Motorcycles are a preferred transportation means in Virginia Beach, VA. They allow riders to sneak in through the crowded traffic and admire the beautiful scenery. However, they also expose their riders to accidents. Quite a few riders end up needing the help of a Virginia Beach motorcycle accident attorney.
The number of people who died in motorcycle accidents in Virginia in 2017 was 50% higher compared to 2016. Although less than 2% of all accidents involved motorcycles, those accidents accounted for 13% of all fatalities. Motorcycle injuries and deaths total annual costs of more than $12 billion on a national level. If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident in Virginia Beach call Christian direct at 1-800-HURT-123 for a free consultation.
- What Are The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
- What Should I Do After a Motorbike Crash?
- What Are the Different Types of Compensation I Am Entitled To Receive After A Motorcycle Accident?
- Should I See A Doctor Even Though I Was Not Injured During a Motorcycle Accident?
- What Determines the Value of My Case?
- How Is Negligence Determined For A Motorcycle Accident In Virginia?
- What Is The Deadline For Filing A Motorcycle Accident Claim in Virginia Beach?
- How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Benefit My Compensation Claim?
- How Much Do Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Charge?
- How Long Do Motorcycle Crash Cases Take to Settle?
- Call a Virginia Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Now!
What Are The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
The most common causes of motorcycle accident our personal injury lawyers see in Virginia Beach include:
Many motorcyclists take advantage of their superior motor power and small vehicle dimensions. Drivers speed too, and they often notice motorcyclists too late to be able to stop safely.
Both drivers and motorcyclists take their eyes off the road to check their phones or admire the scenery. One second of inattention is enough for the inevitable to occur.
Drivers often cut in front of motorcyclists or fail to yield right of way. Motorcyclists overtake cars in their own lane, ride more than two abreast, or do not signal their intentions.
Alcohol impairs drivers and motorcyclists. It slows down their reaction speed and diminishes their ability to focus on the road.
When a car and a motorcycle collide, the motorcyclist always suffers the most serious injuries. Some motorcyclists are lucky and get away with mild scratches, bruises, and whiplash injuries. Others need months to recover from broken bones and head and spine injuries. Motorcyclists without a helmet who get away without traumatic brain injuries can consider themselves lucky.
One explanation is that motorcycles fail to offer the enclosed protection available with cars. Another one is that most accident victims who incur serious injuries or die do not wear protective gear. In Virginia, helmets are a legal requirement. Not wearing one could cost the rider their right to compensation.
If you were involved in a motorcycle crash, you should contact a motorcycle accident lawyer. In theory, if someone else was at fault for your accident, they or their insurer should cover all damages. In practice, pursuing compensation on your own is risky.
What Should I Do After a Motorbike Crash?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, the first thing to do will be to seek medical attention and call the police.
Only make statements to the police and then only give the facts as you know them nothing more.
Do not say or do anything that could make you seem at fault –– this includes online communications.
Collect the contact information from any eyewitnesses in the vicinity who may have seen the accident. You will find that it is far easier for you to obtain this useful information than it will be for the police.
Use the camera you have on hand to begin taking pictures of everything important at the scene. This includes damages to the vehicles involved and all other visible evidence. Look for gouge marks on the pavement, tire marks, and other debris.
Begin to take a photo journal of your visible injuries until they have completely healed.
Notify your insurance company of the accident but decline any further commentary on the accident until you have had a chance to speak with one of our qualified motorcycle accident lawyers.
What Are the Different Types of Compensation I Am Entitled To Receive After A Motorcycle Accident?
Even with the use of proper protection for the head and eyes, motorcyclists are still in danger of a wide variety of other injuries from an accident. Unlike a motorist in a car, the motorcyclist does not benefit from the variety of protective systems in an enclosed space, like side-impact airbags, seatbelts, and a cradling seat. For this reason, even a relatively minor accident means that the motorcyclist will be impacting hard pavement and suffering considerably worse injuries that will take a considerably longer time to fully recover from. If you have been injured in an accident, you are entitled to certain compensation for your injuries and damages.
When pursuing a case against another motorist for acts of negligence it is best to do so with the help and support of a qualified motor accident attorney. This professional will be able to negotiate the following types of reparation.
If you’ve been the victim of another road user’s negligence, you might want to consider working with a motorcycle accident attorney for the following types of reparation:
Compensation for economic damages will cover all medical expenses that you were forced to pay in treating injuries and fully recovering from your accident. Economic damages will also cover any wages lost because of time spent recovering rather than working. Under Virginia Law, you are entitled to economic damages totaling the amount of cash lost in expenses and wages resulting from the accident. This is where a lawyer will be able to go over medical and salary financial records to produce an exact figure that will sufficiently cover your loss.
In addition to the economic damages incurred in an accident it is quite likely, there is often other tangible damages that are a direct result of physical injuries incurred in the accident. Things like paralysis, disfigurement, coma and the loss of a limb are all common in motorcycle accidents and can dramatically alter a person’s life and have significant implications on their professional, personal and social future.
For these damages there is no exact cash amount that can restore the motorcyclist to their former life, but non-economic compensation seeks to do what it can to relieve some of the financial issues their life changing injuries will present. A reputable motorcycle accident attorney can help to quantify these numbers and protect your interests in this complex case.
In other cases the at-fault driver may be punished with punitive damages which are applied for the sole purpose of punishing the other motorist. These damages are often awarded if the motorcyclist has suffered extreme injuries and lifelong impairment. For these situations it is very important to work with a lawyer that has extensive experience in working with these cases and has the resources and skill to establish outright negligence or malicious intent.
Compensation for any of these damages is possible, but much of the details will be determined by the specifics of the accident and the extent of injuries and damages. Never forget that claims for compensation for injuries and damages must be made before their respective deadlines.
Should I See A Doctor Even Though I Was Not Injured During a Motorcycle Accident?
No matter the perceived extent of your physical injuries, it is always a good idea to have yourself fully examined by a doctor if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident. In moments of extreme danger, the body releases adrenaline that can override your capacity to fully gage your physical conditions. This means that other injuries, possibly very serious injuries, may not be fully tangible until later. These conditions may become worse if not immediately examined by a medical professional.
Your doctor will be able to examine you for internal injuries you may have suffered in the accident but are simply not as visible or easily recognized as a broken arm, for example. Furthermore, having yourself fully examined by the doctor will help solidify your case. If you wait too long, it is possible for the insurance adjusters to suggest your injuries were not actually related to the accident. The doctor’s examination provides a solid timestamp and irrefutably connects the injuries to the accident.
What Determines the Value of My Case?
No two accidents are exactly the same and there will be many individual factors that determine the value of every individual case. Some of the factors include:
- Severity and nature of injuries
- Aggravating factors such as drunk or reckless driving
- Permanent impairment, disfigurement, injury, or scarring
- Amount of insurance coverage available
- Amount of wages lost
- Cost of medical bills
- Rider’s contribution to the accident
- Recovery time
In order to build a solid case, it is imperative that our lawyers are working with all the details to properly calculate your coverage. The amount of coverage you can receive is the most important factor in a case like his and this is why it is important that all the details are collected and properly introduced to the case by a professional lawyer. You can see some of our motorcycle safety tips that include pointers on maximizing the amount of cover you can expect from a case.
How Is Negligence Determined For A Motorcycle Accident In Virginia?
Virginia law does not accept shared fault. If you played any part in your accident, you lose your right to compensation. Thus, if you were not wearing a helmet or the model is not approved, you cannot recover damages. The same rule applies if you broke any other rules or regulations relating to motorcyclists.
It goes without saying that this is what any insurance company will try to show in order to avoid paying. Your best chance to obtain the compensation you deserve is to work with a motorcycle accident attorney. As we may explain, your motorcycle accident claim needs to show that:
- The other party owed you and other traffic participants a duty of care
- They neglected their duty (violated the law)
- Their negligent or intentional wrongful actions caused the accident
- The injuries and damages in your compensation claim were the consequences of the accident.
This is not as easy as it may seem. Every allegation in the claim and every cent of the claimed compensation should rely on relevant evidence. Gathering the necessary evidence takes time and effort. Moreover, you have to file the claim within a specific time period. Otherwise, you lose the right to compensation.
What Is The Deadline For Filing A Motorcycle Accident Claim in Virginia Beach?
According to Virginia Code Section 8.01-243, motorcycle accident claims must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. There are no exceptions to this. The law does allow five years for recovering property damages. However, it is more practical to claim all losses at the same time.
The only scenarios when it is possible to file the claim later are when:
- The victims are underage – The clock starts running on the day they turn 18.
- The claimant is disabled – The clock starts running when they recover from the disability.
At CAIL, we advise our clients to start preparing their claims as soon as possible. Gathering evidence and finding witnesses takes time. Moreover, if they start early, they will have more time to negotiate with the insurance company. They will also not have to worry about missing the deadline and losing their rights.
Calling a motorcycle accident lawyer from the accident scene is the best strategy. Since motorcyclists often incur serious injuries, they fail to gather the evidence they need. This evidence is only available at the accident scene.
Details like brake marks, fluid leaks, and vehicles’ positions can prove accident liability. In order to claim compensation, victims will also need vehicle, insurance, and contact information. The accident scene is the best place to find witnesses or video recordings. Any photos and recordings at this stage will be worth gold for the compensation claim.
Having a motorcycle accident attorney to defend your interests can be lifesaving. They will notice details you would most likely miss and will help you avoid mistakes like saying or signing something to jeopardize your case. They will use their knowledge and experience in your interest.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Benefit My Compensation Claim?
In addition to experienced advice as well as a professional perspective on your advantages and disadvantages in seeking a settlement or pursuing legislation, your motorcycle injury lawyer will be able to properly file your claim within the necessary deadline laid down by the law requirements of the State of Virginia.
Motorcycle accidents occurring in and around the city of Virginia Beach are given a two-year time frame in which the plaintiff must file a motor vehicle accident claim. Four years are given to file claims for property damage. If you are considering hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer, you can discern their level of professionalism if they are sure to inform you of these important deadlines.
If you hope to discuss making a claim for compensation from the insurance providers of the other driver involved in the accident, it is best to do so with a working knowledge of the comparative negligence rule (used to determine the percentage of fault in an accident. Imagine you were at least partly to blame for the accident, a good lawyer will be a considerable benefit in negotiating this crucial detail. Attempting to negotiate this without experience and knowledge of motorcycle accident law can be especially difficult.
Furthermore, any case made to claim your coverage will only be as strong as the quality evidence that supports it. A qualified and experienced motorcycle accident attorney will have the capacity to gather the right evidence to build a strong case in your favor. This may require a variety of different operations including accessing police documents and conducting other investigative work.
One such operation will be revisiting the scene of the accident with an expert who can recreate the event and provide an authority’s testimony. We may also interview eyewitnesses and examine other evidence such as the pictures of the accident itself, the position of the bike and any traffic signals in the vicinity.
Finally, your attorney may also offer you counsel and emotional support on certain particulars relating to the aftermath of this event. They may even make resources available to aid you during this recovery period. Working with a motorcycle attorney you trust and feel good about is important to maximizing the benefits of a legal professional.
How Much Do Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Charge?
A reputable motorcycle accident lawyer will often work on what is known as a “contingency fee”. This plan considers that the aftermath of an accident is always an especially difficult time financially. The contingency fee means that unless the case is actually a success and your compensation is granted, neither you, the client nor our lawyers will make any cash at all. This means that you are not charged for their full examination of your case, expert representation and negotiations or any of the other resources they may invest into your case –– unless we win, then we all win together.
Because, the client is not asked to pay anything upfront or later down the line, financial concerns should not be an obstacle to professional representation from a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer.
How Long Do Motorcycle Crash Cases Take to Settle?
This can vary from case to case as well. In our experience, we have found that a motorcycle accident case is typically settled within 8 months. But some can take as long as a few years and others are completed within a few weeks. We will always do our best to bring these cases to a full conclusion as fast as possible.
Call a Virginia Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Now!
Did you incur injuries in a motorcycle accident in Virginia Beach? We are sorry to hear about your misfortune but crying over what already happened is useless. You now need to focus on proving your case and obtaining compensation for your losses. We can help!
Contact our office and schedule a consultation with our motorcycle accident lawyer. Another option is to fill out the contact form. One of our team members will get back to you and answer any questions you may have. Let us use our experience and resources to your benefit and you will not regret it!