Motorcycle riders are among the most vulnerable users of roads, next to pedestrians. Their vehicle is not capable of offering them protection in case of an impact with another motor vehicle. Indeed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 4,985 riders lost their lives in a motorcycle crash across the US. In the state of Virginia the average number of motorcycle accident fatalities is 77, while 1,778 people suffer motorcycle accident injuries. If you or a loved one was injured in such an crash, you should contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at CAIL law firm to evaluate your case and advise you on ways of recovering damages from the fault driver.
- The Most Relevant Virginia Motorcycle Laws
- Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries Sustained by Riders
- Most Frequent Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
- Why You Should Hire Motorcycle Accident Lawyers to Handle Your Case
- Hire a Top Personal Injury Law Firm in Virginia!
The Most Relevant Virginia Motorcycle Laws
First of all, Virginia is one of the US states where helmet wearing is not mandatory. Therefore, even if you were not wearing a helmet when the crash occurred, you are still entitled to file a motorcycle accident claim. This is possible because the Statutes of Virginia 8-01-58 stipulate the contributory negligence principle. This means that, as long a motorcycle accident victim is less than 50% at fault for the crash, they are entitled to receive financial compensation for their medical bills, property damage and other types of damages. However, the maximum compensation amount will be reduced by the percentage of fault for the crash. Thus, if your personal injuries expenses should receive a compensation of $100,000 and you were 40% at fault for the crash, you will receive $60,000.
Another important aspect pertaining to your ability to recover damages for injuries in motorcycle crashes is the other driver’s insurance coverage. The minimum required insurance amounts stipulated by the law in Virginia are:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
- $20,000 property damage coverage.
In many cases, these minimum mandatory amounts may not be sufficient to cover your hospital bills and ongoing treatments for severe injuries. It is also possible that the negligent driver is uninsured. You may claim uninsured motorist compensation from your own insurance company. However, you are likely to receive a settlement offer that does not cover all your expenses. This is why you should hire an experienced personal injury attorney to negotiate your fair compensation with insurance companies or even represent you in a motorcycle injury lawsuit against the at fault driver.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries Sustained by Riders
Riding a motorcycle without protective helmets and other types of protective gear (such as padded jacket, eye protection) has its inherent risks of accident leading to injuries such as road rash or soft tissue damage. When motorcyclists are hit by a distracted driver, the outcomes range from severe to fatal injuries.
Our law firm has advised and negotiated financial compensation for thousands of motorcyclists who suffered:
- injuries to the lower members (legs and feet) including amputation
- permanent nerve damage
- spinal cord injury
- traumatic brain injury
- severe head injuries.
These types of injuries require extensive treatment in hospital and, in some cases, lifelong medical care and the use of assistive devices (crutches, walker or wheelchair). As a consequence, the expenses related to treating the injuries caused by such traffic accidents are very high. At the same time, motorcycle accident victims sustain financial losses in terms of lost wages for the duration of hospitalization and recovery.
Most Frequent Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle crashes are, most cases, the result of someone else’s negligence and lack of duty of care. This is the core principle of personal injury law. A victim must prove that:
- the responsible party owed them duty of care
- they breached this duty and this led to the accident
- the victim suffered personal injuries and property damage as a direct consequence of the accident.
We give this necessary context because, as you will see from the explanations below, the other driver is not always the only party responsible for a motorcycle crash.
Vehicle Turns Left in Front of the Motorcyclist
This is, by far, the most frequent cause of fatal motorcycle accidents and crashes resulting in severe bodily injury. Sometimes, the root cause of this type of accident is that the rider is situated in the driver’s blind spot. However, these kinds of crashes are also caused by distracted drivers or drowsy drivers.
Changing Lanes in Front of a Motorcycle Rider
This common motorcycle accident is usually associated with aggressive and reckless driving. A motor vehicle operator should always ensure that their driving style does not pose a danger for other road users, especially cyclists and motorcyclists.
Speeding car drivers and motorcyclists can cause tragic accidents. At very high speed, an operator is not fully in control of their vehicle. They are unable to safely brake on time or change lanes to avoid a collision.
A Motor Vehicle Rear-Ends a Motorcycle
Failure to appreciate the safe distance for braking may lead to a vehicle hitting a motorcycle from behind. Due to the shock, the motorcyclist is usually thrown over the handlebar. This is one of the cases when the lack of protection that motorcycles offer riders is a factor in fatal accidents.
Driving under Influence of Alcohol of Drugs
When drivers have a high blood alcohol content or are under the influence of drugs, their reflexes are impaired. They are not in full control of their vehicle and are very likely to cause motorcycle accident deaths.
Dangerous Road Conditions
A road with potholes, debris or lacking visible lane delimitations can pose a serious risk for all types of motor vehicle operators. In this instance, the motorcyclist may lose control of their vehicle and suffer severe injuries. Alternately, a car driver may be unable to maintain their vehicle in its proper lane and hit a motorcyclist.
On rainy or snowy days, the roads are wet and slippery. Both motorcycles and cars can skid and cause a collision. At the same time, motorcycle riders who do not wear eye protection will have a reduced visibility and not observe an obstacle ahead in time to be able of avoiding it.
Why You Should Hire Motorcycle Accident Lawyers to Handle Your Case
The number one challenge in motorcycle accident claims is overcoming the bias against motorcyclists. A lot of people consider motorcycle riders as being inherently reckless, swerving in traffic and changing lanes without signaling properly.
This kind of bias is very useful for insurance adjusters, who will use it in order to:
- assign a larger proportion of fault to motorcyclists
- dismiss claims for property damage
- persuade motorcycle accident victims that they have no standing to file a personal injury lawsuit.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will investigate the motorcycle accident thoroughly and collect evidence that proves who was the at fault party for the accident. From police reports, witness statements, photos and videos, the lawyer will create a true narrative of how the crash happened. At the same time, by looking over your medical reports and discussing with your doctor, your personal injury attorney will be able to calculate a fair settlement amount that covers your expenses and losses.
And even if settlement negotiations fail, the motorcycle accident law firm will prepare your case for trial, where the jury award will include:
- economic losses: medical bills, lost wages, loss of future incomes, long term medical care
- non-economic losses: pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium
- punitive damages: if the responsible driver acted in gross negligence.
Hire a Top Personal Injury Law Firm in Virginia!
CAIL Law Firm has a simple mission statement: you are a real person who needs help and we are here to advise you and win your case. We have extensive experience in handling motorcycle accident claims and we are by your side at every step of the way.
Call us for a free consultation and let our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers win the fair compensation you deserve: 1-800-HURT-123!
Let's get started with your free consultation!