Motorcycling can be dangerous, and veteran motorcyclists are not embarrassed to admit it. If you’ve been injured by a careless driver while you were motorcycling in the greater Raleigh area, arrange at once to discuss your legal rights with a Raleigh motorcycle accident attorney.
More than 82,000 serious motorcycle accident injuries occurred in the United States in 2018, including more than 4,900 fatal injuries. Motorcycle accident survivors frequently sustain catastrophic injuries – traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord damage, for example.
If you are injured while motorcycling in North Carolina, and if a careless driver is responsible for your injury, can you be compensated? What steps should you take? Can a Raleigh motorcycle accident lawyer help you recover damages from the at-fault driver?
If you’ll keep reading, you will learn the answers to these questions in this brief discussion of motorcycle accidents, the law, and the rights of motorcycle accident injury victims in North Carolina.
What Are Your Rights If a Negligent Driver Injures You?
Under North Carolina law, a motorcyclist who is injured by a negligent auto or truck driver, or by another motorcyclist who is negligent, is entitled to complete compensation for his or her injury-related medical expenses, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and related damages.
If you are injured by a negligent motorist while you are riding a motorcycle in North Carolina, arrange to meet with a Raleigh personal injury attorney – as quickly as possible – to discuss your right to compensation.
Your personal injury lawyer will take whatever legal steps are necessary to ensure that the negligent driver who injured you meets his or her legal obligation to compensate you.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
North Carolina’s majestic mountains and green rolling hills offer motorcyclists some of the best rides anywhere in the world. Still, riding a motorcycle can be dangerous in many circumstances. These are the top reasons for motorcycle accidents in North Carolina:
- Left turns: If a motorist makes a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle, it’s the most dangerous circumstance a motorcyclist faces. Over forty percent of motorcycle-auto collisions involve either a motorcyclist or a vehicle driver making a left turn.
- No visibility: When a motorist’s vision is obstructed by buildings or parked cars, for example, and that motorist rolls blindly and slowly into a lane of traffic, it can be disastrous for an oncoming motorcyclist.
- Debris: Oil on the street, potholes, and any other debris or objects on the roadway can be dangerous for motorcyclists.
- Lack of experience: It takes a lot of time to gain experience riding a motorcycle. Until and unless you have that experience, avoid the busier highways and streets, and consider signing up for a motorcycle safety course.
- Negligence: Negligence can include speeding, reckless or distracted driving, and driving while intoxicated. It is the top cause of all traffic injuries, but the injuries suffered by motorcycle riders are more likely than other traffic injuries to be serious or catastrophic.
What Precautions Can Motorcyclists Take?
Whether you’ve been riding a motorcycle for years or you are new to riding motorcycles, you should heed these safety recommendations:
- Wear a helmet whenever you ride. North Carolina law requires it.
- A motorcycle jacket, gloves, and boots are also essential safety gear.
- Never presume other motorists will stop at traffic lights and stop signs.
- Always presume other motorists can’t see you unless they indicate to you that they can.
When a Motorcycle Accident Happens
After a motorcycle crash happens, if you are able, take these steps or ask someone to take them for you:
- First, call 911 to summon medical assistance and the police.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver or drivers.
- Take photographs of the accident site, the damages, and your visible injuries.
- Try to get the names and contact details of any eyewitnesses.
Do not forget to ask the police officers when and how you may obtain a copy of their accident report. If you pursue a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for damages, that report will become an important piece of evidence.
Photos and eyewitness statements can also be powerful evidence that may lead to a quick settlement of your claim.
In the days after your accident, do not speak to the negligent party’s auto insurance company. Do not answer any questions, make any statement, or accept any settlement offer. Refer the insurance company to your attorney, who will deal with the company on your behalf.
How Will an Attorney Help?
Your North Carolina personal injury attorney will consult your doctor and other medical specialists to evaluate your medical condition and will fight on your behalf to acquire the compensation to cover your medical needs.
Your personal injury attorney will also launch an investigation to determine how you were hurt. If the other driver’s negligence is the reason why you were injured, your attorney will negotiate with that driver’s insurance company for an acceptable settlement amount.
Most personal injury cases in North Carolina are resolved privately, out-of-court, so most injury victims never even have to appear in a courtroom in order to receive their compensation.
When Should You Contact a Personal Injury Attorney?
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases gives an injury victim three years from the date of the injury to initiate legal action, but don’t wait three years – or even three weeks – to speak with a personal injury attorney after a motorcycle accident.
If you are injured, you’re unable to work, and the bills are piling up, you need to take legal action right away. To prevail with your personal injury claim, your attorney should be able to examine the evidence while it’s fresh and question the witnesses before their memories fade.
How can you pay for an attorney if you can’t work and your debts are mounting? A Raleigh motorcycle accident attorney will work for you on a contingent fee basis, which means that you pay no attorney’s fee until and unless you receive the compensation you are entitled to by law.
Personal injury attorneys also provide a free first consultation, so it will cost you nothing to learn more. If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver while you were motorcycling in or near the Raleigh area, exercise your rights and speak to a North Carolina personal injury lawyer at once.