A hit-and-run collision between a passenger vehicle and a motorcycle in Virginia Beach, VA, left the motorcyclist severely injured. The crash on Northampton Boulevard happened near the intersection with Bayside Drive at 5:57 am on March 29, 2017.
Police do not know why the wreck occurred, but they identified the vehicle that fled the scene as a dark-colored SUV with a shattered rear window. Details on the types of injuries the biker suffered or whether doctors expect the motorcycle rider to recover were not included in news reports.
Drivers Have a Duty to Stop at Crash Scenes
Section 46.2-894 of the Virginia Code states that
The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident in which a person is killed or injured or in which an attended vehicle or other attended property is damaged shall immediately stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible without obstructing traffic … and report his name, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration number forthwith to the State Police or local law-enforcement agency, to the person struck and injured if such person appears to be capable of understanding and retaining the information, or to the driver or some other occupant of the vehicle collided with or to the custodian of other damaged property.
The law also imposes a duty on a driver to “render reasonable assistance to any person injured in such accident” when he or she is not also badly injured. Violating Virginia’s hit-and-run law makes a person subject to felony charges and a lengthy jail sentence. It also leaves the fleeing driver potentially responsible for paying compensation and damages to people hurt in the wreck.
Motorcycle Riders Always at Risk
A common explanation drivers give for colliding with motorcyclists is that they never saw the biker. Scientific explanations for this exist, ranging from the tendency of the mind to omit new information from a picture one has seen before to the low contrast of small objects against dark backgrounds. As a matter of law, however, drivers must adjust for these complications and take the extra time and effort to spot motorcycles before turning, merging, changing lanes or approaching a stop light.
What if the Hit-and-Run Driver Is Never Located?
Holding hit-and-run drivers financially accountable for the injuries they inflict is important and possible, but it is also difficult. When a negligent or reckless driver cannot be identified, crash victims may have coverage through uninsured motorist provisions of their own insurance policies. Working with a Virginia Beach-based personal injury lawyer to explore this option may help the motorcycle rider hurt on Northampton Boulevard.