Virginia Lane-Change Accident Lawyers
Thousands of motorcyclists ride on Virginia’s highways every day. Riding a motorcycle can be fun and exciting, but it’s also very dangerous. In addition to maneuvering their own bike in traffic, motorcycle operators have to be concerned with what other drivers will do. When drivers change lanes without making sure the lane is clear, it’s often a motorcyclist who pays the price. A motorcycle’s small size and lack of protective covering mean that injuries resulting from a crash can be catastrophic.
If you or someone you love have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, you need an attorney who understands Virginia traffic injury law. We understand how painful this ordeal can be, but you don’t have to go through it alone. The Virginia motorcycle accident attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO are passionate about helping victims who have been harmed by others’ recklessness. We’ll advocate relentlessly on your behalf to help you secure the compensation you need to cover your medical costs and losses.
Contact the award-winning motorcycle accident attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case. Call us at (703) 538-1138.
Why You Need A Lawyer
Traffic accidents are rarely simple cases, and crashes involving a motorcycle can be even more complex, due to the severe injuries often sustained by the motorcycle rider. A catastrophic crash can occur in seconds, and a motorcyclist usually won’t even know what hit them, until after the accident.
A good accident lawyer can investigate the circumstances of the crash, collect witness statements, hire an accident reconstructionist, and determine whether the accident was caused by someone else’s negligent driving practices.
They can hire expert witnesses to show the detrimental effect your injuries will have on your future and put together a solid case for compensation. An experienced attorney will negotiate aggressively and skillfully with the insurance company on your behalf, and they’ll prepare to file a lawsuit, if necessary, to secure the full and fair compensation you deserve. In addition, they’ll keep you updated at every turn in the case, and be available to answer all your questions.
Why Hire CHASENBOSCOLO To Handle Your Case?
The accident attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for clients throughout Virginia as well as Washington, D.C., and Maryland. We take pride in providing top-quality legal representation to each of our clients.
Our case results speak to the successes we’ve achieved on behalf of our clients, and our work has been recognized by prestigious legal groups such as Super Lawyers, the American Association for Justice, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
When you hire our firm, we give your case the attention it deserves. Your success is important to us. Our dedicated team of legal professionals will fight tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected, and you get the compensation you deserve.
Causes of Motorcycle Lane-Change Accidents
When a car or larger vehicle moves into another lane, the slim profile of a motorcycle means that the driver may not see a bike already occupying that space. Even if the driver looks before moving over, they often only glance for a second before changing lanes, and it’s easy for them to miss a smaller vehicle in their blind spot.
The unfortunate truth is that many drivers don’t look at all and/or don’t signal when they change lanes, so a motorcyclist doesn’t have time to react before being hit. If the biker does react, they may have to move into another lane immediately to avoid being sideswiped, potentially causing a car in that lane to hit them from behind.
Oftentimes, aggressive driving is to blame for these accidents. A car will begin to move into the next lane, forcing others to slow down to let them in. The driver may misjudge the speed of the traffic in that lane, or they may even disregard the presence of a motorcycle and cause a wreck.
Virginia law prohibits lane-splitting, or a motorcycle riding next to cars in the same lane. Bikers are not allowed to weave in and out of traffic over lane lines without properly occupying a lane. Two motorcycles are allowed to ride side-by-side in the same lane, however. It’s important to note that lane-splitting on wet roads can be risky because painted lines have less grip when wet.
Injuries in Motorcycle Lane-Change Accidents
The injuries that result from a motorcycle accident are often more severe than other traffic accidents, because the motorcyclist is not protected by their vehicle. The only thing protecting the biker is the clothing and safety gear they are wearing. Some of the more common injuries in a motorcycle accident include:
- Broken and fractured bones or ribs, especially from side impacts during a lane change or impact with the ground
- Road rash, or skin abrasions from contact with the pavement
- Concussion from sudden impacts
- Traumatic head or brain injuries, possibly leading to permanent brain damage
- Spinal cord damage, which may lead to partial or full paralysis
- Lacerations or deep cuts from broken glass or metal
- Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
- Injuries to the lower extremities, including broken legs or knees
If you are in a motorcycle accident, you should see a doctor as soon as possible, even if you don’t think you are injured. You may have internal injuries that won’t show symptoms until the next day or later, which can cause permanent damage if they aren’t treated quickly.
You will also need a diagnosis from your doctor in order to make an insurance claim or file a lawsuit. If you don’t get medical attention, the insurance company may try to argue that you were never injured.
Motorcycle Crashes by The Numbers
Here are a few statistics related to motorcycle accidents:
- 28% of bikers killed in 2017 were driving drunk.
- Of motorcycle operators involved in deadly crashes in 2017, 29% didn’t have a valid motorcycle license.
- 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in 2018.
- 71% of motorcyclists wore a Department of Transportation-approved helmet in 2018.
These statistics come from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. They show that riding a motorcycle can be deadly and that it’s important to wear proper safety gear.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve just been through an accident, you probably have a lot of questions. Your attorney is the best source for specific information about your case, but here are a few answers that may help.
Who is liable in a lane-change accident?
In an accident involving a lane change, liability often rests with the vehicle that initiated the lane change. This liability could vary depending on the circumstances; for instance, if the driver already in the lane sped up to keep the vehicle changing lanes from moving over, the aggressive driver may be responsible for the crash.
In a case where both drivers tried to change lanes at the same time, they may share liability. If the driver already in the lane was engaged in distracting or reckless behavior, such as texting, talking on the phone, or driving while intoxicated, the irresponsible driver may hold some liability.
What gear is a motorcyclist required to wear?
Virginia state law requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear an approved helmet, as do the laws in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Riders must wear eye protection if the bike doesn’t have a windscreen. Virginia law does not require a biker to wear other clothes or safety equipment, but motorcyclists should wear proper footwear, avoid synthetic fabrics that could melt in a fire, and include reflective devices on their clothing.
What is contributory negligence, and how might it affect my compensation?
In most states, a party can collect damages even if they were slightly responsible for the accident. Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. follow contributory negligence rules, however, which bars a party from collecting any compensation if their negligence contributed even a little to causing the accident.
Insurance companies sometimes use this rule in order to avoid paying out a claim. They may try to argue that you broke a minor traffic rule or made some other mistake, so that you don’t get to collect anything. It’s important to hire a lawyer who knows all these legal tricks and how to keep them from being used against you.
What compensation can I expect from a motorcycle accident?
Every accident is different, but here are a few of the ways that compensation may help in your situation:
- Cover medical bills
- Prescription drug reimbursement
- Replacement of property damaged in the crash
- Payment of costs for long-term care
- Reimbursement for lost wages due to time missed at work during recovery
- Cover loss of household income or loss of consortium due to the disability or death of a family member
- Payment of funeral and burial expenses in the event of a death
Compensation in your own case will depend greatly on your medical circumstances and the level of liability that you or others have for the accident. Your lawyer can give you a better idea of the types and amount of compensation available to you.
Speak With a Virginia Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have just been in an accident, your top priorities right now are your own health and your family’s well-being. You need a dedicated team of advocates on your side that can handle all the details of your case and will do everything possible to protect your right to compensation.
The pain and stress of a traffic accident can often be overwhelming, but the motorcycle accident attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO are here to help. We understand what you’re going through—we work with clients every day facing the same situation. Call us at (703) 538-1138 or fill out our contact form right away to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.