Best Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Charlotte, NC Of 2024 – Forbes

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In North Carolina, motorcycle accident cases can be a bit more complicated than car accident cases. Motorcyclists are required to abide by specific safety rules, file their case within a certain time limit, and more. Read on to learn some of the most important rules before filing your case.

North Carolina Statute of Limitations

In every state, there are statutes of limitations which determine the amount of time you have to file a civil case. After the statute of limitations expires, you are no longer able to seek compensation, as too much time has passed for a case to be fairly presented.

In North Carolina for motorcycle accidents you have three years from the date of the accident to file your case. For example, if you were injured on October 1st of 2020, you would have until October 1st of 2023 to file your case. These laws exist to protect defendants from unfair legal action, as over time important evidence like documents or witness statements can be lost.

One major caveat to the statute of limitations is that if the accident results in a wrongful death, then the person pursuing compensation has only two years to file.

If the victim was under 18 when the accident occurred, then they will have until they are 21 to file, which is three years after their 18th birthday.

Even though it may feel like you have a lot of time to file your case, it’s important not to delay the process. The earlier you get started, the easier it can be to gather evidence and contact witnesses.

North Carolina Laws for Motorcycle Drivers

North Carolina, like many states, has several additional laws and safety requirements motorcyclists must follow.

  • Motorcycle permit. In North Carolina, a motorcycle rider must have either a motorcycle learner permit or a motorcycle endorsement on their license. In order to qualify for a learner permit, the rider must already have a regular or commercial driver’s license.
  • Age regulations. An individual must be at least 16 to drive a motorcycle. Furthermore, if the rider is under 18, they must have a full provisional license, signed consent from a parent or guardian and have completed a motorcycle safety course.
  • Helmet requirements. According to the law, both operators and passengers on motorcycles must wear a motorcycle safety helmet that complies with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218. These helmets have a thick inner liner, have a DOT sticker, and have a manufacturer’s label.
  • The right to a full lane. In North Carolina, motorcyclists have the right to a full lane. Motorcyclists should avoid passing other vehicles in the same lane and those in automobiles should never pass a motorcyclist in the same lane.
  • Insurance coverage. Motorcyclists are mandated to purchase liability insurance for their vehicle and must keep the insurance card with them whenever operating the motorcycle. Riders are required to hold at least $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage liability.

Identifying Fault for a Motorcycle Crash

In North Carolina, it’s important to determine fault in an accident because that can determine who is required to pay for damages or injuries sustained during an accident.

North Carolina is an at-fault state, meaning that one person will ultimately be declared responsible for the accident because of their negligence. Sometimes determining fault is straightforward, especially if an individual admits fault, but in other cases fault may be determined by witnesses or camera footage.

Furthermore, North Carolina is one of the few pure contributory negligence states, meaning that in order for a victim to pursue compensation, they must be entirely fault-free from causing the injury or damages. For instance, if someone ran a red light and injured an individual, but the victim wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, the victim may not be able to pursue compensation. There are exceptions to this law, namely if an individual had a clear opportunity to prevent the accident.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

A skilled attorney will be able to help you through the entire process of filing a suit, negotiating a settlement and going to trial if necessary. Furthermore, lawyers will also be able to help analyze the case, determine the most critical evidence and calculate a reasonable settlement to ask for.

Attorneys often have experience working with insurance companies too and can respond to common arguments insurance companies make to protect their assets.

In North Carolina, attorneys generally work on contingency, meaning that you only have to pay them if they successfully obtain a verdict or settlement. Lawyers usually take approximately 33% of the compensation won, but the specific terms may vary.

Working on contingency means that there is no monetary risk to work with a lawyer, although you will still be expected to pay some court fees. On the other hand, contingency also means that lawyers are more selective with the cases they’ll work on; most only want to pursue cases they feel have a chance at winning.

Although working with a lawyer can make the process smoother and easier for the plaintiff, it isn’t required. A lawyer is not needed to file a case, and you can always pursue the case without a lawyer’s assistance. If the case is won, the plaintiff is able to keep the entirety of the settlement or verdict. However, it can be harder to win a case without a lawyer, so this is only recommended if a case is fairly straightforward or the victim is willing to learn the legalities of their case.

If you do choose to work with a lawyer, they will guide you through the entire process, answer any questions you have, work to gather evidence, and serve as your mediator. While the vast majority of cases are settled, if your case does go to court, your lawyer will also represent you in the courtroom.

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