Although motorcycles make up only three percent of registered vehicles in the United States, motorcycle riders face a disproportionate risk in an accident. The NHTSA reports that compared to passenger car occupants, motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured and 26 times more likely to be killed.
Unlike passenger cars or trucks, motorcycles offer the rider very little in terms of protection. As a motorcycle accident victim, you are significantly more likely to have serious injuries. A motorcycle crash could leave you with long-lasting injuries or a permanent disability that keeps you out of work and requires expensive long-term care. At Parrott Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers will fight for your right to receive a fair payment for your lost wages and medical bills, so you can stop worrying about finances and focus on getting better. Please contact us to arrange a complimentary personal injury case evaluation.
When to Call a Raleigh Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
It’s important to contact a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as you are able to after the accident. When it comes to preserving evidence and conducting a thorough investigation, time is of the essence. With an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer on your side, you stand a much greater chance of winning your motorcycle accident case. A capable attorney will help you understand your options and recover the greatest settlement possible.
What Your Motorcycle Accident Attorney Will Do
Because motorcycles can be risky, insurance companies are often quick to blame motorcyclists for accidents. Doing so helps the insurance company profit by paying as little as possible to motorcycle accident victims and motorcycle policyholders. To ensure you get a fair settlement, it’s important to consult with a personal injury lawyer before you accept an insurer’s offer.
When you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, fighting insurance companies or defending yourself in court should be the last thing on your mind. During this difficult and stressful time, your attorney will help you every step of the way. You can expect that your motorcycle accident lawyer will:
- Investigate the accident and consult with expert witnesses
- Help you understand your rights under North Carolina law
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Help you estimate the long-term effects of your injuries and the resulting medical costs
- Determine if a settlement offer is fair, or if the insurance company is trying to take advantage of you
- Represent you in court, if necessary
- Fight for the best possible settlement, so you don’t have to worry about financial hardship while you heal
Common Motorcycle Collision Injuries
Injuries that stem from motorcycle accidents are often critical in nature. Motorcycle riders are more likely to suffer multiple injuries in a crash, as well as significant emotional trauma. Common motorcycle injuries include:
- Head Injuries: Injuries to the head, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), are the leading cause of death and serious injury in motorcycle accidents, according to the NHTSA.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: A sudden impact to the back or spine can cause debilitating and often permanent injury, including numbness, paralysis, paraplegia, and quadriplegia.
- Broken Bones: Being thrown off a bike may cause a motorcycle rider to suffer broken bones or other orthopedic injuries. Broken bones are traumatic and painful, with a long and difficult recovery time.
- Road Rash: Abrasive road surfaces, such as pavement, gravel, sand, or dirt, can bruise and shred a biker’s skin in a motorcycle crash.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are often fatal. If a loved one has been killed in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to seek justice and financial security with a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death settlement can help you pay for the deceased’s medical expenses and funeral and burial costs, as well as help compensate you for loss of income, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering.
Contributing Factors in Motorcycle Accidents
According to the NHTSA, over half (51%) of fatal motorcycle accidents involve a crash with another motor vehicle. Of those, nearly three quarters (74%) are head-on collisions. Nearly half of fatal two-vehicle motorcycle accidents occur when a vehicle making a left turn strikes a motorcyclist who is going straight or overtaking another vehicle.
Compared to other types of vehicles, motorcycles are more likely to collide with fixed objects. Crashes with a fixed or stationary object that isn’t another vehicle, such as a tree, traffic barrier, or utility pole, make up 22% of fatal motorcycle accidents. This may be in part attributable to poor road conditions, such as rain, snow, ice, or debris, which would cause a motorcycle rider to lose control of the bike.
The NHTSA has also found that speeding is more likely to be a factor in fatal motorcycle accidents than with other types of vehicles. Approximately one-third of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes are exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions.
Drinking and driving also factor in motorcycle accidents more than in any other type of vehicle accident. In fatal crashes, 27% of motorcyclists were under the influence of alcohol, compared to 23% of car drivers and 21% of light truck drivers. Drunk drivers are also less likely to notice a motorcyclist on the road or react in time, leading to a collision.
Drivers of cars and trucks who fail to check their blind spots could strike a motorcycle. Although North Carolina law does not expressly forbid lane splitting, where a motorcycle rider drives between two lanes of cars, the practice is not without its dangers. Most drivers do not expect motorcycles to pass between lanes, and so they could unintentionally sideswipe the motorcyclist while changing lanes.
Get Help with Your Motorcycle Accident Claim – Contact Parrott Law Firm for a Free Consultation
Your Raleigh motorcycle accident attorneys at Parrott Law Firm understand the legal, medical, financial, and emotional impacts a motorcycle accident can have on you and your family, and we are committed to providing expert and compassionate legal representation to the victims of motorcycle accidents. Please contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.