North Carolina has nearly 200,000 registered motorcycles. It’s clear that many North Carolinians love exploring the Tar Heel State by motorcycle. However, as thrilling as motorcycles are to ride, they also come with serious risks.
As many motorcycle riders know too well, other motorists do not always exercise proper care and caution. Motorcycle accidents are far more likely to result in injuries than car crashes do. They also lead to more severe injuries that are more costly to treat, according to a recent study. That study compared motorcycle wrecks to car accidents. Its findings:
- The injury rate for motorcyclists is three times greater.
- Severe injuries are 10 times more likely on a motorcycle.
- The cost of medical treatment for injuries is double for motorcyclists.
These statistics make it easier to understand why insurance companies try to avoid paying a settlement that covers all medical costs of a motorcycle accident victim.
The motorcycle accident attorneys at Ward Black Law know motorcycle laws. They have the experience, knowledge and resources needed to help you receive a settlement or award that covers all costs related to your accident. You’ll also have the benefit of working with attorneys who are dedicated to keeping you updated about all aspects of your case. The Ward Black Law attorneys offer the support you and your family need during this stressful time.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Greensboro or anywhere in North Carolina that wasn’t your fault, call Ward Black Law today for a free initial case review. You can discuss your case with a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer and learn more about your legal rights and options.
Why Are Motorcycle Accident Cases More Complicated?
You may think that a motorcycle accident claim is no different from the typical car accident case. However, motorcycle accident cases usually prove more complicated than other motor vehicle accident claims for these reasons:
- Motorcycle riders suffer more severe injuries. Motorcycles offer very little protection in a crash. Riders often suffer serious, even life-threatening injuries that can take months or even years to fully heal. As a result, motorcycle accident claims can become more complex if an injured rider is still undergoing treatment when a settlement or trial is in progress. Future medical treatments and future lost income are important to include for settlement or trial.
- Finding all available insurance coverage can be a challenge. The severe injuries motorcycle riders suffer often means expensive medical treatments. Riders can incur significant financial damages that quickly exhaust an at-fault driver’s insurance coverage. That makes getting a rider full compensation more difficult. Full compensation may need to come from the at-fault driver’s personal financial resources. The rider’s own insurance coverage may come into play when uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is available.
- At-fault drivers tend to contest liability. Unfortunately, some at-fault drivers may try to escape liability for a motorcycle accident. They may unfairly view all motorcycle riders as reckless motorists. Because of that bias, the at-fault motorist may claim that the injured rider was speeding or weaving through traffic. When this happens, it becomes necessary to find evidence and prepare expert reports and exhibits to demonstrate that the at-fault driver was solely responsible for the crash.
What You Need to Know About Proving Fault in North Carolina
Building a strong case to prove the fault of the at-fault motorist is especially important in North Carolina. North Carolina is one of the few remaining states to follow the contributory negligence rule. That rule states that an injured party may not recover any compensation if they are responsible for any share of fault for the accident. Most other states, by comparison, follow the rule of comparable negligence, where the victim’s damages are reduced by their percentage of fault.
Given North Carolina’s strict rules regarding fault, the other party will do everything in their power to show that you have some degree of fault in your accident. That’s why it’s so important to have an attorney by your side in these cases. An attorney will meticulously investigate your accident and gather the evidence needed to prove how the wreck occurred.
How a Greensboro Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Make a Difference for You
You may decide to pursue your motorcycle accident claim on your own. However, a Greensboro motorcycle accident attorney can greatly improve your chances of securing a favorable outcome.
An attorney can help you and your case by:
- Investigating your accident to secure evidence critical to proving your claim.
- Coordinating with expert witnesses to help develop a strong, persuasive legal argument as to liability and damages.
- Filing your claim for compensation with the insurance companies.
- Aggressively negotiating for a settlement that will provide full compensation for your present and future damages.
- Preparing to take your claim to court or to trial, including filing all court documents and advocating on your behalf before a judge or jury.
We will answer your questions and evaluate your case at no cost by phone, in person or online. You can begin the legal process without paying any money up front or ever receiving a bill for our services. Ward Black Law works on “contingency” basis. That means we are only paid from any settlement or awards you may receive. If for any reason you do not receive a settlement or award, our work is free. You pay no attorneys’ fees whatsoever.
After an initial consultation with you, our first step is to investigate the motorcycle accident scene. Our personal injury lawyers will inspect the accident scene, gather key evidence and interview witnesses to help build your case.
Demanding Full Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident in Greensboro
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in Greensboro or anywhere in North Carolina that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries and damages you’ve suffered.
Compensation in a motorcycle accident claim may include:
- Past, ongoing, and future medical treatments for your injuries
- Long-term personal care costs, if your injuries prevent you from performing home or personal care tasks
- Lost income if you miss time from work during recovery
- Lost earning potential, if your injuries prevent you from returning to your old job or earning your pre-accident level of income
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life, including the distress or embarrassment caused by disabilities, disfigurement, or inability to engage in activities you previously enjoyed
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in NC
After you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in North Carolina, these steps will help protect your right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages:
- Call 911 or contact the police. If you have been injured, you or someone else should call 911 for emergency medical assistance. Otherwise, call the police department. An officer will come to the accident scene and prepare a police accident report. This report may become critical evidence in a later legal claim.
- Record the name, contact information, and insurance policy information of the other driver in the accident. That will provide contact information if a claim for compensation is filed.
- Document the accident scene. If possible, take photographs or video of the accident scene. Include details such as damage to the vehicles in the accident, the traffic controls at the scene, and the weather/lighting/traffic/road conditions at the time of the accident. If you suffered visible injuries, photograph and document them as well.
- Follow up with your doctor or other health care provider. Even if you don’t believe you were injured in the accident, you should get a medical examination. Your doctor may identify injuries that haven’t yet started causing pain or other symptoms. Promptly identifying your injuries will allow you to more persuasively argue that they were caused by your accident.
- Speak to a Greensboro motorcycle accident attorney. A motorcycle accident attorney can help you to understand your rights and options for pursuing a legal claim for compensation. An attorney can begin the process of investigating your accident and give notice of your claim to the insurance companies. That will help get you the financial recovery you need.
Tips for Dealing with Insurance Companies after a Motorcycle Crash
Unfortunately, when pursuing a motorcycle accident claim, you may find yourself in a dispute with the at-fault driver as well as the insurance companies involved in the claim. These pointers may help you deal with insurance companies following your crash:
- Most people should not accept the first offer of compensation by the insurance company. Even when the insurance company makes an offer of compensation, remember that number is probably not the full compensation of your damages.
That offer is also not the maximum amount of compensation the insurance company may be willing to pay. Insurance companies almost always increase their compensation offers with strong legal arguments showing how your accident occurred.
- Stick to the facts when giving statements to adjusters. Ideally, have an attorney who can handle all communications with the insurance company. If you must give a statement to the insurance company without an attorney, stick to the facts of your accident as you remember them. The insurance companies may try use any statement you give as proof that you bear some fault for your accident – that’s why it’s often best to have an attorney explain the process before ever talking to the other driver’s insurance company.
- Have an attorney review all documents presented to you. An attorney can make sure any offer you get is fair compensation. The attorney can also ensure that you aren’t accidentally giving up important rights or compensation.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Because motorcycle riders lack the protection of a vehicle or the safety systems of passenger vehicles, riders tend to suffer serious injuries in accidents. Common injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents include:
- Road rash, a burn-like injury caused by the skin rubbing up against the pavement when a rider is thrown from his or her motorcycle; serious road rash can lead to infection and may require treatment through skin grafts
- Bone fractures
- Soft-tissue injuries, including sprains and tears of ligaments, muscles and tendons
- Internal organ injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Perforations caused when an object pierces into or through a rider’s body
- Spinal injuries, including disc herniations and disc ruptures, or trauma to the spinal cord
- Head trauma, including eye injuries or skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle riders face numerous challenges and dangers on the road due to hazardous conditions and negligent drivers. Common causes of motorcycle accidents that our firm has seen include:
- Unsafe lane changes
- Unsafe left turns
- Following too closely
- Open car doors
- Lane splitting
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted drivers
- Drowsy or fatigued drivers
- Inexperienced drivers
In addition to driver-related causes of motorcycle accidents, many motorcycle accidents are caused by dangerous road conditions such as potholes or snow and ice, and by defects in the motorcycle or motorcycle parts.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Greensboro Now
Whether you are an accident victim with injuries or a family member who has lost a loved one in a wreck, let us help you. We can deal with insurance companies and medical providers that may be sending you bills. We can help you navigate financial challenges that are caused by the accident. We can stand up for your rights to ensure that you obtain fair compensation. That will give you time for healing and the care you need.
Contact Ward Black Law today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Our Greensboro motorcycle accident attorneys can explain your rights no matter where your accident occurred in North Carolina. Learn how our firm can help you maximize your financial recovery for your motorcycle accident today.