Motorcycles offer fewer safety features than automobiles, and they’re less visible than cars are to other motorists. If you’re injured in a motorcycle crash in or near the Charlotte area, arrange to discuss your rights as quickly as possible with a Charlotte motorcycle accident attorney.
According to figures published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a motorcyclist is twenty-six times more apt to be killed in a crash than an automobile driver or passenger and five times more likely to be seriously injured.
It’s not difficult to get injured in a North Carolina motorcycle accident. In 2020, more than 3,400 motorcycle accidents were reported in this state, resulting in more than 2,600 serious injuries and 174 deaths.
What are the most common injuries sustained in motorcycle crashes? What are your rights if you become a motorcycle crash injury victim? What steps can you take to recover compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and related losses? Keep reading for the answers you may need.
What Injuries Are Commonly Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcyclists do not have the protection that an enclosed vehicle offers. According to the NHTSA, the most serious motorcycle accident injuries happen when a motorcycle is involved in a head-on crash.
These are among the most frequent injuries sustained by motorcyclists:
- TBIs (traumatic brain injuries): A study by the NHTSA of 104,472 motorcycling injuries found that 21 percent of the riders without helmets in motorcycle accidents sustained brain injuries. TBIs were responsible for 54 percent of the fatalities in this study.
- Spinal cord injuries: If a motorcycle accident’s impact injures the spinal cord, the result may be total or partial paralysis (quadriplegia or paraplegia) and permanent disability.
- Lower-extremity injuries: Lower-extremity injuries are suffered by motorcyclists in motorcycle accidents more often than other types of injuries. Leg injuries are common.
- Internal injuries: Internal bleeding and serious internal injuries may be caused by penetration (when something sharp – like metal or broken glass – breaks the skin) or by blunt-force trauma.
- Fractures: Crashes happen swiftly, and a motorcycle usually falls over in a crash, catching the motorcyclist’s leg under the motorcycle. Arms and wrists are frequently fractured when motorcyclists try to brace themselves as they’re falling over.
- Road rash: If someone comes into contact with the road’s surface in a crash, abrasions known as “road rash” can happen. A road rash injury can be mild, moderate, or serious. Road rash injury victims are at risk for permanent scarring and serious infections.
Where Can Injured Motorcyclists Find Legal Help?
The injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents are often permanently disabling. Any blow to the head can cause a brain injury, and even the best helmet cannot offer total protection in a high-impact crash. Helmets are necessary and save lives, but they can’t prevent every head injury.
Motorcycle accidents can be exceedingly complicated, and they are often difficult to investigate. Motorcycle accidents leave less physical evidence than auto and truck accidents. In many cases, there are no witnesses, and the written police report is sometimes incomplete or inaccurate.
If your motorcycle collision and your injuries were caused by another person’s negligence, ask a Charlotte motorcycle accident lawyer to help you recover the compensation you are entitled by law to receive.
Take These Steps If an Accident Occurs
If you are involved in a motorcycle collision, and if you’re not incapacitated, call for medical help and summon the local police at once. If you’re able, take photographs of the vehicles, the scene, and your own injuries, or ask someone to take photographs for you.
Ask the police how you can acquire a hard copy of their written accident report. If there are eyewitnesses, ask them for their names and contact information. Exchange insurance and personal contact details with the other motorist.
If you are not treated at the scene or taken to a hospital, obtain a medical exam anyway, within 24 hours if possible, to ensure that you haven’t sustained a latent injury that could slowly – or in some cases, quickly – emerge as a serious medical condition.
What Will It Cost You to Seek Justice?
Once a medical professional has finished examining and/or treating you for your injuries, contact a Charlotte motorcycle accident attorney to speak about your legal rights and options, which may include bringing a personal injury claim against the driver who injured you.
If you are an injured victim of negligence in or near the Charlotte area, it doesn’t cost you anything to learn how the law applies to your case. A Charlotte motorcycle accident lawyer will examine your claim and provide your first legal consultation at no cost and without obligation.
If you and your attorney agree to move forward with legal action, you will pay no lawyer’s fee unless and until your lawyer obtains an out-of-court settlement or a jury verdict that compensates you for your medical expenses, your lost wages, and your related damages and losses.
Is There a Deadline for Filing an Injury Claim?
In North Carolina, in most cases, you must file a motorcycle accident claim within three years of the crash (or two years if you are filing a wrongful death claim arising from a motorcycle crash). With only very narrow exceptions, after three years, a court will not consider your claim.
Realistically, you cannot wait three years and then file a claim in haste at the last moment. Don’t even wait three weeks. Put a Charlotte personal injury attorney on your case at once, before any of the evidence deteriorates or the memories of the witnesses begin to fade.
When Should You Accept a Settlement Offer?
Don’t accept a quick settlement offer from the other party’s insurance company. In fact, don’t make any statement to the other party’s insurance company. Let your lawyer do the talking and negotiating on your behalf, and don’t accept an offer unless your lawyer recommends it.
Your attorney will conduct out-of-court negotiations with the negligent party’s attorney and insurance company, and that’s how most motorcycle accident claims are settled in North Carolina.
However, in rare cases, if an acceptable settlement offer is not forthcoming, or if liability for the crash is disputed, your attorney will take your case to trial, explain to the jurors what happened and the extent of your injuries, and ask the jurors to order the payment of your compensation.
Should You Proceed With Legal Action?
If you’re injured because another motorist was negligent while you were motorcycling, nothing can change what has happened, but a Charlotte accident attorney may be able to help you acquire the resources you’ll need to move constructively and positively into the future.
It’s your future, and having reliable legal advice is your right. If you have been injured by negligence in a motorcycle accident in or near the Charlotte area, and if you and your attorney can prove it, you’ll be compensated, and the law will be on your side.