Charlotte Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycles are afforded the same rights to the roads as passenger cars in North Carolina. With no doors, airbags, or seat belts, and only minimal head and body protection, though, bikers are at a higher risk of injury from crashes every time they hit the highway. Drivers of passenger cars, trucks, and other vehicles have a responsibility to look out for bikers and respect their right to the road.
Serious injuries and wrongful death resulting from motorcycle accidents can forever change the lives of families. The experienced Charlotte motorcycle accident lawyers from Stewart Law Offices are dedicated to fighting for the rights of motorcyclists and demanding full compensation for all losses.
Injured? Call us immediately at 1-866-465-7851. Someone from our firm will take your call any time.
Compensation for Motorcycle Accidents
North Carolina’s fault-based system provides remedies for motorcyclists who are injured by negligent drivers. Under this system, drivers are financially responsible for injuries caused due to any form of negligent driving. Pursuing compensation for victims, however, will require skilled motorcycle accident attorneys who understand North Carolina laws.
At Stewart Law Offices, our dedicated Charlotte motorcycle accident lawyers may seek compensation for:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses related to your motorcycle accident injuries
- Damage to your bike
- Lost income and reduced earning potential for the future
- Pain and suffering
In order to build a strong case for full compensation after a crash, our law firm will work to collect all the evidence needed to support your claim. This may include:
- An accident reconstruction professional’s report on the crash
- Accurate eyewitness testimony
- Law enforcement accident reports
- Medical records, including notes about your treatment regimen
- Testimony from you, should you wish to offer it
- Repair estimates or the Fair Market Value of your motorcycle
- Additional investigative work
North Carolina has a two-year statute of limitations on filing personal injury claims. So it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible after your crash to learn about your legal options.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Motorcycle Accident
There are several steps individuals should take immediately after a motorcycle wreck:
- Call 911 to report the accident.
- Once law enforcement arrives, they will instruct you to move your motorcycle off the road, or you may receive help if injuries prevent you from moving your bike.
- If possible, take pictures of your injuries, your bike, the other vehicle, and anything else relevant to your case. If you are unable to do so, ask a friend or family member to do so for you.
- Get information from all parties present, including the driver and any witnesses. Name, phone number, email address, and address are all good to have.
- Seek medical attention. Some injuries involve delayed symptoms, and a delay in treatment can cause harm to you and your case.
- Report the accident to your insurer. But avoid going on record with statements or signing anything. Wait for an attorney’s guidance here.
- Call Stewart Law Offices. Our team of North Carolina motorcycle accident lawyers is ready to fight for every penny you deserve.
Some steps may be impossible to complete if you are badly injured in a crash, but our attorneys are available to launch an investigation into your case and take over all the legwork in your claim.
North Carolina Motorcycle Laws
North Carolina has implemented several noteworthy motorcycle laws:
- Motorcycles must be “street legal” to operate in North Carolina.
- Anyone riding motorcycles must have their license properly endorsed.
- All riders and passengers are required by state law to wear protective helmets.
- Those who operate motorcycles should have proper training.
- Motorcycle horns must be audible from at least 200 feet.
- Rearview mirrors on motorcycles must provide clear vision up to 2,000 feet.
- There must be one headlamp that’s lit all hours of the day when riding.
Due to vague language in state laws, lane-splitting in North Carolina is neither illegal nor legal, meaning it is neither authorized nor criminalized. If you were involved in an accident while lane-splitting, contact a lawyer to find out if you are eligible for compensation.
Additionally, Charlotte has several motorcycle laws in its Code of Ordinances:
- It’s illegal to ride on the handlebars of motorcycles (Sec. 14-252).
- Motorcycles shall not cling to moving trucks or cars (Sec. 14-4).
- In zoning districts where larger recreational activities are allowed, those activities must not include the use of motorcycles (Sec. 12.516).
Even if you were in violation of a law or ordinance when your motorcycle accident occurred, it is possible that you will still be able to recover compensation. Talk to an experienced attorney about the specific circumstances of your case.
Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Our motorcycle accident lawyers in Charlotte have handled a wide variety of cases over the years. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes we see include:
- Left turns. Passenger cars making left-hand turns cause roughly 42% of all motorcycle-versus-car accidents. Being smaller and less visible means motorcyclists may be particularly in danger when cars run red lights or make sudden turns.
- Drivers who operate motor vehicles while under the influence. Drunk driving takes more motorcyclist lives than other forms of driver recklessness.
- Distracted drivers. Texting, fiddling with radios, fumbling around the front passenger seat, trying to apply makeup while driving, or trying to reprimand children riding in the back may cause drivers to crash into motorcycles.
- Aggressive driving. This form of reckless driving happens all too often on North Carolina highways. Changing lanes abruptly, tailgating, drifting into the motorcycle’s lane, and abrupt stops are common causes of motorcycle collisions – especially in inclement weather.
- Truckers who improperly negotiate turns. Motorcycles are hard for truckers to spot, but it’s the responsibility of truck drivers to obey the rules of the road. That means properly negotiating turns.
If you were injured in a recent motorcycle accident in North Carolina, we encourage you to retain legal help as soon as possible.
Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
The unfortunate truth is that many motorcyclists lose their lives in crashes. The ones who survive are often left with serious injuries such as:
- Broken leg, hip, and arm bones
- Road rash
- Massive traumatic brain injuries
- Contusions on the face and body
- Spinal cord injuries, some which are paralyzing
- Internal bleeding, which often has delayed symptoms
- Busted teeth, broken jaw bones, and fractured orbital sockets
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in North Carolina
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Charlotte, you are not alone. In 2016, U.S. Department of Transportation data showed 8,679,380 motorcycles were registered in America. Of those bikes registered, roughly 90,000 injuries were recorded with an additional 5,286 fatalities.
With North Carolina being a popular hub for motorcyclists, accidents are bound to happen. The following numbers show just how often motorcycle accidents occur.
- 141 fatalities were reported in 2017, down from 152 the previous year.
- Helmet use in North Carolina cuts motorcycle deaths by 37%.
- The average age of motorcyclists killed in North Carolina was 43 in 2016.
- 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. is the deadliest period to ride, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
- Distracted driving and vehicles with drivers under the influence cause the most accidents in North Carolina.
- In 2008, North Carolina actually led America in motorcycle deaths.
How Our Law Firm Can Help after a Motorcycle Accident
After an accident, victims want answers. They’re confused, angry, and are often experiencing physical pain. Working may not be an option for the foreseeable future, which means medical bills and daily expenses can begin to pile up. Despite the stress and tragedies victims face, insurers may add insult to injury by offering victims the smallest check possible to cover any “inconveniences.”
The dedicated attorneys at Stewart Law Offices fight for motorcyclists and their families. We understand that nothing can reverse what happened to your bike, your body, and now your livelihood. However, we will pursue the maximum compensation possible, with the goal of getting you on the path to recovery and closure.