Motorcycle Accident Time Limit

When to Call a Lawyer after a Virginia Motorcycle Accident

Riding on the open road on a motorcycle can be exhilarating - unless the worst happens. If you or your loved one has been the victim of a motorcycle crash in Virginia, you may be wondering when or even if you should contact a lawyer. 

Emotions can run high after a motorcycle crash. Bike crashes can result in devastating and life-changing injuries or even death. Filing a lawsuit and seeking compensation for damages due to the crash may be the last thing on your mind for some time. Time to heal is essential, but don’t wait too long since Virginia has a statute of limitations on filing personal injury lawsuits. However, if you have not already accepted a settlement amount, it may not be too late to file, even if it has been some time since the crash.

Virginia Personal Injury Lawsuit Statute of Limitations

For many, a lawsuit isn’t at the top of their minds after an accident. Particularly in motorcycle crashes, injuries sustained can be severe, from road rash to broken bones to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), or even death. Due to the size difference between motorcycles and other vehicles, these accidents can bring traumatic outcomes. 

In the weeks after a motorcycle crash, you and your family may be focused on healing and trying to deal with bills and expenses that can mount quickly in the wake of an accident. Before you know it, weeks or even months have passed by. You may wonder if it’s too late to file a lawsuit once the initial stressful period has passed and healing has begun.

Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations during which you can file a personal injury lawsuit. In Virginia, if your loved one died as a result of the crash but it was after the date of the accident, the two-year clock begins on the date of their passing. But that doesn’t mean you should wait as long as possible. Once this time has passed, you cannot file a lawsuit – even if someone else was clearly at fault. If the two-year period has passed, the other party’s representative can file for dismissal of the case, which is likely to be granted.

Why You Need a Lawyer after a Crash

Determining fault is an important part of how accidents may be compensated. Virginia’s “contributory negligence” rule states that if you were even 1% responsible for a crash, you share fault and cannot collect compensation for your damages.

Costs after an accident can build up quickly, with hospital and doctor bills, physical therapy, medical devices, and surgeries. If the victim has to receive long-term care, costs can quickly become astronomical. These costs, along with lost wages from missing work, damages to the motorcycle, and other financial and emotional losses, are referred to as “damages.” If you were not at fault for the accident, you can pursue compensation for your damages.

Insurance adjusters often decide who is at fault for an accident. But sometimes, when the parties don’t agree, the courts must determine who was at fault and how much fault each person bears. You need a trusted legal representative who knows how to deal with insurance companies and will represent your interests throughout every step of your case, including in court, if necessary.

Benefits of Contacting a Lawyer As Soon As Possible

After an accident, insurance companies may try to push you to accept a settlement quickly. We encourage victims of crashes not to accept settlements before talking with their attorneys first. Initial settlement offers might not cover all your expenses, especially if you were seriously injured or will suffer long-term as a result of the motorcycle crash.

Experienced Virginia accident lawyers can help you navigate the legal process, including gathering evidence to support your case, including:

  • Accident reports
  • Medical reports
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Accident reconstruction expert testimony
  • Depositions of those involved in the crash
  • Vehicle repair records
  • Documenting circumstances of the accident, such as weather and street conditions, signage, and other evidence

Gathering documents and evidence can take months. The longer you delay, the closer you get to the statute of limitations. Even if medical costs are ongoing, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible so they can build your case. Once they've gathered the necessary evidence, your lawyer will attempt to negotiate with the insurance companies to try to reach a fair settlement to compensate you for your losses. If those negotiations stall, they will represent you in court and fight for your rights.

Free Case Evaluation

Fill out this form, and our attorneys will get back to you immediately to discuss your case.