Motorcycle accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence in Virginia. When they happen, they can leave riders with severe injuries, as motorcyclists have little to protect them in the event of a collision.
Understanding the common causes of motorcycle accidents can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation from the motorist or other party responsible for your injuries.
Reach out to the Virginia personal injury lawyers of Arrington Schelin if you’ve recently been hurt in a motorcycle crash caused by someone else’s negligence. Consultations are free and come with no obligations, so there’s no risk in discussing your case with one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys.
Why You Need Our Virginia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
In Virginia, you cannot recover any financial compensation if you are even 1 percent responsible for causing a motorcycle accident. That is why hiring an experienced attorney from the law firm of Arrington Schelin is an important step as you prepare your case. Our motorcycle accident attorneys can gather crucial evidence to prove that someone else caused the accident and that you share none of the blame.
When you hire our firm to handle your case, you can be sure that we will work tirelessly to pursue the compensation you deserve. Our legal team can help you by:
- Reviewing your case for free during an initial consultation and answering your legal questions.
- Explaining your legal options and what you can expect at each stage of your case.
- Conducting an independent investigation of the accident to determine who is at fault.
- Identifying all potential sources of compensation.
- Communicating with insurance adjusters and other parties on your behalf so that you can focus on healing.
- Calculating the full extent of your financial and personal losses to determine what you are owed.
- Negotiating aggressively with the insurance companies for a fair settlement.
- Taking your case to trial if the other side won’t offer a fair settlement and pursuing the maximum compensation there.
Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Virginia
Some of the most common causes of Virginia motorcycle accidents include:
- Following too closely – A driver who tailgates a motorcyclist increases the risk of a rear-end collision, which can result in the rider being thrown off their bike and onto the road, typically with catastrophic consequences.
- Making left-hand turns in front of an oncoming motorcycle – Motorists turning left are expected to yield to oncoming traffic. But many drivers underestimate the speed of an oncoming motorcycle or simply fail to notice them, which can cause a T-bone accident when the motorcycle hits the side of the car.
- Failure to yield the right-of-way – Sometimes, a crash occurs when a driver fails to yield the right-of-way to a motorcycle at a stop sign or traffic light.
- Not sharing the road – Motorcycles are entitled by law to an entire lane. Drivers who do not move over into the adjacent lane to pass a motorcycle risk a dangerous sideswipe collision.
- Speeding – A speeding driver has less time to react and requires more distance to slow and stop their vehicle. Even drivers going the speed limit often fail to see motorcycles in time. Speeding drivers are even less likely to notice them in time to avoid a collision.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol – Drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol put all road users at risk because of their slowed reaction times, altered perception, and poor judgment. Motorcyclists are at particular risk because they are often harder to see and are more susceptible to severe injuries in the event of a crash.
- Distracted driving – While cellphone use generally is a major distraction, texting is particularly dangerous. Reading a text message requires a driver to take their eyes off the road for about five seconds. In that short time, a distracted driver can travel the length of a football field without looking at the road.
- Dooring accidents – An occupant of a vehicle parked on the street can cause a devastating accident if they suddenly open their car door directly into the path of an approaching motorcyclist.
- Dangerous road conditions – Motorcyclists are especially at risk when road conditions are poor, both because their vehicles are inherently unstable and because they are exposed to the elements. Uneven pavement or road surfaces, potholes, debris, or black ice can cause a motorcyclist to lose control and crash, with potentially deadly results.
Steps to Take If You’ve Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
If you are able, taking the following steps can help protect your rights to compensation after a motorcycle accident in Virginia:
- Call 911 to summon local authorities to the scene and get immediate medical attention for your injuries,
- Gather evidence from the accident scene, including photos and videos of the damage to your motorcycle and other vehicles, skid marks or debris on the road, traffic signs or signals, road conditions, and ambient lighting.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other motorists involved in the accident.
- See your doctor as soon as possible if you don’t go to the hospital after the accident, and have your injuries diagnosed, treated, and added to your medical records.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan and keep all follow-up appointments.
- Keep copies of bills, invoices, and other records of any expenses that you incurred because of the accident.
- Talk to our motorcycle accident attorneys immediately to discuss your rights and legal options.
Virginia Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 1,827 crashes involving motorcycles in the Commonwealth in one recent year, representing 1.7 percent of all auto accidents in the state. Of these, 88 accidents resulted in fatalities, 1,405 resulted in injury, and 334 resulted in property damage only.
A total of 83 motorcyclists and four passengers were killed that year, while 1,403 motorcyclists and 103 passengers were injured. Of those, 634 motorcyclists and 46 passengers sustained serious injuries.
Contact Our Experienced Virginia Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today
If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, reach out to the motorcycle accident attorneys at Arrington Schelin today for a free case review. Our firm can help you pursue the compensation you need after a crash.