Virginia Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
Thousands of Virginians are avid motorcyclists. Bikers love the sense of freedom and adventure that you can only get from riding a motorcycle on the open road. Although it is fun and exhilarating, there is a downside to this activity. Motorcycle riding is inherently more dangerous than driving other types of vehicles.
Motorcyclists have far less protection than those riding in closed vehicles, and because of their smaller profile, they are far more difficult for other motorists to see. Even if a biker follows all the rules of the road – wearing helmets, driving in a safe speed, etc. – they are still largely at the mercy of other drivers who often do not give them the respect they deserve on the road.
If you or someone close to you was injured in a motorcycle accident and it was the fault of another party, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. At Olmstead & Olmstead, we are committed to helping those injured in motorcycle crashes obtain the full and fair compensation they are entitled to. Our lawyers have extensive experience successfully representing clients in motorcycle accident cases in Virginia. We work closely with our clients, and we fight hard to help ensure that those responsible for their injuries are held fully accountable.
Motorcycle Accidents are on the Rise
Each year, thousands of individuals are killed and tens of thousands are seriously injured in motorcycle crashes. In addition, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to be killed in these types of crashes than occupants of other vehicles. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of motorcycle-related deaths has more than doubled since the late 1990s. And in 2017, the Virginia DMV reported the highest number of motorcyclist fatalities in a decade.
There are several reasons motorcycle accidents occur, some of the most common include:
- Distracted driving: One of the leading factors that is driving the increase in motorcycle crashes is distracted driving. Motorists have always had distractions, but the growing use of smartphones while behind the wheel has made this problem far worse. Texting while driving and similar activities take the focus of the driver completely off of the road. Motorcycles are already difficult to see because of their small profiles, and when a driver is not paying proper attention to his or her surroundings, it heightens the chances of a motorcycle accident.
- Blind spot accidents: Another danger that motorcyclists have because of their small profile is the possibility of getting lost in another vehicle’s blind spot. When another motorist fails to notice a motorcycle that is riding in their blind spot, it can cause collisions when they try to change lanes or make a turn. Many newer vehicles today are coming equipped with blind spot monitors, so hopefully, this danger will be reduced in the coming years.
- Speeding/reckless driving: Excessive speeding and other forms of reckless driving such as tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, and refusing to yield the right of way put everyone on the road in greater danger of an accident.
- Drowsy driving: Motorists who are tired or fatigued often become drowsy and sometimes even fall asleep at the wheel. While driving in this condition, it is very easy not to notice motorcycles or other vehicles that they are sharing the road with. Drowsy driving is most common among those who drive for a living, such as commercial truck drivers who spend long hours and many consecutive days out on the road.
- Driving under the influence: Despite decades of public awareness campaigns geared toward discouraging this practice, many drivers still make the horrible decision to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs. Driving while intoxicated slows reaction times, making it more difficult to see motorcycles and to effectively adjust to adverse road conditions.
- Vehicle defects: Motorcycle accidents can happen because of vehicle or vehicle part defects. Examples include tire blowouts, brake line failures, computer system malfunctions, and many others. If a vehicle defect contributes to a motorcycle crash, the designer, manufacturer, supplier, or distributor of the faulty vehicle or vehicle part may be at least partially responsible for the accident.
Pursuing a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Virginia
Motorcycle accidents can result in serious and catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Cuts, bruises, and skin abrasions;
- Fractures/broken bones;
- Head and facial injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Neck and back injuries;
- Chest injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis;
- Amputations/loss of limbs;
- Internal injuries;
- Burn injuries;
- Wrongful death.
Those who suffer these types of injuries may be entitled to damages. Compensatory damages can be divided into two general categories:
- Economic damages: These are actual monetary losses incurred by the injured party. Examples include property damage, medical expenses, lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, and funeral and burial expenses.
- Non-economic damages: These are intangible losses that are more difficult to quantify. Examples include pain and suffering, emotional distress, diminished quality of life, disfigurement, and loss of consortium.
In rare cases in which the actions of the party that caused the accident were especially egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and help deter them and others from engaging in similar acts in the future. In Virginia, punitive damages are capped at $350,000.
Recovering compensation for injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident in Virginia is more challenging than in most other states because of Virginia’s “contributory negligence” legal standard. Under contributory negligence, an injured party can be barred from recovering compensation if they are found to be even 1% at fault for the underlying accident (that caused their injury). This is a very high bar to clear, and to preserve your legal right to compensation, it is extremely important to retain skilled legal counsel as early as possible after the accident.
Speak with a Seasoned Virginia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Being injured in a motorcycle crash can turn your whole world upside down. Mounting medical bills and time missed from work can cause serious financial hardship, and if the injury is severe and debilitating, you may not be able to return to work at all. At Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., we understand the untold physical, emotional, and financial stress motorcycle accident victims and their families go through, and our goal is to make the legal process as smooth and seamless as possible. We handle all the complicated legal tasks, so you can focus on your recovery.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, call our office today at 703-361-1555 or send us a message through our web contact form. You may also stop by our Manassas, VA office at your convenience.
We accept all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you never have to pay upfront attorney fees to receive the strong personalized representation you need and deserve