Virginia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Any experienced motorcycle rider will tell you that riding a bike comes with inherent risks. It doesn’t matter how safely one drives, the actions of others and the lack of protection on a bike leave riders vulnerable to catastrophic injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,172 motorcyclists lost their lives in 2017. The good news is that number constitutes a 3 percent drop from the previous year. The bad news, motorcyclists are still 28 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than someone riding in a car.
Damages in a Motorcycle Accident
A motorcycle accident can cause significant damage and take a serious toll on a victim’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being. The specific damages awarded vary dependent on personal injury attorney, but the common damage types include the following:
- Medical costs, including medical transport, doctor visits, medication, and rehabilitation services.
- Lost wages for any time missed as a result of the accident.
- Pain and suffering, including physical pain, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, loss of companionship, and loss of consortium.
- Wrongful death in the event a spouse, child, or parent is killed in an accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The actions of motorcyclists and surrounding vehicles can contribute to an accident. While some accidents only involve minor injuries, others can cause serious, life-threatening injuries or even death. The most frequent causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Speeding: Excess speed can cause drivers to lose control of their bikes, especially when taking curves. According to the Virginia traffic accident statistics, 6 percent of accidents were caused by a motorcyclist driving too fast. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association reported that speeding is a leading cause of single-vehicle accidents and accounted for 33 percent of all motorcycle deaths nationwide. According to the report, speed-related motorcycle deaths increased by 56 percent in 2017.
- Failure to yield: Failure to yield accidents most frequently occur at intersections when a passenger vehicle turns in front of a motorcycle. Many times, drivers insist that they never saw the motorcycle coming.
- Poor road conditions: Loose gravel, abrupt edges, and potholes are all dangerous for motorcyclists. These conditions can cause a driver to lose control of his or her bike and cause serious injury.
- Following too closely: Following too closely, also known as tailgating, is a common occurrence on the road. When drivers follow too closely, they may be unable to stop in time if a vehicle in front of them comes to a sudden stop. Tailgating a motorcycle is especially dangerous. Even low-speed accidents can cause serious injuries, and high-speed rear-end accidents are often fatal.
- Vehicle blind spots: Motorcycles are smaller than passenger vehicles and thus are more difficult to see. A driver may hit a motorcycle in an adjacent lane when the motorcycle is changing lanes in the car’s blind spot.
- Driving under the influence: Drunk driving is dangerous no matter what type of vehicle you are in. According to the NHTSA, 28 percent of motorcycle riders who were killed in 2017 were drunk.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents are some of the most deadly accidents on the road. Motorcycles do not have the same protection that cars and trucks enjoy. If you ride a motorcycle, wearing appropriate protective gear, including a helmet, can save your life. Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur because of a sudden blow to the head or a penetrating injury. TBIs can occur when drivers are thrown from their bikes or when they are struck by other vehicles. TBIs can lead to memory loss, headaches, cognitive delays, or a persistent vegetative state.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries occur when the spinal cord is bruised or severed. When this happens, the injury can lead to full or partial paralysis. In some cases, the injured driver may regain movement, but in many cases, the paralysis is permanent.
- Road rash: Road rash is one of the most common motorcycle injuries. During a collision, a rider may slide along the roadway. The friction can scrape away the outer layer of skin. In severe cases, road rash can affect the underlying muscle and bone. Road rash can be extremely painful and lead to permanent scarring and/or nerve damage.
- Broken bones: While the head is protected by a motorcycle helmet, the rest of the body has virtually no protection. This makes broken bones very common in motorcycle accidents. A broken bone may require several months to heal and may leave the rider with chronic pain or limited mobility. For facial fractures, the victim may need to undergo reconstructive surgery.
A Few Facts About Motorcycle Accidents
Every year, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles publishes annual crash data. The report gives valuable information to drivers about the causes and rates of Virginia accidents. According to the report, 2,119 motorcycle crashes were reported in 2017, a 10 percent increase from 2016. Here are a few more facts from the report that stand out:
- 107 riders were killed on the road in 2017. Of these, 102 were drivers and 5 were passengers. This accounts for a 48.6 percent increase from the previous year.
- An additional 770 riders were seriously injured in 2017. This accounted for 10 percent of all serious traffic injuries
- Motorcycle riders between the ages of 51 and 55 accounted for more deaths than any other age group (16), followed by 26 to 30-year-olds (14).
- There were 0 deaths for riders under the age of 18.
- 43.9 percent of all motorcycle accidents in Virginia in 2017 were single-vehicle crashes.
A Virginia Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Recovering from an accident may prove difficult, but financial compensation can help you get back on your feet, both physically and financially, quicker.
At Emroch & Kilduff, we believe in holding drivers accountable for their negligence. Contact our office at (888) 358-1568 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation.