Before purchasing your first motorcycle or pursuing a motorcycle license, familiarize yourself with North Carolina’s laws for motorcyclists. In addition to several laws around passing tests for a motorcycle license, you will need to purchase a certified motorcycle safety helmet. 

A standard driver’s license does not permit you to operate a motorcycle in North Carolina. You must obtain a motorcycle learner’s permit. To be eligible, you must be 18 years of age or older and have a regular driver’s license. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 must at least have a provisional license and parental or guardian approval.

To earn a motorcycle learner’s permit, you must pass three tests:

  1. Vision test
  2. Road sign test
  3. Knowledge test

North Carolina motorcycle helmet laws

Once you’ve passed your test and have a motorcycle learner’s permit, you’ll need to be prepared to follow the rules of the road. This includes wearing a helmet while operating a motorcycle. The helmet must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218

Just having an approved helmet is not enough though. You must keep the chin strap fastened while operating a motorcycle in North Carolina. 

North Carolina motorcycle safety equipment laws

Helmets are not the only protective gear available for motorcyclists. You can also purchase other safety equipment to protect yourself during your rides. 

This safety equipment is not required under North Carolina law. However, it’s always a good idea to protect yourself as best as you can. While you might be a very safe rider, you never know what another driver on the road might do while near you.

Additional motorcycle safety equipment includes:

  • Goggles or a face shield attached to your helmet
  • Boots that are sturdy enough to protect your feet in case of an accident
  • Thick gloves to protect your hands and improve your grip of the handlebars
  • Leather jacket or similar synthetic material thick enough to protect you
  • Thick pants that cover your entire legs as wearing shorts is never recommended while riding

Preparing your motorcycle for safe riding

To be able to ride your motorcycle on North Carolina streets, you must ensure it complies with state laws concerning safety measures. These safety measures include ensuring your bike has all of the following:

  • Visible license plate, even at night
  • Horn that is loud enough that other motorists can hear it from 200 feet away
  • Rearview mirror
  • Exhaust system to protect you from harmful fuels
  • Headlight that is constantly on and enables you to see at least 200 feet ahead of you at all times, day or night
  • A working speedometer
  • Rear red light that is always on, day or night and that other drivers can see from 500 feet away
  • Rear brake light drivers can see from at least 100 feet away
  • Footrest for passengers

The goal of all of these safety measures is to prevent a motorcycle accident. So, when you review your motorcycle’s safety regularly, you’re ensuring that it is both compliant with the state’s laws and ready to protect you in case of an accident.

When to contact a North Carolina motorcycle accident attorney

Despite your best preparations and safety measures when riding a motorcycle, you still might be the victim of an accident. Sadly, some motorists don’t give motorcycles the respect and space they deserve and need.

Safety measures help mitigate the effects of a motorcycle accident, but many cannot eliminate the risk entirely. So, if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should contact an attorney. Your attorney will review your options with you and ensure that your financial damages from an accident are not far-reaching. Contact Robert Louis Armstrong Personal Injury Attorney to learn how we can file a lawsuit to protect you after a motorcycle accident.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there are nearly 5,000 motorcycle accidents reported throughout the state every year.

Although this number should be shocking, it unfortunately doesn’t include the number of accidents that go unreported, and even worse, many of the offenders of these crashes are never caught.

Hit-and-run accidents, where a driver hits a vehicle, motorcycle, or pedestrian and flees the scene of the crime, are a growing problem for North Carolina drivers. And they can be even more devastating for motorcyclists, who are much more vulnerable on the roads.

This blog discusses some of the laws and duties that apply to hit-and-run accidents in North Carolina, as well as steps you can take if you’re involved or witness a hit-and-run.

It’s important to note at the outset, however, that if you or a loved one are involved in a hit-and-run, it’s crucial to have a qualified and experienced attorney on your side as soon as possible.

Duty to Stop

As noted above, a hit-and-run accident involves drivers that hit other drivers, motorcyclists or pedestrians, then flee the scene without rendering aid or calling police.

The reasons an at-fault driver flees can vary:

  • being under the influence
  • fearing arrest
  • having no insurance
  • committing another crime while the accident occurred (reckless driving, speeding, distracted driving)
  • feeling shocked and panicked

However, when a vulnerable motorcyclist is struck by a much larger vehicle, it can be a matter of life and death to ensure they are treated immediately after the collision.

Because even minutes can potentially save a life of a motorcyclist that has been stuck, North Carolina imposes a so-called “duty to stop.”

Under this law (North Carolina General Statutes § 20-166), any driver who knows or reasonably should know that he or she caused an accident that caused injury or death to another person must stay at the scene until a law enforcement officer arrives, completes an investigation and lets the driver leave.

Drivers that willfully fail to stop in such a circumstance may face a Class H felony if the accident causes death or serious injury, or a Class F felony if other injury results.

Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run

Hit-and-run accidents are one of the leading causes of automotive death in the state.

This is primarily due to the fact that although many people may have survived if they were issued medical care right away, because the offender chooses to flee, this care comes much too late.

Here are the important steps to take immediately after a hit-and-run accident:

  1. The first thing you should do if you are involved or witness a hit-and-run accident is call the police. The sooner you call 911, the better the chance the police will catch the offender, and the quicker medical aid can be provided.
  2. After you have called the authorities, you should then notify your insurance company. You should tell them as soon as possible that you have been involved in a hit and run accident, and that you have sought medical attention. Unfortunately, many insurance companies require that you notify them within a “reasonable time” after the accident, and may deny any claim that they believe was reported too late.
  3. Finally, you should seek medical attention. Although many hit-and-run accidents require immediate care, others require long-term care well after the accident. For the sake of your health and any potential claim in the future, you will want to see your doctor right away and have them examine you to determine if you have any injuries not immediately identified at the crash. If you wait to see your doctor, an insurance company may claim that you were not hurt in the accident, or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.

Available Legal Options

Due to the nature of hit-and-run accidents, your legal options may vary depending on the circumstances.

Because of this, it’s important to consult a qualified attorney as soon as possible after the crash for the following reasons:

  • An attorney can discuss any legal options with you, and act as your representative for the insurance companies immediately afterward.
  • If the police catch the driver that fled, you will likely be able to pursue compensation for any bodily injury or property damage through their liability insurance. Your attorney can help you with this.
  • Similarly, your attorney can help you establish negligence on the part of the other driver if they were violating any law when the crash occurred, such as speeding, driving while intoxicated, or driving recklessly.
  • Your attorney can also help you decide what to do if the offender does not have insurance. (Typically, you’ll file an uninsured motorist claim. This claim will cover your losses up to your personal insurance policy limits.)
  • Additionally, if the police cannot catch the offender, your attorney can direct you on your next best moves. You may also be able to file a hit-and-run accident claim through your uninsured motorist insurance.

Contact Robert Armstrong Today

Hit-and-run accidents can be extremely stressful and terrifying for those involved. Because of the frequent need for immediate care, it’s vital that you alert the authorities as soon as possible after any accident. Moreover, due to the legal complexities and potential legal options that are available, it’s also important to have an experienced attorney on your side.

Get in touch with the law offices of Robert Armstrong so that we help you navigate this legal area and help protect your rights.

Being a part of any accident — particularly a motorcycle accident — is scary, and it can be difficult to do once the initial shock has subsided.

Here are some important steps to take and immediate things to consider if you find yourself in this position after a motorcycle accident:

  1. Do you have insurance?

Everyone that owns a vehicle in North Carolina must have a minimum amount of insurance coverage — and motorcycles are no exception. Whether you have insurance and the type of coverage you have will be important to your case. (Learn more about motorcycle insurance in North Carolina here.)

  1. Were you hurt?

If you have an injury, get to the hospital, doctor, or urgent care immediately! Don’t just try to push through the pain – sometimes injuries get worse or can’t heal on their own, and even a minor accident has the potential to cause serious whiplash or even a brain injury. Be sure to tell the doctor what happened to you, and make any recommended follow-up appointments or tests. (Learn more about accident injuries and what to do with your medical information here.)

  1. Take pictures of the scene

A picture is worth a thousand words. Get pictures at the scene of the damage to your vehicle and the vehicle who hit you (as well as any other vehicles that were involved). You can also take pictures of the scene where the accident happened, as well as any injuries that occurred to you or your passengers. These will be helpful later. If you’ve got photo evidence, no one on the other side can claim that “it wasn’t that bad.”

  1. Collect contact information

Gather the names and contact information of any witnesses to the crash, as well as the information of the other driver(s). You should collect the other driver(s)’s insurance information, as well. Once the police arrive on the scene, get the officer(s)’s name and badge numbers, too. You want to be have all of that information on hand for your attorney.

  1. Do not let insurance adjuster talk to or record you

You’re going to get a call from the other driver’s insurance company — maybe even before you hire a lawyer. They might try to make you feel like you have to talk to them, but you do not.  Their goal is to trick you into indicating your damages or injuries aren’t as bad as they truly are. It’s especially important not to talk to them or give a recorded statement while on medication or in the hospital.

  1. You’ll need compelling evidence

Because insurance companies are for-profit companies, they look for any reason they can find to dispute motorcycle claims and make unreasonably low settlement offers. Some things you should have on hand to present as evidence to help with your case include:

    1. Medical records that document your injuries, treatment, and functional limitations
    2. Estimates of your need for future medical treatment
    3. Witness statements
    4. Accident reports, crash investigation data, and accident reconstructions
    5. Lost income calculations
    6. Engineering assessments of defective car and motorcycle parts
    7. Documentation of how your quality of life changed after the crash

Contact Attorney Robert Armstrong today

If you or someone you love has been in a motorcycle accident, the process of dealing with insurance companies and potentially a court case can feel very overwhelming. Contact Attorney Robert Armstrong to help you with your case.

As most of us that own a vehicle know, auto insurance can be a complex issue that everyone must endure. It’s also well known that everyone that owns a vehicle in North Carolina must have a minimum amount of insurance coverage. However, many people may not know what type of insurance is required for motorcycles. 

Although it’s typically best to contact your insurance agency directly, this article will guide you through some of the insurance requirements in North Carolina, and help you get a better understanding of what insurance you need, and why. 

Mandatory Limits and Miscellaneous Endorsement

Under North Carolina motor vehicle law, all operators of motorcycles and motor scooters are required to purchase liability insurance for their vehicles. This means that a valid insurance card must be kept with any motorcycle or scooter at all times. 

Liability insurance helps pay for bodily injuries and property damage for which you may be responsible for. Liability insurance is important for all vehicle owners because the costs stemming from any accident can increase significantly, whether it involves a person or property. In North Carolina, all motorcycle and scooter owners must maintain the following minimum coverage:

  • $30,000 bodily injury for each person
  • $60,000 total bodily injury for all persons in an accident
  • $25,000 for property damage

A nuance in Motor Vehicle Law in North Carolina is referred to as the “Miscellaneous Type Vehicle Endorsement.” Under this endorsement, motorcycles along with golf carts, travel trailers and similar types of vehicles are covered by the endorsement when attached to the owners’ Personal Automobile Policy. The endorsement will allow your vehicle to be considered a covered vehicle and extends insurance coverages to your motorcycle named in the policy declarations.

Additional Coverage Options 

In addition to the required liability coverage for motorcycle owners, other coverages such as medical payments, collision/comprehensive, and combined uninsured/underinsured motorists are also options in North Carolina. 

Medical payments coverage does not apply in the State of North Carolina as far as motorcycles are concerned. 

Collison coverage means you are covered for any physical damage to your motorcycle that is caused by impact from another vehicle. Similarly, comprehensive (often called Other than Collision) coverage will cover additional damage arising from hail, theft, fire, falling objects, etc.   

One of the more popular coverage options is called Uninsured or Underinsured motorists coverage. Under this policy you are protected when an uninsured driver, who is at-fault, injures you or another individual that is covered. It also covers you if you are injured by a driver that is underinsured, meaning their liability coverage are less than your uninsured/underinsured limits, and are not enough to cover the losses of the people they injure in an at-fault accident. 

Finding the right insurance coverage for your motorcycle can be a daunting and lengthy process. Aside from the requirements under North Carolina law, there are a number of options that may be the right fit for you. Although insurance companies will usually try to sell you the most expensive—and sometimes unnecessary policy—an experienced motorcycle attorney can not only help you determine your best options, but also be there in case you’re in an accident. 

Contact Robert Armstrong for a Free Consultation.

Given the vast amount of sunny days in the Tar Heel state, it’s obvious why so many riders are hitting highways like NC 74, 17 and 117. The warm weather and wind in your face make for a perfect combination for leisurely rides down Carolina’s coast. Unfortunately, this also means that there are a significant number of motorcycle-related injuries in the state. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 4,976 motorcyclists and passengers died in crashes, and with 88,000 nonfatal injuries. However, the NHTSA also estimated that helmets saved over 1,700 motorcyclists’ lives in 2018 alone. 

In addition to the requirement to wear a helmet, there are a number of motorcycle laws that riders should be aware of in North Carolina.

Below is a list of some of the more significant laws on the books:

  • All motorcyclists are required under state law to wear helmets at all times.
  • There is no age restriction for passengers of a motorcycle. In order to operate a motorcycle, you need a North Carolina driver’s license to apply for a motorcycle endorsement.
  • All motorcycles are entitled to the full use of their lane, and no other vehicle may be driven in a way that deprives the motorcycle of that full use. While motorcycles can be operated two abreast in a single lane, North Carolina law prohibits any more than two bikes in a single lane.
  • There are no restrictions in helmet speakers or headphone use. 
  • Turn signals are not required, however, they are strongly encouraged and motorcyclists should use hand signals if turn signals are not present. 
  • There are no restrictions on handlebars in the state.
  • All mufflers and exhaust system should be in good working order and remain in constant operation to prevent any unusual or excessive noise. Cutting out the muffler is not allowed, however, there are no noise restrictions for motorcycles.
  • Liability insurance is required, and insurance companies can apply to the Insurance Bureau for a discount for graduates of rider education courses.

North Carolina offers some of the most ideal whether to stretch out the bike on the open road. However, according to recent studies, motorcyclists are 27 times as likely as automobile occupants to die in an accident, and six times more likely to be insured in a traffic crash. 

Although these laws are meant to reduce any harm to motorcyclists, the fact remains that there are far too many accidents across the state. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle-related accident, it’s important to consult a qualified and experienced motorcycle attorney as soon as possible after your accident. An attorney can help you work with insurance companies and ensure that your rights are protected.

Contact Robert Armstong to schedule a free consultation.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there are nearly 5,000 motorcycle accidents reported throughout the state. Although this number should be shocking, it unfortunately doesn’t include the number of accidents that go unreported, and even worse, many of the offenders of these crashes are never caught. 

Hit-and-run accidents, where a driver hits a vehicle, motorcycle or pedestrian and flees the scene of the crime, are a growing problem for North Carolina drivers. And they can be even more devastating for motorcyclists that are much more vulnerable on the roads. 

This article discuses some of the laws and duties that apply to hit-and-run accidents in North Carolina, as well as steps you can take if you’re involved or witness a hit-and-run. It’s important to note at the outset, however, that if you or a loved one are involved in a hit-and-run, it’s crucial to have a qualified and experienced attorney on your side as soon as possible. 

Duty to Stop Law  

As noted above, a hit-and-run accident involves drivers that hit other drivers, motorcyclists or pedestrians, then flee the scene without rendering aid or calling police. The reasons for feeling can vary, from being under the influence, fearing arrest, or perhaps the mere shock of the situation sends them escaping. However, when a vulnerable motorcyclist is struck by a much larger vehicle, it can be a matter of life and death to ensure they are treated immediately after the collision. 

Because even minutes can potentially save a life of a motorcyclist that has been stuck, North Carolina imposes a so-called “duty to stop”. Under this law (North Carolina General Statutes § 20-166), any driver who knows or reasonably should know that he or she caused an accident that caused injury or death to another person must stay at the scene until a law enforcement officer arrives, completes an investigation and lets the driver leave.

Drivers that willfully fail to stop in such a circumstance may face a Class H felony if the accident causes death or serious injury, or a Class F felony if other injury results. 

Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run

Hit-and-run accidents are one of the leading causes of automotive death in the state. This is primarily due to the fact that although many people may have survived if they were issued medical care right away, because the offender chooses to flee, this care comes much too late. As such, if you are involved or witness a hit-and-run accident, the first thing you should do is call the police. The sooner you call 911, the better the chance the police will catch the offender, and the quicker medical aid can be provided. 

After you have called the authorities, you should then notify your insurance company. You should tell them as soon as possible that you have been involved in a hit and run accident, and that you have sought medical attention. Unfortunately, many insurance companies require that you notify them within a “reasonable time” after the accident, and may deny any claim that they believe was reported too late. 

Finally, you should seek medical attention. Although many hit-and-run accidents require immediate care, others require long-term care well after the accident. For the sake of your health and any potential claim in the future, you will want to see your doctor right away and have them examine you to determine if you have any injuries not immediately identified at the crash. If you wait to see your doctor, an insurance company may claim that you were not hurt in the accident, or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. 

Available Legal Options 

Due to the nature of hit-and-run accidents, your legal options may vary depending on the circumstances. Because of this, it’s important to consult a qualified attorney as soon as possible after the crash. An attorney can discuss any legal options with you, and act as your representative for the insurance companies immediately afterward. 

If the police catch the driver that fled, you will likely be able to pursue compensation for any bodily injury or property damage through their liability insurance. If the driver was violating any law when the crash occurred, such as speeding, driving while intoxicated or driving recklessly, they you may be able to establish that the driver was being negligence per se

Conversely, if the offender does not have insurance then you may be able to file an uninsured motorist claim. This claim will cover your losses up to your personal insurance policy limits. Additionally, if the police cannot catch the offender, you may also be able to file a hit-and-run accident claim through your uninsured motorist insurance. 

Hit-and-run accidents can be extremely stressful and terrifying for those involved. Because of the frequent need for immediate care, it’s vital that you alert the authorities as soon as possible after any accident. Moreover, due to the legal complexities and potential legal options that are available, it’s also important to have an experienced attorney on your side that can help you navigate this legal area and help protect your rights. 

The temperature is rising as we transition to spring.  There will be that many more motorcycles on the roads in and around Wilmington in the months to come.  Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to see bikers on the road. Be hyper-aware while behind the wheel, follow the tips detailed below and you will have done your part to prevent a potentially deadly accident with a motorcyclist.

 

Check Your Blind Spot

It is much easier for a motorcyclist to be caught in your blind spot than a regular automobile.  After all, motorcycles are comparably small so they are more likely to be difficult to see, especially when positioned in a driver’s blind spot.  The last thing you want is to hit a motorcyclist at a high rate of speed while attempting to perform a simple lane change. Be sure to check your blind spot before initiating every lane change.  Take your time, look closely for motorcyclists and do not proceed until you are certain no bikers are in the way.


Use Your Blinker to Give Motorcyclist a Heads Up

If there is a motorcyclist in your vicinity, turn on your blinker ahead of time.  Give the biker forewarning of your intention to change lanes by flicking on your blinker slightly earlier than you normally would.  This early warning of your intention to turn will give the motorcyclist plenty of time to react accordingly.

 

Be Careful When Passing 

You can pass a motorcycle similar to the way you pass regular automobiles as long as the stretch of road permits passing.  However, you should be aware of the fact that the gust of wind generated from increasing speed has the potential to cause the motorcycle to be unstable.  In fact, the biker might even be blown off the road as a result of your pass. Be sure to leave at least a couple car lengths between your vehicle and the motorcycle ahead of you as you pass.

 

Look Twice Before Executing a Left Turn 

A collision with an oncoming motorcycle has the potential to be quite severe, especially if you are executing a left turn.  The result could be a nasty t-bone accident that causes serious injury or even death. Do not cross one or several lanes of traffic for a left turn until you look twice.  Look for oncoming motorcycles as well as pedestrians, vehicles, etc.  

 

Maintain Extra Space Between Your Vehicle and Motorcyclists

Leave some extra space between your vehicle and the motorcycle ahead.  It is important for Wilmington drivers to know motorcyclists can stop quicker than car drivers.  The problem lies in the fact that motorcyclists can roll off the throttle or downshift to slow down without using the brakes.  This means the brake lights will not illuminate.  Leave additional space between your vehicle and the motorcyclist to compensate for the fact that you might not be aware of the motorcyclist’s reduced rate of speed.

 

Intersections are Especially Dangerous 

Plenty of motorcycle accidents occur at intersections.  In particular, blind intersections are especially dangerous for bikers.  Adhere to the safety protocol for the intersection without exception: come to a complete stop, obey traffic signals/signs, look each way for oncoming traffic and proceed with caution.

 

Recognize the Motorcyclist’s Rights

Some drivers errantly assume motorcyclists are required to share driving lane spaces and parking lot spaces simply because these vehicles are diminutive in stature.  Motorcycles are legally permitted to use the entirety of road/highway lanes as well as parking spots. Provide motorcyclists with ample space, give them their own lane and recognize the fact that they have just as much of a right to the road as those driving traditional automobiles.

After your motorcycle accident, you do not have time to wait—you need an attorney who will take action right away.

If you or a loved one were involved in a serious motorcycle accident, contact me for a free initial consultation about your case. My firm represents injured motorcycle riders throughout North Carolina.

To speak with our North Carolina motorcycle accident injury lawyer, email us or call 910-256-1233.

 

If you own a motorcycle in North Carolina, you must have it insured, according to state law.

The minimum coverage you can have on your motorcycle in North Carolina is liability.

What are the mandatory motorcycle insurance coverage requirements in North Carolina?

Here are the mandatory insurance requirements for motorcycles in North Carolina:

  • $30,000 for bodily injuries or death to one person in a single accident.
  • $60,000 for bodily injuries or deaths to more than one person in a single accident.
  • $25,000 for property damage occurring in a single accident.

When you’re shopping for motorcycle insurance, remember that these requirements are the minimum coverage by law. You can add more coverage if you believe you need it.

What are the optional coverage options for motorcycles?

Aside from liability insurance, most insurance companies that write motorcycle policies will offer other types of optional coverage that will give you added protections for damages and injuries you might incur if you are ever in a motorcycle accident. These include:

  • Collision – This will cover damage to your motorcycle if you are in an accident and it is your fault. For damages to your motorcycle after and accident.
  • Comprehensive – This is for any damages to your motorcycle that could happen that are not related to an accident.
  • Medical payments – If you are ever in a motorcycle accident and it is your fault, this type of coverage will help to pay your medical bills if you’re injured. Please note that Medical payments is not an option in North Carolina for motorcycles.
  • Towing and labor – If your motorcycle breaks down on the side of the highway, this type of coverage will make sure you get roadside assistance.
  • UM/UIM – Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage to protect you in the event that the other vehicle that caused the wreck either has NO insurance (UM) or is Underinsured (UIM). In that case you can make a claim on your own policy to get the compensation that you deserve. This is perhaps THE MOST IMPORTANT COVERAGE that a rider can buy. It will protect you!

Even though the state keeps track of whether you have insurance through insurance companies that notify the DMV if there’s a lapse in coverage, you are still required by law to show proof of insurance if asked by law enforcement. All you have to do is keep your current insurance card on you at all times.

What are the penalties if you fail to maintain proper insurance for your motorcycle?

Now that you know what kind of insurance coverage you need, what can happen to  you if you fail to keep proper insurance on your motorcycle?

Well, that depends:

  • First, your insurance company will let the DMV know that you don’t have current insurance.
  • Once that happens, a Form FS 6-7 notice will be sent to you.
  • If you did, in fact, have a lapse in your insurance coverage, you must show proof of your current coverage, pay the fine implemented by the DMV and mail it back to the department within a certain number of days of the date listed on the form.
  • If you fail to do the above, your license plates will likely be suspended for a month.
  • If that happens, you’ll have to wait the 30 days, then go to the DMV and clear things up, while likely paying a heftier fine.

If you or someone you love has been in a motorcycle accident, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for help.

Motorcycle accident cases are typically more complicated than other vehicle accident cases, mostly because the injuries for the motorcycle driver are more severe and there are several factors associated with driving a motorcycle.

These elements include:

  • Road hazards: Flying trash, small animals and other everyday road hazards are far more dangerous for motorcycles than they are to other vehicles.
  • No protection between you and the elements: When a person inside a vehicle gets into an accident, there’s a barrier between the person and the road. That’s not the case when you’re on a motorcycle.
  • Less visibility: When you ride a motorcycle, you’re less likely to be seen by other drivers than if you were in a vehicle.

How is liability determined in a motorcycle accident?

Liability in most motorcycle accidents is based on the law of “negligence.”

Someone is deemed negligent when he fails to exercise ordinary care or that degree of care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise. It’s behavior that injures another person. You can be ruled as negligent if you hit and injure the following:

  • Other motorists
  • Passengers
  • Pedestrians
  • Anyone else you might encounter on the road

If a driver was not being careful and someone got hurt because of it, the driver will be held liable.

A lot of motorcycle accidents are the fault of other drivers, but sometimes, the motorcycle rider is to blame.

What are the elements of negligence?

A negligence claim involves four key elements. The plaintiff must prove the following:

  • The law mandated that the defendant (the person being sued) was to act  reasonably careful.
  • The defendant was not careful. That is calculated by basing the defendant’s behavior to that of  a “reasonable person.”
  • Did the defendant cause the plaintiff’s injuries?
  • Was the plaintiff injured? Did the plaintiff have losses (monetary, time off work, loss of quality of life, etc.)? If no one was hurt, then there’s nothing to try to recover in court or through an insurance settlement. That’s true even if the person who caused the accident acted carelessly.

What should you do if you’re in a motorcycle accident?

If you are in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else, you should contact an attorney immediately. You should also take the following actions if you are able to:

  • Take notes and pictures: What do you remember about the accident? Write down every little detail that comes to mind: who, what, when, where, why. Who was at the scene? How many police officers? How was the weather? Did you take pictures of the scene and damage to your motorcycle or the other vehicle involved?
  • Log your injuries and losses: You should report your injuries to your medical provider and your insurance company, but you should also keep a personal record of them. Take as many photographs as possible.
  • Record your conversations: You should try to keep a record of every conversation you have that’s related to the accident, whether it’s with your insurance company, the responding police officer or the person who caused the crash.

 

If you or someone you love was in a motorcycle accident, contact the offices of Robert Armstrong today.