Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Did you recently get hurt in a motorcycle accident in Charlottesville, Virginia? If so, you should take a moment to learn about the common causes of motorcycle accidents. Not only will this reduce your risk of accidents in the future, but it will also help you identify who could be liable for the accident that harmed you.
At the Kendall Law Firm, we understand the specific challenges that motorcycle accident victims face after a wreck. If you have questions about your legal rights, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for your free initial case review. Contact our firm now for a free consultation with an experienced Charlottesville motorcycle accident lawyer.
How a Lawyer Can Help with a Motorcycle Accident
When you come to the Kendall Law Firm after a Charlottesville motorcycle accident, you can count on us to help you by:
- Explaining your rights and identifying sources of compensation for your claim
- Conducting an independent investigation into the causes of the motorcycle accident
- Communicating with employers, insurers, and other parties on your behalf
- Obtaining medical records, accident reports, and other evidence for your claim
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and reliable experts for valuable case testimony
- Managing essential case documents, details, and deadlines on your behalf
- Negotiating forcefully with the insurance company to maximize your settlement
- Taking your case to court and representing you at trial if the other side won’t pay
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Charlottesville
Here are some of the most common causes our motorcycle accident attorneys in Charlottesville see in the injury cases we handle:
- Unsafe lane changes – If a driver is dangerously weaving between lanes, they are far less likely to notice the smaller profiles of motorcycles in between other cars. Drivers who make unsafe lane changes also frequently fail to signal their turns, further increasing the risk of motorcycle accidents.
- Failure to obey traffic signals – Traffic signals, such as red lights, stop signs, and speed limit signs, exist to keep everyone safe. When motorists accidentally or deliberately ignore traffic signals, they risk crashing into motorcycle riders exercising their right of way.
- Speeding – Drivers who exceed posted speed limits or drive too fast for present road conditions have little room for error. They are more likely to collide with motorcyclists because they have less time to react to unexpected hazards or to the sight of a motorcycle they previously didn’t see and need more room to slow down.
- Distracted driving – Inattentive drivers who focus on text messages, passenger conversations, or other distractions put everyone on the road at risk. Distracted drivers are far less likely to notice motorcyclists in their peripheral vision and respond appropriately to prevent motorcycle accidents.
- Drunk driving – Even a small amount of alcohol can impair safe driving abilities. The intoxicating effects worsen the more someone drinks. Drunk drivers commonly cause motorcycle accidents because they struggle with depth perception, reaction time, and critical thinking. A drunk driver is a danger to any nearby motorcyclist.
- Failure to monitor blind spots – Every driver must monitor their blind spots constantly to prevent accidents with nearby vehicles. Motorcycle accidents are especially likely to occur when drivers fail to check their blind spots because motorcycles are small enough to be totally concealed within a blind spot.
- Poor road conditions – When cities, towns, and other localities fail to keep local roads in good condition, motorcycle accidents are much more likely to happen. Motorcycles only have two or three wheels on the ground at once, so they’re more susceptible to loss of control due to potholes, poor drainage, or debris.
- Inclement weather – Many motorcycle accidents happen in inclement weather, such as rain, snow, or high winds. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to accidents in inclement weather when driving on poorly maintained roads.
Where Is a Motorcycle Accident Most Likely to Occur?
A motorcycle accident can happen almost anywhere, but certain areas have a higher risk of accidents for motorcyclists, such as:
- Highways and freeways
- Two-lane roads
- Congested urban areas
- Rural roads in poor condition
- Alleys and other narrow roads
- Parking lots and garages
- Curvy or sloped roads
Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
Because motorcyclists do not have the same types of protections that occupants in passenger vehicles have, they tend to suffer much more serious injuries than car accident victims, including:
- Traumatic head and brain injuries
- Facial fractures and disfigurement
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limb
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
- Road rash
How Is Fault Determined in a Motorcycle Accident?
When investigators look into the causes of a motorcycle accident, they typically use the following types of evidence to determine who is at fault:
- Photos of the motorcycle accident scene
- Video footage of the motorcycle collision
- Official police accident reports
- Statements from witnesses who saw the crash
- Testimony from experts, such as physicians or accident reconstruction experts
- The driver’s cell phone or GPS records
- The driver’s vehicle maintenance records
- Physical damage at the scene of the accident
Why Are Motorcycle Accidents More Common Than Car Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents are generally more dangerous than car accidents, but they’re not necessarily more common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycles were involved in just 1.2 percent of all traffic accidents nationwide in one recent year. But that same year, motorcycles accounted for more than ten percent of all fatal accidents in the U.S. So, car drivers are clearly involved in more traffic accidents, but motorcyclists are far more likely to suffer life-threatening injuries.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After a Motorcycle Accident?
Under Virginia law, you generally have two years to file a personal injury claim after a motorcycle accident. This two-year window begins on the date when the motorcycle accident occurs, so it’s important to act quickly. Waiting too long to file could mean losing your right to demand compensation in court for your injuries. It’s a good idea to seek help from a motorcycle accident lawyer in Charlottesville who can determine how the law applies to your situation and keep your case on track from day one.
Talk to Our Charlottesville Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today
When you’re ready to discuss the details of your Charlottesville motorcycle accident with a legal professional, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Kendall Law Firm. We can provide the answers you need and review your case when you contact us for your free consultation session.