Pursuing Damages in a Virginia Motorcycle Accident Case

Virginia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycle accidents can be devastating, often resulting in severe injuries and significant financial burdens for victims. Pursuing damages in a motorcycle accident injury lawsuit is a vital step towards recovering the costs associated with medical treatment, lost wages, and the pain and suffering endured.

According to national statistics, there are approximately 5,000 people killed in motorcycle accidents each year. Another 90,000 victims sustain serious to severe injuries. Motorcycle accident victims who survive their injuries are often left with permanent damage and disabilities. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a Virginia motorcycle crash, you may be able to pursue damages against the person responsible for the crash.

A Virginia motorcycle accident attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can explain what your legal options may be and how much financial compensation you may be entitled to. Call our office today for a free consultation. In the meantime, the following is a brief overview of the personal injury process.

The Role of Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents

Although accidents can happen for any reason, many motorcycle crashes occur because of the negligent actions of another driver. As drivers, we all owe a duty of care to other motorists we share the road with, but, unfortunately, there are many drivers who fail to heed traffic laws. Some of the more common types of negligence driving behaviors the motorcycle accident attorneys from our firm have seen include:

  • Distracted driving behavior, such as texting or other cell phone use
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Failure to drive according to road or weather conditions
  • Failure to obey traffic signs or lights
  • Failure to yield
  • Following too closely behind
  • Speeding

Motorcycle Accident Injuries

These negligent driving behaviors can also cause other types of vehicle accidents, but because motorcycles offer little protection to riders the way other vehicles do, the injuries in motorcycle accidents are often catastrophic ones. Common injuries include:

  • Head and brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a significant concern. Helmets can reduce the severity, but they do not always prevent head injuries.
  • Spinal cord injuries: These can result in paralysis or long-term disabilities, profoundly impacting the victim’s life.
  • Fractures and orthopedic injuries: Broken bones, dislocations, and joint injuries are common due to the lack of protective barriers.
  • Road rash and soft tissue injuries: Abrasions and soft tissue damage can be painful and slow to heal.
  • Internal injuries: Organ damage and internal bleeding may not be immediately apparent but can be life-threatening.

Proving Negligence

Many people have a misconception that those who ride motorcycles are risk-taking thrill-seekers. It is not uncommon in a motorcycle accident for the at-fault party and/or their insurance company to try to blame the motorcyclist for the crash. The truth is that the majority of people who ride motorcycles are extremely cautious and aware of the dangers that threaten them in the form of other vehicle drivers.

Types of Damages Awarded in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

Motorcycle accidents can result in devastating physical, emotional, and financial consequences for victims. When pursuing a motorcycle accident lawsuit, understanding the types of damages that may be awarded is essential. These damages are meant to compensate victims for their losses and hardships. The availability and calculation of damages can vary significantly depending on the specific circumstances of the crash.

Economic Damages

  • Medical expenses: Victims of motorcycle accidents often face substantial medical bills, including ambulance fees, hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment. Economic damages cover these expenses, both past and future.
  • Lost wages: Severe injuries can prevent victims from working, leading to lost income. Economic damages include compensation for the wages and benefits that the victim would have earned if not for the accident.
  • Property damage: This covers the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged motorcycle and any other personal property affected in the accident.
  • Home modifications: In cases of severe injuries that require home modifications for accessibility, economic damages may also include the cost of these changes.

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and suffering: Non-economic damages compensate victims for the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental suffering endured due to the accident and resulting injuries.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: When injuries significantly impact a victim’s ability to participate in activities they once enjoyed, this loss is considered in non-economic damages.
  • Loss of consortium: In some cases, the spouse or family members of the injured party may be eligible for compensation due to the loss of companionship, care, and support resulting from the injuries.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the at-fault party’s actions were particularly reckless, intentional, or malicious. They are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from similar behavior.

Wrongful Death Damages

In the unfortunate event that a motorcycle accident results in a fatality, wrongful death damages may be sought by the surviving family members. These damages can include funeral and burial expenses, lost financial support, and the emotional suffering experienced by the family.

Future Damages

In cases where the victim’s injuries will require ongoing medical treatment, future damages account for the estimated costs of future medical care, rehabilitation, and other necessary services.

How an Attorney Can Help

Having a Virginia motorcycle accident attorney representing you in an injury case can help strengthen your claim. Your attorney will know what steps will need to be taken and what type of evidence is presented to prove the other driver’s negligence.

Some of the strategies our legal team uses include:

  • Investigate whether there is any video footage of the crash from security cameras of any businesses near the crash site
  • Obtaining all police reports and witness statements
  • Using photographs of the crash site
  • Utilizing expert witnesses, including those who are able to reconstruct the crash

Contact Our Firm Today

The experienced Virginia motorcycle accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have been advocating for victims and their families for more than 35 years and have obtained millions of dollars for motorcyclists and their families. We understand how devastating – physically, emotionally, and financially – these types of cases can be. Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation and find out what legal options you may have.

We also offer a free motorcycle injury guide which offers information that you may find helpful.