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Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Richmond, VA
Motorcycles provide a sense of freedom that car and truck drivers cannot grasp, even with their windows down. They allow their drivers to be present in nature and feel the sun on their back while going for a ride.
You can find more motorcycles on U.S. roads today than ever before. During the most recent 10-year span, the number of registered motorcycles in our country rose by 962,278, or an increase of 12 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Today, nearly 9 million registered motorcycles are on our roads.
Riding a motorcycle is a thrilling experience for adventure-seekers worldwide, but it is also quite dangerous. Motorcycle accident injuries are often much more severe than accidents involving standard motor vehicles—where all parties are secured with seat belts and protected by airbags, not to mention vehicle frames and doors.
In Richmond, motorcycle accidents are less common than crashes involving other modes of transportation, but they still happen. If you have been involved in a motorcycle wreck through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. With a free consultation, the accident lawyers with Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci will review your case and provide you with a list of your options moving forward.
How Common are Motorcycle Accidents in Richmond?
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, (DMV) there were 102 motorcyclists killed in fatal crashes in Virginia in 2021. Among the fatal crashes involving multiple vehicles, the most common cause was two-vehicle crashes, accounting for 47% of them. In every two-vehicle crash involving a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle that resulted in a fatality, the victim was a motorcyclist.
In a passenger vehicle, you have a variety of protections, from restraint systems and airbags to high-tech safety technology systems and vehicle construction. On a motorcycle, you have none of these.
Many car drivers think motorcyclists speed down roadways and end up causing accidents. The majority of all motorcycle accident cases in Virginia are not caused by speeding, distracted driving, or drunk driving. Many instances involve perfect weather conditions where the motorcyclist was driving on a straight road without any impairment. However, data published by the DMV indicates that of the thousands of motorcycle accidents in the Commonwealth every year, no one violation cause most motorcycle crashes. Unfortunately, many reported motorcycle accidents result in catastrophic injuries or the loss of life of the motorcyclist. Because motorcyclists have few protections when involved in a collision, their injuries may be especially severe; seeking legal advice from an experienced attorney could be your best decision.
What are the Motorcycle Laws in Richmond?
If you ride a motorcycle in Richmond, you must have a motorcycle designation on your license. There are a few other Virginia motorcycle laws that riders need to know before hitting the open road.
A helmet and protective gear can minimize injuries to a certain extent and mean the difference between life and death.
Virginia requires drivers and riders to wear helmets. Virginia also requires all motorcycle operators to wear a face shield and safety glasses or goggles unless the bike is equipped with safety glass or a windshield.
You should also wear protective clothing. While you might be careful, you can never predict what others on the road will do. As a result, you could be injured in a motorcycle accident you didn’t cause or could not avoid.
Virginia has severe distracted driving and drunk driving laws, which have helped curb the number of car accidents and motorcycle accidents throughout the state
What Are The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
There are various causes of motorcycle accidents in Virginia, but the number one cause is human error. In most cases, negligent vehicle drivers are to blame.
Many ordinary passenger vehicle and truck drivers do not anticipate a motorcycle on the highway, and therefore do not adequately look for them in their rearview mirrors. Nevertheless, negligent motor vehicle drivers should be held accountable for the damage they cause, and injured riders are entitled to full and fair compensation.
Most motorcycle collisions can be caused when a negligent driver:
- Drives while distracted.
- Drivers under the influence.
- Drives aggressively.
- Fails to check their blind spot.
- Tailgates motorcyclists.
Some motorcycle accidents occur without the involvement of another motorist. You could crash your bike due to poorly maintained roads, large potholes, road debris, incorrectly marked roads or intersections, road construction, obstructed views, etc.
You could also be the victim of a product defect if some part of your bike fails due to manufacturing errors or a similar cause.
In all these potential scenarios, someone is likely at fault for your accident and the resulting injuries.
When the error of another party causes your motorcycle crash, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses. Seeking legal advice from a personal injury lawyer with Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci could be your best chance of receiving full compensation.
What are Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents?
Unfortunately, many reported motorcycle accidents result in catastrophic injuries or the loss of life of the motorcyclist. From a traumatic brain injury to spinal injuries, a motorcycle crash victim can suffer devastating injuries. Anyone involved in an accident should seek medical attention immediately. Go to urgent care, the ER, or a qualified medical treatment professional for a full exam as soon as possible.
The types of injuries depend on the circumstances of the wreck, including:
- whether you were in an impact by yourself.
- with another vehicle.
- the size of the other vehicle.
- the speed at which you were both traveling.
Some of the most common injuries victims of motorcycle crashes may suffer when hit include:
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Amputations of limbs.
- Back and spinal cord injuries often result in paralysis.
- Broken bones, particularly in the feet and legs.
- Facial fractures and disfigurement.
- Burns or road rash, which could be minor or so severe that it removes all layers of skin.
- Internal injuries.
- Degloving injuries, when a large piece of skin and the layer of soft tissue right under it partially or wholly rips from your body.
- Wrongful death.
Brain injuries are among the leading causes of many motorcycle accident fatalities, despite Virginia law requiring all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets.
While helmets can ensure most motorcyclists do not receive serious brain injuries, they do not protect the rest of the body, including the spinal cord, from taking a serious impact. Even a minor blow to the spinal cord could lead to permanent paralysis. This devastating scenario is all too common for motorcyclists who follow the rules of the road, only to be sideswiped by a distracted driver.
Is It Worth Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
With these injuries often come medical bills and other costs. A lawyer for Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci will help you get full financial compensation for any damages. You can rest assured we will fight passionately on your behalf if an insurance company refuses to provide you with fair compensation for your injury. Your legal team will take care of everything related to your case, and we will handle the investigation and documentation of your case and all negotiations with an insurance company.
We know how to win in court, and we will be more than ready to do just that.
What If I Represent Myself?
You can pursue a claim yourself through the at-fault party’s insurance company if you want to. This approach makes the most sense if you aren’t seriously injured.
However, if your injuries require medical treatment or you aren’t sure yet what your prognosis might be, you should at least talk to a personal injury lawyer to explore your options.
A tort is an action by one person that results in another person’s injury. The responsible party is typically held accountable for the resulting damages in these actions, which can lead to personal injury claims of negligence.
In a negligence action, a person may be responsible for damages if they acted outside the scope of what a reasonably prudent person would do. For example, if a car driver changed lanes without looking in the lane next to them and without properly signaling, they may be liable for any resulting damage from an accident they caused.
Virginia is a contributory negligence state. This means if a motorcyclist is even 1% at fault for the accident or resulting injuries, the motorcyclist will be unable to claim any damages in court.
For example, if a motorcyclist was speeding at the time of the crash and the speeding caused or contributed to the crash, then even if the car driver blatantly disregards the rules of the road by running a stop sign, the motorcyclist’s speeding may prevent the victim from recovering against the car driver.
Contributory negligence is one of the primary reasons you need an experienced legal team on your side after a motorcycle crash. Richmond motorcycle accident lawyers build your claim so that they can prove your injuries would not have occurred but for the actions of the other party, and therefore, that your claim deserves to be paid in full.
Drivers are not required to be insured in Virginia, which can sometimes lead to tricky situations if you want to negotiate with an insurance company. This is just one of the many reasons it will never be a good idea to try and go it alone. You should always have the help of an experienced attorney.
Rather than provide the state with proof of insurance, drivers are required to pay an annual fee to the state if they are uninsured.
These uninsured drivers are still required to cover damages if they injure another person on the roadways.
In the case of an insured driver, you should not accept a settlement agreement with their insurance company too soon after an accident. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and may attempt to coerce you to sign a settlement agreement shortly after the accident occurs, which is often far less than the worth of your claims.
Insurance companies may twist your words, so they have an excuse to deny your claim or to offer you a low settlement—sometimes so low that it won’t cover your lifetime medical expenses.
They will not calculate the cost of future damages caused by ongoing and serious injuries. Nor will they consider the inability to hold a job in the future because of your injuries.
A personal injury lawsuit filed by you and an experienced Richmond motorcycle accident attorney with Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci will take all these items into account in calculating the actual value of your injuries.
Your Insurance Company
A personal injury lawyer will also negotiate with your own insurance company when seeking compensation under your medical payments’ coverage. This will pay for medical expenses in an accident regardless of fault. They will also help you determine whether there are any other potential insurance companies involved from which you can seek recovery.
Whether dealing with insurance companies, uninsured drivers, or your own insurance company, lawyers can help you with any legal proceedings.
Our attorneys have years of experience representing motorcycle accident victims. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an accident, contact one of our accident attorneys for a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation. We will analyze your case and tell you whether you are entitled to compensation.
Contact us for a free consultation regarding your case to help you decide what’s right for you.
How Much Compensation Could I Recover from a Motorcycle Accident?
The amount of compensation owed to you in a personal injury case depends on the severity of your injuries, among other factors.
The best way to determine your claim value is to contact a personal injury law firm and schedule a free case evaluation.
At the minimum, you may obtain economic damages, including:
- Past and future medical expenses from severe injuries.
- Past and future lost wages.
- Replacement or reimbursement for repairs of personal property damaged in the accident.
Even if you can go back to work, but you cannot earn the amount you once made because your injuries caused you to change your line of work, you may obtain future lost wages for the difference between the lower-paying job and your old job.
Although a settlement will not change what has already happened, you can send a powerful message to the at-fault party by seeking legal representation.
You could also receive non-economic damages, sometimes referred to as general damages. Non-economic damages do not have a fixed price and are usually awarded for long-term injuries. General damages include:
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional suffering, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or depression.
- Loss of use of a body part.
- Loss of a bodily function, such as your eyesight.
Many motorcycle accidents cause severe emotional effects. Some victims develop post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or depression. Physical, cognitive, and psychological therapy can also be included in a claim for medical expenses.
As soon as you notice symptoms of any psychological issue, you should see a mental health professional as quickly as possible.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Motorcycle Accident Case?
There is no way to determine precisely how long a motorcycle accident case settlement will take.
The Virginia statute of limitations provides you with only two years to file a lawsuit for a motorcycle accident injury claim. However, insurance companies give you as little as 30 days or less to file for motorcycle accident claims.
Even though you have two years to file a lawsuit, it is critical to begin pursuing a settlement immediately.
To keep from prolonging a settlement, you should contact as soon as possible. Even if you are still in the hospital, most law firms can give a free consultation via telephone or visit you in person.
Keep in mind; you’re also more apt to remember the accident if you recount it sooner than later. Waiting to file a claim and seek legal assistance gives you a higher chance of forgetting key details that could help you win your case.
How Much Will a Richmond Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Cost?
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, your life may never look the same again. Even if you regain mobility, you may be left with thousands of dollars in medical expenses, lost wages, and lingering psychological harm. That is why we work on a contingency fee basis. We pay all upfront costs and only receive our fee if we successfully obtain the compensation you deserve.
Virginia’s negligence laws can make it difficult to recover what you deserve, but these laws shouldn’t deter you. If you crash or lose a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident, a personal injury attorney with Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci will give you a free evaluation and provide you with the legal advice you need. We handle cases in Richmond and all across Virginia.
Contact us as soon as possible. We can meet with you by video conference, speak on the phone, communicate via email, or visit you face to face – whatever your preference may be.