Hire a Portsmouth Motorcycle Accident Attorney
A motorcycle provides a unique and enjoyable experience on the open roads. However, because of the size difference compared to other vehicles, a motorcycle accident can cause severe injuries. A robust settlement may be needed to secure a brighter future for the rider and their family.
Vehicle crashes between closed vehicles like cars and trucks are already dangerous enough. But, crashes involving open vehicles like motorcycles can lead to serious injuries or fatalities. If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle wreck or collision, the assistance of a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you access the financial support needed for your recovery.
The Portsmouth motorcycle crash attorneys at the Smith Law Center have years of experience in motorcycle accident cases, especially cases involving severe injury to the brain or spinal cord. Contact our Virginia offices at (757) 244-7000, for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal rights and options moving forward.
Read on to learn more about compensation in a motorcycle accident lawsuit.
What Damages Are Available in a Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawsuit?
Every motorcycle accident lawsuit is different, and damages may vary depending on the severity of the injuries, the amount of losses sustained, and which party caused the crash. Your damages award or settlement amount for a motorcycle accident claim may include:
- Financial support for medical treatment, including hospital visits, surgical procedures, medications, follow-up physical therapy, and ongoing rehabilitation (including psychological counseling for crash-related trauma)
- Reimbursement for loss of wages, lost earning capacity, loss of future income, and loss of employment benefits like health insurance or retirement packages
- Monetary compensation for pain and suffering — this includes physical pain as well as mental anguish and trauma mental trauma
- Punitive damages, which punish the other party for bad behavior or carelessness and discourage future violations; such damages can come from other motorists, motorcycle manufacturers (for product defects), and other parties
- Wrongful death compensation in cases of motorcycle crash fatalities — these help cover funeral costs, loss of household income and companionship, and other expenses
Due to the uniqueness of each motorcycle accident lawsuit, it can be challenging to estimate the typical “worth” of an injury lawsuit. To provide a general picture of what is possible, the following are some real results we’ve secured on behalf of our clients:
- $14.5+ million settlement: We reached this multi-million dollar settlement days into trial for a woman who rode a defective Harley Davidson motorcycle and suffered a brain injury as a result. We secured her financial support from the motorcycle dealer and the tire manufacturers in connection with a defective tire inner tube.
- $1.75 million award: This amount was awarded to a woman who sustained a head injury when a car struck her motorcycle.
- $900 thousand award: On account of our legal advocacy, a motorcyclist was awarded $900,000 in connection with a traumatic brain injury after an accident.
While there is no average amount or general range that describes a motorcycle accident award, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can negotiate skillfully to help you obtain the funds and care needed for you and your family.
What Are the Most Common Types of Motorcycle Injuries?
The most common type of serious motorcycle injuries are head, brain, and neck injuries. Based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are the most common cause of motorcycle fatalities.
The most common kinds of injuries associated with motorcycle crashes are:
- Brain and spinal cord injuries: These may include concussions, head impact injuries, brain and spinal compression caused by swelling or bleeding, and neck injury due to high-velocity whiplash. These can all lead to long-term brain injury or paralysis.
- Road rash (skin abrasions): High-speed impacts with the road asphalt can lead to skin and tissue injuries, requiring extensive skin graft surgeries to heal and repair. This may result in permanent scarring and skin changes, and may even reduce mobility in some cases.
- Broken bones: Broken bones can be severe and may require extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy to repair. In serious cases, they may need emergency amputation.
- Disfigurement: Injuries to the face and head can be quite traumatizing. Processing reactions to facial disfigurement may require new social skills that must be learned on top of dealing with anguish, grief, anger, and other emotions.
- Internal injury: Damage to the internal organs can result from direct impacts with another vehicle or being thrown from a motorcycle. Even sudden stops can cause internal damage. Internal injuries require critical medical care for diagnosis and treatments, as these can often be “invisible” from the outside.
Injuries from a motorcycle accident can be life-altering, painful, and financially expensive. In order to access the quality care you need, you may need to hire experienced Portsmouth motorcycle crash attorneys like those at Smith Law Center. Contact us as soon as you are able at (757) 244-7000 to discuss your case with us.
Conditions like trauma, depression, and anxiety may be considered “pain and suffering” and may be factored in for compensation. An experienced lawyer knows how to secure the appropriate settlement amount in connection with these conditions. Contact the Smith Law Center at (757) 244-7000 if you or a loved one need representation.
How Can a Portsmouth Motorcycle Wreck Lawyer Help with a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the death rate in motorcycle accidents is about six times that of cars and trucks. Riders lack the steel frame of a vehicle to protect them.
When a motorcycle accident occurs, the force and the sheer trauma of the impact can cause death at the scene. Severe head injuries are more likely in motorcycle accidents. When the negligence or carelessness of a driver causes a fatal motorcycle crash, the rider’s family may have grounds to file a wrongful death case.
There are special procedures in wrongful death cases that are different from personal injury lawsuits. These may need the assistance of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to ensure all legal requirements are met.
The types of damages you can recover in a wrongful death lawsuit include the following detailed under Virginia Code § 8.01-52. Damages may include reimbursement or compensation for:
- Mental anguish, sorrow, and solace which can include the loss of society, companionship, comfort, guidance, and advice given by the decedent
- Loss of future income
- Loss of services including protection, care, and assistance
- Medical expenses incurred due to the negligence of another driver
- Funeral and associated expenses
- Punitive (extra) damages when willful or wanton conduct has occurred
In Virginia, a wrongful death case can be brought by:
- The spouse of the deceased person
- The children of the deceased person
- A representative of the estate appointed by the will or by the state
The law also considers adopted children and stepchildren as children of the deceased. Parents or siblings of the rider may make a recovery if the deceased has no spouse or children.
Who Can Be Held at Fault in Most Motorcycle Accidents?
Statistically speaking, car or truck drivers are more likely to be at fault in a motorcycle crash than riders are. However, in such accidents, it is often the motorcycle rider who is far more likely to suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Consider the following motorcycle accident crash statistics from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. In a one-year period:
- 2053 motorcycle crashes occurred (1.7% of all traffic crashes)
- 111 motorcyclist fatalities were recorded (11.0% of all traffic fatalities)
- 762 motorcycle riders suffered serious injuries (10.7% of all serious traffic injuries)
So, while motorcycle crashes make up a relatively small percentage of all traffic crashes, they represent a significant percentage of fatalities and serious injuries. Because of the severity of the injuries, legal action may be needed to hold the proper parties accountable for losses.
Below are various preventable causes of motorcycle accidents, and how they can be proven:
Texting While Driving
Texting while driving is illegal since it creates so much danger on the road. Nevertheless, people still text and drive on a daily basis. Timestamped messages from a text can be used as evidence in proving a motorcycle accident injury.
Speeding is a clear legal violation that may be proven by evidence such as skid marks at the accident site. Other ways to prove high speeds are through dashboard information from the other vehicle, or an active cell phone inside the vehicle while traveling.
It is important to secure a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible since some forms of evidence can include tire tracks on dirt roads.
Driving Under the Influence
Alcohol impairment or being under the influence of other substances is a major cause of motorcycle accidents. Intoxication can be proven through breathalyzer tests and other means.
Driving a Poorly-Maintained Vehicle
Old brake pads, balding tires, and other maintenance failures can be a factor in a motorcycle crash. Examination of the other car or truck after the accident can yield evidence for trial, as well as mechanic’s logs, manufacturing documents, and other forms of evidence.
Disobeying Traffic Laws
Failures to obey traffic laws include incomplete stops, improper lane changes, and aggressive driving. Evidence such as surveillance camera footage or witness testimony can help prove such cases. An experienced lawyer will know how to gather the evidence needed for the claim.
Distracted driving can include being on a phone while driving, fiddling with the radio or a device, eating, or even talking to a passenger. Proving distracted driving may involve evidence at the scene showing the person was distracted before the motorcycle crash.
These instances are factors in all vehicle crashes. However, they may be amplified in motorcycle accident cases, because of the small size and open nature of motorcycles. A skilled attorney can assist with proof in such cases.
Contact Smith Law Center for a Portsmouth Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycle accidents can be complex and may involve serious or even life-threatening injuries. The evidence needed to prove such claims may be extensive, and will typically require the assistance of a lawyer.
If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, you should
Why Hire Smith Law Center
Smith Law Center has a proven track record of successful cases where a person was injured while riding a motorcycle. We have decades of experience handling vehicle cases, especially those involving serious brain injuries and long-term injuries.
Our attorneys are on hand to guide you through the process from start to finish. If you need help, contact Smith Law Center at (757) 244-7000, or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. It could be the first step towards a better future for you and your family.
Portsmouth Motorcycle Wreck Lawyer FAQs
What are some common causes of motorcycle accidents?
Common causes of motorcycle accidents include other people: texting while driving, speeding, following too closely, distracted driving, and drunk driving. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can identify the cause and hold the proper party accountable for financial damages.
How long will a motorcycle accident lawsuit take?
There is no set time period for how long a motorcycle accident lawsuit might take. Some cases may be resolved in months, while others might take a year or even longer to complete.
Each case is different, and the amount of time will depend on factors such as the seriousness of the injuries, the number of parties involved, and whether drunk driving was a factor.
What information should I gather for my Portsmouth motorcycle crash attorney?
First, it is your attorney’s task to obtain and gather evidence for your lawsuit, not yours. However, if you are able, you may provide useful information or documents to them, such as the date and location of the crash, any police or medical reports, photos or videos related to the incident, and vehicle and insurance info.
If you have questions about which information is important, your Portsmouth motorcycle crash lawyer from the Smith Law Center can assist you.
How can a Smith Law Center motorcycle accident lawyer help?
A qualified and experienced attorney can help by researching the motorcycle laws in your area, investigating the crash, gathering evidence, preparing a trial strategy, and negotiating the ideal damages award for you.
The accident lawyers at Smith Law Center have a proven record of successfully recovering millions of dollars for injured clients. Call us at (757) 244-7000 if you need a dedicated advocate for your case after a motorcycle crash.
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