Asheville Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Bikers’ Rights After a Crash

Video Transcript:

Brian Davis:

If you're in a crash, do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company.

Christine Haas:

Hi everybody, I'm Christine Haas here for AskTheLawyers. And today, I'm joined by Brian Davis of the Davis Law Group out of Asheville, North Carolina. Brian, thanks for being here.

Brian Davis:

Glad to be here. Thank you.

Christine Haas:

We wanna talk about bikers' rights today after an accident. Tell me a little bit about the motorcycle car accident scenario and how bikers it seems might get a bad reputation after an accident.

Brian Davis:

Well, people often associate people on motorcycles with dangerous, daredevil, reckless driving type individuals, and that's because there are a few of those out there. Most of them are on really souped-up sport bikes who treat our streets and highways like they would a track, or race track. But the reality is most people on motorcycles are just normal, everyday folks who enjoy the freedom that you feel when you're on a motorcycle. We have a lot of Harley riders, a lot of big cruiser bike motorcyclists, especially here in Western North Carolina, where we have the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, which is a great place to ride. So unfortunately, like with a lot of other things, a few bad apples can kinda ruin it for everybody.

Christine Haas:

Yeah, a stereotype out there. Talk about the fault process, how it's determined, who is at fault, especially in these types of scenarios, 'cause obviously there are a lot of different angles, I'm sure that you don't necessarily run into with vehicles.

Brian Davis:

Yeah, there are. A lot of times, what we see in motorcycle crashes is a biker hitting the brakes, locking the bike up and either colliding with a vehicle that has pulled out in front of the motorcycle or locking it up and going down and perhaps off the road or into an oncoming lane to avoid a vehicle that is turned in front of them. That's the most common car bike scenario we see, and in that situation, unfortunately, insurance companies, even when a car has pulled out in front of a motorcycle, will often point the finger back at the motorcyclist and say, 'Look, you know you weren't paying attention, you didn't break properly, you did something wrong, therefore, you're really responsible for this.' So that's what we see most often.

Christine Haas:

And then if a biker did make maybe even a partial mistake, as you mentioned, sometimes there's quick maneuvers, how is that determined when it comes to a claim if they're partially at fault?

Brian Davis:

Well, in North Carolina, that's really, really important, because North Carolina is one of three states left in the country that still follow the pure contributory negligence model, and what that means is that if you're even 1/10th of 1% at fault for a crash here in North Carolina, in other words, if the biker did anything at all, just the slightest thing wrong, insurance companies will use that against you to deny the claim, and it's a really big deal. And what the takeaway is, is that bikers, if you're in a crash, do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company because they will use your own words against you. Get with a lawyer, figure out what the best approach is and let the lawyer do the talking to the insurance company.

Christine Haas:

Sure. Speaking of that insurance claim and worrying about that in the state of North Carolina, do bikers have to wear a helmet?

Brian Davis:

They are required by law in North Carolina to wear a helmet.

Christine Haas:

And what happens if they get into an accident and they're not wearing a helmet, does that come into play with the insurance claim?

Brian Davis:

Well, it really depends on what the injuries are. In North Carolina, you're also required to wear a seat belt, if you're in a car. If you're not wearing a seat belt and you're in a crash that is not used against you. That's not even admissible in court. And sometimes the same thing applies to a motorcyclist if they're not wearing a helmet. If you don't have a head injury, if you break your leg, and the fact that you didn't have on a helmet the time of the crash, it has no bearing on your injuries. If you end up with a brain injury and you didn't have on a helmet, then they can use that against you.

Christine Haas:

Right, that makes sense. And of course, everybody wants to play it as safe as possible, but they start wondering after an accident, 'Do I really need an attorney?' Maybe I made this one mistake or that type of thing, and then they think, 'Oh, I'm just gonna handle it and settle it there.' What advice do you give to people who think that they can do it on their own, especially in these types of unique scenarios?

Brian Davis:

You're taking a big risk. If you try to handle a motorcycle crash case on your own, the most likely outcome is going to be that the insurance company is going to get that recorded statement 'cause they're not gonna talk to you without a recorded statement as an individual, they're just gonna say, 'No, we're not gonna deal with your claim until you give a recorded statement.' Then they get the statement, they use it against you, and you're screwed. So the point is, get a lawyer, let the lawyer deal with the insurance company so you don't make a mistake and ruin your case.

Christine Haas:

Aside from not getting an attorney, what are some of the biggest mistakes you see biker accident victims make in this process?

Brian Davis:

Biggest mistake, by and large, is giving that recorded statement right after a crash, because at that point, a lot of times bikers are in the hospital, insurance adjuster is calling on the phone, maybe their wife or their significant other is answering the phone and handing it to the biker and the biker's making a statement oftentimes while they're still in the hospital, and oftentimes under influence of pain medications and things like that. So that's the biggest mistake we see.

Christine Haas:

Anything else you'd like to offer to our folks today?

Brian Davis:

Be safe out there. Look, as far down the road as you can. As a biker myself, I've owned multiple motorcycles, basically since I was 16 years old. I know how dangerous it is, and you've got to treat every car that's out there as if they're gunning for you, so defensive driving on a motorcycle is absolutely essential, and you've gotta do it all the time.

Christine Haas:

That's great advice, Brian Davis of the Davis Law Group out of Asheville, North Carolina. Thank you for your insight and your advice today, we appreciate it.

Brian Davis:

It's my pleasure. Be safe out there.

Thank you, and thanks for watching this episode of AskTheLawyers. I'm Christine Haas. Have a great day.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

AskTheLawyers

© 1999-2020 AskTheLawyers.com™

Terms and Conditions / Privacy Policy

Legal Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. Use of this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Information entered on this website is not confidential. This website has paid attorney advertising. Anyone choosing a lawyer must do their own independent research. By using this website, you agree to our additional Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Send