Were you the victim of a motorcycle crash in Hickory? Do you want to know how to seek compensation for your injuries? If so, talk to the motorcycle accident attorneys at DeMayo Law Offices. We are highly experienced in helping motorcycle accident victims recover the monetary reward they’re owed by the liable party.
Motorcycle accidents typically lead to severe injuries and fatalities. That’s because motorcycles don’t provide much protection from environmental elements, hazardous road conditions, and other vehicles. Riders usually get ejected from the bike and land on the pavement or crash into a car or stationary object.
It’s a traumatic experience and recovery in of itself is often a challenging path. We will handle all of the legal legwork of your case so that you can focus on healing and getting your life back on track.
Call DeMayo Law Offices at (828) 345-1111 for a free consultation, and we’ll review the circumstances of your situation, review all your legal options, and determine if we can take on your motorcycle accident case.
Injuries That Are Common After a Motorcycle Crash
Since motorcycles offer very little protection to the rider and passenger, injuries are often debilitating or life-threatening. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to prevent physical harm when you collide with another vehicle. You don’t have an airbag, seatbelt, or metal structure surrounding you. The only protection you have is the helmet on your head and the clothes you put on that day.
Injuries you could suffer in a motorcycle crash include:
- Fracture or broken bone
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severe lacerations and cuts
Most of the injuries listed above could take months or even years to recover from. Some injuries could lead to a long-term disability. If that happens, you may need consistent treatment for the rest of your life to manage the pain and symptoms you’re experiencing. It’s something that can change your life forever and create a financial strain if you’re unable to return to work and can’t afford your expensive medical bills.
Am I Eligible for Financial Compensation?
To receive compensation in a motorcycle accident case, you first need to prove negligence. Negligence is the failure to take reasonable care during a specific action that leads to an injury. There are four main elements of negligence that you’ll have to prove existed at the time of the crash in order to base your claim on negligence. These include:
- Duty: The at-fault party owed you a legal duty of care to prevent you from suffering physical harm;
- Breach: The at-fault party breached that duty with an action or inaction;
- Causation: The breach was a direct cause of your injury; and
- Damages: You incurred damages as a result of the motorcycle accident and resulting injuries.
The most common types of negligence other drivers exhibit include:
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Impaired driving
- Texting while driving
- Failure to follow traffic lights, signs, or laws
- Failure to check blind spots
Basically, if the other driver involved in your crash behaved in a way that a reasonable person would consider negligent or reckless, you would qualify for compensation in an insurance claim or a lawsuit.
How Do You Prove Fault?
To prove another person caused your motorcycle crash, you need to collect relevant evidence you can submit to the insurance company or a jury. Your Hickory, NC motorcycle accident attorney from DeMayo Law Offices will take care of this step on your behalf. When you hire us, we’ll open an investigation into the crash and begin obtaining vital pieces of evidence that show the other person was at fault, such as:
- Police reports
- Statements from witnesses
- Video surveillance footage
- Photos of the accident scene and vehicle damage
- Car repair estimates or bills
- The negligent driver’s driving records
- Copy of the auto insurance policy
- Your medical records and bills
- The other motorist’s cell phone records
We have various resources at our disposal to collect sufficient evidence that proves your claim. Most clients don’t have access to those resources, which often causes problems if they pursue a motorcycle accident claim alone. We have the experience and knowledge to build a solid case and hold the responsible party liable for their actions.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
When you decide to pursue a claim after getting hurt in a motorcycle accident, you might start wondering how much money you could receive. The maximum settlement available will depend on multiple factors, including:
- Type and severity of the injury
- Duration of treatment
- Disfigurement or disability caused by the injury
- Insurance coverage available
- Amount of evidence that proves fault
- Description of the accident on the police report
- Medical care necessary to recover
- Impact of the injury on daily life
- Time spent away from work due to the injury
Damages come in three major categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic and non-economic damages compensate injured victims for their expenses and pain they had to endure. Punitive damages are a form of punishment for the person who caused the crash.
The damages available after a motorcycle accident in Hickory may include the following:
- Past and future medical treatment
- Lost wages and lost future wages
- Motorcycle repairs
- Damage to personal property
- Out of pocket costs
- Prescription medication
- Pain and suffering
Your motorcycle accident attorney can review your options for compensation based on the particulars of your accident.
How Can I File a Claim If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
North Carolina law requires all motor vehicle operators and owners to hold auto insurance with minimum bodily injury and property damage limits. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people driving around without coverage. If there isn’t liability insurance available for you to seek compensation, you can pursue a settlement with your own insurance carrier.
In the state of North Carolina, it’s also a requirement to carry UM insurance. UM stands for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This insurance covers the victim of an accident when the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or their limits of liability aren’t high enough to cover the total damages.
You would file a claim with your UM carrier just like you would with liability insurance. Evidence of a motorcycle accident that led to your injury and necessary treatment would get submitted to the insurance adjuster assigned to the claim for review. You’ll have to negotiate a settlement that compensates you for your damages based on the UM limits you purchased on your policy.
You could also use your UM coverage as a supplement to liability coverage. Let’s say the negligent party only carries $25,000 in bodily injury, but your medical expenses total $40,000. If you have $25,000 in UM insurance, you could file a claim with your insurer to make up the difference in damages you incurred.
Should I Settle with the Insurance Company or File a Lawsuit?
Whether you decide to settle your claim or sue the at-fault driver is entirely up to you. DeMayo Law Offices will advise you on your best options, but it’s ultimately your decision as to how you want to proceed.
Generally speaking, victims of motorcycle accidents will begin their case with an insurance claim and seek the maximum compensation available. If the insurance company denies the claim or refuses to offer a fair settlement, the injured party will file a lawsuit.
If you decide to move forward with suing the negligent motorist, you could receive a financial award for punitive damages. You’ll also be able to seek justice by sitting in front of a jury and holding the other party responsible for their recklessness.
However, there are some disadvantages to filing a lawsuit that you should know about, such as:
- The defendant in a trial can appeal the verdict that granted you compensation. If the court decides to allow the appeal, you could lose the money the jury originally awarded you.
- Litigation can drag out for months or even years, while settlements can get resolved faster and put money in your pocket sooner.
- There isn’t as much involvement for the victim in a settlement as there is in a lawsuit. Your attorney can handle most of the steps in an insurance claim; however, lawsuits involve discovery requests, depositions, and mediations, which you have to participate in.
- Court records become public, so everything that happens in a lawsuit is no longer a private matter. On the other hand, settlements happen behind closed doors and remain private.
DeMayo Law Offices aims to settle our clients’ cases before we need to go to trial. Our goal is to ensure the insurance company pays you the compensation they owe you for your injury and the damages you suffered from their policyholder’s negligence. We know it’s essential to settle your case; however, we have the experience to file a lawsuit if we have to and won’t back down from a fight against the opposing side.
Call DeMayo Law Offices Today
If you sustained an injury in a motorcycle accident, schedule a free consultation with DeMayo Law Offices. We’ll review your case and help you make the best decision for seeking compensation. Whether your case is big or small, you can depend on the fact that you’ll be a priority for us. Our Hickory, NC motorcycle accident attorneys and everyone at our firm cares about our clients and will provide you with excellent customer service, honest communication, and emotional support.
We know how hard this situation is for you. It’s traumatic, stressful, and something you want to move on from as soon as possible. We’ll work efficiently to reach a favorable outcome in your case so you can recover from your injury and put the pieces of your life back together. At DeMayo Law Offices, we have a dedicated team of legal professionals you can depend on to fight tenaciously for the justice you deserve.