Charlotte Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Award-Winning Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Representation
Motorcycle accidents are some of the most notoriously devastating of all motor vehicle crashes. Because motorcycle operators and riders have relatively few protections in the event of a collision, they often sustain serious, catastrophic injuries. Tragically, many motorcyclists are killed when they are hit by larger, heavier vehicles, such as passenger cars, pickup trucks, SUVs, and semis.
Just as in any other type of motor vehicle accident case, if you were hit by another motorist while riding your motorcycle, and you believe the other motorist was to blame, you could be entitled to financial recovery. Payne Law Firm can assist you with your personal injury claim or, if your loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, in filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault person or party. Led by Charlotte motorcycle accident lawyer Jason E. Payne, an award-winning trial attorney with over 18 years of experience, our firm has what it takes to effectively and aggressively advocate for you.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Unfortunately, even when motorcyclists follow all applicable laws and take precautions to stay safe on the road, they cannot always prevent accidents. When other motorists are careless, reckless, or negligent, innocent motorcyclists can suffer devastating, life-altering injuries.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving
- Traffic law violations
- Unsafe turns
- Unlawful or unsafe passing
- Failure to obey traffic control devices
- Potholes and other hazardous road conditions
- Defective road design/construction
- Defective motorcycles/motorcycle parts
- Road rage
- Aggressive driving
- Unsafe lane changes/merging
- Poor weather conditions
When another person or party is negligent or acts unlawfully, injured motorcyclists are permitted to file personal injury claims against the at-fault party and seek compensation for their medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, disability, and other damages.
Liability in Motorcycle Accident Cases
Unfortunately, because North Carolina is one of the few remaining states to follow the rule of contributory negligence, any motorcyclist who is found to be even partially at fault for an accident is barred from recovery. This means that if an insurance company tries to argue that you were negligent or if a jury finds you even 1% liable for the accident, you cannot recover any compensation for your damages.
Because of this, it is incredibly important that you work with an experienced attorney after a motorcycle accident. Your motorcycle accident attorney in Charlotte should not only know applicable motorcycle and personal injury laws but should also have the experience and skill needed to aggressively fight for your right to a fair recovery. At Payne Law Firm, our motorcycle accident lawyer in Charlotte has a proven record of success and has earned a reputation among insurance companies for never backing down, even from the toughest of challenges.
How Much Is a Good Settlement for a Motorcycle Accident?
A fair settlement amount will depend primarily on the amount of damages you suffered in the accident. This is why it's important to meet with a professional motorcycle accident lawyer before accepting any settlement being offered by the insurance company.
A good settlement will seek to compensate you for the following:
- Lost income
- Medical bills (past, present & future)
- Pain and suffering
- Damage to your motorcycle
If the driver was acting in an extremely negligent manner at the time of the accident, you may also have grounds to pursue punitive damages.
What Are Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Motorcycles offer significantly less protection for their occupants than a typical passenger vehicle does. Because of this, motorcyclists who are involved in an accident typically sustain more serious injuries than other motorists do. Some of the more common types of motorcycle crash injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash and other burn injuries
- Facial injuries/disfigurement
- Loss of limb
- Paralysis (total or partial)
Any of the above-mentioned injuries can be life-threatening or life-altering. If you have sustained a severe injury in your motorcycle accident, you deserve an attorney who will fight to recover maximum compensation on your behalf.
Do You Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in North Carolina?
Motorcycle riders in North Carolina are legally required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. This law is enforced by the state's universal helmet law, which applies to all riders and passengers regardless of their age or experience level. Additionally, the helmet must be approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and have a sticker affixed to the helmet showing it’s approved. Choosing to not wear a helmet while riding can not only result in a fine, but it could also be used as evidence of negligence in a civil lawsuit, thereby barring you from securing compensation after an accident.
Aside from the legal reasons, wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is a good idea for multiple reasons. First and foremost, a helmet protects your head and brain in the event of an accident. The risk of head injury, and other injuries in general, in a motorcycle accident is significantly higher than in a car accident due to the lack of protection surrounding the rider. A helmet can help reduce, or even sometimes prevent, serious head injuries. Plus, helmets can protect riders from other potential hazards such as flying debris and bugs.
Wearing a helmet is not just important for your own safety, but it can also set a good example for others. As a rider, you can encourage any passengers and fellow riders to wear helmets, which can help to promote safe riding practices and possibly reduce the number of motorcycle accidents and injuries.
North Carolina Motorcycle Laws
If you plan to or already own or operate a motorcycle in North Carolina, it’s important that you are aware of and abide by all applicable motorcycle laws.
Below, we’ve provided a brief overview of some of North Carolina’s motorcycle laws:
- Licensing: In order to operate a motorcycle in North Carolina, you must have one of the following: a provisional license with a motorcycle learner’s permit, a normal driver’s license with a motorcycle learner’s permit, a provisional license with a motorcycle endorsement, or a regular driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement.
- Insurance: Motorcycle insurance is mandatory in North Carolina. The minimum liability requirements are $25,000 in property damage per accident, $30,000 in bodily injury/death coverage per person per accident, and $60,000 for bodily injury/death coverage for multiple people per accident.
- Age Restrictions: You are only eligible for a motorcycle learner’s permit if you are between the ages of 16 and 18 and have either a provisional license or the written consent of a parent or guardian, or if you are at least 18 years of age and have a regular valid driver’s license.
- Safety Equipment: All motorcycles operated in North Carolina must have designated safety equipment. This includes a license plate, horn, exhaust system, rearview mirror, headlight, rear red light, rear brake light, speedometer, and foot peg/rest for motorcycle passengers.
- Lane Sharing and Splitting: Lane sharing is permitted in North Carolina. Two motorcyclists can share a single traffic lane, but no more than two motorcyclists may ride abreast (side by side) in a single lane. Additionally, motorcyclists are allowed to use a full lane. Lane splitting (riding between cars/lanes) is not allowed in the state of North Carolina.
- Passengers: A motorcycle cannot carry more passengers than it is designed to carry. Passengers must wear approved motorcycle helmets and motorcycles must have a seat and foot peg/rest for passengers if passengers are present. There is no age limit or restriction for motorcycle passengers in North Carolina.
These are just some of the laws you should know when it comes to riding a motorcycle in the state of North Carolina. Be sure that you are well-versed in all appropriate laws before operating a motorcycle or riding one as a passenger.
Can You Still Recover Damages If You Weren't Wearing a Helmet?
Yes. Even if you weren't wearing a helmet at the time of your motorcycle accident, you may still file a personal injury claim against the other driver. However, there is a chance that this could be used against you to show that you were partially at fault for your injuries. For example, the driver's insurance company (or your own) may claim that if you had been wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, your injuries would not have been as severe.
I am very pleased with my experience, Falon was very helpful throughout my case and was able to put the most back into my pockets in a timely manner. I highly recommend choosing this law firm to take care of you the best way possible!- Chris W.
Payne Law Firm was invaluable in helping my family navigate the most difficult situation we had ever experienced. Mr. Payne and his entire staff were professional, responsive, and empathetic throughout the entire process.- Fatimar J.
My experience with "Payne Law Firm" was extraordinary! They were efficient, professional, and persistent. I have and will continue to recommend “Payne Law Firm” because you are treated like family!- Sheori S.
My experience at Payne Law Firm was very pleasant. I had no worries at all. He was there for everything I needed help with.- Gloria J.
Contact Payne Law Firm Today
To get started with your motorcycle accident claim, reach out to our team right away. The sooner you contact us the better, as you only have three years from the date of the crash to file a personal injury lawsuit. If the motorcycle accident resulted in the death of your loved one, you only have two years to bring your wrongful death claim.
We will help you every step of the way, providing answers to your questions and continuing to update you on the status of your case.
We have helped over a thousand injured individuals and families get the compensation they deserved.
We not only understand the complexities of insurance companies but know how to fight them.
Our team knows the importance of your case and is committed to doing what is best for you.