Motorcycle Crashes in the city of Newport News and Hampton Roads areas
Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents across the state, including the Hampton Roads region. Motorcycle riders are at a disproportionately higher risk of being involved in fatal accidents.
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), motorcycle accidents make up less than 2 percent of all traffic accidents yet account for 1 in 10 motor vehicle fatalities. Additionally, bike accident-related injuries comprised just under 3 percent of all traffic accident injuries but represent 10 percent of all serious traffic accident injuries.
At Tom McGrath’s Motorcycle Law Group, our lawyers recognize the significant risk Hampton Roads area riders face every time they go out. As riders ourselves, we know what it means to share the road with careless, reckless, and negligent drivers—and we know just how severely an accident can impact your life.
If you or someone you know or love was involved in a motorcycle accident in Newport News or anywhere in the Hampton Roads metro area, reach out to our firm right away to learn how we can help. Our personal injury attorneys are prepared to aggressively seek the maximum compensation you are owed. We provide all our legal services on contingency fees, meaning you will not pay any legal fees unless we recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
What are common causes of motorcycle accidents?
Negligence is the No. 1 cause of motorcycle accidents. While many people believe riders are the ones who most often drive carelessly or recklessly, we know it is the negligence of other motorists on the road that puts riders at risk.
Some examples of motorist negligence include:
- Traffic violations
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Unlawful passing
- Dangerous turns
- Unsafe merging or lane changes
- Following too closely, or tailgating
- Failure to check for motorcyclists
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Refusing to yield the right of way
In some cases, additional factors may contribute to or cause an accident. These include auto defects, faulty motorcycle safety equipment, and hazardous, poorly maintained, or defective roadways, including those with blind curves, unsafe speed limits, and unfilled potholes. It is critical that you understand all motorcycle laws in Virginia so that you stand the best chance of success in your case.
Our Newport News motorcycle accident attorneys know how to properly investigate claims to determine how an accident occurred and, most importantly, who is liable. We work with teams of experts, including accident reconstructionists, to develop innovative and effective legal strategies for our clients.
In some cases, we may be able to seek punitive damages. In contrast to the compensatory damages outlined above, punitive damages are not meant to compensate victims for specific losses, but to punish defendants for wrongdoing.
All of these damages may be recovered through a motorcycle accident lawsuit, which can be filed against the at-fault driver, company, or government agency.
Accident Fault Laws in Newport News
Is Virginia a No-Fault State?
Virginia is not a no-fault state for motor vehicle accidents. No-fault states require all motorists to have personal injury protection, or PIP, insurance. After an accident, an individual may file a PIP claim and receive compensation from their own auto insurance provider for certain damages—all without any consideration to fault.
Under the state’s traditional fault-based system, accident victims must typically file claims with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. You must prove that someone else was at fault for the accident that caused your injuries. This is known as a tort system.
Our Newport News motorcycle accident lawyers look at the following factors to identify the at-fault party in a case:
- How the accident occurred
- Whether the other motorist was negligent or careless
- Whether the other motorist broke any traffic laws
- The number of at-fault motorists
- The degree of fault each party had in the accident
- What additional factors may have contributed to the accident
- Whether an auto defect or roadway defect played a role in the crash
We have the resources needed to handle the legal details of your case, allowing you to focus on your physical recovery.
Can You File a Motorcycle Accident Claim if You Were Partly to Blame?
Some accidents are truly the fault of a single person or entity; others result from the negligence or recklessness of multiple parties. Unfortunately, it is very difficult—if not impossible—for a Newport News resident to recover compensation after an accident if they are found to have played any role in causing the crash.
Under Virginia’s plaintiff-unfriendly contributory negligence rule, you cannot file a claim for damages if you were even partly to blame for the accident that left you injured. Even if the other person was 99 percent at fault, you may not recover any damages if the insurance adjuster/court finds that you played a role in the crash.
It is extremely important that you hire an experienced lawyer who can help protect your rights against the interests of the insurance company. Adjusters and juries often have inherent prejudices against motorcyclists that can make it harder to pursue the compensation you are owed, but our firm knows how to fight back against these misconceptions and clearly demonstrate the other party’s fault.
How Long Do You Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
Every state has a statute of limitations (or filing deadline) on motorcycle accident lawsuits. For cases involving personal injury or wrongful death, Newport News residents have two years from the date of injury/death to sue the liable party for damages. In cases involving property damage, you have five years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit.
Evidence can be lost and memories can fade over time. So the sooner you act, the better. Contact our motorcycle accident attorneys, and we will immediately begin investigating the details of your case. We aim to help you make informed decisions about your recovery.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
For more than 30 years, our firm has been fighting for the victims of serious motorcycle accidents in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and West Virginia. We are known as The Firm That Rides® because our attorneys are avid riders who recognize the unique challenges injured bikers face. We are here to protect you and fight for your maximum recovery.