Motorcyclists have a right to the road. All too often, though, other drivers don’t respect those rights. If a negligent driver caused a crash that left you with serious injuries, talk to a Virginia motorcycle accident lawyer from Arrington Schelin today. Our dedicated attorneys can help you demand financial compensation and justice for what you’ve been through.
The team at Arrington Schelin has advocated on behalf of motorcycle accident victims across Virginia for more than 40 years. Our firm’s focus is on motor vehicle accident claims, which gives us the extensive experience and resources needed to take on big-name auto insurance companies. Let us put our knowledge and skills to work for you.
Contact us today for a free consultation with a trusted Virginia motorcycle accident lawyer. There is no charge for us to start work on your case. We only charge a fee if we recover compensation for you.
Do You Have a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
You may have a motorcycle accident claim if someone else caused your crash. That party can be held liable for your injuries and any related expenses and losses. However, you will need to be able to demonstrate your losses. An experienced Virginia motorcycle accident attorney can help you craft a strong claim for the full compensation you need to recover.
What Makes Motorcycle Accident Cases More Complicated?
Motorcycle accident claims can be more complicated than other kinds of motor vehicle accident cases because:
- Riders tend to suffer more serious injuries in accidents, as they are completely exposed to the elements. As a result, riders often require more expensive medical treatment. They may also need compensation for future anticipated medical expenses, such as rehab or long-term care.
- At-fault drivers and insurance companies often rely on popular biases against motorcyclists, depicting them as reckless thrill-seekers in order to pin some share of fault on them. Under Virginia’s contributory negligence rules, an injured rider who bears any share of fault for an accident or their injuries cannot recover compensation.
How Is Fault Determined After a Motorcycle Accident in Virginia?
At Arrington Schelin, our motorcycle accident lawyers will review many types of evidence to determine who should be held at fault for your crash and resulting injuries, including:
- Police accident reports
- Accident scene photos and videos
- Vehicle inspection/repair reports
- Vehicle electronic data recorder logs
- Eyewitness statements
- Footage taken from surveillance, traffic, dash, and helmet cameras
- Reports and testimony from accident reconstruction experts
We will piece together all the evidence to determine exactly how your crash occurred and who was to blame.
How Virginia Contributory Negligence Law Affects Your Motorcycle Accident Case
Virginia remains one of the few states that still uses the contributory negligence rule. Under this rule, an injured party cannot pursue a claim for compensation if they bear any share of responsibility for their injuries. Even if an injured motorcyclist is found to have been only 1 percent at fault for a crash, the contributory negligence law precludes them from recovering compensation from another party that is found to be 99 percent at fault.
Because of the contributory negligence rule, at-fault drivers and insurance companies will often argue that the injured motorcyclist was speeding or driving recklessly. If you are found to have any share of responsibility for the motorcycle accident or your injuries, you may lose the right to a financial recovery for your expenses and losses. It is crucial to have a skilled lawyer on your side from the beginning to protect your rights.
How Long Do You Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Virginia?
Virginia’s statute of limitations gives you only two years from the date of a motorcycle accident to file a lawsuit against the driver or other party at fault for the crash. Although this may seem like a lot of time, you need to move quickly to start work on your claim. Your attorney will want to begin preserving evidence before it is lost or destroyed. It will also take time to build a comprehensive case for compensation. You don’t want to risk time running out on your case.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered After a Motorcycle Crash?
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another party, you may be entitled to compensation for the related expenses and losses that you have suffered. Financial recovery in your motorcycle accident case may cover:
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation of injuries
- Costs for home health care or long-term care of permanent disabilities
- Lost wages or income if you take time off work to recover after the accident
- Loss of earning capacity if disabilities render you unable to return to your job or to any gainful employment
- Repair costs for your motorcycle, or the value of your bike if it was totaled in the accident
- Reduction in your quality of life due to scarring/disfigurement or physical disabilities
- Pain and suffering
Do not let an insurance company tell you what your case is worth. Their goal is to minimize or even deny your claim. Talk to a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer from Arrington Schelin to learn how we can help you demand maximum payment.
Understanding Virginia Motorcycle Laws
Virginia motorcycle laws are designed to ensure rider safety and to reduce the risks of catastrophic injuries in the event of an accident. For example, Virginia has a universal helmet law that requires all operators and passengers to wear a helmet certified by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the American National Standards Institute (ASNI), or the Snell Foundation. Operators and passengers are also required to have a face shield on their helmets or wear safety glasses or goggles if their motorcycle is not equipped with a windshield.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Injuries that motorcycle riders frequently suffer in crashes include:
- Dislocated joints
- Broken bones
- Soft-tissue damage
- Neck, shoulder, and back injuries
- Knee injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Internal injuries and bleeding
- Facial injuries
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injury
- Traumatic amputation
- Cuts and abrasions, including road rash
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Virginia
Some of the most frequent causes of motorcycle accidents in Virginia include:
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
- Reckless driving
- Aggressive driving or road rage
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Unsafe lane changes
- Failure to yield
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Inexperienced drivers
- Poor road conditions
- Bad weather
- Low lighting
- Auto part defects
Motorcycle Accident FAQs
If you are contacted by an insurance adjuster after a motorcycle accident, you should not agree to provide a statement regarding the crash. Insurance companies frequently try to use accident victims’ statements against them to deny a claim outright or to offer less than fair compensation. Instead, let the insurance company know that they can contact your Virginia motorcycle accident lawyer if they need to discuss your claim.
Before you accept any settlement offer from the insurance company, you should speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer about whether the offer provides your fair and full compensation. If you received an inadequate settlement offer, your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company for a higher figure.
It is difficult to predict whether a given motorcycle accident case will go to trial. However, most claims end up being settled before trial. Our attorneys will aggressively pursue an efficient settlement that pays you fair and full compensation. But we will also provide you with honest advice when litigation represents the best option for securing maximum compensation in your case.
Even if you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance as required by law, you still may have options for obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses. First, if you have purchased Med Pay coverage in your motorcycle insurance policy, you may be entitled to receive compensation to offset your medical expenses. In addition, you may turn to your own uninsured motorist coverage to file a claim for compensation.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers represent injured riders on a contingency-fee-basis. With a contingency-fee arrangement, clients do not pay any legal fees upfront. Instead, our firm is only paid when we secure compensation for our client in a settlement or a verdict at trial. We are then paid a fee equal to a previously agreed-upon percentage of the total recovery we have obtained for our client.
Talk to a Virginia Motorcycle Accident Attorney Now
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash and someone else is to blame, contact the experts at Arrington Schelin today for a free consultation. We represent motorcycle accident victims in Bristol, Marion, Norton, Abingdon, Tazewell, Wise, Lebanon, Grundy, and throughout Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee. Our motorcycle accident attorneys can walk you through your legal options and help you decide on your next steps.Get Legal Advice Now