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October 27, 2021

IS THE MOTORCYCLIST AT FAULT FOR THE ACCIDENT?

If a motorcyclist has done something negligent to contribute to an accident, they can be found at fault.

It is common for drivers of other vehicles to blame motorcyclists for driving recklessly and causing accidents, but they are not always at fault. There are many times another party is at fault and can be held responsible for any damages and injuries suffered by the motorcyclist.

Motorcycles offer very little protection, which means that a motorcycle crash brings an increased chance of serious injury, such as a traumatic brain injury or even death. This can change people’s lives forever with medical bills piling up for ongoing care and treatment at a time when the motorcyclist may not be able to work.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in eastern North Carolina, and it was not your fault, a motorcycle accident attorney at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett can help you receive the compensation you may deserve for your losses through insurance or a personal injury lawsuit. While no amount of money will be able to make up for the pain and suffering that comes with a catastrophic injury, a personal injury settlement may be able to help by easing financial burdens and paying for the care and rehabilitation you or your loved one may need.

The personal injury laws in North Carolina are complicated. State negligence laws make it fundamental to prove that the other party was at fault. When you are trying to recover during this difficult time, the attorneys at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett can take the burden off you and your family by handling the insurance companies, legal hurdles and requirements that will be involved in getting you compensation you may deserve so you can focus on getting well and moving on with your life.

Other parties will try to prove that you or your loved one was at fault.

The job of our motorcycle accident attorneys is to help prove you were not at fault and to find the parties that were and hold them accountable. This is especially true in the state of North Carolina, because we are one of four states that use the doctrine of pure contributory negligence (NC Gen. Stat. §1-139).  This means that if you or your loved one was even 1% at fault, the insurance company may not be legally obligated to compensate you for any of your injuries. For this reason alone, you should not say anything, specifically the insurance company, to anyone indicating that you may have been at fault as this could be held against you.

If you’ve or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in eastern North Carolina, make sure you do the following:

Contact a personal injury attorney immediately. An experienced injury lawyer will guide you through the legal process and ensure you receive the medical treatment you need.

Seek medical attention and report any symptoms. Documenting your  injuries to show how you are feeling after the incident is imperative for your case.

DO NOT talk to the insurance company. Never talk to an insurance company without contacting an attorney first!

Keep a medical journal and follow up with treatment. Follow your doctor’s orders and keep a report of  your symptoms.

 

Let the team of attorneys at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett fight for the compensation you deserve. With our proven record of handling cases such as these you can count on honest and hardworking representation. Call us today, there are no fees until we win your case.

 

 

September 8, 2021

WHAT IS A SETTLEMENT?

Often times when you are in a car accident you will have to deal with the insurance company and an insurance adjuster. Accidents can be traumatic and costly, which could lead to a mountain of debt. If you decide file a personal injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

But beware, the insurance company is going to try and pay you very little for your pain and suffering so they can keep the company from losing money. The job of an insurance adjuster is to save the insurance company money. In most cases, they will try to offer you a settlement which is typically low. Before you decide to accept or reject an offer you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. One who can walk you through the settlement process and explain why you should reject the very first offer.

A settlement offer comes before a settlement agreement, but you need to understand what a settlement is before we explain a settlement offer.

A settlement agreement happens when both parties come together stating what they are willing to offer, and what they are willing to receive. This often includes monetary offers. There are two types of settlement agreements lump-sum and structured.

A lump-sum settlement will be paid to you all at once, while a structured settlement is paid for a set number of years or possibly the rest of your life.

A settlement offer requires both the injured party and the insurance company to agree with the terms of the offer. In most cases, an insurance company will offer the lowest amount they can give you without going to court. They may try to convince you that their first offer is also going to be their best offer ignoring any long-term distresses that you may have from the accident. Again, this is why you need an experienced injury attorney guiding you through the settlement process.

In order to ensure you are getting the very best settlement from the insurance company, it is imperative that you hire a personal injury attorney, making sure you are documenting everything you’ve experienced since your car accident. Most often, insurance adjusters want to settle out of court to avoid costly litigation.

At Hardee, Massey & Blodgett we want what is best for you in your personal injury case. We will fight for you and if we need to fight in court, we have the experience and are ready to do so. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.

June 10, 2021

STEPS TO CHOOSE A SAFE MOTORCYCLE HELMET

The last thing you’re thinking about when you take off on your motorcycle is the possibility of being in an accident and the risk of receiving a brain injury as a result. Wearing the right helmet is important to riders from a comfort standpoint, however it could mean the difference between life and death.

So, before you head off on a summer ride, make sure your helmet meets your health and safety needs. Here are some tips to ensure you have the right fit and to prevent complications from a wreck.

YOUR HEAD SHAPE

The reason helmets come in different shapes is because everyone’s head is shaped differently. You can get helmets in round oval, intermediate oval (which is most common) and long oval. We suggest having a friend or family member look at the top of your head and focus on your head’s shape, not your face.

HELMET STYLE

Some helmets provide more protection according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Full face motorcycle helmets are aerodynamic. They are comfortable, wrap around your head, provide quality ventilation and protect your eyes and face. A modular helmet can be full- or open-face and is commonly used with dual-sport adventure riders. And then the half and open face helmets provide less protection with no chin guard and less skull protection.

Know what helmets are available and pick the style that works the best for your motorcycle and lifestyle.

HEAD SIZE AND ADJUSTMENT

Make sure you’ve measured your head just above your eyebrows and circle around the thickest part of your head. A helmet that is the correct size will be slightly tight and should not move if you shake your head. Also, a helmet that is close to your cheeks is a sign that it fits correctly. Cheek pads and liners should be adjusted as they can provide both protection and comfort.

NOVELTY HELMETS

While you should wear a helmet, some types are just not safe. Novelty helmets are too light and do not meet safety requirements. They typically have loose straps and plastic buckles and can have spiked or rigid decorations on top of the helmet – which can become a hazard. Note, the thinner the helmet, the more likely it’s not safe for motorcycle use.

Choosing a proper motorcycle helmet is an important part of preparing to ride on the road. So, make sure you look at all your options available and pick one that is comfortable and safe.

 

April 16, 2021

THE EFFECTS OF DISTRACTED DRIVING

It is becoming clearer that there is a new opponent to our safety. In the 1970’s the implementation of seatbelts fought against the rising amount of car fatalities, it is time to acknowledge and try to problem-solve for the current threat to our roads: distracted driving.

Drivers are more distracted and negligent than they have ever been due to cell phone use. Not only are they using the devices to talk and text, but to also to check their social media accounts and send emails. Making matters worse, research shows that doing activities most think are safe (such as talking on a hands-free device) drastically increases the likelihood of a car accident.

DISTRACTED DRIVING STATISTICS

Distracted driving accounts for more than 50,000 accidents and over 200 deaths each year. The National Safety Council reported that cell phone use while driving represents 25% of all car accidents or approximately 1.6 million crashes each year.

Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving and, in 2018, 2,841 people died in distraction-related crashes. 94% of drivers support a ban on texting while driving and 74% support a ban on hand-held cell phone use.

TEEN DISTRACTED DRIVING STATISTICS

21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones. In 2018, motor vehicle fatality was the leading cause of death among teenagers; it accounted for 33% of all deaths. If a teen driver has a passenger in their car, the risk of a fatal car accident doubles, and it continues to increase with the number of passengers.

Research on this topic is ongoing, and distracted driving represents a serious threat to our safety. More and more states continue to put laws into effect regarding texting and driving, but you still continue to see it on our roadway. And the more we talk about it, the more drivers will become educated on the issue of distracted driving and the threat it poses. While you cannot control how others are driving around you, you can control how you drive.

Remember to:

  • be mindful of your surroundings;
  • drive defensively; and
  • always avoid distractions while on the road.

In this way, we can all join the fight against distracted driving!

DEDICATED PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS

When a serious car accident occurs, it is best to contact Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, and one of our experienced distracted driving attorneys will discuss your personal injury legal needs with you.

Call our firm today for a case evaluation.