far too many motorcycle accident victims in the Tar Heel State. One thing you’ll notice by looking at the statistics, though, is how frequently these collisions are caused by the same factors. For instance, the following are all common causes of motorcycle accidents when the rider themselves is not at fault:
- Drunk driving
- Driver negligence
- Distracted driving
- Improper lane change
- Failure to maintain lane leading to head-on collisions
- Poor road conditions and hazards
- Inclement weather
Mentioning causes unrelated to the motorcyclist themselves is important for one reason: it’s typically not the rider who is at fault. In fact, statistics show that around two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents occur when passenger vehicle drivers don’t see motorcyclists on the road. Of course, this doesn’t mean riders are never at fault. Behaviors such as lane splitting, speeding, and alcohol use by the motorcyclist are all common causes of collisions. Drunk driving is a particular concern since over 40% of all fatal motorcycle collisions involve alcohol.
Regardless of the underlying circumstances of your case, however, you may benefit from reaching out to our legal team. A motorcycle accident case can be a complex undertaking, but we’re ready to help you understand your rights.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
It’s possible that the injuries sustained in any vehicular accident could be serious. Even drivers in massive big rigs occasionally suffer serious harm in large truck accidents. Unfortunately, the risk of serious injury or death is greatly increased for motorcyclists. Even when a rider takes every safety measure — from wearing a helmet to always following speed limits — they’re still completely exposed while on the road. Concrete and other vehicles have very little give. This explains why motorcycle accidents make up 14% of all traffic fatalities even though they’re only 3% of registered vehicles on the road.
When you consider some of the most common injuries in these accidents, it becomes clear why these statistics are so tragic:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Road rash
- Organ and internal damage
- Catastrophic injuries
- Loss of limbs
The motorcycle accident attorneys at Harman Law have seen clients experience these injuries and so many more. Each of these collisions has its own unique set of circumstances, but the one thing that remains consistent is that an insurance company will try to avoid a fair payout. This is why you need a Charlotte personal injury attorney on your side. The legal professionals at our law firm know how to deal with adjusters, and if a fair settlement cannot be reached, we have the trial experience to advocate for you in a court of law. We understand that injured motorcyclists have a tough road ahead, but we’re here and ready to help.
What’s the Statute of Limitations for North Carolina Motorcycle Accidents?
While it may seem unfair, there is a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit in North Carolina. This is called a statute of limitations. There are plenty of law offices you can work with, but once the statute of limitations has expired on your case, there’s typically nothing even the most skilled Charlotte motorcycle accident lawyers can do. In North Carolina, the personal injury statute of limitations is three years for motorcycle injuries. Failing to file within this time will leave you with no legal recourse, so you can expect that the other driver’s insurance company won’t have much motivation for offering a fair settlement.
If you have a loved one whose severe injuries resulted in their demise, you’re on an even bigger time constraint. You’ll need to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one within two years. You can receive damages that cover medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and other losses — but this is only the case if you file in a timely manner. It’s also important that you do not procrastinate if you hope to secure compensation for yourself or a loved one. Cases become more difficult to prove in court over time — even before the legal deadline expires — so taking action as soon as possible is imperative. Let our law firm help.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Charlotte Today
There’s nothing quite like hopping on a motorcycle and heading out on the open road. Unfortunately, doing so exposes riders to a variety of dangers related to negligent drivers, unmaintained roads, and other hazards. It’s a scary fact, but North Carolina is one of the most dangerous states in America for motorcyclists. This means our law firm sees many personal injury cases involving such accidents. While we certainly wish this wasn’t the case, we work hard to ensure every one of our clients receives the compensation they deserve. Whether this means reaching a fair settlement or taking your case to court, we’re here to help.
At Harman Law, our team of personal injury lawyers has spent years serving the people of North Carolina. Motorcycle accident cases are among the most disheartening merely due to the serious injuries sustained and the potential for wrongful death. No matter the specifics of your situation, though, we believe you deserve to be fairly compensated. Contact us today by calling (704) 286-0947 to schedule a free case evaluation. You need a motorcycle accident lawyer in Charlotte that understands your needs, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Harman Law. Let us advocate on your behalf and fight to ensure you get justice.