Wilmington Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
A motorcycle is a great way to get around. It’s an eco-friendly alternative to larger vehicles and many riders say it offers a freeing experience that is simply addictive.
However, despite all the benefits of motorcycles, riders still have to contend with the lack of safety that comes from sharing the road with other motor vehicles.
Motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles making it easy for them to fall into drivers’ blind spots. When an accident occurs, drivers are likely to be seriously injured because they don’t have the shell of a car to protect them.
Because driving a motorcycle is dangerous, both riders and drivers should be doing all they can to stay safe. If either party exhibits reckless behavior on the road, they deserve to be punished by the full arm of the law.
Fortunately, motorcycle accident victims are often entitled to compensation for their accident-related losses. In most cases, victims obtain compensation by making a claim on the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. Insurance companies actively try and settle claims for as little as possible, so you should retain a lawyer after a motorcycle accident.
At Horton & Mendez our car accident attorneys know how insurance companies operate because we used to work for them as defense lawyers. We know their playbook and use our knowledge to help our clients get full and fair compensation for their injury claims. To schedule your free case evaluation, call our office today.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are several reasons why a motorcycle accident may occur. Here are some of the most common:
- Sideswipe Accidents: It is common for motorcycles to fall into vehicles’ blind spots when they are riding next to them. If a driver does not see a motorcycle and tries to get over, they could end up running them off the road.
- Following Too Closely: When drivers follow other cars, they should be leaving a three-second buffer between themselves and the car in front of them. Because a motorcycle is smaller, that buffer should increase to four seconds. Many drivers don’t realize this and follow too closely behind motorcycles increasing the risk of an accident.
- Open Car Doors: It is not uncommon for drivers to leave their vehicles and open their car doors without looking to see if there is any oncoming traffic. This can be particularly hazardous for motorcyclists who tend to ride on the right side of the road.
- Debris in the Road: Debris is a common cause of accidents, and it can be especially dangerous for motorcyclists. Motorcycles are small and if they encounter debris, they can easily topple over. If the debris is caused by nearby construction, the city or contractor may be responsible for the accident.
- Weaving in and Out of Lanes: An accident isn’t always the driver’s fault. Motorcycle riders often weave in and out of lanes to get ahead of traffic. This is unsafe riding behavior, and it is illegal in most states because of its potential to cause a collision.
- Equipment Failure: In some instances, a car or motorcycle may experience equipment failure that causes an accident. The car manufacturer or mechanic may be responsible for this type of accident.
- Disobeying Traffic Laws: Any type of reckless driving behavior can result in an accident. This includes driving drunk, distracted or fatigued, speeding, and disobeying traffic signs and lights.
- Corner Turning: Motorcycles make tight turns around corners. If there is any debris in their way, riders can easily fall off bikes.
- Unsafe Road Conditions: When roads are wet and slippery, riders and drivers must do their part to be especially cautious. If they don’t ride at recommended ‘bad weather’ speeds, an accident may occur.
What are Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Motorcycle accidents are dangerous, and riders can get seriously injured. Here are some types of injuries they are likely to incur:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road burn
- Leg injuries
- Wrongful death
If you were at all injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to get seen by a doctor right away. You may not think your injuries are that serious, but they can get worse in time. If you don’t get medical help, it will be hard to prove your injuries were caused by the accident.
If you see a doctor, he or she will create a medical record-tying your injuries to the collision.
What are the Motorcycle Laws in North Carolina?
Drivers and riders can avoid accidents if they obey the rules of the road. Here are the North Carolina motorcycle laws you should be familiar with:
- All motorcycles must have brake lights, horns, mirrors, windshield wipers (if applicable), head, rear, brake and stop lights in good working order when on the road.
- All motorcycles must have a visible registration plate.
- All riders must wear a DOT-approved helmet.
- Motorcyclists must pass a road test and exam and be properly licensed.
- No more than two motorcycles can ride side by side in a lane.
Contributory Negligence is a Factor
When a motorcycle accident occurs, the driver of the car is usually at fault and the most common cause is the driver not seeing the motorcyclist. Police usually report this type of accident as LBFS or Looked But Failed to See.
However, there are times when a motorcyclist is responsible, or partially responsible, for the accident. A good example is when they weave in and out of lanes.
It’s important to be careful when considering who is at fault for an accident because North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. That means that if either party is found to be even 1% responsible for the accident, they may not collect any type of compensation.
Speak to your lawyer before talking to anyone about your accident to make sure you don’t make yourself seem guilty when discussing details of the case with law enforcement, insurance companies, and other parties involved in the collision.
Why Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys Can Help With Your North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Claim
A motorcycle accident can cause serious injuries. A good lawyer will get you the compensation you deserve.
Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys have years of experience dealing with motorcycle accident claims in Wilmington, North Carolina, and the surrounding areas. In addition, as former insurance defense lawyers, we have insider knowledge that allows us to get our clients the full value of their claims.
Don’t let reckless drivers get away with putting other people in danger when they are on the road. Call Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation. We will see to it that justice is served.