If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in North Carolina, you need a DeMayo Law Offices personal injury lawyer on your side to get the compensation you deserve to recover from your damages. Contact DeMayo Law Offices today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case!
Motorcycles offer a sense of freedom on the open road. However, what they offer in terms of enjoyment, they lack in safety. Their small size offers very little protection. Motorcycle accidents are deadlier than car accidents, so for a motorcyclist, an accident is more likely to result in catastrophic injuries.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,985 motorcyclists lost their lives in a motorcycle accident in 2019. You might assume this is because all motorcycle drivers are young, reckless men who give little thought to safety, but you’d be wrong.
Figures from the 1970s showed that roughly 80% of those killed in motorcycle accidents were 29 years old or younger. That changed a few years ago. Since 2009, more fatalities occur in motorcycle users over the age of 50 than any other age group. The average age of a motorcycle driver keeps climbing. In 2008, it was 40;by 2017, it increased to 42.
There is a correlation between certain age groups and the likelihood of them being involved in a fatal crash, but it’s not the only important factor. Helmets are another important factor. Officials reported that more than half of the 2017 motorcycle accident casualties were not wearing a helmet at the time of their accident. Meanwhile, in states with mandatory helmet laws, only eight percent of motorcyclists involved in crashes died, according to the NHTSA.
North Carolina does require all motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear a helmet, but some new motorcyclists don’t take the responsibility as seriously as they should. In reality, all it takes is some caution and good reasoning skills to avoid the most common kinds of accidents.
With that being said, you always have to factor in the potential for an accident to come out of nowhere, caused by the negligence of another driver, giving the motorcyclist little to no time to react. The good news is if you or a loved one have suffered an accident, our North Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help.
Motorcycle accidents don’t always happen in the same way that car crashes do. While rear-end accidents, T-bone crashes, and head-on collisions can all occur with any kind of vehicle, there are a few dangerous scenarios that become much more likely when a motorcycle’s involved. They include:
Imagine that you’re heading down the highway on your motorcycle, approaching an intersection in which a car is facing you in the opposite direction. You’re planning to drive straight through the intersection; the car is turning left. You both have a green light. The car misjudges your distance (or maybe doesn’t see you at all) and makes its left turn so suddenly that neither of you realize the impending impact until it’s too late. Believe it or not, this is the single most common scenario for motorcycle accidents in North Carolina. To avoid them, we urge bikers to assume that any left-turning car might make that turn at the last minute. Slow down and be prepared to take evasive action.
Motorcycles are known for their ability to lean into a curve, but some bikers push the limits too far. If you find yourself hugging a curve too closely (or at too high a speed), it can be very difficult to maintain balance. Most experts recommend trying to simply ride it out rather than forcing a correction, but that can be dangerous too. The best advice is to avoid the situation to begin with. Slow down before taking a curve and never speed.
Car drivers usually check their rear-view mirrors before changing lanes, but many of them fail to actually look over their shoulders. As a result, they never get a glimpse into their blind spots. Unfortunately, motorcycles are almost exactly “blind-spot size,” meaning they can cruise beside a car without ever entering the driver’s field of vision. It’s a recipe for disaster. Drivers should get in the habit of checking their blind spots before merging, while bikers should anticipate potential blind spots and try to stay out of them.
“Wipe Out” is a great Fat Boys/Beach Boys jam, but it’s a terrible highway hazard. Here’s how it happens: a motorcycle is driving along safely enough when, suddenly, a patch of gravel or sand (or some other roadway obstruction) makes contact with the front tire and causes the bike to wipe out. At low speeds and with light traffic, the biker might be lucky enough to survive with only a few bruises and a scraped knee. More often, though, wipeouts result in catastrophic injury or death, especially where high speeds or safety violations are involved. The solution is to always allow yourself more than enough reaction time.
Since motorcycles don’t offer very much protection, severe injuries are more common than you might think. These injuries can cause massive damage. In some cases, they can be life-altering. If you were in a motorcycle accident and sustained any kind of injury, you may be able to recover damages for your time away from work, medical bills, and emotional trauma.
Some of the most common injuries we see from motorcycle accidents are:
Even minor motorcycle injuries can result in hefty medical bills, time away from work, and prolonged pain and suffering. More severe injuries might also result in permanent disfigurement, disability, and the loss of future income, not to mention ongoing emotional distress.
The Charlotte motorcycle accident attorneys at DeMayo Law Offices can fight for comprehensive compensation in these areas and more, holding motorcycle manufacturers, negligent drivers, and their insurance companies accountable to the letter of the law.
The most important thing you can do if you are in a motorcycle accident is to not panic. As adrenaline runs through your body, it can be difficult to determine your level of injury. If you’ve sustained a neck or back injury, you may not realize it and could make it worse by moving around. Give yourself a few moments and assess the damage before you get up. If you’re able to stand or walk, chances are you will be in shock. In this state, it can be hard to make rational decisions. Below are some tips for what to do and what not to do after a motorcycle accident:
Call 9-1-1 if you are seriously injured. You should at least call your local non-emergency number to let them know about the accident.
If you are mobile and your bike can be moved safely, do so. If you are on a highway or interstate, it’s a good idea to get as far away from the flow of traffic as possible.
You may find someone who saw the whole accident or someone who only saw part of it. Either way, witnesses can be critical factors in a court case.
Take pictures of every angle of the scene, your bike, your injuries, and any other vehicles involved. Note the time of day, weather conditions, your location, and the events leading up to the accident as you remember them unfolding.
It’s common for you to sustain injuries without realizing it. It can’t hurt to see a doctor who can check for injuries.
File a claim so they have a record of the incident. File a claim with the other driver’s insurer as well.
Experienced injury attorneys can help take the burden of an accident off your shoulders and help you get life back on track.
Only do so if you’re being taken away in an ambulance to receive emergency medical treatment.
You may say something that could compromise your case.
They are not out to help you. If they contact you, refer them to your attorney.
Share them only with your lawyer. Expressing your theories or speculations about who caused the motorcycle accident while still at the scene only has the potential to hurt you more.
Talk to your lawyer first. Many insurance companies will offer a low-ball settlement that is far less than what you are entitled to by law.
Don’t let anyone bully you into giving a recorded statement without the help of your legal counsel.
The motorcycle accident lawyers at DeMayo Law Offices are here to help as best we can.
At DeMayo Law Offices, we get a lot of questions about motorcycle accidents, especially when bikers or their families are trying to figure out their next steps. Here are some of the frequently asked questions our motorcycle accident attorney’s answer:
According to North Carolina state laws, a motorcycle must have the following to be considered legal:
Requirements are always subject to change, so make sure you check the state laws regularly.
Maybe, but it may be difficult. In North Carolina, we operate under a strict contributory negligence doctrine that will not let you recover damages if you have any liability whatsoever for the accident. As you know, not wearing a helmet is a violation of state laws, which could affect your claim. Your motorcycle accident lawyer can advise you on the specifics of your case, so contact an experienced law firm if you have doubts about your case.
When the at-fault driver only carries minimum coverage or is uninsured, we can help you file a personal injury lawsuit to try to get more money. Your attorney will work to prove the other driver’s negligence in court. Their argument will rely on documentation like the police report, your medical bills, photos of the accident scene, and any witness accounts.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is a good idea to not say anything too specific about the accident. Many times, in the moments following an accident, people say things that may not necessarily be true. A potentially incorrect admission of guilt can severely impact your motorcycle accident claim.
Whenever you are making a statement to the other parties involved in your motorcycle accident, it is a good idea to have a witness, preferably a lawyer, present.
In North Carolina, there is a three-year statute of limitations on a personal injury lawsuit. We recommend you contact our law office as soon as possible after the motorcycle crash occurs. A competent lawyer will try to move your claim through the system as quickly as possible so that you maintain all your legal options.
If you’re unable to resolve your claim by negotiating with the insurance company, you may be able to sue for lost wages, potential future earnings, property damage, medical bills, future medical bills, and pain and suffering claims as long as you meet the three-year deadline. It pays to be proactive by contacting a motorcycle accident law office from DeMayo Law Offices so you don’t lose any compensation that you may be owed.
Some motorcycle accidents cause serious injuries. Many more result in wrongful deaths. If your family member has been killed, you have a right to seek damages on their behalf. Money will never fill the hole caused by a loss of life, but it can help to cover funeral expenses and medical bills. You may also receive compensation for:
We know this process is stressful, hurtful, and disheartening. We’re here to give a helping hand, lend our compassion, and provide a shoulder to cry on, if needed. Our NC attorneys are experienced in handling motorcycle accident cases that result in injury or wrongful death. Consultations are free and we only accept payment if we win your case. We’ll fight tooth and nail to make that happen. Call us today at (877) 333-1000 to schedule your appointment.
Settlement during litigation for a client who died in a motorcycle accident when a vehicle failed to yield the right of way and hit client. (Cumberland County, 2015).
Settlement during litigation for a client whose 31 year old son, an Army Sergeant and decorated war hero, was killed when riding his motorcycle off duty and an employee of ‘Caviness and Cates Builders’ turned left in front of his motorcycle (2015).
Pretrial settlement for a 32-year-old man who was injured when another vehicle turned left in front of him, causing his bike to collide with the vehicle and his body was ejected from his motorcycle. The client sustained a serious knee injury with several of his ligaments and tendons being torn in his knee, resulting in three knee repairs and reconstruction surgeries. (Mecklenburg County, NC, 2017).
Settlement after mediation for a client who was riding his motorcycle when a dump truck made a left turn in front of him causing serious injuries, including fractures to the back and hemorrhages in the brain. (Cabarrus County, 2010).
Settlement for a 19-year-old woman who was injured when riding as a passenger on a motorcycle that wrecked when a car pulled out from a parking lot into its lane. The young woman sustained serious injuries of a broken leg and fractured kneecap that required surgery and placement of a rod in her leg, broken hand, broken collar bone, and scars from her injuries. (York County, SC, 2015).
Client was driving his motorcycle straight through an intersection when a vehicle turned left in front of him causing a collision. Client had serious fractures to his right heel and ankle that required multiple surgeries (Mecklenburg County, 2016).
At DeMayo Law Offices, we have been able to build an excellent reputation within our community. We serve victims of defective medical devices throughout North Carolina. Our legal team is available 24/7, so you never have to wait long for a callback. We have three conveniently located offices in Charlotte, Hickory, and Monroe.