These Five Factors Will Affect Your North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Claim
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you may be wondering what your compensation claim may be worth. You may be wondering whether you have a valid claim at all. Discussing your case with an attorney is one of the best ways to determine whether you have a valid claim and how much it may be worth it. Every motorcycle accident case is unique.
An experienced attorney can help you evaluate whether you will likely be able to prove liability as well as the potential value of your claim. Generally speaking, the more serious your injuries, the more compensation you may obtain. The following five factors will also affect your motorcycle accident claim for damages.1. Insurance Coverage Limits
Motorcycle accident victims can recover compensation after an accident in two main ways. First, they can file a claim with the at-fault party's auto insurance company. Victims can also file a personal injury lawsuit in a North Carolina civil court against the defendant. The majority of motorcycle accident victims pursue compensation through an insurance policy.
The amount of compensation a victim can obtain will depend on the insurance coverage involved. North Carolina is considered a fault-based insurance state. When a negligent driver causes another driver's injuries, the negligent driver is financially responsible for the victim's injuries. Victims have a right to pursue compensation through the liable party's insurance policy.
In North Carolina, all motorists must have a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage, including $60,000 per accident for bodily injuries, $25,000 for property damage, and $60,000 per accident in uninsured bodily injury coverage. Many drivers choose to pay for a higher policy and limit, however. If you are the victim of a motorcycle accident, you will only be able to obtain compensation up to the at-fault driver's limit. If a driver is uninsured or underinsured, and you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurance company up to your coverage limit.2. You Need to File Your Claim in a Timely Manner
Regardless of how strong your legal claim is, you will not be able to recover compensation if you do not file your claim before the statute of limitations expires. A statute of limitations is a deadline established by North Carolina law. If you file after the statute of limitations has expired, the court will reject your claim, and you will not be able to recover compensation.
Typically, you must file your claim within three years of the motorcycle accident or within two years of the motorcycle accident if it resulted in your loved one's death. Do not wait until the last minute to discuss your case with an attorney. Your attorney will need time to investigate your case and make sure that you file your case before the deadline expires.3. You Will Need to Provide Evidence Supporting Your Claims
The amount of recovery you will obtain for your motorcycle accident claim depends on the circumstances and facts of the accident. Insurance companies are for-profit companies. They will look for any reason possible to dispute your compensation claim. Your attorney can help you gather compelling evidence showing that their insured driver was at fault and that you are entitled to compensation, such as:
- Medical records that show your injuries, treatment plan, and functional limitations
- Estimates for your future medical costs
- Witness statements
- Lost income calculations
- Accident reports, crash investigation data, and accident reconstructions
- Documentation of how your quality of life has changed after the crash
- Engineering assessments of defective motorcycle and car parts
In most cases, the more permanent and severe a victim's injuries, the more compensation they can obtain. For example, if a motorcycle accident victim sustained a spinal cord injury that resulted in total paralysis, they would be entitled to more compensation than if the victim sustained a broken bone. However, even if you do not think your injuries are catastrophic, you may still be entitled to a higher award. For example, if you were a construction worker and could no longer work because of a complex leg fracture, you may be entitled to a more significant award.5. An Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney Will Help You Obtain Compensation
Discussing your case with an attorney is the best way to get a general idea of how much your case is worth. If you or your loved one has been injured in a North Carolina motorcycle accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free initial consultation.