Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience, but it?s not without risks. The open-air and two-wheel allure to avid riders also increases the potential for injuries in a motorcycle accident. According to data compiled by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and reported in its 2017 Traffic Crash Facts, there were 2,119 total motorcycle crashes, 108 of which were fatal. Even more shocking is that 1,670 of these collisions involved injuries. These incidents can lead to devastating losses, so it?s critical to consult with a Roanoke motorcycle accident attorney if you?re a victim.
You have rights in a motorcycle collision that wasn’t your fault, and our team at Lugar Injury Law is dedicated to protecting them. We can assist with all phases of your case, from filing a claim with an insurance company, to taking the matter to court. Please contact our firm to schedule a consultation with our motorcycle accident lawyers today. Call (540) 384-0348 to learn more.
Statistics and Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Virginia
The numbers mentioned above just scratch the surface on the frequency and severity of motorcycle crashes, both in Virginia and throughout the United States. Other figures revealed by the DMV include:
- Riders aged 21-35 years old are most likely to be hurt in motorcycle accidents, at 32 collisions for this age group.
- The top actions by motorcycle drivers that led to crashes were following too closely and speeding.
- 770 motorcycle accident injuries were considered ?serious,? meaning that the victim suffered severe disfigurement, loss of a body part or bodily function, broken bones, and other harm.
In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a report on in February 2018. Nationwide, the statistics reveal that motorcycle crashes tend to involve the same top causes as other motor vehicle accidents, including:
- Speeding, which was involved in one-third of all collisions
- Inexperience, since younger drivers are more likely to be involved in crashes
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as 37 percent of all riders who died in motorcycle accidents were impaired
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Some victims of motorcycle crashes suffer the same injuries that are common in any type of motor vehicle accident. However, the nature of the vehicle amplifies other injuries for victims of motorcycle accidents. A rider isn?t protected by the metal shell that occupants of a car enjoy. While it?s somewhat rare for individuals to be ejected from a passenger vehicle (especially if wearing a seatbelt), the rider is almost guaranteed to be tossed in a motorcycle crash. Common injuries include:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussion, and skull fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Trauma to internal organs
- Injuries to the extremities
In addition, one type of injury is unique to motorcycle accident victims. Road rash is a wound that incorporates characteristics of both a heat burn and an abrasion. This injury is more than just a scratch and is excruciatingly painful. Road rash can be deep enough to penetrate the skin in the same way as a second or third-degree heat burn, and can even cause permanent nerve damage.
How Motorcycle Accident Claims Work
Most of these collisions occur because of negligence, a legal concept that your motorcycle accident attorney can explain in more detail as it relates to your situation. In short, to recover compensation for your claim, you must prove:
- The other driver had a duty to exercise caution behind the wheel
- That motorist breached this legal duty of care
- The breach of duty caused the motorcycle accident in which you were hurt
- You suffered losses as a result of your injuries
Filing an Insurance Claim
?Because Virginia drivers are required to carry auto insurance to protect victims of motor vehicle accidents, your first stop in seeking compensation is filing a claim with an insurance company. You may face challenges when working with an insurer because these organizations are businesses first and foremost. They don?t make money by paying out large amounts on injury claims. You can expect a claims adjuster to dispute your version of the crash or contest the severity of your injuries.
Lawyers for motorcycle accident victims know the tricks insurance companies use to reject your claim or offer a low-ball settlement amount. Attorneys deal with claims adjusters every day and apply their keen skills to overcome such tactics. When filing your claim, a lawyer will include solid proof of fault and all necessary medical records regarding your injuries. Your attorney will also be persistent in settlement negotiations.
?If you and your motorcycle accident lawyer cannot reach an agreement with the insurance company, you may need to file a lawsuit against the responsible driver. You can trust your attorney to:
- Investigate all factors related to the crash
- Gather all essential facts and evidence
- Draft and file the documents necessary to initiate litigation
- Handle discovery, depositions, and motion practice in court
- Deliver dependable representation throughout the litigation process
Damages Available in a Motorcycle Accident Case
Depending on the details of your case, you may be able to recover different types of compensation for your losses. An attorney for motorcycle accident victims will seek all monetary damages that are available by law, including medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and related claims.
However, you should note that Virginia follows a rule that is considered somewhat harsh for victims of personal injury accidents. Under the rule of contributory negligence, you cannot recover any amount of compensation if your own conduct was a factor in causing your injuries.
Contact a Roanoke Motorcycle Accident Attorney
For more information about your rights and legal options as the victim of a motorcycle crash, please call Lugar Injury Law. Our team can set up a case evaluation to assess your situation and explain the advantages of retaining a Roanoke motorcycle accident lawyer to represent your interests. Contact us today at (540) 384-0348 to schedule a free, initial consultation of your case.