Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable on North Carolina roadways. Other drivers are often not on the lookout for motorcycles, while the motorcycle itself does not offer any protection to its rider in a collision. As a result, motorcyclists are at higher risk of catastrophic injuries or even death in a crash. These consequences can be even worse if the at-fault driver flees the scene rather than take responsibility.
If you are injured in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident, you need a motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process as you focus on your recovery. You need the experienced team at Kreger Brodish LLP. We can review your case and evaluate your options for pursuing the compensation you deserve. Get started today by contacting us for a free case review with a motorcycle hit-and-run accident lawyer in North Carolina.
Hit-and-Run Laws in North Carolina
North Carolina has a “Duty to Stop” law in the event of a motor vehicle collision. If a driver knows or reasonably should know they’ve been involved in a crash, they must immediately stop as close to the scene as safely possible. The driver must also stay with their vehicle until the police complete the investigation of the accident or authorize the driver to leave the scene. If the driver flees the scene, they may be subject to felony charges.
While at the scene of the accident, North Carolina law requires the drivers to exchange their contact information, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers. Failure to do so is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.
North Carolina law also requires any driver who hits an unattended vehicle to leave their name, address, driver’s license number, and license plate number in a visible place on the damaged vehicle. If a note is not left, the at-fault driver should send this information by certified mail to the vehicle’s owner and provide a copy to the North Carolina DMV.
Common Injuries Sustained in Hit-and-Run Motorcycle Accidents
Any accident can seriously injure a motorcyclist, regardless of whether the at-fault driver stays at the scene or flees. The National Safety Council (NSC) has found that while motorcycles account for only 0.6 percent of vehicle miles traveled in the United States, motorcyclists make up 4 percent of all occupant injuries and 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. Common injuries include road rash, burns, and broken bones. These injuries could require extensive, expensive medical care.
The NSC also found that not wearing a helmet is a major cause of serious and fatal injuries. Even motorcyclists who survive an accident may be left with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or spinal cord injuries. These injuries may require lifelong care, the cost of which many people cannot afford.
What To Do After a Motorcycle Hit-and-Run
If you are injured in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident, you should take the following steps to protect yourself and your right to compensation:
- Call the police – Your first call should be to the police. When the police arrive at the scene, they will get information about the details and circumstances of the accident and take down all of your contact information. With this information, they will create a police report and try to locate the hit-and-run driver.
- Gather evidence at the scene – You should also document what you can at the accident scene. Take photos of the accident scene, the condition of your vehicle, and any visible injuries. Get the contact info of anyone who might have witnessed the crash.
- Seek medical attention – If your injuries are serious, you should be transported to an emergency department from the scene. But even if you are not, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible. A doctor can diagnose any injuries you might have sustained without knowing it and add them to your record. This record can also provide valuable evidence of your injuries, their cost, and how you sustained them.
- Call your insurance company – Next, you should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. The company will likely open a claim file and assign a claims adjuster to handle it. Many policies require you to cooperate with your insurance company or risk waiving any available coverage you may have.
- Contact a personal injury attorney – Your next call should be to an attorney. The motorcycle hit-and-run accident attorneys at Kreger Brodish LLP are ready to help you pursue the compensation you need from any available source. From communicating with your insurance company to handling collection inquiries from medical providers, our experienced attorneys can take care of it all while you focus on your recovery.
How To Recover Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Accident in North Carolina
North Carolina requires motorcyclists to carry insurance and for all drivers to carry uninsured motorist (UM) insurance coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage protects drivers who are in accidents with other drivers that do not have insurance. It should also cover you in a hit-and-run accident.
If a driver hit your motorcycle and did not remain at the scene, you should be compensated by your own insurance provider under the terms of your uninsured motorist coverage. However, this requires negotiating with your insurer, which can be daunting. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone.
While the driver isn’t found in every case, you may also be able to hold the at-fault driver accountable if police locate them. A hit-and-run attorney can help you pursue compensation from the responsible driver through their insurance or a personal injury lawsuit. They can also help you explore any other options for compensation available to you.
Injured in a Durham Hit-and-Run Accident with a Motorcycle? Contact Kreger Brodish LLP Today
The legal process can be intimidating, but the attorneys of Kreger Brodish LLP are here to help. We can investigate the accident and handle communication with any insurance companies on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation with a skilled hit-and-run motorcycle accident attorney in North Carolina.