Riding a motorcycle is a thrilling experience for adventure-seekers around the world, but it is also quite dangerous. Compared to accidents involving standard motor vehicles—where all parties are secured with seatbelts and protected by airbags, not to mention vehicle frames and doors—motorcycle accident injuries are often much more severe.
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 crash, our Richmond motorcycle accident lawyers at the law offices of Emroch & Kilduff, LLP want to meet with you. We can review your case for free and provide you with a list of your options moving forward.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Because motorcyclists have few protections when they are involved in a crash, their injuries may be especially severe. Some of the most common injuries that motorcyclists may suffer when hit include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Bone fracture injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Road rash/road burn injuries
- Facial and scalp injuries
- Internal injuries
Top Causes of Richmond Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents occur primarily because of human errors and are often the fault of motorists on the road. Motorcycle accidents can be caused when other drivers:
- Drive while distracted
- Drunk driving accident
- Drive aggressively
- Fail to check their blind spot
- Tailgate motorcyclists
- When the error of another party causes your crash, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses.
Your Duties as a Motorcyclist and How It Affects Liability
As a motorcyclist in Richmond, you have a number of responsibilities and duties. Generally, you have the duty to operate your motorcycle with a reasonable degree of care, or the degree of care that a reasonable person would exercise. Specifically, you are obligated to:
- Wear a protective helmet
- Wear a face shield or safety glasses or have the motorcycle equipped with safety glass
- Hold a valid motorcycle classification designation on your driver's license
- Follow all traffic signals, signs, and laws, such as refraining from lane-splitting or riding while intoxicated
It is important that you uphold all of your duties as a motorcyclist. If you do not, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of harm by increasing your chances of being involved in an accident. Further, you are also increasing the risk of losing out on your right to compensation if you are in an accident, even if the other driver was mostly responsible for your crash. This is because Virginia maintains a system of pure contributory negligence. This means that when a plaintiff in a civil action contributes to his injuries in the slightest, he is barred from holding a defendant liable for his injuries and seeking damages.
We Help You to Prove Fault and Maximize Your Compensation Amount
A situation like the one described above—where a motorcyclist is unable to recover compensation for his injuries because he contributed to them through a minor act of fault—may seem unfair, but it has happened in the past and will surely happen again in the future. The pure contributory negligence rule in Virginia is one of the primary reasons why you need our experienced legal team on your side after a motorcycle crash. We build your claim in a manner that proves that 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. We will investigate your accident and negotiate for a settlement. We also have significant trial experience, so if an out-of-court settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to file a lawsuit and bring your case to trial.
We will negotiate with your own insurance company when you are seeking compensation under your medical payments (MedPay) coverage, which pays for medical expenses in an accident regardless of fault. We can also help you to determine whether there are any other potential insurance companies involved from which you can seek recovery.
Richmond Motorcycle Accident FAQIn a recent year, Virginia saw a staggering 2,119 motorcycle crashes. Of those, 108 were fatal, and 1,670 involved injuries. Of those injuries, 708 were serious injuries. Only 8 percent of the wrecks were on interstates; the balance of the accidents was on non-interstate roads. Surprisingly, 43.9 percent of the crashes involved only the motorcycle. While few modes of transport can match the freedom of a motorcycle, because motorcycles offer little protection compared to passenger vehicles, people tend to suffer more serious injuries in a motorcycle wreck.
What are the motorcycle laws in Richmond?You must have a motorcycle designation on your license to drive a motorcycle in Virginia, including in Richmond. The state also requires that drivers and riders wear helmets for additional protection. You should also wear protective clothing. While you might be careful enough, you can never predict what others on the road will do; thus, you could be injured in a wreck that you didn’t cause or can not avoid. The helmet and protective clothing will minimize injuries to a certain extent, and could mean the difference between life and death.
What types of injuries could I incur in a Richmond motorcycle accident?The types of injuries depend on the circumstances of the wreck, including whether you were in a wreck by yourself, with another vehicle, the size of the other vehicle, the speed at which you were both traveling, and many other factors. Because motorcycles don’t have a protective cab, you are more likely to suffer from severe or catastrophic injuries. Injuries could include:
- Scrapes, bruises, and cuts;
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries;
- Road rash, which could be minor or so severe that it removes all layers of skin;
- Sprains, strains, pulled or torn muscles, and other soft tissue injuries;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Simple and/or compound fractures;
- Back and spinal cord injuries, including paralysis;
- Disfigurement or Internal injuries;
I’m injured and can’t work or pay bills. How can I afford a Richmond motorcycle accident lawyer?How much does a lawyer cost? It does not cost you anything to retain our services. The consultation is free, and our fees and costs come only out of any settlement or trial award secured on your behalf.
How soon should I call your Richmond motorcycle accident lawyers?You should contact our Richmond motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Even if you are still in the hospital, we can do a telephonic consultation, or we can visit you in the hospital. Insurance companies give you as little as 30 days or less to file a claim. Also, you are more apt to remember the accident if you recount it sooner rather than later. If you wait, you have a better chance of forgetting important details that could help you win your case.
I’m worried about COVID-19, and I am staying home. Can I still schedule a consultation?Yes. Call our office to set up a consultation. We can set up a video chat or a telephone consultation. We can send any documents you need to sign via email or regular mail.
Can I try to settle my case on my own?We don’t recommend it, especially if you have injuries that will result in long-term disabilities. Insurance companies are in business to make money. For every claim they have to pay out, their profit margin drops. Insurance companies will 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. When an insurance company knows that an attorney is protecting your rights, it is less likely to make low-ball offers; insurers know that people who retain attorneys are more likely to succeed through litigation if they think the insurance company’s offer is unreasonable. Additionally, if more than one defendant is responsible for damages, the case becomes more complicated than it already is, since more insurance companies are involved. This is common when more than one driver (not including yourself) is at fault for the accident, or when a commercial vehicle is involved in the accident.
How much compensation could I recover?That depends on the severity of your injuries, among other factors. At a minimum, you may obtain economic damages, including past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, replacement or reimbursement for repairs of personal property damaged in the accident, and funeral and burial expenses. Even if you can go back to work, but you are not able to earn the amount you once earned 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. You could also receive non-economic damages, sometimes referred to as general damages. Non-economic damages are those that do not have a fixed price and are usually awarded for long-term injuries. General damages could 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;
- Loss of consortium;
- Loss of companionship; and
Contact Richmond Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at the Offices of Emroch & Kilduff, LLP Today
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, your life may never look the same again. Even if you do regain mobility and cognitive abilities, you may be left with thousands of dollars in medical expenses, lost wages, and lingering psychological harm.
We know that Virginia’s negligence laws can make it difficult to recover what you deserve, but we don’t want these laws to deter you. If you are in a crash, or if you lose a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident, our caring Richmond motorcycle accident attorneys will be here for you. We can review your claim for free, provide you with the legal advice that you need, and represent you in the claims process if you so choose.
Our law firm cares about you. Learn what we have to say about what steps you should take next by calling us today. You can also chat with us online, fill out the contact form on our website, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.