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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 number of motorcycles on the road in Chesterfield and throughout Virginia has soared in recent years. Today, roughly 205,000 motorcycles are registered in our state, or more than double the number that were registered in 2002, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety*. Unfortunately, the increase in motorcycle accidents has soared as well. Contact our Chesterfield motorcycle accident injury lawyer today. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reports that in 2017:
- 2,119 motorcycle crashes occurred – a 10.4% increase from the year before
- 1,794 motorcyclists suffered crash-related injuries – a 6.4% increase
- 107 motorcyclists died in crashes – a startling 48.6% increase.
As we have seen at Marks & Harrison, many of these motorcycle accidents are entirely preventable. They result from the negligence of car, truck and other motor vehicle drivers who either don’t know or simply refuse to safely share the road with motorcycle riders. We want to help.
For more than 100 years, our law firm has protected the rights of accident victims and their families in Chesterfield and throughout Virginia. We offer a highly personalized approach to serving our clients and the resources of a legal team that features more than 20 attorneys. If you were recently injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash in Chesterfield, we can put our rapid-response investigative team on your case right away. Contact us today to learn more.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Despite popular belief, most motorcycle accidents occur through no fault of motorcyclists. Research reveals that the drivers of other motor vehicles cause the majority of motorcycle crashes in Virginia and throughout the country. Some of the common factors that contribute to these crashes are:
- Distracted driving – Drivers need to pay attention to motorcyclists – especially before they turn at intersections or change lanes in traffic. However, due to being distracted by texting or talking on the phone, drivers often fail to see their motorcyclist counterparts and cause them to suffer catastrophic injuries.
- Misjudgment – Because of how small motorcycles are in comparison to other vehicles on the road, it is easy for drivers of larger passenger vehicles to misjudge a motorcycle’s speed. They may pull out or switch lanes in front of an oncoming motorcycle or attempt to turn left into a motorcyclist’s path.
- Failure to check blind spots – It is easy for motorcycles to disappear in driver’s blind spots. When drivers fail to double check their rearview mirrors before they turn or switch lanes, a motorcyclist could end up hurt.
- Tailgating – A motorcyclist often must abruptly stop, slow down or swerve to avoid obstacles in the road such as debris, potholes or slick spots. If the driver of another vehicle follows too closely, the driver likely will be unable to stop on time to avoid plowing into the back of the motorcycle.
- Lane-sharing – Even though a motorcycle is smaller than a car or truck, the motorcyclist has the right to full use of the lane. Unfortunately, many drivers try to share lanes with motorcycles or pass them without leaving a safe amount of space. Many motorcycle riders and passengers suffer injuries because they are simply run off the road by another vehicle.
- Drunk driving – The consumption of alcohol, illegal drugs and certain types of medication can impair one’s mental and physical faculties. An impaired driver is more likely to misjudge a motorcycle’s speed and distance and, in turn, more likely to crash into the motorcycle.
Although it happens less frequently, defects in the design and manufacturing of motorcycles or their components can contribute to crashes as well. In some situations, motorcycle accidents happen because local, state or federal agencies negligently design and/or maintain streets and highways. For instance, a motorcyclist may get thrown from his or her bike after hitting a pothole.
The motorcycle accident injury lawyers in Chesterfield at Marks & Harrison, our investigative team includes former law enforcement officers and insurance claims adjusters. We know how to quickly gather and analyze the evidence in motorcycle crashes and determine why they happened and who should be held liable. When you work with our law firm after a motorcycle crash in Chesterfield, you can count on us to start work on your case right away and establish your right to compensation.
Common Motorcycle Crash Injuries in Virginia
Motorcyclists are susceptible to far more serious injuries in an accident than the occupants of passenger or commercial vehicles. This is due to a number of factors, including the lack of structural protection or safety devices such as seat belts or air bags. Often, motorcyclists suffer injuries because they are thrown off the bike or slide for several hundred feet after they collide with another vehicle.
At Marks & Harrison, our Chesterfield motorcycle accident lawyers have helped accident victims to recover compensation after they suffered a wide range of injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial fractures
- Broken bones, particularly in the feet and legs
- Severe skin abrasions (commonly referred to as road rash)
Compensation Available for Motorcycle Accident Victims
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Chesterfield through no fault of your own, you have a legal right to pursue full and fair compensation for your losses. Marks & Harrison will carefully review all of your medical records to determine the nature and extent of the injuries that you have suffered. We will also consult with experts who can help us to assess your future medical costs.
Our goal will be to recover compensation that will pay for all of your past medical expenses as well as ensure that you get the medical treatment you need and deserve as you move forward in life. Other damages that we may pursue on your behalf include:
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earning capacity due to a disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages (in exceptional cases).
If your loved one died in a Chesterfield motorcycle crash, Marks & Harrison can assist you with a wrongful death and/or survival action. You may be eligible to recover compensation that covers the costs of putting your loved one to rest, the loss of your loved one’s financial and emotional support and more.
Virginia adheres to a pure contributory negligence theory. This means that a party must be 100 percent responsible for an accident in order for the other party to collect damages. The idea behind this law is that the accident might not have occurred had both parties been paying attention and complying with the law.
Because of this harsh law, many insurance companies try to pin blame on the injured motorcyclists. For instance, an insurer may argue that a motorcycle rider or passenger would not have suffered a serious brain injury if he or she had been wearing a helmet at the time of the wreck in compliance with Virginia law.
At Marks & Harrison, we know common insurance company tactics. We will aggressively counter any attempt by an insurance company to shift responsibility for your accident and injuries to you, and we will fight for the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to recover.
What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Wreck?
If you get involved in a motorcycle accident in Chesterfield, the personal injury attorneys of Marks & Harrison suggest that you take these steps:
- Get immediate medical attention. You should go to a local hospital in Chesterfield or see your primary care doctor as soon as possible in order to ensure that your injuries are diagnosed and treated. If you fail to get immediate medical attention, an insurance company may try to assert that your injuries did not arise from your motorcycle crash or are not as severe as you claim.
- Order a copy of your crash report. Within a few days after motorcycle accident, the law enforcement agency that responded to the scene should have a crash report completed. If your crash occurred in Chesterfield, you can order a copy of the report from that agency such as the Chesterfield County Police Department or you can request one from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Gather your information. Hold on to your medical bills and receipts of other accident-related expense, including motorcycle repair bills. You should also keep witness contact information, insurance company letters and anything else related to your crash.
- Report your injury to your insurer. The company that insures your motorcycle likely requires you to report a crash – regardless of who was at fault – within a certain period of time after it occurs. You should comply with this policy. Doing so will protect your right to file a claim with the insurer down the road.
- Refer the other driver’s insurer to your lawyer. If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you and asks you to give a recorded statement or extends a settlement offer, you should simply tell the insurer to call your attorney at Marks & Harrison.
Our Chesterfield Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Are Ready to Help You
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident in Chesterfield, contact one of our experienced Chesterfield motorcycle accident lawyers at Marks & Harrison as soon as you are ready to take legal action. We will provide a free consultation, and you will pay nothing for our services unless we secure compensation for you.