Motorcycles are popular throughout the Mooresville area and across North Carolina. While most riders are able to enjoy their time on their bikes without any problems, it is crucial for every rider to acknowledge the risks they face on the road and the inherent dangers that motorcycles present. A motorcycle does not have the same safety features as a standard enclosed passenger car, such as airbags, seatbelts, or a frame that absorbs crash impacts. Additionally, motorcyclists are almost always thrown from their bikes when struck by other vehicles, leading to additional injuries from the impact of hitting the ground.
If you or a family member recently sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident that someone else caused, a Mooresville motorcycle accident attorney can help hold them accountable for your damages and guide you through the process of claiming compensation for the losses you suffered. You could be entitled to claim more than you might expect, and you could encounter legal challenges that you would not know how to address on your own if you tried to handle your case by yourself. Investing in the assistance of an experienced attorney can pay off tremendously, both in the final outcome of your case and the ease with which you secure your recovery.
The Law Office of William T. Corbett, Jr., P.L.L.C., has years of professional experience handling all types of motor vehicle accident claims on behalf of clients in Mooresville and surrounding communities. Attorney Corbett has successfully represented many clients in a wide range of civil cases, including motorcycle accident claims. With more than 200 jury trials on our firm’s professional record, we are confident in our team’s ability to handle the toughest motorcycle accident claims in Mooresville.
The first step of recovering from a motorcycle accident is proving fault for the accident. The state enforces the fault rule, so the driver at fault for an accident absorbs liability for the damages they inflict on others. However, the victim of the motorcycle accident must gather clear evidence showing the defendant is entirely to blame for the accident and the resulting damages. North Carolina enforces a contributory negligence rule, so any level of plaintiff fault bars them from seeking compensation from a defendant.
Motorcycle accidents can happen for many of the same reasons that all other vehicle accidents occur. However, while motorcyclists face similar risks to those facing other drivers, motorcycles offer very little physical protection in an accident, so severe or even fatal injuries are more likely. It’s possible for a motorcycle accident to happen because of negligence, or failure to use reasonable care behind the wheel. A few common examples of the types of negligence that often cause serious motorcycle accidents include:
While most of the motorcycle accidents reported in Mooresville each year happen because of negligence, it is also possible for illegal and intentional misconduct to cause these incidents. The most common examples are reckless driving and driving while intoxicated (DW.). Whenever a driver causes a serious accident by breaking the law, they face not only civil liability for the damages they inflict on others but also criminal prosecution from the state.
Penalties for reckless driving and DWI typically increase dramatically when a defendant has caused serious bodily harm or death with their actions. If your motorcycle accident was the result of any illegal misconduct, your Mooresville motorcycle accident attorney can help you understand how this may influence your recovery efforts and the total compensation you recover from the defendant.
Every driver is legally required to have auto insurance that meets basic coverage requirements for bodily injury liability and property damage liability. At a minimum, an individual policy must provide at least $30,000 to cover bodily injury to a single person and at least $60,000 for bodily injuries to multiple people. Additionally, the policy must provide at least $25,000 in property damage liability coverage to compensate the victim’s vehicle repair bills.
These coverage amounts could be sufficient to cover the damages from a minor accident, but motorcycle crashes have a high chance of resulting in catastrophic injuries and total vehicle loss. Additionally, there is no guarantee that the at-fault driver will have insurance at all. In this case, you can claim against your own policy if you have purchased uninsured motorist coverage, but if not, you must file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.
When insurance is an available recovery option after an accident, you have a much better chance of streamlining the claim process and securing an appropriate settlement offer with an attorney’s assistance. Most insurance companies will look for any reasons they can find to reduce settlement offers or outright deny claims, but an insurance claim adjuster is less likely to attempt any bad faith handling of a claim when they notice the claimant has legal counsel. Your Mooresville motorcycle accident attorney can guide you through the claim filing process and ensure you receive fair treatment from the insurance company. Once you recover as much as you can through insurance, you can proceed with a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver if their insurance cannot fully compensate your damages.
The purpose of a personal injury claim is for the plaintiff to prove fault for their damages and hold the at-fault party accountable for those damages. North Carolina law allows a plaintiff to claim full repayment of the economic losses they suffered in the incident, and this includes both immediate and future damages. Once you have secured as much compensation as possible through insurance, or if insurance is not an option after your motorcycle accident, you can file a civil suit against the at-fault driver to seek compensation for your damages. Economic losses are proven with the appropriate documentation and may include the following:
Once you calculate the total of your immediate and future economic damages that you can claim from the defendant, you may learn that your case is worth much more than you originally anticipated at the outset of your recovery efforts. However, you also have the right to seek compensation for non-economic damages.
North Carolina law does not limit pain and suffering compensation for motorcycle accident cases or other vehicle accident claims. For many plaintiffs, their pain and suffering compensation amounts to more than the total of the economic damages they recover from the defendants in their cases. Your attorney can help determine a suitable amount that reflects the time it will take you to reach maximum medical recovery from your injuries. If you suffered any catastrophic injuries causing permanent harm, this could justify a very large sum of pain and suffering compensation.
While contributory negligence will prevent you from claiming compensation for your damages, other factors in your case might enhance the final case award you obtain. Most notable of these variables is illegal misconduct. If the defendant in your case broke state law in causing the accident, they would face penalties from the state alongside their civil liability for your damages. The judge handling their criminal court sentencing has discretionary power to determine their punishments, and they may include restitution or punitive damages to you as an element of the defendant’s sentence.
Many people who need legal counsel to help them recover from their accidents in the Mooresville area are hesitant to reach out to local attorneys due to the expected high cost of attorneys’ fees. However, most of the personal injury attorneys representing clients accept these cases on a contingency fee basis.
When your Mooresville motorcycle accident attorney takes your case on contingency, you are not obligated to pay any upfront or ongoing legal fees for their representation. Instead, you pay your attorney a percentage of the final case award you obtain at the end of your case. If the attorney is unsuccessful with your claim, then you pay nothing. This billing arrangement allows a plaintiff to proceed into their case with confidence at minimal financial risk. Even after accounting for your attorney’s contingency fee, your final case award is likely to outshine any result you could have obtained on your own.
If you must file a personal injury claim to recover from your recent motorcycle accident, you might be worried about protracted courtroom proceedings. However, most of the civil claims filed do not go to court and are instead resolved through private settlement. As long as the defendant accepts liability for the accident, it benefits them to seek a swift settlement to minimize their legal expenses. As long as the plaintiff and the defendant are able to reach a mutually acceptable set of terms, they can resolve their case in a fraction of the time that litigation would likely require.
Unfortunately, settlement is not always possible for every civil suit. If the defendant in your case refuses to accept liability or if you cannot reach a mutual agreement, you will need to resolve the case through litigation. Attorney Corbett is an experienced litigator and will provide the ongoing support you will need in litigation, if necessary, to resolve your motorcycle accident claim.
The Law Office of William T. Corbett, Jr., P.L.L.C., has years of experience handling complex personal injury cases for clients in Mooresville and surrounding communities. You have a limited time in which to file a personal injury claim and an even shorter window in which you can file an auto insurance claim after a motorcycle accident. It’s important to reach out to an attorney you can trust as soon as possible to have the greatest chance of success with your claim, so contact The Law Office of William T. Corbett, Jr., P.L.L.C., today to schedule a free consultation with a Mooresville motorcycle accident attorney to start working toward your recovery.