As a motorcyclist, you have little or no control over many roadway dangers. Howard Stallings understands the challenges you face while trying to safely enjoy the open road, and we’re here to help when outside factors cause you serious injury.
Unsafe Driving Conditions
Road conditions can pose unique problems for motorcycles. Potholes or ruts that go completely unnoticed by car and truck drivers can be dangerous for motorcyclists, and failure to anticipate even minor disturbances can cause crashes. Hazardous driving conditions include:
Poor-traction surfaces—gravel, manhole covers, mud/leaves, oil, wet pavement, etc.
Sudden, unexpected obstacles—animals, debris, litter, pedestrians, etc.
Uneven or damaged surfaces—broken or rough pavement, bumps, holes, ruts, etc.
Many unsafe driving conditions that cause injury or death to motorcycle riders exist due to the carelessness of the North Carolina Department of Transportation and its contractors. For example, unmaintained median barriers can allow vehicles that would otherwise be redirected to cross over into a motorcyclist’s lane of travel. At Howard Stallings, we have filed such lawsuits against the NCDOT and its contractors. Even where there is no at-fault driver involved in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to obtain recovery from unexpected parties due to unsafe driving conditions existing on and around the roadway.
Negligent Drivers & Other Vehicles
Motorcycles are far outnumbered by cars and trucks on the roadway, and other drivers often fail to see motorcyclists due to their smaller size. When poor visibility is compounded by negligent driving, the consequences can be disastrous.
Drivers often forget that riders may easily slip into blind spots of cars or trucks or may be concealed by surrounding elements such as bridges or fences. Other drivers also struggle to accurately judge speed and distance of motorcycles—a potentially fatal error in the case of a collision.
At Howard Stallings, we aggressively pursue claims on behalf of motorcyclists against negligent drivers of cars and trucks. Additionally, in North Carolina, your underinsured motorist policies on your bike and car might stack to allow for a large recovery, even where the at-fault driver has minimum limits.
Motorcycle manufacturers are sometimes at fault for serious motorcycle crashes. Several years ago, Howard Stallings handled a case against an international motorcycle manufacturer who was selling motorcycles with a front wheel wobble. As a result, our client was killed. After our experts from the United States and the United Kingdom testified about the defect, we obtained a significant recovery to support his loved ones.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle crash (whether or not another vehicle is involved), contact us today for a free, confidential and personal consultation. If we take your case, we spare no expense in hiring the best experts, and we only receive a fee if we win. In addition, throughout the representation, a partner at Howard Stallings will be consistently and directly available to provide support and answer questions.
As a motorcycle enthusiast and an experienced rider, I take every safety precaution. Even so, there was nothing I could do to avoid being hit by a distracted driver. When my wife and I met Joan, I was in a wheelchair. I was concerned about my health, the mounting medical bills and my ability to get back to running my company. The other driver had very little insurance coverage, and my medical bills were already over $200,000. Joan addressed all of our concerns. She reviewed our insurance policies and identified medical coverage and two under insured motorists’ provisions that together would pay the full value of my claim. Meeting with her was incredibly reassuring, but it was just the begetting. While the other driver’s insurance company was willing to pay and get out as quickly as possible, my own insurance company seemed to throw up roadblocks. Throughout the ordeal, Joan took care of so many details, and she became a part of our support network. Joan was proactive and tenacious, and we ultimately recovered the full limits from all three policies. I remember the day I walked into her office (no walker and no cane) to sign the final paperwork. It was quite a journey, and we could not have done it without her. – S. Rosenberg
NCAJ’s Trial Briefs Magazine recently featured the following story on one of our cases:
In April of 2018, Robby Jessup and Joan Davis [of Howard Stallings] obtained a Two Million Dollar settlement for the wrongful death of a motorcyclist.
Phil Sabino, a 45-year-old father, was killed in August of 2015 when a Honda Accord crossed under the median cable on I-540 and entered his lane of travel. The driver of the Honda Accord was an inexperienced driver, who became confused and panicked in the merging traffic lanes of the I-540/I-40 interchange.
The insurance company for the Honda Accord tendered its liability policy limits of $100,000 within weeks of the crash. Sabino had UIM coverage on his motorcycle of $250,000, and the attorneys discovered another automobile policy with $250,000 of UIM that was stacked for a $500,000 recovery. A limited release and waiver of subrogation for the liability and UIM policy limits was negotiated.
Thereafter, upon completing an accident reconstruction, witness interviews, and evaluation of thousands of records from the NCDOT, numerous problems with the cable median barrier were discovered.
A tort claim was filed in the Industrial Commission against the NCDOT, and after a year of litigation, a separate lawsuit was filed against the NCDOT contractor charged with maintenance and repair of the cable medians.
After 23 depositions, including eyewitnesses, state officials, maintenance crews and company representatives, as well as local accident reconstruction engineers and national cable median experts on both sides, the cases against the NCDOT and contractor were settled post-mediation, two weeks before trial, for an additional $1.5 Million. An aggregate settlement of Two Million Dollars was recovered for the Sabino family.