Virginia is home to many motorcycle enthusiasts. There are just under 185,000 registered in the state. And what better way to enjoy the beauty of the Hampton, Virginia area than on a motorcycle, riding along Hampton Roads, taking in the breathtaking views of the Chesapeake Bay and numerous rivers that meet there?
Unfortunately, one of the things people love about riding – the feeling of the open road around them – is also the very thing that leaves riders vulnerable to catastrophic injuries in motorcycle accidents. With no protection or barrier between the motorcycle and the vehicle that slams into them, the outcome of the crash can be tragic.
According to statistics from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, last year, almost 100 victims were killed in motorcycle accidents. This was an almost 20 percent increase in the number of deaths from 2020. Other national statistics reveal just how dangerous motorcycle accidents are to motorcyclists: In 30 percent of these crashes, riders sustain injuries serious enough to be incapacitating or lethal.
Without any protection around them, it is no wonder the rate of serious personal injuries and deaths is so high.
Frequent Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Since there is no barrier around a person on a motorcycle that acts as a buffer between them and another vehicle when there is a motorcycle crash, there is often some type of injury suffered. Some of the most common injuries our Hampton, Virginia personal injury firm’s clients have suffered include:
- Head and neck injuries – It is critical that all riders wear a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet. However, even with a helmet, many riders still sustain injuries to their head and neck. Concussions, hemorrhaging of the brain, and other types of brain injuries are fairly common. Even if a rider is fortunate enough to walk away from an accident, they should still have a doctor check them out since symptoms of brain injuries are often delayed.
- Organ and other internal injuries – Internal bleeding and organ damage are also injuries that can have delayed symptoms but can be fatal if not detected in time. They are also common motorcycle accident injuries.
- Spinal cord injury – The spinal cord plays a critical role in how signals get to our limbs and other parts of the body from the brain. A spinal cord injury can be devastating, resulting in paralysis, loss of mobility, and loss of sensation. It is also a common motorcycle accident injury.
- Road rash – When a rider is thrown from their motorcycle in a crash, they will usually slide along the road. This causes a “rash” on the skin. Road rash is painful and often causes complications, like infections, that can inhibit overall recovery. Many victims end up needing skin grafts but are still left with permanent scarring.
Car or Truck Driver Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents
Although accidents can happen for any reason, many motorcycle crashes occur because of the negligent actions of another car or truck 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, or fail to carefully watch their side view or rearview mirrors. Some of the more common types of negligence driving behaviors that our Hampton, Virginia motorcycle accident injury lawyers have found in the cases we have handled 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
- Making a left turn on a two-lane road, and failing to observe an oncoming motorcyclist
- Lane change without a blinker directly into a motorcyclist
- Entering a highway from a divided median and failing to observe a motorcyclist with the right of way
While some people are under the misconception that motorcycle riders are risk-taking daredevils, the truth is that most cycle riders are safety conscious and drive defensively. The majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by other vehicle drivers. According to a study funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Approximately 65 percent of motorcycle accidents are caused by another vehicle driver violating the motorcyclist’s right of way.
- The number one cause of crashes is the vehicle driver’s failure to see and recognize the motorcycle in a traffic setting.
- The greatest number of crashes occur at intersections where the vehicle driver fails to see the motorcycle in time.
- The most common infractions of other vehicle drivers include running red lights or stop signs and failure to yield before turning.
Our Hampton motorcycle accident attorneys work diligently to ensure our clients receive the financial compensation they deserve from the at-fault driver, including:
- A $1 million motorcycle accident insurance settlement for one client who became permanently disabled after a negligent driver forced her motorcycle off a four-lane highway. The woman was riding as a passenger on her friend’s Harley-Davidson when the driver of a car traveling in the same direction crossed a lane line. She suffered a fractured C7 vertebra in her neck, several other spinal disc fractures, 15 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, severe bruising to her abdominal muscles, and a major concussion.
- A $150,000 motorcycle accident insurance settlement for a client who suffered a pelvic fracture when a car hit his bike. After spending almost a week in the hospital, our client then spent the next three months on doctor-ordered bed rest at home.
Call a Hampton Virginia Motorcycle Accident Attorney for a Free Evaluation
Our Hampton, VA personal injury attorneys understand that the injuries motorcycle accident victims sustain often leave them with permanent disabilities that not only create physical limitations but also result in significant financial losses.
Our office is conveniently located at 101 Eaton Street in Hampton, less than a half mile away from the Hampton Circuit Court
If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, it is critical not to delay contacting the Hampton personal injury law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp for legal help because Virginia injury laws have strict rules regarding how long you have to file your personal injury claim. If the statute of limitations expires, you will be unable to collect financial damages for any medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, or any other losses you or your family may be entitled to.
Call our office today at (833) 997-1774 or click here to schedule a free and confidential consultation with our motorcycle accident lawyers.
Our firm also offers a free motorcycle injury guide which offers information that you may find helpful.
For more information about what to do if you are seriously hurt in a Hampton motorcycle crash, read these articles:
- The High Cost of Motorcycle Crashes
- Determining Fault for a Crash That Injures a Motorcycle Rider
- Damages That Can Be Claimed in a Motorcycle Accident Injury Case
- A Virginia Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Motorcycle Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Accidents