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“They sent somebody to visit me in the hospital and get my side of the story (totally free). I was assigned Mr. Crawford and told that we had a case. Fast forward about 9 months later and I received literally 14x what the insurance company had offered me. This is after the lawyer and medical fees as well. So basically this was totally free and I barely had to do anything I am so glad I called Marks and Harrison and I will be recommending them to all of my family and friends.”— Robert Smith
The lure of the open road has drawn many people to the freedom motorcycles offer. You can find more motorcycles on U.S. roads today than ever before, as evidenced by steadily increasing motorcycle registrations. 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.
Fortunately, in Virginia, statistics indicate that the increase in motorcycle riders has not led to an increase in accidents, injuries in deaths. The Virginia Highway Safety Office reports that in one recent year:
- 1,792 crashes in Virginia involved motorcycles (down 15 percent from prior year)
- 87 of those crashes resulted in fatalities (a 19 percent decrease)
- 1,404 caused injuries (a 16 percent drop).
However, due to the negligence of others, the fact remains that motorcycle riding can be a dangerous activity in our state.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle wreck through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact our Richmond motorcycle accident lawyers today for a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation or submit a case evaluation request online. In addition to our Richmond location, we have offices throughout Virginia, including Chesterfield, Harrisonburg, Hopewell, Petersburg, Charlottesville, Tappahannock, Louisa, Staunton and Fredericksburg.
What are Common Injuries After a Motorcycle Accident?
As motorcycles provide virtually no protection, accidents involving motorcycles can result in serious injuries or even death for their riders. Most motorcycle collisions result in injuries for the rider. Common motorcycle injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Amputations of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries, often resulting in paralysis
- Broken bones, particularly in the feet and legs
- Facial fractures and disfigurement
- Severe skin abrasions (known as road rash)
Head injuries are among the leading causes of motorcycle accident fatalities, despite the fact that Virginia law requires all motorcycle operators and passengers 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.
What are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Research has revealed that the majority of crashes are not the fault of the motorcyclist, but of other motorists. The 2007 edition of Virginia Traffic Crash Facts states that in 40% of the accidents involving motorcycles, there was no violation on the part of the motorcyclist. Inclement weather is also not a major factor. In 97% of the reported motorcycle accidents, the weather was clear or cloudy. Common factors in motorcycle accidents include the following:
- Drivers simply fail to see motorcycles. Drivers are looking for larger passenger vehicles and often fail to see much smaller motorcycles in traffic. Many accidents occur when drivers make left-hand turns into oncoming motorcycles, or when they pull out of driveways, parking lots, or side streets directly into the paths of motorcycles.
- Drivers fail to do head checks for blind spots. Being smaller than passenger vehicles, motorcycles can easily disappear in a driver’s blind spot. A driver who fails to perform a head check can cut a motorcycle off in the process of switching lanes.
- Drivers misjudge the speed of motorcycles. As motorcycles are smaller than cars, SUVs or pickup trucks, it is a common driving error to misjudge their speed, change lanes into them, or pull out in front of them.
- Drivers follow motorcycles too closely. Motorcycles are able to stop more quickly than passenger vehicles, and drivers often follow too closely, increasing the chances of a rear-end collision.
- Drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol impairment was a factor in 1,296 fatal motorcycle crashes in 2013.
- Distracted driving. Drivers who are distracted from the important task of operating a motor vehicle by anything are a hazard to others on the road, including motorcyclists. Text messaging while driving is extremely dangerous, because it requires cognitive, manual, and visual attention from the driver.
- Hazardous roads. Potholes, cracks, loose gravel, and other road defects cause accidents for motorcycles more easily than for other types of motor vehicles.
- Mechanical or equipment problems. Flawed design or defective parts can make the motorcycle itself a danger to the rider.
What Damages can I Get After a Motorcycle Accident?
In a majority of accidents involving motorcycles, the driver of the other motor vehicle simply did not see the motorcycle. Nevertheless, negligent drivers should be held accountable for the damage they cause, and injured riders are entitled to full and fair compensation. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages, past and future
- Impaired earning capacity
- Pain and suffering, both physical and emotional
- Mental anguish
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages (in some cases)
Legal Help for Virginia Motorcycle Accident Victims
The firm of Marks & Harrison has represented dozens of motorcycle wreck victims. In one unusual case, we were able to obtain $120,000 for our client in compensation for a fractured knee after her motorcycle instructor startled her during a training class. The personal injury attorneys of Marks & Harrison have been representing injured people and their families in Richmond and throughout Virginia for almost 100 years. 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 us for a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation. Our knowledgeable Virginia personal injury lawyer will analyze your case and advise you as to whether you are entitled to compensation. If we don’t think you need an attorney, we will tell you right away. Contact us today by calling toll free at 1-888-807-3136. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also get help online by filling out our free case evaluation form, or send us an email.