It’s a nice, warm Spring day and you’re out catching the breeze and some throttle time on the open highway. Suddenly, a large SUV to your right merges across three lanes of traffic and collides into your right side knocking you off your bike and onto the median at a high-speed, sending your body into a violent roll. In the blink of an eye, your entire life may have changed due to the fault of the careless driver who hit you. After this type of car accident, you’ll likely face a long road to recovery that may entail among other issues, medical treatment, medications, physical therapy, lost wages, emotional distress and other compensable damages. If this is the case, it’s important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your jurisdiction at the soonest moment possible so that you can preserve your case and get the most out of your personal injury claim. At Biazzo & Panchenko Law, our motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help you 24/7. Call us at anytime and we can even come to you!
If you ride a motorcycle, you know that time and time again you will catch drivers who don’t see you. Whether they are merging lanes, slamming on their brakes in front of you, or pulling out of a parking spot nearby, you should constantly be anticipating the potential actions and inactions of others. Too many drivers today have their faces buried in their phones instead of focused on the road, and they often become distracted with deep conversations, good music and with fussing children in their backseats. As a biker, you know too well that you are often too small of a silhouette to be seen by drivers on the road. Other car accidents involving motorcycles occur when drivers are intoxicated and fatigued and when they fail to see or stop for motorcycles. Meanwhile, other car accidents with motorcycles are caused by drivers who misjudge the speed of a motorcycle, drivers who tailgate motorcycles, and by drivers who are speeding with road rage who attempt to intimidate people on motorcycles. While motorcyclists frequently appear to be the victims in car accidents involving motorcycles, keep in mind that as a biker, you also have a duty to obey all traffic laws, signs and to maintain a proper lookout while you’re out on two wheels. Also keep in mind the optics that a jury may see if you’re involved in an accident that results in litigation. Many people who could serve on a jury to ultimately decide your compensation from an accident may have strong preconceived notions about people who ride motorcycles, and assumptions that motorcyclists always speed and ride recklessly, so it is important that you follow the law when you ride. For example, always wear a proper motorcycle helmet.N.C.G.S. § 20-140.4(a)(2) states, “No person shall operate a motorcycle or moped upon a highway or public vehicular area unless the operator and all passengers thereon wear on their heads, with a retention strap properly secured, safety helmets of a type that complies with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218.” It’s also important to keep in mind that North Carolina is one of the few remaining “Contributory Negligence” states, which generally means that if you are even just slightly responsible for causing your own injuries in a personal injury matter, you are generally, completely barred from receiving any compensation for your injuries and other compensable damages from others who may have contributed to causing your injuries. For more information, check out our (Contributory Negligence blog). So remember to follow the law when you’re out riding, stay alert and do things like the following instructions to preserve your potential personal injury claim when you’re two wheeling on the open road, in case you ever have the unfortunate chance of being involved in a car accident as a motorcyclist. (1) Always wear a proper helmet; (2) Wear bright color clothing and reflective biker jackets with padding and plates to absorb hard falls from your bike; (3) Wear reflective traffic vests and white clothing when riding at night; Wear closed toe boots when riding; (4) Don’t wear headphones; and (5) Never drink and ride. Get an Uber.
If you’re involved in a car accident, whether you’re a motorcyclist or a driver struck by another driver, you should always call 911 and report the accident so that a police report documenting the accident that you will need to process your personal injury claim is generated and so that the accident scene is secured. Next step up from the ground if you are safe and you can do so safely without causing any further injuries to yourself and if you don’t have your bike on top of you, or step out of your car if it’s safe to do so and you are physically able to. Take photos of the accident scene, any damage to your car or bike and the other vehicle or vehicles involved, any deployed airbags, and any visible physical injuries you or other people have. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved and get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident and look for any cameras nearby, such as traffic cameras or security cameras that may have captured the accident and keep a record of where those cameras are located. Next seek any necessary medical treatment that you may need. Take a trip to the emergency room, urgent care, a chiropractor or whatever you think or wherever an ambulance crew tells you to go or takes you to. Finally, contact a licensed car accident lawyer in your jurisdiction as soon as possible and don’t make any statements to any insurance companies until you have discussed your case with a personal injury attorney.
We strongly encourage you to seek the advice of a licensed North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney at the earliest stage possible after the incident resulting in your injuries. At Biazzo & Panchenko Law, we are prepared to negotiate a settlement for you or file a lawsuit and pursue your case through a jury verdict if warranted, to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact Biazzo & Panchenko Law today to schedule your free Motorcycle Accident consultation with one of our accident attorneys. This blog is not to be construed as legal advice.