Motorcycle accidents are devastating to the rider. Eighty percent of motorcycle crashes result in injuries or death. The types of injuries that motorcycle riders sustain often require extensive (and expensive) treatment and significant time out of work. Most motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle.
Under Virginia law, to have a viable personal injury case, you must prove that someone else was at fault and that their negligence was the cause of the accident and your injuries. Additionally, under Virginia’s law of contributory negligence, you cannot be even the slightest bit at fault – if the defense successfully claims that you are partially at fault in causing the crash, then your claim may be extinguished. Determining the party at fault in a motorcycle crash involving another vehicle can be a challenge. There are many factors including road conditions or mechanical defects but often the fault lies with the driver of the other vehicle. Distracted driving can be deadly and shocking numbers of drivers admit to texting, eating, engaging with children, or even picking up objects from the car floor. Even an attentive driver can experience inattentional blindness where they look but don’t register seeing a motorcycle. In one simulation, 65% of subjects missed seeing a motorcycle in a photo simulating a driver’s perspective.
Your motorcycle accident attorney will play a key role in the discovery and investigation phase of the process, making sure that drivers and conditions that caused the accident are identified. If another entity is determined to be the party at fault, this will shift the balance in favor of the motorcycle rider and help the rider pursue a path towards compensation. After a motorcycle accident, it is important to make sure that your legal team manages all communications about negligence and fault.
Even when it has been determined that the motorcycle driver is not at fault, pressure to settle quickly on a personal injury or wrongful death claim can impact your total compensation. In these cases, the settlement may only factor in immediate medical costs and property damage and overlook long-term disability, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Finding the right motorcycle attorney can make the difference between you and your family being left without resources or receiving the settlement you deserve.
What Do I Look for When Choosing a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
There are many personal injury firms out there. Finding the right attorney can be overwhelming but there are a few things to consider.
- Look for motorcycle accident and personal injury expertise. You will want to find a personal injury lawyer who has a strong grasp of the laws and insurance regulations for motorcycles. They should have experience with motorcycle accident claims as well as personal injury and wrongful death claims. Your lawyer should be familiar with the long-term impact of motorcycle accidents including permanent injuries, impact on livelihood, short- and long-term medical bills, pain and suffering, and the impact of trauma on the accident victim so that they can effectively fight for fair compensation.
- Track record of settlements. While every case is different and settlement awards are determined by the specifics of the accident and injuries sustained, the firm you select should have a track record of success. The personal injury law firm should be able to share case studies and testimonials for similar cases. They should be able to discuss similarities and differences and help you evaluate the merits of your case and potential compensation.
- Look for a powerful and experienced negotiator who will fight for the best possible settlement. Most personal injury cases are settled without going to trial. Look for a motorcycle accident attorney who can negotiate with the insurance company to get the compensation you deserve.
- Personal injury trial experience is essential. While most claims are settled through negotiation, your motorcycle accident lawyer should have the resources and experience to file a lawsuit on your behalf and a track record of winning in court.
- An excellent reputation is important as well. Review testimonials and references from clients who have had personal injury cases from motorcycle crashes. If you know someone who has used a motorcycle accident lawyer, get a referral. Check to see if the law firm has received awards and recognition.
Contact Us Today
Burnett & Williams is one of Virginia’s oldest and most recognized personal injury law firms. We are experts in motorcycle accident cases and have a proven track record. Contact us today for a free consultation.