If you ride a motorcycle, you enjoy the rush of wind and thrill of speed. Unfortunately, the things you love about your bike put you at risk for serious injury in the event of an accident. Motorcycle crashes can lead to devastating injuries, property damage, and expensive medical bills.
But you may not have to bear those costs alone. Were you the victim of a motorcycle accident in Charlotte? Are you wondering what you should do next? If someone else caused your crash, you might be owed compensation for your injuries from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Contact the Charlotte personal injury attorneys from DeMayo Law Offices immediately. We can help injured motorcyclists pursue compensation from the people who hurt them.
At DeMayo Law Offices, our Charlotte motorcycle accident attorneys have a combined 150 years of legal experience. We’ve represented clients like you many times before. We’ll use our skills, knowledge, and resources to fight for a favorable outcome to your case. You can depend on us to seek the financial settlement you deserve.
To find out more about our legal services and how we can help you after your motorcycle crash in Charlotte, call us at (704) 333-1000 today.
Why Motorcycle Accidents are More Dangerous than Car Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle crashes are extremely dangerous to riders. Motorcycle crashes result in serious injuries to riders, and, unfortunately, even fatalities. The NHTSA documented 4,985 motorcyclist deaths in 2018.
Most motorcycle accidents in the United States result in either an injury or fatality to the person on the motorcycle. The reason for this shocking reality is because motorcycles leave the rider unprotected. When you ride in a car, you have the airbag, a seatbelt, and an engineered metal structure to protect you. Bikes can’t shield you from impact in the same way.
Helmets provide some protection, but they can’t prevent all injuries when they involve high speeds and heavy vehicles. The force of a multi-ton vehicle is too strong for the rider to protect themselves with safety gear. They also risk being thrown from the bike and injured by flying debris.
Seeking Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Victims
North Carolina is a fault state when it comes to motorcycle crashes. That means you can pursue compensation from auto liability insurance if you get injured in an accident that someone else causes.
You could receive compensation for the following kinds of damages:
- Repairs to your bike or replacement
- Past and future medical costs
- Loss of income
- Lost future wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional or psychological pain
- Diminished quality of life
Your Charlotte motorcycle accident attorney from DeMayo Law Offices will begin their investigation immediately when you hire our firm. Collecting evidence while it’s still available will help prove that the other motorist was to blame for your injuries.
Over time, witnesses might forget relevant details, and some evidence like tire marks could be destroyed or lost. We need to perform our investigation early in order to obtain everything we need.
Important evidence for your motorcycle claim includes:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Police crash report
- Repair estimates or current value for your motorcycle
- Medical records and billing statements, physician notes, prescription medicines, hospital and surgery reports, and other documents related to your treatment
- Your recorded statement
- Copy of the liable driver’s auto insurance policy
- Photos of the crash site
- Video surveillance of the collision
You only have three-years in North Carolina to initiate a personal injury lawsuit. That may seem like a long time, but insurance claims can take months or years to resolve. If you need to file suit and the statute has already passed, a judge can dismiss your case. The sooner you file a claim, the better chance you’ll have to win the maximum compensation you deserve.
Find the Cause of Your Motorcycle Crash Immediately
If you can prove the accident happened through no fault of your own, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries from the person who caused them. That’s why hiring a Charlotte motorcycle accident attorney is so important. At DeMayo Law Offices, LLP, we know how to investigate a crash to determine its cause and how to prove it in court.
The most common reasons other drivers cause motorcycle accidents include:
- Driving distracted (i.e., texting or eating while driving)
- Driving drunk
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Reckless driving, such as
- Road Rage
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Driving while tired
- Lane changes
- Open car doors
- Failing to check blind spots
- Running a red light or stop sign
Sometimes environmental or situational factors contribute to crashes too. If motorists don’t adjust their behavior to account for dangerous situations, like adverse weather or construction, they risk causing a collision.
How Your Injury Could Affect the Outcome of Your Case
Even if you sustained a minor injury in a motorcycle accident, you’re still eligible to seek compensation. The amount of financial damages you can seek depends on the injuries you suffer. The more severe the injury, the higher the settlement will be.
If you’re fortunate enough to walk away from your crash, you may still be able to file an insurance claim against the liable driver for any medical treatment, property damage, or other costs you incurred. In a free consultation, the attorneys at DeMayo Law Offices can discuss whether it makes sense for you.
Motorcycle injuries that typically lead to greater damages for victims include:
- Head trauma
- Loss of limb
- Spinal cord
- Broken bones
- Internal damage or organ injury
Injuries that cause permanent disability can affect your ability to return to the job you had before the crash. You may be able to seek compensation for the negative impact on your income. Our lawyers can help you file an insurance claim to demand reimbursement for your expenses to help you afford continued treatment for your injuries.
UM Coverage in North Carolina
Even though North Carolina law requires all drivers to hold liability insurance, some don’t. Whether they didn’t renew their policy after it expired or their insurer canceled it for lack of payment, many drivers don’t have the appropriate insurance coverage.
If you get hurt in a motorcycle crash, and the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability insurance, you can file a claim with your UM insurer. UM, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provides compensation for injured individuals when the negligent party either doesn’t carry insurance or their limits don’t cover your total damages.
Just like liability insurance, North Carolina law requires UM insurance. The limits you chose to purchase will determine the maximum settlement you can pursue in a claim. UM usually covers the same damages that liability insurance does, including medical expenses, motorcycle repairs, and pain and suffering.
Contributory Negligence and Its Impact on Compensation
Many states follow different negligence rules than North Carolina. Some use comparative negligence, which allows the victim of a motorcycle crash to recover damages even if they’re partially at fault.
North Carolina follows contributory negligence. That means the injured party must not share any blame for the accident to receive compensation. If an insurance adjuster or jury in a court case finds you even 1% to blame, you could be denied damages. Our attorneys will defend your right to full, fair compensation.
What are the Steps in a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
At DeMayo Law Offices, we’ll help you with every step of filing a motorcycle accident claim, including:
- Filing a claim with the liability carrier (or UM carrier if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance)
- Seeking medical treatment until your doctor releases you from their care
- Filling out required forms and authorizations from the insurance adjuster
- Maintaining all evidence from the accident, including medical records, motorcycle repair bills, physician notes, and lost wage reports to submit to the insurance company
- Negotiating a settlement amount with the insurance adjuster
- Filing a lawsuit, if you’re not satisfied with the settlement offer or the insurance company denies your claim
Don’t Pursue a Motorcycle Accident Case Alone
You shouldn’t try to deal with the insurance company by yourself. Hiring a Charlotte motorcycle accident attorney is the best way to seek the maximum settlement you deserve. Victims of motorcycle crashes that try to file a claim without legal representation often receive less than those who hire an attorney.
When you hire DeMayo Law Offices, we’ll make sure to handle everything for you, from filing the claim on your behalf to negotiating a settlement with the insurance company. We have the experience to take your case to trial, if necessary, and convince a jury that you deserve compensation for your suffering.
You Need a Dedicated Charlotte Motorcycle Accident Attorney On Your Side
When you’re the victim of a motorcycle accident you didn’t cause, you deserve a fair chance at pursuing compensation. Someone else’s bad decisions caused your injuries, so they should be the one to pay for your damages. Liability insurance exists to pay for injuries and damages when motorists cause them, so don’t leave money on the table after your motorcycle crash.
Whether your case is big or small, DeMayo Law Offices will work hard to get you the justice you deserve. We believe making at-fault parties pay for their actions so victims like you can recover. You can depend on us to help you move on from your accident with the knowledge that you’ve held the person who hurt you legally responsible.
To find out how our Charlotte motorcycle accident attorneys can help you with your case, call us at (704) 333-1000 and schedule a free consultation.
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