Were you hurt in a motorcycle accident in Prince William County, VA? If so, you could be left with expensive medical bills, lost income from time off work, and a damaged bike in need of repairs or replacement. That’s to say nothing of the personal toll that severe injuries can take on your life.
Why should you be left to struggle with the aftermath of an accident someone else caused? You shouldn’t, and D. Michael Mullori, Jr., Attorney at Law wants to make things right.
Mike Mullori has been helping the people of Northern Virginia since 1999, and he knows what it takes to fight hard and win. Contact Mike today to speak with a Prince William County motorcycle accident lawyer for free. He will give you the advice and advocacy you need while seeking the justice you deserve.
What Are the Virginia Motorcycle Laws?
Virginia has a number of motorcycle laws on the books meant to reduce the number of preventable accidents and keep riders and other road users safe. Before any Virginia resident can legally operate a motorcycle, they must get one of the following endorsements or standalone licenses:
- M: Operation of both two- and three-wheeled vehicles
- M2: Operation of two-wheeled vehicles only
- M3: Operation of three-wheeled vehicles only
Motorcyclists living in the state must also get a Virginia title, license plate, and registration for their bikes, as well as insurance coverage that meets the state minimums.
Anyone operating or riding a motorcycle in Virginia must wear a helmet that meets or exceeds the standards provided by the federal Department of Transportation, the American National Standards Institute, or the Snell Memorial Foundation.
How a Motorcycle Accident Differs from a Car Accident
Motorcycle accidents aren’t like other traffic collisions. Here are some of the things that set them apart:
- Motorcyclists Are More Physically Vulnerable – Riders are directly exposed to physical harm in a motorcycle accident, unlike car occupants who are protected by the vehicle’s frame. This makes motorcyclists more susceptible to serious or even fatal injuries. These may include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and road rash.
- Motorcyclists Suffer Greater Losses – More severe injuries mean greater losses in the form of expensive medical bills, lost wages and diminished income from time missed at work, and more profound pain and suffering.
- Motorcyclists Are Subject to Different Safety Laws – Virginia requires motorcyclists to wear helmets, and insurance companies aren’t afraid to use this rule to their advantage during settlement negotiations. An at-fault party’s insurer might argue that a rider worsened their injuries by failing to wear a helmet, making them partially to blame and, therefore, less deserving of full compensation.
- Motorcyclists Face Unfair Biases When Seeking Compensation – There’s a perception that motorcyclists are reckless or risk-takers. This bias can affect everything from the police report to court proceedings, making it harder for riders to get the compensation they deserve.
Were you hurt in a motorcycle accident someone else caused? Then seek help from an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Prince William County — one who understands what makes these cases different from other traffic accidents and can handle them accordingly.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Motorcycle Wreck
In the days and weeks following a motorcycle accident, taking certain steps to protect your health and your rights to compensation is essential. Once you’ve sought medical attention and are on the road to recovery, consider taking the following steps:
- Obey Your Doctor’s Advice – Be sure to follow any medical instructions or treatment plans given by your doctor. This not only aids in your recovery but also provides a record of your efforts to mitigate the effects of your injuries.
- Document Everything – Keep a journal detailing your injuries, medical appointments, symptoms, and how your injuries impact your daily life. This could be valuable evidence of how the accident has affected you, much of which could be compensable.
- Preserve Evidence – Save any evidence related to the accident, such as your damaged helmet or gear, and keep a record of all medical expenses, repair bills, and any other costs associated with the accident.
- Don’t Discuss the Accident– Avoid discussing the accident with anyone other than your lawyer, and be especially sure to not talk about it on social media. Anything you say could be used against you later.
- Don’t Rush to Accept an Insurance Settlement – Insurers often offer injured motorcyclists a quick settlement in the hopes that they’re desperate for cash and unaware of the true value of their claim. Remember, an initial offer may not fully cover your medical costs and other losses, and it’s unlikely the best offer that the insurer’s willing to make.
Perhaps most importantly, you should contact a Prince William County motorcycle accident law firm. An attorney can explain your rights, determine the best path for pursuing compensation, and handle your claim on your behalf, giving you the time and space to focus on your rest and recovery.
Common Causes of a Motorcycle Collision
A motorcycle wreck can happen for many reasons, but some causes occur more frequently than others. Here’s a brief look at some of the most common causes of a motorcycle collision:
- Speeding – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that about a third of all traffic fatalities are related to excessive speed. But the consequences are especially severe when a motorcyclist is involved, as they lack the protective frames and safety features afforded to vehicle occupants.
- Impaired Driving – Alcohol or drug impairment is a leading cause of traffic accidents, affecting a driver’s ability to react quickly and make safe decisions on the road.
- Distracted Driving – Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road can lead to a collision. Some of the most common distractions are texting, changing the radio station, and eating or drinking.
- Poor Road Conditions – Potholes, wet or icy surfaces, and poorly maintained roads can lead to accidents, especially for motorcycles, which are inherently less stable than other vehicles.
- Unsafe Left Turns – A vehicle turning left has to pass through opposite-direction traffic lanes, potentially bringing it into the path of oncoming vehicles. A driver who misjudges speed or distance when attempting to turn left might collide with a motorcyclist who has the right of way.
- Motorcycle Defects – Some accidents are caused by mechanical defects in the motorcycle itself, such as brake failures or tire defects. The manufacturer of the unsafe part could be to blame for the resulting accident.
Common Injuries from a Motorcycle Crash
A motorcycle crash often results in serious injuries due to the rider’s direct exposure to impact. These serious injuries could include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) – These can range from minor concussions to life-threatening penetrating injuries. Helmets can reduce the risk, but they do not eliminate it.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – Accidents may lead to injuries along the spine, potentially causing paralysis and other long-term disabilities.
- Fractures/Broken Bones – The impact from a collision frequently results in broken bones, particularly in the arms, legs, or ribs.
- Road Rash – This injury occurs when a rider slides across the pavement, causing skin abrasion. Severe cases can result in skin infections, surface nerve damage, or permanent scarring.
- Biker’s Arm – This injury is unique to motorcyclists. It occurs when riders naturally use their arms to shield against an impact, leading to nerve damage in the arm.
- Internal Injuries – A forceful impact can cause internal injuries to organs, requiring immediate medical attention.