Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience. It’s also easier to zip through heavy traffic when you’re on a bike. Unfortunately, some dangers come with sharing the road with other vehicles. At DeMayo Law Offices, we know the devastating damage and injuries that can occur when a car or truck collides with a motorcycle.
The rider often suffers more than the occupants of a passenger vehicle. Without a seatbelt, airbag, or other protective equipment, the motorcyclist is at the mercy of the elements around them. They could get run over by a car, land hard on the pavement, or be struck by flying debris.
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be catastrophic, especially if another driver disobeyed a traffic sign or signal. Someone may have run a red light at an intersection or violated another signal, crashing into the side of your bike. If they broke any traffic laws, they could be held liable for the injuries you sustained.
The legal team from DeMayo Law Offices is ready to take your call and help you seek justice. You deserve the maximum available compensation for the suffering you experienced. Call us for your free consultation at (704) 333-1000 right now.
Running Red Lights Puts Others’ Safety At Risk
It might seem obvious that running a red light is dangerous and could lead to severe injuries and fatalities if there’s an accident. However, many people continue to do it anyway. It’s reckless, and drivers who engage in this behavior are putting other people at risk of harm.
According to 2019 data collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 846 people died in accidents due to someone running a red light. More than half of these fatalities were bicyclists, pedestrians, and the occupants of other vehicles that the red light runner crashed into. Around 143,000 people suffered injuries in these accidents.
Consequences commonly associated with breaking traffic laws, such as running a red light, are:
- Higher death rate – More people die when drivers run red lights, fail to yield the right of way, speed, and engage in other dangerous acts while on the road.
- More significant damage – Someone trying to make the light at an intersection will likely accelerate. Traveling at higher speeds means a collision will carry much more force, and cause more damage to the vehicles and motorcyclists.
- Repetitive behavior – When someone gets away with risky behavior without consequences, they typically continue to do it. If a driver violates a traffic law and doesn’t get caught or cause an accident, they’ll likely do it again. Unfortunately, their luck is eventually going to run out, and they could cause an accident with a motorcyclist.
Breaking any law while operating a motor vehicle can have deadly consequences. Many drivers don’t think about the long-term effects of their behavior. They may be running late to work or be distracted by their cell phone. Breaking the law by speeding or using a cell phone while driving prevents them from driving safely and may cause injuries to other drivers if they crash.
Most Common Traffic Law Violations
There are various North Carolina laws all drivers must follow while operating their motor vehicle. It doesn’t matter if someone is in a passenger car, commercial truck, on a bicycle, or on a motorcycle. There are rules for everyone.
The most common violations that could result in serious penalties for the offender are:
- Driving under the influence – Alcohol and drugs can impair a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely. It’s one of the most dangerous traffic violations that could occur. In 2019, 10,142 people died in accidents involving a drunk driver.
- Reckless driving – When someone has a wanton or willful disregard for the safety or rights of others or carelessly operates their vehicle in a public area or on a highway, they’re guilty of reckless driving. The most common examples are exceeding the speed limit and weaving in and out of traffic.
- Speeding –Driving above the speed limit during adverse weather or poor road conditions prevents a person from having total control over their car. If they encounter a hazard or emergency, it becomes harder to maneuver out of the way or come to a complete stop.
- Hit-and-run – Leaving the scene of an accident is against the law. Anyone involved in a crash where there is serious bodily injury or death must stop and remain there until law enforcement investigates. If a driver flees before an officer arrives, they could face criminal charges.
Other common traffic laws motorists break include:
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Making an illegal u-turn
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Unsafe lane change
If someone else violated any of these or another traffic law and you suffered injuries as a result, you could file an insurance claim or lawsuit for compensation. You shouldn’t be forced to pay for your medical treatment and other expenses when another driver was at fault for the accident.
Possible Compensation After a Traffic Violation Accident in Charlotte
If there’s sufficient evidence that the other driver’s actions led to the accident, you might be entitled to compensation from their auto insurance company. The North Carolina fault system determines that the at-fault driver becomes liable for the injured party’s losses. These losses may include:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Mental anguish
The law requires minimum limits of liability for all drivers. However, if you discover the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you might have to file a claim with your own insurance company.
Every vehicle owner, even motorcycle riders, must carry UM insurance. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is available when the liable driver doesn’t have auto insurance or high enough liability limits to compensate for a person’s total losses.
If you file a UM claim, you could pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Some policies will even compensate you for your pain and suffering. Every policy is different, and DeMayo Law Offices can review yours to determine what it will cover and the available limits.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver
Violating traffic laws is a conscious decision to behave dangerously despite how it might affect other peoples’ lives and safety. You have a right to sue the other motorist for the injuries they caused in the accident. Filing a lawsuit in North Carolina requires obeying a three-year statute of limitations. This is a strict timeframe for initiating this type of case in civil court.
If you don’t file your lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident, you could lose your right to seek a monetary award. However, one major exception could extend this deadline:
- You were under a legal disability when the accident occurred. Legal disabilities include insanity, being a minor under 18 years old, and incompetence. Upon removal of the disability, the three-year timeframe would begin.
Not only could you seek various losses during a lawsuit, but you can also attempt to recover punitive damages under specific circumstances. In addition to compensating for your losses, an award of this type of damages punishes the at-fault driver for their behavior. A jury will only award punitive damages if you provide clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s willful or wanton conduct, fraud, or malice.
Never Admit Fault After a Motorcycle Accident
Even though the other person involved in the crash ran a red light or disobeyed a different traffic law, you might believe your actions also contributed to the wreck. However, remember to speak with a qualified attorney first before talking to any investigating officer at the accident, the at-fault motorist, or the insurance company. Your statements may be used against you, even if the other motorist was at fault.
Contact DeMayo Law Offices for a Free Consultation
Our law firm will meet with you for a free consultation to discuss the details of your case and advise you about the legal options for holding the at-fault driver liable. We will remain by your side from start to finish of the process. We know the burden you’re facing. You can depend on us to provide the guidance and support you need to get through this difficult ordeal.
When you hire the Charlotte motorcycle accident lawyers of DeMayo Law Offices, we can use our resources and knowledge of state laws to reach a positive outcome. You deserve the greatest possible financial award so you can pay for your treatment and heal your injuries.
If a negligent driver violated a traffic law, causing your injuries in a motorcycle accident, call us at (704) 333-1000 immediately. We take all cases on contingency, so you don’t have to worry about upfront fees or costs. If we can’t secure a settlement or favorable jury verdict for you, you will never owe us any money for our services.