Every motorcycle rider understands the risk of suffering severe injuries in a motorcycle accident. As a result, most motorcyclists ride with the care and skill needed to stay as safe as possible on the road. No matter how much caution a rider may exercise, though, they cannot fully protect themselves from the negligence or recklessness of other motorists. If you were injured in a crash caused by another driver, a Durham motorcycle accident lawyer can help you demand the full financial recovery you deserve.
For more than a decade, the attorneys of the law firm of Kreger Brodish LLP have dedicated themselves to offering skilled legal advocacy and personalized client service to injured accident victims across North Carolina. We have the knowledge and resources needed to build a solid, persuasive case for the fair compensation you’re due.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, reach out to us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation with a Durham motorcycle accident lawyer. Learn about your legal rights and options for recovering compensation for the injuries you have suffered.
Why Are Motorcycle Accident Claims More Complicated?
Motorcycle accident claims are often more complex than other types of motor vehicle accident cases for multiple reasons:
- More severe injuries – As motorcycle riders are almost completely unprotected on their bikes, they often suffer far more catastrophic injuries than victims of other types of auto accidents. This can complicate pursuing a motorcycle accident claim since injured riders are often undergoing treatment and rehabilitation when negotiating a settlement or seeking recovery in court. As a result, any compensation award will need to include an estimate of all future expected medical expenses and other losses.
- More expensive damages – Because riders tend to sustain more severe crash injuries, they often incur greater expenses and losses. This can complicate a motorcycle accident claim if an at-fault driver doesn’t have sufficient liability insurance coverage to fully compensate an injured rider. If that happens, the rider may be forced to turn to his or her own insurance policy for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
- Unfair stereotypes – Finally, pursuing claims for compensation as an injured motorcycle rider can become difficult when at-fault drivers or insurers try to avoid liability by relying on stereotypes of riders as reckless or unsafe motorists. Insurance companies often argue that the rider bears some share of fault for the accident. A rider will need to be ready to push back against those claims.
What You Need to Know About Proving Fault After a Motorcycle Crash
Proving fault after a motorcycle crash can be a complex process. Making matters more difficult is North Carolina’s contributory negligence rule. Under this rule, an injured party cannot recover any compensation if they share even the slightest bit of fault for the accident and the injuries they sustained.
As a result, to successfully recover compensation in your motorcycle accident claim, you will need to prove that the other driver or other parties bear sole responsibility for causing the wreck and your injuries. It’s crucial to work with a motorcycle accident lawyer who has the skills to build the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Demanding Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident in Durham
When you have been injured in a motorcycle crash caused by someone else, you may be entitled to recover compensation for expenses and losses you incurred. Compensation in a motorcycle accident claim can cover losses such as:
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation of injuries you suffered in the crash
- Costs of long-term care for permanent disabilities or health conditions that result from your injuries
- Loss of income or earning ability if your injuries render you temporarily or permanently unable to return to your job and you suffer a reduction in your earnings as a result
- Repair bills for your motorcycle or the value of your motorcycle if it was destroyed in the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced enjoyment and quality of life due to disabilities or visible scarring/disfigurement from your injuries
What Do I Do After a Motorcycle Wreck in Durham?
After a motorcycle accident, you should take the following steps to help protect your legal options for pursuing a claim for compensation:
- If possible, take photos or video of the accident scene, including details like vehicle damage, skid marks or debris in the road, traffic controls and signals, and weather and lighting conditions.
- Save the contact information for everyone involved and any witnesses.
- See a doctor or another medical provider as soon as possible to get examined for any injuries you suffered. Take photos of any visible injuries.
- Follow all treatment instructions you receive from your doctor. This includes getting the rest you need.
- Keep copies of records of expenses that you incurred due to the accident, as well as any other documentation related to the crash, such as a copy of the police accident report.
- Refrain from posting images or other information on social media while your case is in progress. The other side may use this information to discredit your case.
- Talk to a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident to map out a plan for pursuing the full payment you need.
Tips for Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Motorcycle Accident
You may be contacted by an adjuster from an insurance company soon after the crash. No matter how much an adjuster may sound like they want to help you, remember that their interest is focused on helping the insurance company pay you as little money as possible. Keep in mind these tips when dealing with the insurance companies after a motorcycle accident:
- Keep comprehensive records of any communications or transactions you have with an insurance company.
- Avoid giving a formal oral or written statement until you have had a chance to consult with a lawyer.
- Do not sign any documents presented to you by the insurance company unless an attorney has reviewed them.
What Are Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents?
Without the protection of a vehicle frame or other safety features, motorcycle riders frequently suffer serious injuries in wrecks, especially those involving collisions with other motor vehicles. Injuries commonly suffered by riders in motorcycle crashes include:
- Head and facial injuries, including eye injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Road rash and other abrasion injuries
- Broken bones
- Sprains, strains, and soft-tissue tears
- Nerve damage
- Herniated discs
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Internal organ injuries and internal bleeding
- Crush injuries
What Are Common Causes of Motorcycle Collisions?
Causes of motorcycle accidents in Durham include:
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Drowsy/fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
- Inexperienced drivers
- Drivers who try to share a lane with bikers
- Disregarding traffic signals or controls, including running red lights and stop signs
- Failure to check blind spots
- Adverse weather conditions
- Poor road conditions or defective road/intersection design
- Defective vehicle parts
How a Durham Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
When you are recovering from serious injuries incurred in a motorcycle accident, you don’t have to take on the overwhelming task of building a case for compensation on your own. A Durham motorcycle accident attorney from the law firm of Kreger Brodish LLP can help you seek the financial recovery you need and deserve by:
- Performing an independent investigation of the accident to recover evidence for your case
- Identifying at-fault parties and potential sources of compensation
- Calculating and fully documenting your expenses and losses
- Managing all communication with the insurance companies
- Aggressively pursuing fair and full compensation for you through a negotiated settlement
- Taking your case to trial, if necessary, to advocate for maximum financial recovery
What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in NC?
North Carolina’s Statute of Limitations typically gives you only three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver or other party at fault. Preparing a successful claim for compensation involves considerable legal work on the part of your attorney, including investigating the accident, reviewing the evidence with expert witnesses, and documenting your losses. You should seek the legal advice of a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and give your attorney time to build a strong claim.
Understanding NC Motorcycle Laws
In North Carolina, motorcycle riders and operators are required to follow various laws, which are intended to help keep riders safe on the road:
- Anyone operating a motorcycle on public roads must have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license. An endorsement can be obtained after completing authorized motorcycle safety classes and passing a road test administered by the DMV.
- All motorcycle riders, including passengers, are required to wear helmets that comply with USDOT standards.
- Motorcycles must be equipped from the factory with certain safety equipment, including a headlight, a taillight, a brake light, front and rear brakes, turn signals, a horn, two mirrors, and a seat and footrests for the operator and any passenger carried upon the motorcycle.
- While there is no law that directly prohibits lane splitting in North Carolina, it is also not explicitly authorized by law. A motorcyclist who rides on top of traffic lines or in between columns of vehicular traffic may face charges if it’s found they were driving recklessly or endangering others.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Durham, NC Now
If you’ve suffered injuries through no fault of your own in a motorcycle accident, contact Kreger Brodish LLP for a free consultation. A Durham motorcycle accident lawyer from our law firm will review your case and explain how we can help you pursue a claim for financial compensation for the expenses and losses you have incurred.