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The increasing numbers of motorcycles on North Carolina roads are resulting in more crashes. Riders who have been injured as well as the families of those who have been killed need to exercise their legal rights. The way to enter the legal system is to have the help of an experienced attorney. Chapel Hill motorcycle accident lawyers are well-versed in this area of state law and are ready to help. A distinguished personal injury attorney has the local knowledge to help you collect evidence to present for your defense in court.

Free Legal Advice

Chapel Hill motorcycle accident lawyer provides a free, no obligation consultation to evaluate the circumstances of the motorcycle accident and explain the laws and legal processes involved. The attorney can work on the case without charging a fee until the case is finished, in a “contingency” arrangement. The attorney’s fee is a portion of the monetary damages the lawyer wins, but if no damages are awarded, the lawyer does not receive a fee.

Motorcycle Accident Facts

The 2015 edition of North Carolina’s Traffic Crash Facts publication shows that 3,746 motorcycle crashes occurred that year, leaving 2,986 riders and passengers injured and 172 killed. Injuries in motorcycle wrecks can be severe, from traumatic brain injuries to spinal cord damage and paralysis. These injuries can come with enormous expenses, perhaps for a lifetime. The state does not have a law requiring helmets for motorcyclists and does not require riders to have a specific license to operate a motorcycle, even though it a different set of skills is required.

Negligence Law

The law defines negligence as failing to act in a cautious and watchful manner that a reasonable person would use toward another person or an entity. North Carolina is one of only four states using the strict Complimentary Negligence doctrine. The others are Alabama, Maryland, and Virginia. This doctrine does not allow the injured party bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the plaintiff to recover any damages if the plaintiff has any degree of fault, no matter how little, in causing the accident. It does not matter if the defendant had much more fault.

The idea is that people who bring unreasonable risk to themselves are responsible for what happens. However, if the plaintiff either was in danger and therefore could not escape the accident after an initial act of negligence, or if the defendant had a chance to avoid the accident, then the plaintiff may recover damages from the defendant. This is called the “last clear chance doctrine.” It may be critical for an individual to speak with Chapel Hill motorcycle accident lawyers regarding how local negligent law may affect their case.

Proving Negligence

Contributory negligence is comprised of elements that must be proven to win the case.

  • Duty of care: A person has a legal obligation to exercise prudent caution and watchfulness toward others to avoid causing harm or property damage
  • Breach: An act, or an omission, violating duty of care
  • Causation in fact: The breach caused the accident
  • Proximate cause: A particular and foreseeable event happened

Benefits of a Chapel Hill Motorcycle Injury Lawyer

Chapel Hill motorcycle accident lawyer will gather evidence from the accident scene, document all damages, and question under penalty of perjury all parties in the accident and any witnesses. Common damages include all related medical and therapeutic expenses, loss of income, disability, disfigurement, pain, and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and in some cases, punitive.

If the accident resulted in death, other damages include funeral expenses and recovering a lifetime of income that could not be earned. It is important to promptly begin legal action while memories and evidence are fresh and to ensure a lawsuit is filed within the legal deadline.