It was a beautiful spring day and you decided to take your motorcycle out for a ride to the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte,
We’ve always had a special connection to motorcyclists here at the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor. The litigator himself, Jason E. Taylor, still rides his Harley to the office and has for decades. He counts himself a member of many Charlotte motorcycle groups, such as the American Motorcyclist Association, the Bikers for Bikers foundation, and the Independence Harley Owners Group.
Our law office is a charter member of the Bikers and Needy Children Foundation, and a portion of our fees are donated to them whenever we help a biker — even if the case had nothing to do with motorcycle accidents.
Our deep connection to bikes and bikers means that you can trust our Charlotte motorcycle accident attorneys to have the experience and expertise you need when you’ve been in an accident. No one in Charlotte knows more about motorcycle accident cases than we do.
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How Is Liability Determined in Charlotte Motorcycle Accidents?
Charlotte works under what is called “contributory negligence.” Contributory negligence is negligence that contributed to the event that led to harm. Under Charlotte law, anyone who contributed any degree of negligence to the accident is considered liable and is not entitled to compensation. Even if you were only 1% of the cause, you still get nothing.
Every accident is caused by someone neglecting their responsibility to maintain a safe road. It could have been another driver. It could have been NCDOT. It could have been from a faulty repair. It’s the jury’s job to determine who is at fault, and it’s our job as accident lawyers to prove that it wasn’t you.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident? Is It Worth It?
Contributory negligence means that you have to be careful what you say every step of the insurance claims process. It’s very easy to screw this up and end up without compensation. Even if you did do something wrong — say you’re going a couple of miles over the speed limit because Hemric just made his last pit and you’re in a hurry to get home and catch the end of the race — your negligence may not have contributed to the accident itself. In which case, you are still entitled to be compensated for your losses.
Having an accident attorney speak for you protects you from falsely attesting contributory negligence. It’s like a shield between you and the insurance companies. If your lawyer says something, it’s hearsay. If you say something, it’s a testimony. Not only do accident attorneys know what to say, but we protect you from self-incrimination as well.
As such, it is usually prudent to hire legal representation after you’ve been in a motorcycle accident. It gives you that shield of protection, as well as putting an experienced practitioner of law in between you and insurance companies who are trying to get out of paying you the compensation you deserve. Let us take care of the courtroom while you take care of your health.
What Is the Average Payout for a Motorcycle Accident?
Accident lawyers in Charlotte see claimants walk out with nothing, and they see claimants walk out with over a million. But, on average, claimants are awarded somewhere in the vicinity of $75,000.
You are entitled to what is called “compensatory damages.” You deserve to get back to wherever you would have been if the accident had never occurred, and compensatory damages are whatever it takes to get you there.
There’s no formula for determining compensatory damages. There are too many variables. How badly are you injured? How long will you be out of work? Are your leathers damaged? How much did they cost? How much will it cost to repair or replace your motorcycle? Are there any long-term medical costs? Things like that.
Write down as much as you can remember as soon as possible. We can’t just say that you lost these things. We need to prove it. A written inventory of losses — ideally taken at the scene of the accident, if possible — makes proving the extent of your damages much easier.
Who Is at Fault in Most Motorcycle Accidents?
It’s usually someone in a car or a truck. We’ve all seen drivers texting or eating or fiddling with the radio. I even saw someone shaving once. When was the last time you saw a biker shaving on the road? Cars are full of distractions that simply don’t exist on a motorcycle.
Cars also have blind spots and obstructions to view. Motorcycles are small enough to be missed by a quick blind-spot check, and most motorists aren’t looking for something with such a small profile, to begin with. This puts motorcyclists at great risk from inattentive drivers.
Without the protection of a steel cage around us, motorcyclists are constantly attentive to the vehicles around us. As such, we are far less likely to be the cause of multi-vehicle accidents.
Despite this, about half of serious motorcycle injuries don’t involve anyone but the motorcyclist. Usually, it’s someone who didn’t slow down enough before a curve and flew off the road or into the guardrail.
That said, whenever the accident involves more than one vehicle, the person in the car is likely to be the party at fault.
What Are the Odds of Surviving a Motorcycle Accident?
A stunning 80% of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death. A little over 6% of those are fatal. So while you’ve got a 95% chance of surviving an accident, you’ve only got a 20% chance of walking away unscathed.
You are not powerless over those numbers. Most of those injuries and fatalities are because of head trauma. You can increase your chance of survival by more than a third simply by wearing a helmet.
The loss of a loved one is not damage for which there is adequate compensation. Your life is the most valuable thing that you can own. Nothing you can do protects you and your loved ones from the greatest harm imaginable more than wearing a helmet.
How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take?
Most cases tend to be resolved within several months, but there’s a lot of things that make some cases take longer than others. Insurance companies like to play hardball and wait out the clock on your statute of limitations. And if there were more than two parties involved in the accident, there will be more insurance companies to deal with.
Some people settle with the insurance company before their case goes to trial. Some trials have more witnesses than others. Some juries reach a verdict quickly. Every case is different.
Generally speaking, though, cases in Charlotte seldom last longer than a couple of months.
What Is the Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?
No single category of person causes more motorcycle accidents than an inattentive motorist — most often while turning left. They simply don’t see us.
The only silver lining here is that if you are struck by a motorist turning left, you are almost certain to be awarded compensation.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident of any sort, get in touch with an experienced Charlotte motorcycle accident lawyer for a free consultation as soon as possible.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Charlotte, NC.
Our team of experienced motorcycle accident and personal injury lawyers, investigators, and case managers are ready to serve you at our Charlotte, NC office:
301 S McDowell St #1016
Charlotte, NC 28204