Motorcycles are sometimes more difficult than other vehicles for other motorists to see, especially at night. While passenger vehicles have airbags and other safety features to protect occupants in an accident, motorcyclists are exposed during a collision. Since motorcycle operators absorb impact directly, injuries are often more severe. That means motorcycle accidents do not have to involve factors like speeding to result in very severe injuries.
When you are involved in an accident while operating a motorcycle, you are more likely to sustain serious or fatal injuries. Wearing a helmet is mandatory in order to operate a motorcycle legally in North Carolina. This is one of the few external safety requirements that protects vulnerable motorcycle riders and their passengers.
When you are hurt in a motorcycle accident, you can sustain injuries such as:
- Blunt force trauma
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Damaged organs
The above injuries may result in extended hospitalization, which can result in missed time from work and a loss of income. Medical bills can build up quickly when your income is lost. A Forest City motorcycle accident lawyer can pursue damages against the other at-fault driver which can compensate you for:
- Mental anguish
- Hospital bills
- Prescription medications and medical devices
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
An accident lawyer can:
- Negotiate a settlement with the other driver
- Collect evidence to support your claim
- Communicate with your insurance company
- File a personal injury claim against the other driver
- Interview witnesses
Under G.S. § 1-52, North Carolina’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is generally three years. If you do not take legal action before the statute of limitations expires, you cannot recover damages—even if the other driver is solely at-fault.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC today at (828) 286-3866 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.
What Your Policies May Cover After a Motorcycle Accident
Vehicle owners are required under G.S. § 20-279.21(b)(2) to maintain auto insurance that offers coverage for at least:
- $30,000 in bodily injury damages when one person is hurt
- $60,000 in bodily injury damages when two or more people are hurt
- $25,000 in property damage
North Carolina also requires all drivers to carry uninsured bodily injury coverage, which helps protect you if the at-fault party does not have automobile insurance. Many North Carolina drivers also carry underinsured bodily injury coverage, which often helps protect you from excessive medical costs after an accident if the at fault party does not have sufficient liability coverage to fairly compensate you. If your medical bills and other losses exceed the other driver’s policy limits, your underinsured motorist coverage can often help you to get your medical bills paid and compensate you for your pain and suffering.
North Carolina is an at-fault insurance state, meaning the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy carrier is liable to cover economic losses. If your insurance company decides the other driver is at-fault, you will receive compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. The other driver’s insurance company may offer you a settlement that will not fairly cover all of your losses. A lawyer can negotiate on your behalf for a comprehensive settlement agreement to help you obtain as much compensation as possible. Also, a lawyer can often help you because your insurance company may reach a different fault determination than the other driver’s insurance company, which can make it difficult to understand how to handle the claim’s resolution.
It is important to review your policy and coverage, because insurance companies have unique claims processes and strict deadlines. Missing a deadline or failing to provide required documentation can delay your claim.
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC today at (828) 286-3866 for a free consultation.
Damages You May Be Able to Recover After a Forest City Motorcycle Accident
North Carolina law embraces the theory of contributory negligence, which means you must prove the other party is 100% responsible for the accident to recover damages. Proving the other driver is solely liable also means proving that you were not partially at fault. You can lose the right to recover damages in North Carolina if the Court decides you are just 1% at fault.
You Can Pursue Economic Damages
The actual financial costs you incurred as a result of your accident are considered economic losses. Your economic damages from a wreck can often be excessive, especially if you suffered severe injuries. While medical insurance can cover a majority of your bills, a lengthy hospitalization can lead to excessive medical debt and your medical insurance may actually be entitled to receive subrogation for the coverage they provide to you.
Your economic losses may exceed both the other driver’s policy limits and your policy limits. When this occurs, a Forest City motorcycle accident lawyer can file a personal injury claim against the other driver to recover economic losses. Economic damages often encompass the following:
- Transportation to medical appointments related to your injuries
- Ambulance bills
- Hospitalization costs
- Costs for in-home nursing services
- Costs related to rehabilitation
- Medical devices required because of your injuries
- Lost wages
To prove economic losses, you can provide copies of bills and invoices. It is essential to document your costs, which can help you estimate the amount of economic damages you can pursue.
You Can Pursue Non-Economic Damages for Your Intangible Losses
North Carolina does not generally cap the amount of non-economic damages you can receive in a personal injury case involving a motor vehicle accident. Non-economic damages consider how the accident and your injuries impact your future and overall quality of life. When injuries impact your long-term health, such as preventing you from engaging in activities you enjoyed before the accident, a lawyer can pursue claims for:
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Mental distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of affection
Injuries can result in chronic pain, which can make it more difficult to enjoy life. Serious accidents can also cause emotional distress, resulting in anxiety, depression, and trauma. If your injuries are disabling, juries can consider how the accident impacts your ability to financially provide for yourself and your dependents. Losing the ability to live independently can also entitle you to non-economic damages.
Call Our Team Today to Take the First Steps on the Road to Justice
You should not worry about paying for your medical bills or for the repair of your motorcycle. We can handle your pursuit of damages on your behalf and negotiate with insurance companies for you. Focus on recovering from your injuries and obtaining the help that you need at this time as you endeavor to overcome your wreck injuries. Speak to one of our staff today to discuss your legal options by calling (828) 286-3866.