There are few things in life that are more enjoyable than hitting the open road on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle can also be incredibly dangerous. In 2021 alone, there were 2,048 accidents involving motorcycles in Virginia – 105 of which were fatal, and 1,573 of which caused injuries.
If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Depending on the facts of your case, this may be filing a claim against another driver, a government agency, or even the manufacturer of your motorcycle or its parts. Through this type of personal injury claim, you can recover financial compensation for your property damage, lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
At Poole, Brooke, Plumlee, we are dedicated to helping accident victims get maximum compensation for their injuries. We offer free initial consultations for all personal injury claims and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. Reach out to our law firm today to talk to a Virginia Beach motorcycle accident attorney about your claim.
When Can You File a Lawsuit for a Virginia Beach Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents happen far too often across our commonwealth, including right here in Virginia Beach. These crashes can have a variety of causes, including:
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Unsafe road conditions
- Road hazards
- Lane switching
- Left-hand turn accidents
- Failure to yield
- Motorcycle defects
In some cases, a motorcyclist is the only one to blame for the crash. However, if someone – or something – else caused the accident, then the injury victim may be able to bring a claim to recover financial compensation for their losses.
Typically, these cases are based on a theory of negligence, which is the failure to use the level of care that a reasonable person would use in a similar situation. Negligence can also be described as carelessness. For example, if a motorist changed lanes without checking and slammed into a motorcycle, then they might be considered negligent. If a local government knew that there was a defect on the road and they didn’t fix it, a motorcyclist who suffered injuries in a crash caused by the defect could file a lawsuit against that agency.
There are four elements that the injury victim (plaintiff) must prove to prevail:
- Duty: the at-fault party (defendant) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.
- Breach: the defendant breached or violated that duty in some way.
- Causation: the violation was the proximate or “but for” cause of the plaintiff’s injuries (i.e., but for the other driver speeding, the crash wouldn’t have occurred).
- Damages: the plaintiff suffered damages as a result.
In Virginia, negligence cases are slightly more complicated than in many other states. That is because Virginia is one of just a handful of states that follows what is known as a “pure contributory negligence” rule. Under this rule, if you were even slightly at fault for a motorcycle accident, then you may be barred from recovering any money.
This incredibly harsh rule makes it all the more important to have skilled legal representation for your claim. A seasoned Virginia Beach motorcycle accident lawyer will fight back against unscrupulous insurance companies that try to use the concept of contributory negligence against injury victims. Our law office will fight for your right to full compensation for your injuries.
Compensation in Virginia Motorcycle Accident Cases
In any personal injury case, you may be entitled to three types of financial compensation: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic and non-economic damages are considered compensatory in nature because they compensate you for your losses. Punitive damages punish a wrong-doer who acted in an intentional or grossly reckless manner.
Economic damages pay for direct financial losses, and can usually be proved with documentation like medical bills, paystubs, invoices, and repair estimates. Economic damages include property damages, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, medical treatment, and future medical care. There may be other types of economic damages depending on the facts of your cases, such as modifications to your home or vehicle to make it accessible.
Non-economic damages compensate an injury victim for their intangible losses. These losses may include things like scarring, disfigurement, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. It can be harder to prove these damages, but an experienced Virginia Beach motorcycle accident lawyer will use their experience and knowledge of similar cases to put together a claim for damages.
Finally, punitive damages are rarely awarded in personal injury cases, which are usually based on a theory of negligence (carelessness). But there may be situations – such as a drunk driving accident – where punitive damages are appropriate. Your attorney can talk to you about whether punitive damages are available in your case.
Most personal injury cases are resolved via settlement. In some cases, the insurance company won’t offer you fair compensation for your injuries. In these situations, a skilled Virginia Beach motorcycle accident attorney will take your case to trial and ask a jury to return a verdict in your favor.
Hurt in a Motorcycle Crash? We Can Help.
Being in a motorcycle accident can be incredibly scary. It can also result in serious and even catastrophic injuries. Our law firm can help you get the money that you deserve for your losses. We will handle all communications for you, and give you peace of mind in knowing that your case is being properly handled while you focus on what is truly important: healing and moving forward with your life.
Based in Virginia Beach, Poole, Brooke, Plumlee advocates for accident victims throughout Virginia. We are fierce advocates, taking on the big insurance companies to ensure you get justice. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a Virginia Beach motorcycle accident lawyer, give us a call at 757-499-1841 or fill out our online contact form.
When Should I Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
If you have been hurt in any type of motor vehicle collision, then you should hire a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. The insurance company won’t wait to get started putting together a defense against a potential claim. The best way to protect yourself is by hiring an attorney who can handle all communications and start building your case.
In many situations, the insurance company will send an adjuster to talk to you almost immediately after your crash. They will then use anything that you say to try to defeat your claim. To preserve your rights, call Poole, Brooke, Plumlee today to schedule a free consultation with a Virginia Beach motorcycle accident lawyer.
How Long Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Virginia’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 2 years. With some exceptions, this means that you must file a claim within 2 years of the date of your accident. If you don’t file a claim within this time frame, then you will likely be barred from pursuing compensation.
While this may seem like a long time, there are many good reasons to get the process started early. Over time, witness memories can fade and evidence can be lost. A Virginia Beach motorcycle accident attorney can ensure that your case is as strong as possible by gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses. Contact Poole, Brooke, Plumlee to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
How Can I Afford to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Most personal injury law firms work on a contingency fee basis. This means that your fee depends (is contingent) on you winning your case, whether through a settlement or verdict at trial. The total fee will be a percentage of your recovery. You won’t pay anything upfront, and won’t pay a fee unless your lawyer recovers money for you.
The legal team at Poole, Brooke, Plumlee handles personal injury claims with contingency fee arrangements. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle crash, we’re here for you. Give our law offices a call to talk to a Virginia Beach motorcycle accident attorney.