Winston-Salem Motorcycle Accidents
Winston-Salem is a great city for motorcycle enthusiasts to explore, but accidents can happen when other drivers act carelessly. In some cases, a motorcyclist may even lose their life. During the summer of 2017 alone, two motorcyclists were killed in crashes on Yadkinville Road and Kernersville Road. Fatal motor vehicle accidents in Winston-Salem have spiked this year to more than double the rate from a year ago. Even if a rider survives, they may be left with staggering medical expenses and permanent disabilities. If someone in your family has been involved in a motorcycle accident, you already have a lot on your mind. How will you pay the doctor and hospital bills? Will the victim ever be able to work again? What will happen if you fall behind on your financial obligations? Fortunately, the Winston-Salem motorcycle accident lawyers at Maurer Law are here to help answer these questions and offer the aggressive advocacy that you need.
As in other motor vehicle collision cases, a person seeking to recover compensation from a careless motorist who caused a crash must be able to prove each of the four elements of a negligence claim by a preponderance of the evidence. First, the defendant must have owed a legal duty of care to the plaintiff. The defendant must have breached the duty in some way. The plaintiff must have suffered “damages,” which is a legal way of referring to injuries and costs, and there must have been a causal relationship between the breach and the damages.Fighting Against Allegations of Contributory Negligence
An accident is not always caused by the negligence of just one person. In some cases, it is the combined negligence of two or more people that leads to an accident. How this issue is addressed varies from state to state. Unfortunately, North Carolina law is not sympathetic to plaintiffs, which makes it especially important to consult a motorcycle accident attorney in Winston-Salem if you have been involved in a crash. Under the doctrine of contributory negligence (followed by just a handful of states), if a plaintiff was partially at fault in causing a motorcycle accident or another motor vehicle collision, they are completely barred from recovering damages from the opposing party. This is true even if the other person was more at fault or even mostly at fault. It is a very harsh rule, and insurance companies are quick to take advantage of it at any time that they can. From their point of view, it makes economic sense. If they can exploit evidence that suggests that the motorcyclist may have been speeding slightly or may have made a questionable maneuver, this makes a complete defense to liability.
While the harsh results of the contributory negligence system cannot always be avoided, it helps to obtain counsel early in the process so that every attempt can be made to investigate the accident as thoroughly as possible from the plaintiff’s perspective. Police and other first responders are not always trained to look at an accident from a liability standpoint, so it is sometimes necessary to consult an expert witness (such as an accident reconstructionist) to get a professional opinion as to who was at fault in a collision. The expert may rely on physical evidence like debris paths and skid marks, as well as eyewitness testimony and information obtained from the vehicles’ event data recorders (if available) to form their opinion.Retain a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in the Winston-Salem Area
Filing a claim for injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident can be a long and arduous process. It is important that these claims be made promptly, not only to comply with the statute of limitations and other important deadlines but also to allow plenty of time for the investigative phase of the case. At Maurer Law, our injury lawyers will be glad to schedule a free consultation regarding your case. Call us at 919-229-8359 or contact us online to start a conversation with a Winston-Salem motorcycle accident attorney.