If you or someone you care for has been injured in a wreck through no fault of your own while riding a motorcycle, learn more on how a Winston motorcycle accident lawyer can help you recover your losses.
The Bishop Law Firm offers free case reviews and we do not get paid unless you win (contingency basis). Start your free case review by phone or online now.
Winston Motorcycle Riders
While motorcycles can be great fun, they offer very little protection to riders when compared to car passengers in a car crash. This is frightening considering the number of self-reported distracted drivers in North Carolina, those who were texting and driving, using cell phones while driving, though under 18, and drunk or otherwise inebriated drivers putting everyone's life at risk.
While a motorcycle helmet is required by North Carolina law and reduces the risk of head injury, a helmet offers little protection compared to an enclosed vehicle.
This lack of physical protection while riding a motorcycle, in addition to the negligence of other drivers can result in very serious injuries or a fatal motorcycle accident.
In 2021, there were 3,712 motorcycle crashes in North Carolina which resulted in 210 fatalities and 2,847 injuries per the NC DOT. May and September were the months with the most crashes. In the same year, there were 129 motorcycle crashes in Forsyth County with 125 injuries and eight fatalities.
It's important to get an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side as soon as possible when you or someone close has been in a Winston-Salem motorcycle accident. They can help make sure that the insurance company is doing what they are supposed to do and cover all bases for you, so there won't be any surprises later down the road.
By collecting information about your case, our motorcycle accident lawyer in Winston-Salem, NC can help you file a personal injury lawsuit (if necessary) to recover motorcycle injury and accident-related damages.
North Carolina Law on Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists' duties are discussed in the North Carolina Department of Transportation's Motorcyclists' Handbook. Per the handbook, studies show that most riders involved in crashes under-brake the front tire and/or over-brake the rear; as well as they do not separate braking from swerving or did not choose swerving when it was appropriate.
Everyone operating a vehicle on the road has a duty to act reasonably under the circumstances. A failure by a vehicle operator to act reasonably is a breach of this duty and results in negligence. Violation of traffic laws are an excellent example.
Negligent parties whose actions harm others are responsible for the damage that they cause.
However, North Carolina is one of the four (Alabama, Maryland and Virginia) remaining contributory negligence states. This means that the motorcycle accident victim must not be at fault in order to recover for their accident injuries.
Contributory negligence often results in unfair outcomes for victims but is the law in our state. One exception to contributory negligence is the “last clear chance doctrine”. The last clear chance doctrine can help victims if the at-fault party had the last opportunity to change course and avoid injury.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident through no fault of your own, you can recover the costs of your missed time from work, medical expenses, and be compensated for your pain and suffering. Future medical expenses and lost wages should also be included if warranted.
Punitive damages are awarded to punish the at-fault party for egregiously wrongful acts. Drunk drivers who harm others while behind the wheel may be liable for punitive damages. However, simply causing an accident due to distracted driving may not rise to the level of “egregiously wrongful.”
Frequently Asked Questions
- How long after a motorcycle accident can you sue in North Carolina? NC has a three year statute of limitations from the date of injury. If your loved one was killed in the car accident, you have two years from the date of death to bring suit.
- How is fault determined in a car or motorcycle accident in NC? After a car wreck, the police officer will usually cite the at-fault party and put a description of the accident on the bottom of the 2nd page of the accident report. In some cases, no one receives a ticket, but it is still clear who is at fault. In other unfortunate cases, it’s difficult to tell who is at fault. If this is the case, the insurance adjuster will claim that their insured is not at fault. This usually results in arbitration for property damage claims and litigation for those who seek compensation for injuries sustained.
- How much compensation do you get for a motorcycle accident? The amount of financial compensation you receive after a motorcycle accident in a personal injury claim depends on the severity of your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain & suffering and future anticipated losses. This number is impossible to know without knowing all the details of your accident.
What To Do After a Winston-Salem Motorcycle Accident
After your Forsyth County motorcycle crash, you should seek and follow all medical advice. If your doctor tells you to rest, take medicine, use crutches, etc., do so. Photographs of your damaged motorcycle and the car that hit you should be taken as well (if possible).
In addition, photographs of your injuries immediately after the accident as well as photographs as you heal with dates will help tell the story of your journey to recovery. Also, document your missed days from work and what your pay would be on those days.
You should read Ways to Prove Pain & Suffering Damages. If you choose to post about your accident on social media, do not include accusations or assumptions regarding the cause of the car wreck or the at-fault driver(s).
After a motorcycle accident, you need to obtain the police accident report. In Winston-Salem, you should reach out to the officer who came to the accident scene, the Winston-Salem Police Department (their phone number is 336-773-7922) or the North Carolina Department of Public Safety for State Highway Patrol accident reports.
The motorcycle crash report needs to be closely evaluated to make sure no misstatements were included. If there are errors, you will need to reach out to the officer that completed the report as soon as possible. This can prove to be difficult in certain circumstances but Winston-Salem motorcycle accident lawyers can help.
Filing your property and injury claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company should be your next step. Dealing with the insurance company's claims adjuster should be a simple process, but many times insurance adjusters will delay or deny that their driver was liable due to various reasons, including visibility or driving conditions.
They may even try to say that the Winston-Salem motorcycle accident victim is at fault when the accident was clearly caused by the negligent driver (their insured). Insurance companies can also try to settle your claim quickly to avoid paying for all your medical treatment. This can leave a victim with unpaid medical expenses and nowhere to turn for future medical care.
Speaking with an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer about your motorcycle collision will ensure you receive fair compensation.
Injuries Caused In Winston-Salem Motorcycle Accidents
Unfortunately, motorcyclists involved in vehicle accidents tend to sustain the most severe injuries of all car accident victims. Helmets are required in NC, but motorcycle accident victims can still sustain a traumatic brain injury even with the use of a helmet. In 2016, statistics showed that motorcyclists were 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled.
Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and wrongful death are common injuries in motorcycle accidents. For more information read about North Carolina Catastrophic Injuries.
Recovering from your head and brain injuries can be a daunting task, let alone providing medical records, lost wage statements, other supporting documents and negotiating with the insurance company. This is where many injury victims decide to call a Winston personal injury lawyer for their motorcycle accident claim.
For a discussion on Winston-Salem car and motorcycle accident injuries, read our below pages:
- Back Injury After Car Accident
- Neck Injury After Car Accident
- Chiari Malformation After Car Accident
- Brain Injury After Car Accident
- Blunt Force Trauma To Head From Car Accident
- Shoulder Injury After Car Accident
- Leg Injury After Car Accident
- Foot Injury After Car Accident
- Skin Injury After Car Accident
- PTSD After Car Accident
- Vehophobia After Car Accident
- Chronic Conditions From Car Accidents
- Delayed Symptoms After Car Accident
How can Winston-Salem Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Help?
Our Winston motorcycle accident lawyer and car accident attorney can help you recover compensation, including the cost of your medical expenses, lost wages, pain & suffering as well as the cost of any future necessary medical treatment while allowing you and your family to focus on your recovery. The Bishop Law Firm does not get paid unless you win your motorcycle accident case. We are motivated to help you recover a fair settlement for your losses as well as be compensated for your pain & suffering.
Related articles: North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Lawyer