Motorcycle Accidents

Attention all riders who were hurt by driver negligence!

Make sure you know your rights – and what to do next. The information you need is right here.

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This page refers to Motorcycle Accidents in North Carolina.

Since laws differ between states, if you are located in South Carolina, please click here.

North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Who Know How to Help

One minute you are cruising down the road on your motorcycle, enjoying the ride, and the next minute you are swerving to avoid a car that took a sharp left turn right in front of you. It happened all too quickly – and it wasn’t your fault. The motorcycle enthusiasts on our personal injury team are passionate about protecting our clients’ rights and helping you fight for the compensation you may deserve. We have:

  • Represented motorcycle accident victims since 1997.
  • More than 250 years of combined legal experience in personal injury cases.
  • Attorneys and staff with many years of riding experience.
  • Several NC motorcycle accident attorneys that have worked as defense lawyers for insurance companies and understand their motivations and tactics.
  • Investigators who will come to you and can visit the site of your accident.
  • 24/7 toll free phone access at 1-866-900-7078.

It’s time to put experience on your side and fight for the compensation you may deserve. Learn more about our team of experienced North Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys.

What Do I Do After a Motorcycle Accident in North Carolina?

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, try to remain calm and move out of traffic to safety first. Then:

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Call 911.
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Seek medical attention on site with the paramedic.
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Collect evidence and contact information.


Once you leave the scene of the accident:

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Seek medical attention with your doctor, emergency room, or urgent care. *
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Obtain a police accident report.
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Document everything.
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Talk to a motorcycle accident attorney to protect your rights.

If you ride a motorcycle, you are at higher risk for being involved in an accident – and for being injured or killed in the wreck. The National Transportation Safety Board reported that per mile travelled, motorcyclists are nearly 28 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash.

Motorcycles are smaller, less protected, and less visible than other vehicles. Car and truck drivers often cannot detect motorcyclists in traffic, and this leaves motorcyclists vulnerable on the road. And when a crash occurs between a motorcycle and another vehicle, it’s the driver without the protective shell of the automobile that often suffers most.

In 2020, 176 motorcyclists died, and 2,805 were injured in North Carolina crashes.


We aggressively work motorcycle accident cases, investigate accident scenes, and fight to help our clients protect their rights and seek the compensation they may deserve. Call 1-866-900-7078 today for a free case evaluation.

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How Can a North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help Me?

If you have been injured in a motorcycle wreck, it’s time to get help immediately. While there are many reasons to hire an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer, some of the most important include:

  • Collecting and preserving evidence
  • Establishing blame, or fault
  • Determining liable parties
  • Identifying damages
  • Applying pressure for answers from the insurance company
“The motorcycle’s settlement was cleared up after I hired you guys, which took a big financial burden off,1 and then having some direction with my medical bills, knowing that was going to be monitored as things went. And [being] told your biggest concern was my recovery and getting well, making sure I was completely well, or the best I could be.”

a motorcycle accident victim who hired James Scott Farrin after the insurance company lowballed him with their first offer

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, the attorneys at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin will fight for you every step of the way. Call us today at 1-866-900-7078.

Contributory Negligence in North Carolina

Proving negligence, or fault, almost always comes into play with motorcycle accident cases in the state because North Carolina is one of only a few states that follows the contributory negligence rule. With contributory negligence, if the insurance company can prove that you contributed in any way to your wreck by not exercising reasonable care, you may be completely barred from obtaining compensation for your injuries. Consult with a North Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer about determining liability in your case before speaking to anyone else about fault in your accident.

Tip: Do not speak with an insurance claims adjuster without first seeking the advice of a North Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer. If you admit to any negligence, you could lose your chance for any compensation.

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How Much Can I Expect From My Motorcycle Accident Settlement?

There is no simple answer to this question because every motorcycle accident is unique. Each has situational details, economic damages, and non-economic damages that should be fully and carefully considered when negotiating a settlement with the insurance company.

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Situational Details

  • Accident Specifics
  • Insurance Policies
  • Liability Percentages


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Economic Damages

  • Medical Expenses
  • Property Damage
  • Lost Wages


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Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional Strain
  • Loss of Consortium


An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you identify all of the damages you have suffered from your accident, create a narrative that accurately represents the details of your accident, and negotiate with the insurance company. The attorneys at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin have been helping motorcycle accident victims in this way for more than 20 years.

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What Are the North Carolina Motorcycle Laws?

Motorcyclists must follow the same rules of the road and laws as all other drivers. However, every state has specific laws, or statutes, for motorcyclists to regulate licensing, ensure that their vehicles are in proper working condition when ridden, and help improve safety on the road. Listed below are several of the North Carolina statutes that regulate motorcyclists’ equipment, gear, and driving:


All motorcycles must have the following equipment in working order:

  • Brake lights
  • Horns
  • Mirrors
  • Windshield wipers, if applicable
  • Exhaust system
  • Lamps – head, rear, brake, stop
  • Registration plate


  • A DOT-approved helmet must be worn, regardless of age, by drivers and passengers.
  • Registration plates must be displayed and readable.


  • All motorcyclists must pass a road test and exam and have proper licenses.
  • Only two motorcycles can drive side-by-side in a lane.

Tip: If you do not follow North Carolina motorcycle statutes, an insurance company may try to use this against you to deny you compensation, citing contributory negligence.

Do I Have to Wear a Helmet on a Motorcycle in North Carolina?

Yes. Under North Carolina law, if you are operating or riding on a motorcycle, you must wear a motorcycle safety helmet that complies with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218. The helmet must have a:

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  • Thick inner lining
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker
  • Manufacturer’s label permanently attached inside

The NC DOT reports that most riders are riding slower than 30 mph when a crash occurs and that helmets can cut both the number and severity of head injuries in half at these speeds.

Tip: Some people assume that if they are not wearing a helmet during an accident they will automatically be denied compensation. Not true! A lawyer may be able to help.

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What Are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in North Carolina?

We know the vulnerability riders face on the roads. About two-thirds of all motorcycle wrecks involve another vehicle, most likely a car. And the most frequent type of collision is caused by a car making a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle, which often results in a head-on or near head-on collision. Other common causes of motorcycle accidents and collisions include:

  • Corner turning
  • Distracted driving
  • Defects in motorcycle
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Following too closely
  • Hitting a fixed object
  • Lane splitting
  • Open car doors
  • Road hazards
  • Speeding
  • Sudden stops
  • Unsafe lane changes

Motorcycle accident in North Carolina

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “When motorcycles and other vehicles collide, it is usually the other (non-motorcycle) driver who violates the motorcyclist’s right-of-way.” And the most commonly cited reason for this violation is, quite simply, that they never saw the motorcycle. Police actually list this on police reports as “LBFS” which stands for Looked But Failed to See.

So, while it may be considered common for drivers not to see a motorcycle, it’s also often considered negligent of that driver. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, you may be able to get compensation for your injuries.

The NHTSA encourages motorcyclists and drivers to “share the road and be alert” and reminds motorcyclists to “make themselves visible, to use DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets, and to always ride sober.”

Our North Carolina motorcycle accident lawyers have handled hundreds of motorcycle cases involving a variety of causes. With so much at stake in a motorcycle accident, we urge you to contact an attorney who can help you pursue compensation for your losses, which may include expensive medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and future rehabilitation. Contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation. There is no obligation.

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What Are Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?

Since motorcyclists are less protected than the majority of other drivers on the road, they are also the ones who sustain more injuries. The most common motorcycle accident injuries include:

Gold man with arm injury iconArm injuries – such as breaks, sprains, cuts, bruises, damage to the nervous system (called biker’s or rider’s arm), and amputations


Leg injuries – such as breaks, sprains, cuts, bruises, and amputationsGold leg injury icon


Head injuries – such as headaches, amnesia, skull fractures, concussions, and brain damage Gold head injury icon


Road rash – friction burns or skin abrasions caused by scraping along the groundGold road rash icon


An experienced NC motorcycle accident attorney can help you document your injuries and the medical care you need so that you can fight for compensation for the harm and losses you experienced.

Tragically, sometimes motorcycle crashes result in death. If your loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident that was due to the negligence of another driver, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney.

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How Do I Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin?

At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, we have lawyers who personally understand the call of the open road. We also recognize the financial, physical, and emotional trauma that accompanies motorcycle accidents. And, most importantly, we know how to fight insurance companies for the rights of injured riders. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case review. We also have teams of attorneys who handle car and truck accidents. Contact us today.

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*Information on this page is not intended as a substitute for a medical evaluation by a qualified provider.