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Asheville Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

While some accidents involving motor vehicles can be minor, that isn’t the case for motorcycle crashes. When a motorcyclist is in a collision with another vehicle, the biker usually sustains the greatest amount of injuries. This is due to the fact that bikers have very little protection surrounding them in case of an accident.

When someone else was at fault for the crash, injured motorcyclists can claim compensation for their losses from the driver and from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. These claims can be extremely complicated, though.

Any biker who wishes to seek compensation should speak an Asheville motorcycle accident lawyer who can help them. Contact The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC now for a free consultation about your rights and legal options.

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Why Are Motorcycle Accident Claims More Complicated?...

While it’s true that any accident claim may come with some complications, this is especially true for accidents that involve motorcycles. This is for several reasons – and they all work against you when you’re trying to make a fair claim. That’s why you need a lawyer who will fight for you.

Bikers today still face a great deal of bias. Jurors, judges, and insurance companies continue to see bikers as reckless and aggressive people that don’t have any regard for their safety or the safety of others. Of course, this is not true. Motorcyclists are some of the most cautious people on the road. As unfair as the stereotypes may be, you can count on the at-fault driver’s insurance company to use anti-biker prejudice to their advantage. Don’t let them!

Many jurors and judges also often don’t know how a motorcycle handles. Bikes work very differently from cars. Bikers must adjust for changes in the roads such as sharp turns and get to a speed that increases stability. Jurors aren’t aware of this and may see these safe driving habits as reckless behavior. In order for them to understand, an attorney must explain to them how a bike handles.

One of the biggest complications in motorcycle accident cases is that the injuries are far more severe than those from a crash involving only cars. You cannot settle a claim until you know the full extent of your losses. Typically you won’t know this until several months after your accident. This can make cases drag out and become much more complicated than an accident involving two cars.

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Bruce was professional and efficient in representing me. He took on my case when other attorney’s would not. — B. Freeman

What You Need to Know About Proving Fault in NC

In order to successfully recover damages in a North Carolina motorcycle accident case, you will need to prove that the other party was negligent. Due to North Carolina’s contributory negligence laws, you will also likely need to prove that you were in no way at fault for the wreck. Contributory negligence laws in Asheville state that if you were even 1 percent to blame for your accident, you are barred from recovering any compensation.

When proving negligence you will have to show that the other driver owed you a duty of care. This is often fairly easy, as all drivers and bikers owe each other a duty to behave in a manner that keeps everyone safe. You must then prove that the other party breached that duty, or was negligent. A negligent action could be a failure to follow traffic laws, posted signage, or driving in a reckless manner, such as speeding. Lastly, you must prove that the negligent behavior caused the accident that resulted in your injuries, and that you have suffered losses as a result.

Compensation for Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident

When you file a motorcycle accident claim, you are asking the court to order the at-fault parties to pay you compensation for your losses from the accident.

In a motorcycle accident lawsuit, you can seek compensation for damages such as:

  • Medical costs
  • The cost of repairing or replacing your bike
  • Lost income and loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Emotional distress

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Asheville

Being involved in a motorcycle accident is very scary, and accident victims don’t often know what to do next. It’s important that any biker understands the proper steps to take after an accident. What happens in the moments following a crash could greatly affect your claim for compensation after the accident.

Once everyone involved has safely moved themselves and their vehicles out of the roadway, you need to exchange information with all drivers involved in the accident. Write down their names, addresses, phone numbers, licenses numbers, and insurance information. You can use the camera on your phone to snap pictures of their documents such as their driver’s license and insurance card. If there were witnesses to the accident, also get their contact information.

In North Carolina, it is required by law to report any accident that results in death, bodily injury, or property damage. When an officer arrives at the scene, write down the name and badge number. Also make sure that they document any damage including your injuries, damage to your bike, and anything else, such as torn clothing.

While waiting for the police to arrive, document the scene as much as possible. Take down the location of the accident, the nearest intersection or mile marker, how the accident happened, where the accident happened, and when the accident happened. Make note of the road conditions, speed limits, the weather conditions, lighting, and the direction the vehicles involved were traveling in. If you are too injured to do this yourself, ask a bystander if they can help you.

After the police tell you it’s okay to leave the scene, you then must get medical treatment as soon as possible. This is not only to ensure your injuries are treated swiftly, but also to protect your claim. If your injuries required emergency treatment, it is quite likely that you would have been taken by ambulance to the ER before dealing with the police or completing other steps on this list.

Once your injuries have been treated and stabilized, you need to speak to a motorcycle accident attorney in Asheville. The insurance company of the at-fault driving will contact you very soon, and you don’t want to speak to them without having legal representation first.

Tips for Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Motorcycle Crash

In addition to trying to recover physically from your injuries and dealing with medical bills, the insurance adjuster presents another stressful component of motorcycle accidents. Interactions with adjusters are tricky because they are trying to find any way to blame you for the accident. If they are successful, they could deny your claim altogether. To prevent this from happening, you need to keep the following tips in mind.

First, stay organized at all times. Immediately after your accident, you should start compiling an accident file. In this you should keep any paperwork, documentation, and records relating to the accident and the damages you suffered. You should also record all doctor’s visits, medications you are taking, any time lost from work, and journal entries about your injuries and how they are impacting your life.

One of the most important parts of this file is the correspondence you receive from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This can include letters, emails, and even phone conversations. If you speak to an adjuster on the phone, make sure to take note of the time and date that you spoke, who you spoke to, and the details of what was discussed. This will help you later in case the insurance adjuster says something inaccurate, such as that you never told them about the full extent of your injuries.

Also, while it’s okay to talk about your accident with certain people such as your family and friends, it’s never a good idea to talk about it on social media. In fact, you should stay off social media completely while your claim is pending. Insurance companies will do anything to protect themselves from paying out large settlements, including combing through your social media profiles. For example, if you claimed that you suffered a back injury during the accident and you post a picture of yourself carrying your two-year-old niece, the insurance company will use this against you.

Lastly, always speak with an attorney before talking to any insurance adjuster or representative, particularly one from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies have many tricks they use to avoid paying out on accident claims, and an attorney is familiar with all of them.

A lawyer will offer you solid advice such as never providing a recorded statement to the insurance company, never admitting fault, and saying as little as possible to the adjuster when they call. An attorney can even speak to the insurance company on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry about falling for their tricks.

How Our Asheville Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Can Help

In addition to dealing with the insurance company for you, there are many ways an attorney can help with your motorcycle accident claim.

Independently investigating the accident to determine who was truly at fault is but one way attorneys are particularly helpful. An attorney will understand how to prove someone else was to blame for the accident and will collect the necessary evidence to prove it to a court.

An attorney will also help by preparing all the necessary documents for your case. These documents may include medical bills, loss of earnings statements, demand letters, and more. This paperwork is very confusing to accident victims, but personal injury attorneys handle it every day. They know what paperwork is important to your case, and will not only explain it all to you, but take care of all the filing and procedural rules associated with it.

Finally, an attorney brings a lot of bargaining power to the table with them. They’ll negotiate with both the insurance company and at-fault driver to seek the full amount of compensation you deserve.

Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents

Due to the fact that bikers have such little protection when compared with occupants of cars, they sustain some of the worst types of injuries when they are in an accident. Some of the most common injuries in motorcycle accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Severe burns
  • Limb amputations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Nerve damage
  • Road rash
  • Facial fractures
  • Disfigurement

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Western North Carolina

Anytime a biker is on the road with other vehicles, an accident can occur in a variety of ways. There are also some causes of motorcycle accidents that are more common, such as:

  • Drivers making unsafe lane changes
  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to “share the road”
  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Suddenly stopping in front of a motorcycle
  • Left turn accidents
  • Motorcycle defects
  • Poor road conditions

Contact Our Asheville Motorcycle Accident Attorneys for Legal Help

Motorcyclists have very little protection on the road. This is why the injuries from a motorcycle accident are often catastrophic. No one should try to handle an accident claim on their own while trying to recover from these injuries. Instead, they should speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer in Asheville who can help.

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash that wasn’t your fault, contact The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC. You could be eligible for compensation, and we want to help you seek it. Time might be running out, so don’t wait another minute. Contact us today so we can begin reviewing your case in a free consultation.

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