Experienced Manassas Trial Lawyers Fight for Victims of Motorcycle Accidents
Compassionate and determined advocates seek full, fair compensation
For many Virginians, the best way to get out and enjoy the wonders of the commonwealth, from the beautiful beaches to the lush state parks, is on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, the risks of riding become all too real. Because their bodies are exposed and unshielded, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries or wrongful death in an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash in the Manassas area, you should immediately call The Daugherty Law Firm. With more than 20 years of experience, we are prepared to manage your case professionally and aggressively to secure the full compensation you deserve.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents in Virginia
Often the cause of a motorcycle accident is no different from a routine auto accident. Someone was driving carelessly or aggressively or was distracted, fatigued or alcohol-impaired. However, there are accident causes that are unique to motorcycle crashes, such as:
- Lane splitting — When a motorcycle passes between two lanes of slow or stopped traffic, the rider is vulnerable to a sudden lane change by a car or having a door suddenly open. Although legal in some states, this maneuver is illegal in Virginia.
- Slick surfaces — Because they rely on only two wheels, motorcycles are far less stable than cars and much more vulnerable to slick surfaces such as wet or icy roads, metal plates, manhole covers and painted surfaces of a street. Bikers can easily lose control.
- Lane sharing — Motorcycles are permitted to ride two abreast in a single lane. However, the riders must be careful not to interfere with each other when avoiding debris in the road.
- Unsafe passing — Because a motorcycle does not occupy an entire lane, drivers of passenger cars will sometimes try to pass the bike without completely leaving the lane. This unsafe and illegal maneuver can crowd the bike, causing an accident.
However, the most common cause for crash between a motorcycle and a passenger car is the car driver’s failure to see the bike before it’s too late. This happens when bikes turn into intersections and even on straightaways. A car will often travel into the path of the bike and the driver will claim, “It just came out of nowhere.” For this reason, motorcyclists must make themselves visible by shining their headlights during the day.
Motorcycle helmet laws in Virginia
Virginia has a universal helmet law requiring all riders and passengers to wear a safety helmet that meets or exceeds the standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation, the American National Standards Institute, Inc. or the federal Department of Transportation. Riders must also wear eye protection or the bike must have a wind screen.
Failure to wear a helmet is not considered negligence in the event of a crash. However, if you are claiming a head or brain injury and you weren’t wearing a helmet, you may not be able to collect on that part of your claim. Virginia has a very strict pure contributory negligence law which bars plaintiffs from recovering any compensation unless the defendant is 100 percent responsible for the injuries.
Recovering compensation for your injuries
Motorcyclists often have a hard time making their case, because of negative societal attitudes towards motorcycles. To overcome this obstacle, you need experienced personal injury attorneys who are determined to fight for your rights. Severe injuries from a motorcycle accident may require ongoing medical and personal care for a lifetime. That’s why it’s tremendously important that you recover as much compensation from an at-fault driver as possible.
Contact our motorcycle accident attorneys in Manassas for a free consultation
The Daugherty Law Firm accepts motorcycle accidents cases on a contingency fee basis, getting paid only if we win a monetary recovery for you. Contact us online or call our office at 703-659-2437 to schedule a free consultation.
We offer reasonable fixed-fee arrangements and accept major credit cards.