All drivers have a legal duty to drive safely and follow traffic laws. But driving near motorcyclists requires an extra level of care.
Motorcycles lack many safety features found in passenger vehicles such as seat belts and air bags, making motorcyclists far more likely to suffer serious injuries in a collision. Motorcycle accidents often have devastating consequences for an injured rider’s physical, mental, and financial well-being.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be eligible for compensation. In our experience at Kendall Law Firm, most motorcycle drivers exercise caution and obey traffic laws because they understand the risk of a motorcycle accident. Unfortunately, drivers of other vehicles may be inattentive or distracted and fail to see a motorcycle on the road. That can lead to a collision with devastating consequences for the motorcycle rider.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, talk to a knowledgeable attorney about your options. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney at Kendall Law Firm can help you seek compensation to help pay your medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering. Call Kendall Law Firm today at (866) 590-9773 to schedule your free consultation.
Motorcycle accidents are, unfortunately, quite common in Virginia. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 2,119 motorcycle crashes in 2017 including more than 100 fatal crashes.
Motorcycle crashes represent a disproportionate share of traffic deaths. Even though motorcycle crashes represent just 1.7 percent of all traffic accidents in Virginia, they are responsible for 12.7 percent of traffic fatalities.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, the motorcycle driver is the one killed or seriously injured. It’s more uncommon for drivers in a passenger vehicle to get injured from a collision with a motorcycle.
There are a few common causes of motorcycle accidents. The most common accident scenarios include:
Many accidents between motorcycles and passenger vehicles occur when a car turns left at an intersection and collides with an oncoming motorcycle or causes the motorcycle to swerve. When a driver turning left checks for oncoming traffic, they usually look for other passenger vehicles. Because motorcycles are much less common than cars, drivers simply do not expect to see them. A motorcycle’s slim profile can make it harder to see among larger vehicles, especially if a driver is rushing to beat a yellow light and doesn’t adequately check the oncoming lane.
Left-turn accidents also can be caused by a driver misjudging the speed of an oncoming motorcycle approaching an intersection. If the automobile driver underestimates the speed of the approaching motorcycle and makes a left turn in front, it can lead to a side-impact collision. The motorcyclist may be unable to avoid hitting the turning car.
Speeding is one of the most common causes of all traffic accidents. Speeding reduces reaction time, stopping ability, and increases the force of impact during a motorcycle accident. Speeding often leads to rear-end accidents. When a speeding car hits a motorcycle stopped in traffic, it can have devastating consequences for the motorcyclist. If a speeding car rear-ends a motorcycle, this can be extremely dangerous, as the motorcycle may be smashed between the speeding car and another car in front.
Many accidents occur when the drivers of passenger vehicles overlook a motorcycle in an adjacent lane and try to merge into the lane occupied by a motorcyclist. Since motorcycles are small, they can disappear from a driver’s field of vision in a blind spot. Drivers often only look at side mirrors and fail to do a shoulder check to look for vehicles in a blind spot. If a car merges and collides with a motorcycle, the motorcycle could be knocked over by the impact, swerve to avoid a collision, or lose control.
When a driver takes their eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, it can have devastating consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sending or reading a text can take a driver’s eyes off the road for up to five seconds. If a driver is going 55 miles per hour, that is the equivalent of driving the entire length of a football field with their eyes closed.
Texting isn’t the only form of distracted driving. Distraction takes many forms. Making a phone call, eating, and interacting with other car passengers can all make a driver take their eyes off the road and mind off the task of driving. Distracted drivers may drift into other lanes, fail to see that traffic has slowed down, or react more slowly to changes in traffic conditions.
Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs is a major cause of traffic accidents. Intoxication impairs judgement, distorts vision and lengthens the time it takes a driver to react. If an intoxicated driver crashes into a motorcycle, the intoxicated driver is less likely to take steps to lessen the impact by slamming on the brakes. Driving while intoxicated can have both civil and criminal consequences. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you should explore your rights to seek full compensation from the driver’s insurance company.
Motorcycle accidents often result in severe injury. Motorcycles lack most of the protective features found in passenger vehicles, such as enclosed passenger compartments, seatbelts, airbags, and more. Some of the most common injuries that result from motorcycle accidents include:
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Prompt medical care is in your best interest. Many motorcycle accident victims experience a surge of adrenaline following the accident, which can mask pain, even from serious injuries like fractures and road rash.
A doctor may be able to recognize symptoms of injuries that are not obvious, and prompt medical care can make a huge difference in your ultimate recovery. A doctor’s evaluation also provides documentation of your injuries related to the crash. The doctor’s report will be essential if you need to file a motorcycle injury accident claim.
Failing to seek prompt medical attention can damage your legal claim. If you did not immediately see a doctor, the insurance company may contend that your physical condition was not as bad as you claim. The defendant in your lawsuit could also claim that you contributed to your condition by delaying medical care, so they shouldn’t be responsible for paying your medical bills.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible, and keep good records of any medical bills, invoices, prescriptions, and receipts. If you don’t have these documents, your lawyer can help you obtain all necessary documentation.
Motorcycle accidents are traumatic. If you have been the victim of a motorcycle accident, you are likely feeling stressed and overwhelmed – in addition to the physical pain of your injuries. The financial stress of medical bills can make accident victims feel anxious and worried. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you access compensation to ease your financial concerns.
Sometimes, the insurance company representing the at-fault party will offer a settlement to an injured motorcyclist in exchange for signing a liability release. While many motorcycle-accident cases end in settlements, you should always consult an attorney about whether the settlement offer is fair before accepting any compensation from an insurance company or at-fault party.
Insurance companies are motivated to minimize or deny claims whenever possible, and the first settlement offer will likely be much less than you actually deserve. Unfortunately, many accident victims lack quality legal representation and immediately take the first settlement offered. They often fear that it’s their only chance to pay some of their medical bills.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will have a good idea of how much compensation you can expect. They can also advise you when to accept a settlement and when to keep negotiating or take your case to court. If the case goes to court, we will conduct a thorough investigation to give you every advantage in receiving maximum compensation.
While every motorcycle accident case has its own facts, Kendall Law Firm has a strong track record of obtaining favorable results for our clients. We understand the serious impact that a motorcycle accident can have on an individual’s life. We are passionate about advocating for our clients and helping them seek compensation to get back on their feet and move forward with their lives.
Contact us today at (866) 590-9773 to schedule your free, confidential consultation. We have offices in Harrisonburg, as well as Charlottesville, Winchester, Staunton, and Woodstock. We can also come to you, if that’s more convenient. Tell us about your motorcycle accident, ask any questions, and we’ll get to work on your case.