Protecting the Rights of Injured Clients
Raleigh Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Filing a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Wake County
If you or someone you love was recently involved in a motorcycle accident, turn to the team at Hyland + Padilla, PLLC. You could be entitled to financial compensation for your related medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and other damages. Our Raleigh motorcycle accident attorneys can help you navigate the process of filing an insurance claim to seek the fair compensation you are owed. As skilled and experienced trial attorneys, we are even prepared to represent you in court if necessary.
We understand the unique challenges injured bikers face. Our team is here to answer your questions and fight for your best interests every step of the way. Get in touch with us today to schedule a free initial consultation.
You do not pay any legal fees unless we win your case! Call (919) 891-8361 or contact us online today to learn more. Hablamos español.
Determining Fault After a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists tend to get a bad rap. Many people believe that motorcycle riders are inherently risky drivers and are, therefore, always at least partially at fault when they are involved in accidents with other motorists. However, at Hyland + Padilla, PLLC, we know that this is simply not true.
In fact, most motorcyclists understand the risks of riding and, as a result, are some of the safest and most skilled drivers on the road. Unfortunately, many motorcycle accidents occur not because of something the motorcyclist did but due to the negligence or wrongful behavior of others.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including using a cellphone or texting while driving
- Poor visibility/failing to check for motorcyclists in vehicle blind spots
- Speeding, including driving too fast for current road conditions
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Turning across the path of an oncoming motorcyclist
- Unsafe or illegal passing, lane changes, and turns
- Tailgating, or following too closely
- Dangerous road conditions, such as potholes and blind curves
- Auto/motorcycle defects or defective safety equipment
Under North Carolina’s rule of contributory negligence, you cannot file a personal injury claim if you are even slightly at fault for the incident that led to your injuries. If the insurance company argues that you were partly to blame, you could be barred from recovering damages. We strongly advise you to contact our motorcycle accident lawyers for help communicating with the insurance company and fighting for the fair compensation you deserve.
What Types of Damages Can You Recover in a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Motorcycle accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Because motorcyclists have relatively little protection compared to the occupants of passenger vehicles, they are far more likely to suffer life-changing injuries like compound fractures, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, traumatic amputation, and organ damage. As a result, injured bikers often face significant physical, financial, and emotional challenges in the wake of these accidents.
By filing a motorcycle accident claim, you can seek financial compensation for accident-related damages, such as:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Past, current, and future lost income/wages
- Past, current, and future pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity due to permanent injury or impairment
- Emotional distress and disfigurement
- Miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses, such as transportation costs and in-home assistance/care
In some cases, it may be possible to recover punitive damages, as well. Also known as “exemplary damages,” punitive damages are generally only awarded in cases involving gross negligence or willful/wanton misconduct. For example, if a drunk driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.20%—well above the legal limit of 0.08%—hit and killed a motorcyclist, the court may rule that the drunk driver was grossly negligent. As a result, the court may award punitive damages to the motorcyclist’s surviving family members in a wrongful death lawsuit.
How Are Motorcycle Accident Cases Different From Car Accident Cases?
Though motorcycle accidents and car accidents are both types of motor vehicle accidents, there are many differences between the two when it comes to filing a claim and seeking compensation for damages.
Some of these differences include:
- Accident and Injury Severity: Regular car accidents can certainly lead to severe bodily injuries and deaths; however, motorcyclists are much more likely to be catastrophically injured or killed in an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 4 times more likely to be injured and nearly 30 times more likely to be killed in motor vehicle accidents than the occupants of passenger vehicles.
- More Extensive Damages: Because motorcycle accidents tend to be more severe than car accidents as a whole, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer more extensive damages after a crash. This includes lengthier medical treatment and higher medical bills, longer recovery times and more time off work (meaning more lost income), and more significant physical pain and mental suffering associated with catastrophic injuries.
- Lengthier Claims Process: In many cases, the claims process can be longer in motorcycle accident cases than those involving regular car accidents. This is due to a variety of reasons, including but not limited to the severity of the biker’s injuries, the challenges involved in proving liability, the complexity of calculating damages, and the insurance company’s unwillingness to pay out high-value claims.
- Difficulties Collecting Compensation: Many insurance adjusters have inherent biases against motorcyclists. As a result, they treat motorcycle accident claims differently than standard car accident claims, which could make it harder for injured bikers to recover compensation for their damages. The insurance adjuster might argue that the motorcyclist was partially or entirely at fault, or they may offer a lowball settlement to avoid paying out the high cost of the claim.
Because of these and other challenges associated with filing a motorcycle accident claim, it is very important that you work with a knowledgeable attorney who can protect your rights and guide you through the legal process.
Why Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
An attorney can help you work with the insurance company and help ensure that you are treated fairly. They can also help you gather evidence from the scene of the accident and can prepare for potential litigation (if necessary). An attorney will know the laws surrounding motorcycle accidents, so they may be able to uncover details about the case that would otherwise go unnoticed or even fight for a better settlement on your behalf.
At Hyland + Padilla, PLLC, we help our clients with every aspect of the legal process. Our Raleigh motorcycle accident lawyers have more than 50 years of combined experience and have recovered over $40 million in compensation for our clients. No matter how complex your case may be, we are ready to fight for you.
Contact us online or by phone at (919) 891-8361 today to request a free consultation.
Over $40,000,000 Recovered We have won over 40 million dollars for our clients since 2012 and counting.
Over 7000 Cases Handled We have represented thousands of personal injury clients since 1999.
“I came to Hyland and Padilla after an automobile accident. Mr. Padilla worked very hard on my case. His primary concern is for the well being of his clients. He was caring, professional, honest and patient. His staff was always helpful and pleasant as well” - Toni B.
“Very happy and great full with the results. Thank you for helping the Hispanic community very happy with the results blessings. Andrea and Stefani did A great job.” - Jazmin A.
“Mr Padilla is extremely helpful with your personal injury. His staff is great. I wouldn't go anywhere else. I have worked with Mr Padilla several times over the years. He is a wonderful caring attorney. He will go all out to make his client happy.” - Carolyn H.