How Do I Prove I Am Not Responsible for My Motorcycle Accident?
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you might already know that the insurance company, and police, may believe otherwise. And you may be wondering, “How do I prove I am not responsible for my motorcycle accident?” You should hire an experienced North Carolina motorcycle accident attorney as soon as you can after an accident to manage your case.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash
Motorcycle crashes are different from other vehicle crashes. A motorcycle doesn’t offer the same level of physical protection that a car does, so riders often suffer more severe injuries requiring hospitalization. At the scene of an accident, if you are able, follow these steps:
- Call for an ambulance if you or anyone else requires medical attention.
- Call the police and always file an official police report.
- While you wait for the police, take pictures of the damage, injuries, and accident scene (i.e. road signs, skidmarks, all vehicles). Be diplomatic, discrete, and professional with these efforts – remember that others may be photographing you
- Collect witness contact information and listen carefully to anything said by other drivers involved in your accident (admissible in evidence as non-hearsay in NC).
- Contact a motorcycle accident attorney to understand your true rights and options, and to help you build and maximize the value of your case.
- File a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, but do not provide a written or recorded statement without speaking first with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Adjusters will try to place partial blame on you and, in North Carolina, if you are just 1% at fault, you lose ALL payment rights.
If your injuries are severe enough to require a visit to the hospital in an ambulance, you probably can’t complete the other steps yourself. Instead, contact a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as you can. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing to hire your lawyer unless AND until we collect money for you. Thus, with no up-front costs, your lawyer starts working today to investigate the collision, prove your innocence, prove the fault of all drivers and other parties who owe for your losses, identify all applicable insurance policies, file and present all insurance claims, build and present your medical evidence, and to protect and enforce your legal rights.
How a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help You Prove You Were Not At Fault
Time is the most essential factor in gathering evidence for a motorcycle injury claim. Insurance companies usually don’t want to pay the full value of claims, often denying legitimate claims outright. Insurance adjusters also know that many people fear motorcycles, and choose not to ride. They use this bias to challenge innocent riders and to either deny or devalue your injury claims. Additionally, people often have an implicit bias against motorcyclists, believing that they often speed, take fast turns, take unnecessary risks, and break the laws that other drivers have to follow. While this is NOT true of most riders, insurance adjusters often discount their settlement offers to innocent riders who handle their cases alone.
A motorcycle accident lawyer working on your case can begin an independent investigation into the accident and begin gathering evidence to support your claim, including:
- Taking photos of the scene and all vehicles involved
- Identifying all driver errors, and all parties and companies, including at-fault driver’s employer and all responsible insurance carriers
- Collecting witness statements
- Collecting traffic, surveillance, and dash-cam video footage
- Inspecting damage to vehicles involved
- Securing black-box downloads to nail down evidence of the speed and braking effort
- Hiring collision reconstruction experts when fault is contested
- Building highly focused, extremely valuable medical evidence to prove the true nature of all injuries, and the full extent of all pain, suffering, and financial loss
- Validating your threat of litigation, thus leveraging your legal claims to motivate all insurance adjusters to make generous settlement offers
Your attorney will need to start gathering evidence as quickly as possible. Witnesses may forget or misremember details over time and surveillance systems nearby usually won’t retain footage for more than a month. Our firm has two former North Carolina State Patrol officers who handle crash investigations, and we also work with the best crash reconstruction experts in the state to prove crash dynamics.
Carl Nagle is a fellow rider, and he has owned motorcycles and been an avid rider for over 40 years!! He understands the handling characteristics, braking, and other aspects of motorcycle riding. His experience as a rider helps him understand the motorcycle accident victim’s true perspective, and how a rider faced with dangers and emergencies would truly respond under emergency circumstances.
Seeking Compensation for Your Injuries
North Carolina is a contributory negligence state — only one of four left in the country. Most states have some form of comparative fault model, making it easier for motorcycle accident victims to recover compensation for their injuries, even if they were partially at fault for the accident. This is NOT the case in North Carolina.
In North Carolina, if the victim shared any fault at all in the accident or their injuries, contributory negligence laws leave them unable to collect any compensation from the at-fault driver. For example, even if another driver caused you catastrophic injuries and is found 99% responsible for causing your collision if the jury determines that you were merely 1% at-fault for your motorcycle accident, you will not receive any compensation.
Contact an Experienced North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney
There are many scenarios that could prevent you from collecting compensation for a motorcycle accident in North Carolina. Your attorney can help to answer questions like, “how do I prove I am not responsible for my motorcycle accident?”.
For help from an experienced motorcycle accident, contact us at Nagle & Associates, PA. Call us today at (866) 631-2228 for an immediate free legal consultation by telephone. If you prefer an in-person consultation, we can meet you in Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Asheville, or at any of our seven offices across North Carolina.