Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek
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What are Virginia’s motorcycle insurance requirements?
If you are riding a motorcycle in Virginia, you must comply with the commonwealth’s requirements for purchasing motorcycle liability insurance. In addition, having motorcycle insurance is important if you cause an accident or are the victim of one, and the negligent driver does not have sufficient insurance coverage to pay you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in Virginia
You do not have to purchase motorcycle liability insurance if you pay a $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle (UMV) fee. However, you would have no liability insurance coverage and would be personally liable for any injuries to victims or property damages caused in the collision if you just paid this fee.
If you do not pay the UMV fee, you are required to purchase motorcycle liability insurance. The minimum liability requirements for this insurance coverage is:
- $25,000 coverage for one victim’s injuries or death per accident
- $50,000 coverage for bodily injury or death per accident
- $20,000 coverage for property damage per accident
Why You Need to Purchase Additional Insurance Coverage
Having the minimum amount of liability insurance will not sufficiently protect you if you cause a crash. You should consider purchasing additional liability coverage to be certain you do not face personal responsibility if a victim suffers serious injuries.
You should also buy additional insurance coverages to protect you if you are injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver. Types of insurance that you should consider purchasing include:
- Collision coverage. This would pay the cost to repair or replace your motorcycle if it were damaged in an accident.
- Comprehensive coverage. This type of coverage would compensate you for damages caused due to fire, wind, water, theft, or vandalism.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage. If you purchase uninsured coverage, this would protect you if the at-fault motorist had no auto insurance as required under Virginia law. Even if they have insurance, it may not be sufficient to fully compensate you if you suffer a serious injury—which is much more common in a motorcycle accident. You could file a claim with your own insurance company if you purchased uninsured motorist coverage.
Were you injured in a motorcycle crash in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers are here to answer your questions and explain your options to you. Call our office to schedule a free consultation today to learn more.
Is lane splitting legal in Virginia?
Lane splitting is not legal in Virginia. However, lane sharing is permissible. Here’s what you need to know about lane splitting so that you can protect your right to compensation for your injuries if another driver causes your motorcycle accident.
What Is Lane Splitting?
Lane splitting occurs when a motorcycle rider rides between rows of motor vehicles going in the same direction as the motorcycle that are traveling at a slow speed or are stopped. Lane splitting is illegal in Virginia and is considered reckless driving. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense that is punished by a jail sentence and fines.
What Is Lane Sharing?
Lane sharing is the practice of motorcycle riders riding side-by-side with other motorcyclists in the same lane. Motorcycle riders are permitted to lane share with other motorcycles in our state.
It can be safer for motorcycle riders to lane share. They are more visible to other motorists when riding in a group in the same lane. In addition, drivers are more likely to keep a safer distance between their vehicles and motorcycles when there is more than one motorcycle in a nearby lane.
What Happens If You Are Involved in a Motorcycle Accident When Lane Splitting?
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident while lane splitting, you may have difficulty obtaining compensation from the at-fault driver who caused the collision. Under Virginia’s harsh contributory negligence laws, a motorcyclist who was at all at fault in causing a crash—even one percent—cannot recover any damages from another driver. However, the lane splitting must have been one of the causes of the crash for this rule to apply.
Contact Tavss Fletcher Today
If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, you need a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney who will fight for your rights and obtain the maximum recovery you deserve for your injuries. To learn how our legal team can help, call our Norfolk office or fill out the convenient online form on this page to schedule your free consultation today.
How much does a motorcycle accident attorney cost?
One of the most important steps you can take if you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident is to retain an experienced lawyer as soon as possible to file your claim and negotiate your settlement with the negligent driver’s insurance company. However, you may be reluctant to do this due to worries about how much you will have to pay in attorney fees. The good news is that most attorneys handle these cases on a contingency fee basis so that you will not owe any upfront fees.
What Is a Contingency Fee Agreement?
Once you decide to hire a lawyer, you should enter into a written retainer agreement that clearly states the attorney fees that they will charge you. In motorcycle crash and other personal injury cases, most attorneys in Virginia handle these cases on a contingency fee basis. Here is how this fee arrangement works:
- You do not pay your lawyer any attorney fees upfront when you retain them.
- The lawyer will charge a percentage of your motorcycle accident settlement as their fees. This percentage may be different if your case is settled out of court or decided at a jury trial.
- When your claim is settled, the attorney fees you owe will be paid out of your settlement proceeds before you receive your check.
- You will not be charged any attorney fees if you do not win your case.
Costs of Litigation That You Could Owe
You will also be responsible for paying the cost of litigation if filing a lawsuit becomes necessary. You will owe these fees even if you lose your case.
Some lawyers will require you to pay these costs as they are incurred while others will cover these expenses and deduct them from your settlement. Your contingency fee agreement should specify how you must pay these costs. Litigation expenses you may owe include:
- Medical records
- Expert witness fees
- Court filing fees
- Depositions and transcript costs
- Exhibits for trial
Were you or a family member injured in a motorcycle accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Call our office to schedule a free consultation with our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys. We can explain how we charge attorney fees in these cases and how we can help you obtain all the compensation you deserve from the at-fault motorist’s insurance company.
What happens if I wasn’t wearing a helmet when my motorcycle accident occurred?
If you were not wearing a motorcycle helmet at the time of your motorcycle crash, your injuries could be much more severe. However, you still may be able to recover compensation from the negligent driver who caused your collision.
Are You Required to Wear a Helmet in Virginia?
Motorcycle operators and their passengers are required to wear a helmet under Virginia’s motorcycle helmet law. The helmet must comply with the standards set by the federal Department of Transportation, the Snell Memorial Foundation, or the American National Standards Institute, Inc. In addition, motorcyclists and their passengers are required to wear one of the following, unless the motorcycle is equipped with safety glass or a windshield:
- Face shield
- Safety goggles
How Does Not Wearing a Helmet Affect Your Right to Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident?
The law requiring motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet and goggles, face shield, or safety goggles specifically provides that the failure to wear them shall not constitute definite proof of negligence. This provision is a crucial protection for motorcycle accident victims because Virginia follows an extremely harsh contributory negligence law.
Under the contributory negligence doctrine, motorcyclists and passengers who were even one percent at fault in causing the motorcycle accident would not be entitled to any compensation for their injuries. However, the insurance company for the negligent driver cannot use the fact that the person was not wearing a helmet or other safety equipment as a complete bar to paying them damages for their injuries.
However, this does not mean that the failure to wear a helmet will not hurt a victim’s claim. All injured parties in motorcycle and other vehicle accidents have a duty to mitigate or reduce their damages. If a victim suffered a traumatic brain injury or other head injury, the insurance company may be able to successfully argue that they failed to mitigate their damages and should receive less compensation in their settlement.
If you weren’t wearing a helmet when you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, our knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyers can explain how this may impact on your legal rights against the negligent driver. We will also aggressively fight so that you receive the maximum recovery you are entitled to from their insurance company. Call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation to get the answers and legal assistance you need.
How long will it take to settle my motorcycle accident claim?
While wanting to know how long it will take to settle your motorcycle crash claim is one of the first questions most clients ask, it is not one that your attorney can give you a precise answer to. However, understanding these three factors that can make a case take longer to resolve can give you a better idea of how long it could take to settle yours.
Your Maximum Medical Recovery
You may be surprised to learn that your recovery from your injuries impacts on the timeframe to settle your case. You do not want to agree to a settlement until you reach your maximum medical recovery. This is the stage where you have fully recovered or recovered as much as you will, and your doctor can give you a prognosis on your future medical treatments.
You need to wait until this point in your recovery to have a better understanding of what your future medical expenses and wage losses will be. This ensures that you receive these amounts in your settlement. If you suffered a serious injury or more than one injury, it could take months or longer to reach this stage in your medical care.
Disputes With the Insurance Company
If the insurance company for the negligent driver disputes who caused the accident or the seriousness of your injuries, it could take your lawyer longer to settle your case. Arguments by the insurance company are more likely if you suffered long-term injuries that increase the value of your claim. Your attorney may have to collect additional evidence or hire an expert witness to refute the insurance company’s claims before they will agree to pay you what you are owed.
Many motorcycle accident claims settle without litigation. However, if the insurance company refuses to be reasonable or the deadline to sue, referred to as the statute of limitations, will expire soon, your lawyer will file a lawsuit for you. Your case could still be resolved before a jury trial, but litigating your claim could increase the time it takes to reach a settlement.
Were you injured in a motorcycle collision caused by another driver? Our motorcycle accident legal team is here to fight with the insurance company for the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.
What is the time period to sue in my motorcycle accident case?
The deadline to sue in a motorcycle accident case is also referred to as the statute of limitations and is a very important date to know when you are filing a claim for compensation against a negligent driver. This is more complicated in motorcycle crash cases because there are three time periods that you must understand and follow.
Deadline to File Your Lawsuit in Your Motorcycle Collision Case
You start your lawsuit against the at-fault motorist who caused your accident by filing a civil complaint in court. The time period you have to do this will depend on the type of compensation you are seeking. Here are the statute of limitations rules that you must comply with:
- Personal injuries. The deadline to file your lawsuit for personal injuries is two years from the date of your collision.
- Property damage. You have five years from the date of the accident to sue the other driver for property damage to your motorcycle and any other damaged property.
- Wrongful death. You must file a wrongful death action if a family member died in the motorcycle crash. You have two years from the date of your loved one’s death—not the accident date—to file your lawsuit.
What Happens If You Sue After the Time Period Has Expired?
You waive your right to sue if you miss the deadline to do so under Virginia law. If you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the insurance company for the negligent driver would raise this as a defense and ask that your case be dismissed. The judge most likely would grant the motion and dismiss your lawsuit.
Why You Don’t Want to Wait to Retain an Attorney Following a Motorcycle Crash
Even if you have plenty of time before the time period to sue expires, one of your first steps should be to retain an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. If you wait to hire him, you make it more difficult for him to thoroughly investigate the cause of your crash. For example, witnesses may have disappeared or their memories could have faded. In addition, you may make mistakes that hurt your case if you do not have an attorney advising you right away.
At Tavss Fletcher, our skilled legal team has decades of experience helping victims of motorcycle accidents in Norfolk. We are committed to fighting so that you are fully compensated for your injuries. Call our office to schedule a free consultation today.
What should I do right after a motorcycle accident?
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), 88,000 motorcyclists were injured on U.S. roads in 2015. These injuries can lead to complicated legal battles—and if you’re in a motorcycle accident, it’s important you know what steps to take in order to protect your future claim and potential recovery for injuries, damages, and pain and suffering.
Your Actions After a Crash Matter
Although the time right after a motorcycle crash can be filled with pandemonium, it’s important to stay calm, collected, and smart. The following steps are key to protecting the injury claim that may occur after your accident:
- Watch your words. When you speak to the other person after the accident, do not say anything that could be misconstrued as taking responsibility for the accident—even partially. In fact, only say what is absolutely necessary to get his information and nothing more. Additionally, answer questions from law enforcement with only facts.
- Document the evidence. If you’re physically able, it’s important you take photos and videos of the accident scene and damage to both vehicles after the crash. You should also speak with people who may have seen what happened and record their contact information, should law enforcement or your attorney wish to speak with them.
- Seek medical help. If you feel mild pain at all after a crash or experienced some road rash, it’s essential to your claim that you seek medical attention. Not only does it show insurance agents and the other driver that you take the accident seriously, it may also help reveal more serious injuries that may remain latent for the first few days after an accident. Be sure to attend all follow-up appointments and obey your physician’s orders.
- Call an attorney. Because motorcycle accident injuries can be severe—and because Virginia accident laws can complicate an injury claim—it’s important you find a trustworthy attorney who can advocate for you while you focus on your physical recovery.
If You’re a Motorcyclist Who’s Hurt, We Want to Help
Injuries from a motorcycle accident can lead to hefty medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The experienced attorneys at Tavss Fletcher can advocate for you and earn you adequate compensation for your losses. To speak with a member of our team today, fill out the online contact form on our website.
Is riding my motorcycle during the winter dangerous?
No matter who you are or where you are riding, you always take some risks by getting on the road. Even the safest drivers face dangers when behind the wheel due to other motorists on the road and inclement weather. Motorcyclists, however, experience even more risk when they ride during the harsh Virginia winter.
Why Your Safety Is in Jeopardy When You Ride in the Winter
The city of Norfolk experiences cold temperatures and its fair share of snow, sleet, and rain during the winter months. These elements are dangerous enough on their own, but can create major problems and put riders at risk for experiencing common motorcycle accident injuries when combined. Be aware of the following dangers when riding this winter:
- The risk of hypothermia. You may feel like you’re freezing, but it’s likely that you have produced a good amount of sweat while riding. When against your body, this moisture can cause your body temperature to drop and you can become hypothermic as a result. Bundle up in layers when on your bike, and choose clothing that wicks away the sweat from your body.
- Slippery surfaces. Cold tires don’t have the same amount of traction as warm tires, which puts riders at risk for slips. Poor traction is dangerous enough, but when combined with wet or icy roads, it is downright deadly. Ensure your tires have the proper amount of pressure before each trip, and never go for a ride if your tires are low on tread. Avoid speeding, taking on tricky turns, and riding when ice is on the road. Doing so can result in serious injuries.
- Distraction. Have you ever been so cold that your discomfort was all you could think about? Motorcyclists often experience the same feeling. Avoid becoming so cold that you aren’t able to focus on riding safely. If you are unable to do so, consider staying off the road until the weather warms up.
Motorcycle Accident Victims Deserve the Very Best
Trusting the insurance company after a motorcycle accident is often a mistake, as you likely won’t receive the compensation you deserve. Having the attorneys of Tavss Fletcher on your side, however, increases your chances of getting a fair settlement. Speak to a legal professional about your situation by calling 877.960.3441.
How can I protect myself from further road rash injuries?
Since fall is coming up fast, you decided to take your bike through Mutton Hunk to see if any of the trees have begun changing color. On your way there, you were cruising down Metompkin Road, about to turn onto Baker, when all of a sudden a bus cut you off and sent you skidding toward the open field.
Thankfully, you were wearing your helmet and leather jacket, so your head and torso were protected, but once you hit the ground, your hands, legs. and hips became badly scraped and flayed. By the time you stopped skidding, your legs and hands were a bloody mess with road rash.
Although you’re thankful that you remembered your helmet and jacket, you’re upset that you didn’t take more precautions to protect the rest of your body.
Safety Precautions to Prevent Road Rash
The Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that motorcyclists are nine times more likely to be injured than anyone else in a traffic accident. It estimates that nearly 100,000 people a year are injured in motorcycle collisions due to the lack of proper safety equipment and gear.
So the next time you take your bike out for a spin, don’t put yourself in the position to become a statistic. Instead, always make sure that you ride defensively, and wear these five safety accessories to help prevent serious road rash injuries.
- Helmet. Not only will a helmet prevent painful facial abrasions, but it will help decrease your odds of a head, brain, or neck injury as well
- Safety goggles or other eye protection. Goggles not only can prevent traumatic scrapes to your eyes, but they’ll also keep debris and dust from temporarily blinding you and causing a severe accident.
- Leather, ballistic nylon, or durable jackets and pants. Durable and resistant clothing, such as heavy duty nylon and leather, can act as a protective layer of skin, preventing a drag or skid from peeling off your own flesh.
- Protective gloves. Gloves will protect the sensitive palms of your hands from being scraped, cut, and mangled.
- Boots or durable footwear. Not only will durable shoes give you more traction while on your bike, but if you need to suddenly put your foot down, it will also protect it from abrasions.
Where to Turn When Precautions Fail
No matter how cautious you are, it’s a scary and sad reality that accidents can still happen. Don’t allow someone else’s irresponsible decisions to cause you serious, enduring injuries and scars. If you’ve recently been in a motorcycle accident and sustained traumatic injuries, contact us today for a free consultation about your rights and options. We can help you file an injury claim to collect fair compensation you need for treatment and damages. What are you waiting for? Call now to fight back!
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What are some of the complications associated with a broken bone?
Motorcycles are quickly becoming a popular choice for many people in Virginia. This is not surprising, as Virginia offers some great roads to ride and explore. It is also a great way to save on fuel and vehicle expenses. Many veteran riders are already aware of the great joys and benefits riding a motorcycle brings.
As with all great things, there are costs to riding a motorcycle. One of those downfalls is the hazard posed by other drivers on the road. Passenger vehicle drivers cause a large number of motorcycle accidents every day.
The nature of a motorcycle accident commonly causes the rider to sustain serious injuries. One of these common injuries is a broken bone. While modern medicine does a great job of healing a broken bone for a victim, complications can still arise. Some of the complications a motorcycle accident victim may experience from a broken bone are:
- Malunion. When a fracture is not set in the proper manner, a malunion occurs. This is a result of the bone healing in the wrong position. A malunion may also take place if a fracture shifts.
- Osteomyelitis. A complication that can develop as a result of a broken bone is osteomyelitis. This is an infection in the bone or bone morrow.
- Avascular necrosis. The blood supply can be cut off by a broken bone and cause the bone to die. This is known as avascular necrosis.
If you have been injured due to a motorcycle accident, you need to act quickly to protect your legal rights. Do not sign any insurance form or accept an insurance settlement check before getting legal advice from someone you trust. To get in touch with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, fill out the contact form on this page.
I understand that there are different degrees of road rash associated with Virginia motorcycle crashes. Can you explain these, and what should I do if I’m in an accident?
A sad reality of riding a motorcycle in Virginia is that you must deal with erratic drivers on the road. These drivers are often the cause of motorcycle accidents in Norfolk. If you’re a motorcycle rider and have the unfortunate luck of being the victim of an accident, you will likely sustain injuries, including road rash.
Road rash is when skin comes in contact with the pavement, asphalt, dirt or gravel and causing damage to the skin. As you can imagine, this can be very painful and difficult to treat.
A road rash injury can be categorized into three degrees of severity:
- First degree – A first degree road rash injury is when the first layer of skin in visibly red. First degree road rash does not typically need any emergency medical treatment. It is important to clean the area with water and mild soap. A topical antibiotic ointment may also be applied to aid in healing and alleviating discomfort. A first degree rash will most likely heal on its own with no visible scarring.
- Second degree – When the outermost layer of skin breaks from road rash, it is considered to be second degree. As with a first degree road rash injury, it will most likely heal on its own. Typically, there will be no scarring or permanent damage. But again, it is important to clean and treat the affected area.
- Third degree –The third, and most severe, degree of road rash occurs when the skin is peeled away, leaving underlying tissue exposed. It is extremely important to get medical care as soon as possible. This type of road rash commonly requires the victim to undergo skin grafts or reconstructive surgery.
To get the compensation you deserve after a motorcycle accident, contact a skilled Norfolk motorcycle accident attorney at Tavss Fletcher. Call 757-625-1214 today for a FREE legal consultation.