In 2022, 206 motorcyclists died, and 2,869 were injured in North Carolina motorcycle accidents. These collisions can cause more severe injuries than most automobile accidents, even at similar speeds. Victims can suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries, damage to the internal organs, fractures, and even death. Recovering from a motorcycle accident is draining physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially.
Motorcyclists deserve fair compensation from the at-fault driver. Unfortunately, insurance companies often seek the lowest possible payout. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Maginnis Howard are committed to getting you the best settlement or verdict.
The first thing to do after a motorcycle accident is contact emergency services. Everyone involved should first address any injuries and be examined by a medical professional. If injuries are minor, the victim should collect contact information and as much evidence as possible. We recommend taking photos and videos of the crash and surrounding areas, as this could be useful in court. If a victim has to be taken to the hospital or is incapable of gathering information, they should try to ask a family member to collect this information.
In the following hours, you’ll need to obtain a copy of the police report and continue to document the details of the accident. Finally, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to advocate on your behalf and get the best possible settlement.
Personal injury cases can be fraught with complications. First and foremost, victims must battle the insurance companies whose interests often lie in their bottom line. In motorcycle accident cases, there can be even more hurdles regarding juries and harsh North Carolina codes.
Insurers frequently treat motorcycle accidents with an added bias. Those who don’t ride may think the motorcyclists are participating in an inherently dangerous activity, so they are at least partially responsible for any accident. In cases where a personal injury suit goes to trial, a Judge may remind the jury to expel preconceived notions about motorcyclists. Nevertheless, bias of that nature is difficult to remove from a legal proceeding.
Our attorneys will show that you did everything you could to operate your motorcycle safely, including wearing a helmet and protective clothing, and that the real reason the accident occurred was the defendant’s recklessness.
North Carolina has a harsh legal rule referred to as contributory negligence. This rule can be used as a complete bar to a personal injury recovery, including those on behalf of passengers. The at-fault driver (or defendant) can try to argue that the victim was injured partly due to their negligence. Under contributory negligence, the defense can use evidence proving the victim was at fault to release liability. In other words, if the crash victim is even 1% responsible for the accident, they may lose out of thousands of dollars. It can be challenging to overcome this law in court. Therefore, a personal injury attorney should assess the evidence and advocate on your behalf.
Whether or not a crash is fatal, injuries from a motorcycle accident can be life-altering. Common injuries include:
There is no one-size-fits-all settlement or verdict in a personal injury case. The crash details impact the amount a victim can recover, the availability of insurance coverage, the extent of the injuries, and more. In broad terms, a motorcycle accident victim can sue for compensatory damages (monetary compensation for your losses) of different types.
Some estimates indicate up to 75% of motorist/motorcycle accidents are the motorist’s fault. The most common causes of accidents, both fatal and non-fatal:
Motorcyclists can mitigate the risk of injury by following Traffic Safety guidelines such as:
The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) found fatalities for motorcyclists were 29 times more likely than for passenger vehicle operators. Therefore, all drivers need to remain aware of their surroundings and especially conscious around motorcyclists.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, an experienced attorney can help you file suit. Our firm’s lead personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard, has successfully litigated complex motorcycle accident cases. He has recovered millions for victims of negligent drivers of both private and corporate vehicles.
Our office provides free consultations for personal injury cases and charges only a contingency fee. This means you don’t pay unless we win. To schedule a meeting with one of our personal injury attorneys, visit our contact page. We have conveniently located offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Fayettevile. Our staff may request some documentation relevant to the case to understand your situation better.