Skilled Charlotte Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
North Carolina injury attorneys representing those injured in motorcycle accidents since 1992
If you have been injured in a motorcycle collision, your mind may be full of questions. When can I go back to work? How will we pay the bills in the meantime? How bad are my injuries really, and how long will they take to heal? Will there be permanent damage? What happened? Who caused the accident? What type of insurance coverage is available?
If these questions sound familiar, you’re not alone. Victims of motorcycle accidents are often left wondering how to cope with the aftermath of a crash. Attorneys Jeff Warren and Chris Kallianos have devoted their entire legal practice to helping injured people and their families secure the compensation they deserve. With 58 years of combined legal practice, the personal injury attorneys at Warren & Kallianos have secured many significant verdicts and settlements for seriously injured individuals, including victims of motorcycle accidents. Just a few examples of the motor vehicle accident awards we’ve obtained for our clients include:
- $675,000 settlement for a motorcyclist who suffered lower extremity fractures when her legs were run over by the rear wheel of a tractor-trailer.
- $615,000 settlement for a motorcyclist who sustained a head injury and leg fracture when a vehicle turned left in front of him causing a collision.
- $275,000 settlement for a motorcyclist who sustained a back injury when he was hit by a dump truck in a highway work zone.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The inattention of other drivers, poor road conditions, and even a defect in the motorcycle itself are among the leading factors in motorcycle crashes. Here are the most common types of motorcycle accidents and what causes them:
- The Left Hook. The motorcyclist is attempting to go straight through an intersection when a car coming from the opposite direction turns left in front of or into the motorcycle. This accident is nearly always caused by driver inattention: the driver was not looking carefully enough and missed seeing the motorcycle.
- The Sideswipe. The motorcyclist is riding in traffic when a car veers into the lane the bike is occupying. Again, this accident is most often caused by the driver failing to check thoroughly for motorcycles before changing lanes, or by a distracted or intoxicated driver who negligently changes lanes.
- The Rear-Ender. The motorcyclist stops at a stop sign, red light, or crosswalk, only to be struck from behind by a car that didn’t stop in time. While these accidents may often amount to “fender-benders” when they occur between two cars, the same accident in which a car hits a motorcyclist can be fatal for the motorcyclist and any passengers on the bike. And, like other rear-end accidents, they frequently result from driver distraction, intoxication, or behaviors that prevent the driver from keeping control of the vehicle, like speeding.
- The Door Prize. The motorcyclist is passing through a traffic lane beside a line of parked cars when someone in one of the cars opens the door directly in the motorcyclist’s path. Drivers frequently fail to check the car’s mirrors before they open their doors – which can spell disaster for a motorcyclist.
- The Pileup. The motorcyclist is out riding with a group when a biker at the front of the group stops suddenly. Those behind are either not paying attention or are riding too close to stop safely, and in an instant, the entire group is in a collision. Motorcyclists who don’t know how to ride in a proper “staggered” formation or who aren’t paying close attention as they ride can be as dangerous to their fellow bikers as distracted or drunk drivers.
- The Wipeout. The motorcyclist comes around a blind corner to find a pothole or a patch of sand, gravel, leaves, or other debris directly in his or her path. The front tire hits it, and the motorcycle slides out of control. While more cautious driving around corners can give you time to avoid these kinds of obstacles, it’s important to determine whether negligent roadway care or maintenance caused the obstacle to exist in the first place.
What to Do If You Suffered a Motorcycle Accident
If you’re in a motorcycle accident, here’s how to protect yourself and your rights:
- Get off the Road. Move out of the traffic lane as quickly as you can if you are not too injured to do so. However, remember that moving someone who is suffering from head, neck, or back pain – including an unconscious person who may have a head or spine injury – can be more dangerous than leaving them in place. Use flares, bright or reflective objects, or the lights on a motorcycle or car to warn oncoming traffic about the accident.
- Call for Medical Help. If anyone was injured in the accident, even slightly, call 911 for medical assistance. Contacting the police can also help, as law enforcement can make an accident report and gather information that may be useful in establishing what happened.
- Gather Information. If you can, get the contact information and insurance information of the driver who hit you. Gathering contact information from any witnesses who saw the crash or stopped to help can also help you determine what happened and support your claim for compensation.
- Keep Your Doctor’s Appointments. Be careful to keep every appointment your doctor schedules, including appointments for testing or visits with specialists. These appointments will help you reach the best possible outcome in your healing process and establish the course and impact of your injuries. If you can’t make an appointment because you are in too much pain, make sure the doctor knows that.
- Don’t Admit You’re at Fault. Even if you think the accident was your fault, don’t say so at the scene. In the moments following a crash, you simply don’t have all the information. Instead, gather contact information, take photos, and get the medical care you need. Your lawyer can help you figure out who or what was really at fault – and it may not be you at all.
What Can a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Do to Help My Case?
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will begin by gathering all the details about the accident. As a part of the investigation into the true cause of the crash and who is at fault, your attorney may work with accident reconstruction experts and other specialists. Your lawyer may talk with witnesses, law enforcement and others who have information about the crash. Your lawyer can take steps to preserve important evidence before it “disappears.” Your lawyer may consult with medical and economic experts to calculate the full extent of your losses. Your Charlotte personal injury lawyer will look for all available sources of insurance. These are just a few examples of the background work your auto accident lawyer may take in preparation for assertive settlement negotiations and a potential court case.
What Compensation is Available for Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
The types of compensation and the amount of money you may recover will depend on the unique aspects of your situation, such as the severity of your injuries, the amount of your other damages, legal issues, and the amount of insurance coverage available. However, there are some general categories of damages that you may be entitled to claim, such as:
- Payment of all related medical bills, including those for future treatments.
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity.
- Compensation for your pain, suffering, and emotional distress due to the crash.
- The cost to repair or replace your motorcycle.
- Punitive damages in cases of exceptional misconduct on the part of the at-fault party.
If a motorcycle accident caused the death of a close relative, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and other losses.
The statute of limitations on motorcycle accident cases in North Carolina is 3 years from the date of the injury, so it’s best to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Motorcycle Injury Today
At Warren & Kallianos, our motorcycle accident lawyers are dedicated to helping injured motorcyclists and their families to seek full compensation for their losses. We understand the unique challenges that bikers face in the courtroom, which is why we begin our work on your case with a thorough investigation of the circumstances. To find out how motorcycle accident attorneys Jeff Warren and Chris Kallianos can help you, call 704-377-7777 or contact us today for a free claim review.