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Riders in Fayetteville realize that the image of motorcyclists as lawless, reckless and irresponsible is miles from the truth. In fact, most people who ride motorcycles go through more training than other drivers and drive with more care because they are aware of the dangers. But sometimes no amount of caution can prevent a motorcycle from being involved in an accident. Unfortunately, serious injuries often result.

If you are suffering the effects of a motorcycle accident, it is important to avoid taking actions that could compromise your rights, including your right to recover compensation. A Fayetteville motorcycle accident lawyer could advise you of the best actions to take—and to avoid—to preserve your rights.

In addition, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer could represent your interests in negotiations with insurance companies and manage legal concerns and paperwork so that you can focus on other aspects of recovery.

Laws Specifically Applicable to Motorcycles

North Carolina statutes contain some provisions that apply only to motorcycles or similar vehicles such as mopeds. In addition to requirements for certain types of lights, mirrors, horns, and specifications on the display of license plates, there are requirements regarding the operation of motorcycles on public roads.

For instance, section 20-140.4 of the state code requires motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets that comply with federal motor vehicle safety standards. Motorcycle riders are granted some specific and unique privileges by state law. They are allowed to operate in HOV lanes, and they may drive through a red light at an intersection if they wait three minutes without receiving a green light so long as driving through the intersection would not interfere with other traffic or pedestrians.

Ambiguities in Lane Use Laws

With regard to lane use, the state law is less clear. Section 20-146.1 of the code entitles motorcycles to the use of a full lane and specifies that other vehicles may not infringe on that use. This section also prohibits motorcycles from riding “more than two abreast in a single lane,” which implies that riding with only two in a lane is acceptable.

However, the provision that forbids other vehicles from depriving a motorcycle of the full use of a lane does not apply when two motorcycles ride abreast in the same lane. So the obligations of vehicles in other lanes is unclear when two motorcycles operate abreast in the same lane.

State law is also unclear regarding the practice of lane-splitting or filtering, where motorcycles ride down the lines separating lanes. This type of riding generally occurs when full-sized vehicles in the lanes are stopped due to heavy traffic.

Establishing Negligence

In most motorcycle accident cases, in order to hold someone responsible for the consequences of the accident, it must be shown that the person was negligent. This means that they failed to live up to a legal responsibility, and that failure caused the harm complained of.

Drivers owe a duty to pay attention and follow road rules, so when they fail to do so, that failure could be treated as negligence and liability may result. However, if someone injured in an accident is also found to be negligent, that negligence could bar recovery. After reviewing the facts of the case, a Fayetteville motorcycle accident lawyer could fight to establish negligence.

Let a Fayetteville Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help

Motorcycle accidents can cause injuries that leave you facing medical bills and equipment damage at a time when you are likely to be receiving reduced income because of time missed from work. An experienced Fayetteville motorcycle accident lawyer may be able to help you receive compensation to cover those expenses.

In addition, you may be entitled to compensation for pain, suffering, and emotional distress resulting from the accident. But is important to act quickly to preserve evidence needed to prove liability. To learn more, contact a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney.