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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
Each year, thousands of local Charlottesville residents and visitors are involved in motor vehicle crashes. Many of them are motorcycle riders and their passengers. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t know how to safely share the road with motorcyclists. Contact our motorcycle accident lawyer in Charlottesville today.
At Marks & Harrison, we know that a motorcycle crash is very different from a car accident. The injuries that motorcyclists suffer often are far more severe because a rider or passenger has no structural protection and can get easily thrown off the motorcycle. Additionally, insurance companies often try to pin the blame on the motorcycle rider. For this reason, you should seek help from our experienced Charlottesville motorcycle accident lawyers as soon as possible after a crash. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Charlottesville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
According to the Virginia Highway Safety Office, roughly 2,100 vehicle crashes occurred in 2017 alone in Albemarle County, resulting in 825 reported injuries and 12 deaths. Many of these crashes involved motorcycle riders. In fact, the number of fatalities in Virginia from motorcycle accidents was the highest number our state had seen in a decade, according to news reports. While only two percent of all motor vehicle collisions in the state involve a motorcycle, motorcyclists make up nearly 13 percent of all the traffic-related deaths.
Common Causes of Charlottesville Motorcycle Accidents
As our motorcycle accident attorneys have seen through the years, most accidents involving motorcyclists in Charlottesville are actually caused by negligent drivers who fail to treat motorcycles like vehicles. Some of the leading causes of motorcycle crashes in our area are:
- Distractions – In a world consumed by cell phones, technology, GPS devices, and any number of other gadgets, people are more distracted than ever before. As a result, they may fail to notice a motorcycle on the road or at an intersection.
- Inattentional blindness – This is a fancy way of saying that drivers often fail to see motorcycles – even when they are right in front of them. This is partly due to the fact that drivers may not be accustomed to seeing motorcycles – especially in winter months – so they simply don’t acknowledge them.
- Left turns – A motorcycle is much smaller than a car. So, it can be difficult to judge the speed of a small bike as it approaches from the other direction. Some drivers will turn left through an intersection, violating a motorcyclist’s right-of-way. These turns can result in high-speed impacts.
- Passing to closely – Since some drivers don’t consider motorcycles to be actual vehicles, they may think it is acceptable to pass in the same lane – similar to the way a person may pass a bicyclist or pedestrian on the shoulder. What these drivers fail to understand is that the motorcycle rider has a right to occupy the lane the same way a car would. When cars attempt to “buzz” past a motorcycle, it can lead to tragic crashes.
- Blind spots – Motorcycles are smaller than cars, so they may not show up in a car’s blind spots as easily. Cars should always look twice before changing lanes or making turns.
- Following too closely – Tailgating is dangerous when motorcycles are involved. A motorcyclist needs room to slow down and make maneuvers when the motorcyclist encounters obstacles in the road such as potholes.
- Alcohol and drugs – When impaired drivers get behind the wheel, their behavior is reckless and shows complete disregard for the safety of others.
Common Motorcycle Injuries in Charlottesville
Motorcycle crashes tend to be very serious. While no two cases are the same, there are injuries that tend to be more common in these types of accidents such as:
- Broken bones (especially feet, ankles, knees and legs)
- Back injuries
- Head traumas
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burns (including “road rash”)
- Disfiguring wounds
- Puncture wounds
- Internal organ damage or bleeding.
If someone else caused you to suffer injuries in a motorcycle-car collision, you have a right to be compensated. Virginia law says that you and your loved ones should not bear the burden of expensive medical bills, lost income and the pain and suffering caused by someone else’s carelessness.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Motorcycle Accident?
One of the most important things your attorney can do is investigate your case and determine liability. If you were hurt in a motorcycle crash in Charlottesville, those parties could include:
- Another driver
- A government agency that poorly designed or maintained the road
- A company or government agency that employed a negligent driver
- The motorcycle operator (if you are a passenger)
- The motorcycle manufacturer
- The other vehicle’s manufacturer.
Determining liability is a complex process. It requires a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the crash. Our team has experienced investigators on staff who can dig through the details to ensure your case is as strong as possible.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
When you are injured by someone else’s negligence, the law provides you with certain rights, including the right to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. These losses are known as “damages.”
A motorcycle accident attorney in Charlottesville can help you pursue the following types of damages. Keep in mind that each case is unique, so the damages you claim may vary.
- Medical expenses incurred because of the accident and that you are likely to incur in the future
- Costs of adaptive equipment such as prosthetics
- Housing or vehicle adaptations
- Lost income
- Expected loss of earning capacity
- Pain and physical suffering
- Emotional distress and anxiety.
On the other hand, if you have lost a loved one because of the motorcycle crash, you and your close relatives may also be able to claim wrongful death damages, which could include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Final medical costs
- Loss of emotional and financial support
- Loss of companionship, love, and affection.
However, Virginia law sets strict deadlines for bringing a lawsuit. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you will typically have only two years from the date of your accident (or the date of your loved one’s death) to bring your case against the responsible parties. This time period is much shorter in some cases. For instance, when a government agency or local municipality is at fault, you could have as little as a six months to provide notice of your intent to make a claim.
Because the rules are sometimes confusing, you should discuss your situation with an experienced Charlottesville injury lawyer as soon as possible in order to make sure you don’t miss a critical deadline.
How Can a Motorcycle Injury Law Firm Help Me?
After a motorcycle crash, the team at Marks & Harrison will immediately get to work on protecting your rights. We do this by using a step-by-step approach that includes the following:
- Researching and investigating the case – First, our investigation team is rapidly deployed to gather information crucial to the success of your case such as official police reports, photographs, video evidence and witness statements.
- Monitoring of your medical care – While your medical care is largely between you and your doctors, our firm will carefully monitor your progress in order to ensure that your injuries are properly documented and explained. If you are facing permanent and catastrophic injuries, we may be able to help you locate medical providers and specialists to evaluate your injuries.
- Consulting with experts – If your case involves a dispute over liability, we can often work closely with forensic engineers and crash experts to develop a strong theory of how the other driver caused the crash. If your medical condition is complex, we may need to work with medical experts to prove the extent and severity of your injuries.
- Negotiating for a settlement – Our attorneys work hard to get the leverage you need to push back against abusive insurance tactics. We work to ensure you are treated fairly throughout the process, and if a settlement is possible, we will work to get the best deal we can without litigation.
- Taking your case to trial – If your case has to go to trial, you can rest easy knowing that you are working with attorneys who have been there before and know how to skillfully navigate the courtroom.
Our Charlottesville Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Will Fight for You
From medical negligence to motorcycle accidents, the attorneys of Marks & Harrison are devoted to serving the interests of injured people throughout Virginia. With offices located throughout the state, we make it convenient for you to get the help you need. We never charge our clients upfront fees, and our consultations are always completely free. There’s never any risk or obligation for making an appointment to speak with an attorney about your case. So, don’t just wonder whether you have a potential right to be compensated, contact us today through our Charlottesville office.