Virginia offers motorcyclists a range of beautiful vistas, whether riding along the George Washington Memorial Parkway or cruising in the Shenandoah Valley, which is one reason why motorcycle riding is so popular in the region. With more bikers on the road than ever before, motorcycle accidents are becoming increasingly common. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to significant compensation.
Located in Vienna, Alavi Law, PLLC routinely handles motorcycle accident claims and fights to protect the rights of injury victims throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Despite the public bias against motorcycle riders for being reckless thrill seekers, we believe motorcyclists have a right to ride safely on the roads and highways. Our personal injury team has a proven track record of helping the injured obtain the maximum compensation they deserve.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries
While a motorcycle accident can be caused by inexperienced riders, bikers weaving in and out of lanes, or poor weather conditions, nearly eighty percent involve collisions with other vehicles frequently due to the negligent or reckless actions of the other driver. This includes:
- Failing to see the motorcyclist
- Distracted driving
- Improper turning
- Failing to yield at intersections
- Disobeying traffic signals
- Reckless driving
- Diving under the influence
It is worth noting that all drivers in Virginia have a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely and avoid causing injuries to others. A vehicle driver who breaches this duty can be held liable for accidents that cause injuries to motorcycle riders. Guided by a principle that negligent drivers must be held accountable, we fight to help our clients obtain just compensation that considers any future financial and medical needs.
Additionally, motorcycle accidents can be caused by road defects such as potholes, gravel, uneven pavement, oil spills, debris or other foreign objects on the road. In these situations, an injury claim can be brought against the city, county or state agency responsible for maintaining the roads and highways, provided that applicable notice of claims rules are followed. Finally, when motorcycle accidents are caused by mechanical defects, a product liability lawsuit can be brought against the motorcycle or parts manufacturer and/or distributor.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Many accidents involve the front of the motorcycle colliding with another vehicle or obstacle, often leading to all types of injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Burns/road rash
- Head injuries
- Facial fractures/disfigurement
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
The risk or degree of injuries can be minimized when motorcycle riders wear protective gear such as helmets, leather jackets, heavy pants, boots, and gloves. Despite these precautions, motorcycle accidents may still lead to injuries. In addition to severe physical pain and emotional harm, many injured motorcycle riders face expensive medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses. At times, a rider may sustain permanent injuries, disfigurement, or paralysis, while fatalities leave loved ones to grieve.
Virginia Motorcycle Safety Requirements
There are numerous safety requirements applicable to motorcycle riders in Virginia. First, it is necessary to hold a valid Class “M,” “M2,” or “M3” designation or a motorcycle driver’s license. Additionally, motorcycle owners and operators must have a valid Virginia title, registration card, and license plate. Most importantly, all motorcycle riders and their passengers are required to wear an approved motorcycle helmet. Protective eyewear, either goggles or a helmet shield, is also required for riders and passengers – unless the motorcycle has a windscreen.
In addition, motorcycles must be equipped with safety features such as side view mirrors, a passenger seat and footrest for both the rider and a passenger, a day runner headlight (modulating headlights are permitted), and a muffler that complies with maximum allowable sound levels. Finally, Virginia requires all motorcycle operators to carry minimum liability coverage: $25,000 bodily injury, $50,000 for each accident, and $20,000 property damage.
Is lane splitting legal in Fairfax County?
Lane splitting, the practice of riding a motorcycle between lanes or rows of slow moving or stopped traffic, or motorcycles sharing lanes with cars, are illegal in Virginia. Two motorcyclists are permitted to ride side by side in the same lane, however, provided that both riders consent. Finally, motorcyclists are allowed to proceed with caution through non-responsive red lights, after waiting for two rotations of the traffic light or two minutes, whichever is shorter.
Why You Should Call A Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Although determining who is at fault in a motorcycle accident can be complicated, we have the skills and resources that are essential for pursuing successful injury claims. We will conduct a thorough investigation of your motorcycle accident, obtain and review police reports, identify and interview witnesses, and rely on medical records to validate the degree of your injuries. When necessary, we will also collaborate with a respected network of accident reconstruction specialists and other experts to build your claim.
Above all, we will fight for your right to compensation for economic and noneconomic damages. The former cover lost wages, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and other financial losses, while noneconomic damages are designed to compensate you for pain and suffering, permanent injury, loss of enjoyment of life and similar harm.
Knowing the being injured in a motorcycle accident is a horrible experience as well as a financial and emotional burden, we are here to help lift these burdens by providing you with caring, efficient service. We believe that injured motorcycle riders should not suffer because of the negligence or recklessness of others. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Virginia, call us today or complete the contact form on our website. The initial consultation is free and you will not pay any attorneys’ fees until we win your case.