Wilmington Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Injured in a Motorcycle Crash?
Because of their lack of protection, motorcyclists tend to suffer more injuries than drivers in other vehicular accidents.
At the Rhine Law Firm, P.C., we handle cases involving:
- Road rash - Road rash is a common injury for motorcycle riders. Road rash comes in different severities: from first-degree road rash, where the skin is reddened and scraped, to third-degree, where all layers of skin have been scraped off, exposing nerves and muscle beneath.
- Traumatic brain injuries - Motorcycle riders are far more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during an accident than other crash victims. Bikers have a higher chance of falling off or being ejected from the motorcycle and hitting their head. Even when wearing a helmet, riders are still at risk of getting a TBI.
- Spinal cord injuries - Spinal cord injuries can cause partial or complete paralysis, leaving the rider unable to work, and burdening him or her with lifelong medical expenses.
- Broken bones - The lower extremities, like the legs, are most often shattered in a crash; but motorcyclists who try to break their fall with their hands often suffer “biker’s arm.”
- Wrongful death - Sadly, there are times when a wipeout leads to the death of a rider. If your loved one has been wrongfully killed in a motorcycle accident, you have the right to hold any negligent parties accountable.
Unfortunately, most of these accidents are the result of another driver’s negligence. In fact, motorcycle riders are roughly 27 times more likely to be killed in a crash than those in a passenger car on a per-vehicle-mile basis. With the help of our Wilmington motorcycle accident lawyers, you may be able to determine negligence and receive fair compensation.
Determining Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents
Negligence is defined as a failure to act as a reasonable person would have under comparable circumstances. The individual(s) who are determined to be negligent are referred to as being "at-fault." Often an adjuster from an insurance organization may review or investigate an accident to determine fault. North Carolina is one of the few remaining states that subscribes to contributory negligence law, meaning that if a driver has even a small (partial) degree of fault in an accident, he or she is barred from recovery of damages in most cases.
Many states employ a comparative negligence model where varying degrees of fault are assigned among the parties and correlate to the amount of total damages that someone may be eligible to recover. In situations of greatly contested assessments of negligence, a court of law may need to resolve the dispute.
North Carolina Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
In North Carolina you must have a motorcycle endorsement as a part of your license, and must have vehicle insurance specifically for your usage of a motorcycle. The minimum required amount of liability insurance coverage is $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident designed to cover those injured or killed when you are at-fault. An additional $25,000 is required to cover property damage that you may be responsible for.
Motorcycle insurance may include collision coverage for repair or replacement of your vehicle, and comprehensive coverage that covers incidents like theft or hail damage. Many people will also elect to add a specific medical payment insurance product and/or coverage for protection if they are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist.
- Wear safe gear: North Carolina requires motorcycle riders to wear approved helmets. Studies show a reduction in head- and neck-related injuries when riders are wearing a helmet at that time of an accident. Eye and facial protection should be worn and permit proper airflow and be free and clear of any visual obstructions. The body should be fully covered with long sleeves, pants, gloves, and sturdy footwear.
- Familiarize yourself when riding a different bike: If you obtain a new bike or borrow another’s bike, you should practice using the controls and properly maneuvering until you are comfortable with the variations.
- Make yourself visible: Your headlight should always be on and your clothing should be bright so that others will notice you. The majority of motorcycle accidents result from another driver’s failure to see a motorcyclist. Confirm that turn signals, brake lights and such are functional prior to riding.
- Remain conscious of surface conditions: Exercise caution when traveling over uneven or cracked surfaces. Recognize how you maneuver and use both front and rear brakes when surfaces are either wet or contain gravel.
- Avoid alcohol consumption: Riding a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol is one of the leading reasons for accidents, injuries, and fatalities. If you plan on drinking, make other transportation arrangements.
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When a motorcycle or a specific part on a motorcycle is found to be defective, there is usually a safety recall issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or by the manufacturer of the motorcycle itself. After a recall is declared, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to notify the owners and replace the vehicle, make repairs to the current vehicle, or refund the owner.
If parts are defective and a recall order is not properly issued, or the part leads to a crash, you may have a valid product liability claim. Legal action may be taken against the manufacturer, and you can recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Product liability claims, especially those involving auto defects, can be complex and exhaustive. That’s why you need a relentless legal team with a proven track record of getting injured riders the compensation they deserve
- Your Motorcycle Safety Guide for Summer
- Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet Can Save Your Life
- Fleeing North Carolina Driver Causes Fatal Motorcycle Accident
- Traffic Safety Facts - Motorcycles
- Motorcycle Crashes - Insurance Information Institute
- Motorcycles - National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
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