Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorneys
The scenic Virginia countryside is the ideal setting for motorcycle riders and their passengers to enjoy the fresh air and the sights and sounds that are lost when travelling in a car or SUV. Not being surrounded and enclosed by the steel and glass of other types of motor vehicles is what attracts people to motorcycles. The Hampton Roads motorcycle injury attorneys at The Law Offices of John W. Lee, P.C., appreciate what Virginia offers motorcyclists, but they also recognize the serious injuries and deaths that motorcycle accidents cause. They put their 70 years of combined experience to work fighting for the compensation a motorcycle accident victim needs and deserves.
Personal Injury Attorney When Serious Injuries Occur
Motorcycles lack the safety features people riding in cars, SUVs and other motor vehicles take for granted. They also do not have the benefit of being surrounded by steel and glass to protect them in the event of an accident. When something goes wrong, motorcycle riders and their passengers are exposed to the full force of a collision. Even being tapped by a car travelling at slow speed can cause a rider to lose control of a motorcycle and be seriously injured.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reports there were 2061 crashes involving motorcycles in the last year for which statistics are available. Those crashes resulted in 1776 people being injured and 70 killed. Speeding and tailgating are the leading causes of motorcycle collisions, but Virginia Beach injury lawyers understand from their years of experience handling motorcycle accident litigation how other factors, including driver distraction, weather and road conditions can also cause motorcycle crashes.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Whether it’s the inability to see a relatively small, two-wheeled vehicle or being unable to accurately the speed of a motorcycle, a mistake made by a driver can be deadly for a motorcycle rider. Common behaviors Hampton Roads motorcycle injury attorneys frequently see as contributing to accidents causing death or serious injury to their clients include the following:
- Misjudging speed: It could be the size of a motorcycle relative to other vehicles or the fact drivers associate two wheels with bicycles, but the inability of drivers to judge the speed of approaching motorcycles cause them to pull out in front of riders. Side-impact collisions or T-bone accidents frequently occur as a driver misjudges the speed at which a motorcycle is approaching and makes a left turn into its path.
- Tailgating: Their light weight allows motorcycles to stop quickly when necessary, so a driver tailgating a motorcycle can end up in a rear-end collision when the rider suddenly stops.
- Distracted driving: Drivers talking on their cellphone or checking their text messages are not paying attention to the road and are a danger to motorcyclists.
- Driving while intoxicated: The consumption of alcohol or drugs can affect a driver’s judgment, reflexes and vision to the point of causing an accident.
- Failing to check blind spots: Because they are smaller than other vehicles, motorcycles can go undetected by the rear- and side-view mirrors used in most vehicles. Drivers need to turn his or her head to check the blind spot before changing lanes to avoid crashing into a motorcycle.
- Recognizing road hazards: A pothole might be an annoyance to the driver of a car or van, but it can cause a deadly crash when a motorcycle runs into it. Drivers must pay attention to road hazards and be prepared to take emergency action if a motorcyclist loses control by hitting one.
Types of Injuries and Damages Recoverable
Head injuries are common in motorcycle accidents. Other injuries also occur with some frequency include the following:
- Lacerations and fractures of the upper and lower extremities
- Lacerations to torso
- Facial lacerations and fractures
- Back and spinal cord
- Internal injuries
Motorcycle accident litigation could result in a victim recovering compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Impaired future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Rehabilitation costs
- Disability and physical impairment
- Scarring and disfigurement
When a motorcycle accident causes the death of the rider or a passenger, a personal injury attorney can bring a wrongful death action seeking compensation for the victim’s family against the party responsible for causing the accident.
Tips for Staying Safe and Preventing Injuries
Helmets must be worn by all motorcycle riders and their passengers under the laws of Virginia. The helmet worn must meet or exceed U.S. Department of Transportation standards. Other things motorcycle operators should know before venturing onto the roads in Newport News or other parts of the commonwealth include:
- Directional signals are not required on motorcycles in Virginia, but riders must use hand signals when turning.
- Two motorcycles may share a lane as they travel in the same direction.
- Operators of motorcycles must wear some form of eye protection unless their motorcycle has a windscreen.
- Lane splitting is illegal in Virginia. Lane splitting is when a motorcycle passes between vehicles occupying adjacent lanes.
- Because they weigh less than other vehicles and contain less metal, motorcycles may not the sensors imbedded in the ground to cause a traffic light or turning arrow to change from red to green. Virginia law permits a motorcyclist to proceed through an intersection with caution if the light fails to change within shorter of two minutes or two cycles of the light.
How Virginia Beach Injury Lawyers Make a Difference
It is essential to have the facts and circumstances of an accident reviewed by a personal injury attorney with years of motorcycle accident litigation experience. A skilled attorney can determine from the facts the evidence needed to prove the negligence of another person was the cause of the accident.
Virginia Beach injury lawyers with motorcycle accident experience understand how accidents caused by road hazards, such as potholes, might permit a claim against the municipality responsible for maintaining the road. If the accident was caused by defective or malfunctioning equipment on the motorcycle, a resourceful attorney could pursue a claim against the manufacturer of the motorcycle or of the defective part.
Getting Help Following a Motorcycle Crash
The Hampton Roads motorcycle injury attorneys at The Law Offices of John W. Lee, P.C., have a proven record of success pursuing claims for damages on behalf of victims of motorcycle accidents. Schedule a free and confidential initial consultation by calling (757) 896-0868.