Virginia Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Nothing is quite as liberating as feeling the wind at your back and sun on your face as you travel Virginia’s roads on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, that feeling of freedom can come at a high cost when you suffer an accident — and potentially life-threatening injuries. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident through no fault of your own, let the Virginia Beach motorcycle attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers stand up for you while you heal. Our injury lawyers are champions of the rights of riders. We are aware of how many drivers of larger vehicles fail to look out for motorcyclists and will fight to get you the most out of your Virginia motorcycle accident case.
At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers we have secured hundreds of thousands of dollars for motorcyclists after they were injured by other drivers. Please see our personal injury results page.
What are the Dangers of Motorcycles?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more than 100,000 motorcycle accidents nationwide every year. The fatality rate in motorcycle accidents is about six times that of drivers and passengers in cars, states NHTSA. Motorcycles lack the external covering and protection that cars and trucks have, meaning riders are less likely to survive a wreck. They also stand a significantly higher chance of sustaining serious personal injuries.
Our Virginia Beach motorcycle accident lawyers help injured motorcyclists, moped riders, and scooter riders. According to the Virginia Highway Safety Office, 107 motorcyclists were killed in 2017. Of these, 102 were drivers and five were passengers. There were 1,796 injuries to motorcyclists. The figure represented a 48.6 percent increase in deaths compared to 2016 and a 10 percent increase in injuries. Virginia saw 2,119 motorcycle crashes in 2017, a 40 percent increase from 2016. The reasons for the big spike in motorcycle deaths is unclear. One theory is older riders from the ‘baby boomer’ population are riding high-powered bikes like Harleys. When older riders are involved in motorcycle accidents, they are less likely to survive their injuries.
The spike in fatal motorcycle crashes appeared to extend into 2018. By the end of the summer, Virginia Beach had already recorded more fatal motorcycle crashes than in the whole of 2017.
The disproportionately deadly nature of motorcycle crashes is illustrated by the fact that motorcyclists were involved in 1.7 percent of all crashes in the Commonwealth in 2017 and 12.7 percent of fatal crashes. In 2017, 8 moped riders were killed in crashes in Virginia and 363 were injured. Despite their best efforts at safety, motorcyclists are still at the mercy of other drivers on the road, many of whom do not afford motorcycles the same respect they give to other vehicles. A wide range of factors can cause a motorcycle accident, but the NHTSA reports that the number one cause of motorcycle accidents is other drivers. Of more than 5,000 fatal motorcycle crashes every year on the roads of America, about 54 percent involve another driver.
Bikers are vulnerable from car, truck, pickup, van and bus drivers who fail to keep a proper lookout or ignore a motorcyclist’s right of way. Drivers of other vehicles pose the largest threat to motorcyclists throughout Virginia. We see many serious injuries and deaths caused by drivers who are making a left turn and fail to notice a motorcyclist, causing a collision. Often, Virginia drivers fail to notice a rider when making a lane change.
What Safety Precautions Should Motorcyclists Take in Virginia Beach?
For their safety, it’s important for bikers to know and follow the motorcycling laws in Virginia. Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles advises riders to wear safety gear including eye protection, gloves, jackets and pants of a durable material and appropriate footwear. Motorcyclists are also required to have an M-class license. For more information on license requirements, visit the DMV website. Finally, it’s essential for bikers to keep their motorcycles well maintained to avoid potential problems on the road.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists’ injuries are among the most devastating in wrecks. Catastrophic injuries suffered by bikers involved in Virginia biker accidents include:
- Brain Injuries — Helmets are only about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries in motorcycle accidents.
- Spinal Cord Injuries — Any injury to the spinal cord is serious and has the potential to cause paralysis and result in loss of work and the need for lifelong care.
- Pulverized Bones — Crushing bone injuries may require a bone transplant.
- Road Rash – a serious skin burn or abrasion caused by scraping your legs along the road.
- Internal Damage — Injuries to organs and arteries may prove fatal.
- Amputations — Partial or total amputations can affect the quality of your life for the rest of your life.
All of these injuries carry potentially long-term and life-altering consequences for a motorcyclist. All of them deserve the attention of one of our Virginia Beach motorcycle accident attorneys who will fight to ensure you are awarded the maximum compensation you are due. In the tragic event that a loved one has been killed in a motorcycle accident, we represent family members in a wrongful death suit to hold the responsible party accountable and recover damages for survivors.
It is important that you know your rights as a motorcyclist in our state. Virginia follows the doctrine of contributory negligence, which holds that if you can be found partially responsible for your accident, you cannot recover compensation for your injuries. Motorcyclists in Virginia should keep their speed down and never ride a motorcycle after drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
It is the job of our Virginia motorcycle accident team to prove that the other driver was negligent, failed to use ordinary care to avoid the accident, and is, therefore, 100 percent responsible for the damages suffered. We will pursue the claims of riders vigorously in a Virginia motorcycle accident case. Motorcyclists are unfairly perceived to be less careful than car drivers by insurance companies who exploit that bias in trying to minimize the settlement of your motorcycle accident case. We won’t let that happen.
Should I Talk to the Insurance Company?
Injured motorcyclists may find it extremely difficult to deal with the insurance company on their own in the aftermath of a collision. It is not uncommon for the defendant driver’s insurer to be reluctant to admit liability, which could leave the claimant in the lurch trying to deal with his or her injuries with the uncertainty of whether the insurance company will pay. Instead, a motorcyclist should consider speaking with a Virginia Beach attorney if he or she is involved in a serious wreck.
A lawyer could provide an honest evaluation of the injured motorcyclist’s case and legal options. Additionally, our legal team is well-versed in the various strategic approaches that insurance companies try to use to reduce the compensation they pay out for injury claims.
Sometimes, it may seem as though the at-fault driver’s insurer is sympathetic to the claimant’s case. However, the adjuster’s job is ultimately to mitigate the company’s financial losses as much as possible, even if this means potentially paying out less than what someone is owed for a claim. By working with a seasoned attorney, the injured party can safeguard his or her legal rights and have an advocate fighting diligently for full financial recovery.
Importance of a Virginia Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you have been seriously injured or if a loved one has been killed in a motorcycle accident, please contact our attorneys with Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free case evaluation. Our main office is in Norfolk and we have client meeting locations in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News and on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Our Virginia Beach motorcycle accident lawyers represent people who have suffered accident injuries throughout Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia. If your injuries make mobility difficult, we will come to you in your home or at a hospital. Let us take on your Virginia motorcycle accident case.