Motorcycle versus car accident

Our Virginia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Explains Personal Injury Laws

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident that is another party’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation in the state of Virginia. Motorcycles carry different levels of risk on the road than cars, and claims have the potential to be significantly higher since the risk of serious injury is higher when a motorcycle is involved in a crash. Working with our Virginia personal injury lawyer with experience in motorcycle crashes is essential in your pursuit of justice.

Understanding Virginia Personal Injury Laws

A personal injury happens when someone else commits an act—whether on purpose or by accident—that causes harm to someone else. If you are the victim of a personal injury accident in Virginia, you have two years after the accident to file a lawsuit for damages.

Some accidents happen because both parties involved share some percentage of the blame. Virginia law is unique in that it deals with shared fault or negligence in an accident. To pursue a personal injury lawsuit, you must not be even 1% responsible for the accident that occurred—it must be 100% the other party’s fault. You cannot pursue a case to recover damages if there is any shared blame.

The only exception to this law is in the case of a “common carrier” (bus, train, or plane) that violated a state safety regulation at the time of the accident. This is called the “common carrier exception” and means that even if you were partially at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, you can still seek compensation for your injury or losses.

Types of Motorcycle Accident Damages

Damages from a lawsuit are costs and financial value of losses as a result of the injury. For example, in a motorcycle accident, personal injury damages could include:

  • The cost of repairing or replacing the bike
  • Medical costs, including costs to transport and/or treat you on the day the accident happened and any subsequent costs for surgery, physical therapy, medical equipment, etc.
  • Lost wages for time missed from work
    • In cases of death or dismemberment, the projected loss of wages into the future can also be calculated and considered as part of your personal injury lawsuit
  • Compensation for pain and suffering resulting from the accident, including loss of spousal privileges

The Difference Between Motorcycle and Car Accidents

Motorcycle accidents often result in more catastrophic injuries simply because of the bike’s size compared to a larger vehicle. In addition, motorcycles are more difficult to see on the road, and motorcycle crash victims are more likely to experience major or catastrophic injuries. Devastating injuries may include traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries, amputations, and in some instances, the crash can result in death. As such, damages can be considerably higher in a motorcycle accident than in a car accident. 

With more money on the line, insurance companies may fight even harder to prevent paying out a claim after a crash where their insured is at fault, such as trying to determine a shared fault in the crash, which would entirely exempt them from paying. 

A personal injury lawyer with experience with motorcycle crash victims will fight to protect your right to compensation. They will handle conversations and negotiations with insurance company representatives and represent your interests throughout every step of your lawsuit, including fighting for a fair settlement to compensate you or your loved ones for losses due to the crash and representing you in court if the case goes to trial.

The Importance of Contacting a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

The most important thing to do after an accident is to seek medical treatment. If you can, document details at the accident scene, like taking photographs and video and making notes about the road and weather conditions. Keep conversations with other parties at the scene of the accident and with any insurance representative short and factual. After seeking medical attention, you should contact an experienced Virginia motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss filing a personal injury lawsuit to be compensated for damages. 

Andrew Thomas
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Civil litigation attorney in Virginia and is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

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