Protecting yourself after a Virginia motorcycle accident
As a motorcycle rider you’re likely incredibly careful when navigating Virginia’s roads. Unfortunately, other drivers aren’t as aware and make mistakes behind the wheel that cause catastrophic injuries for you. Obtaining the compensation you’re entitled to often requires the help of an experienced Virginia motorcycle accident lawyer.
Insurance companies have a huge incentive to prove you’re responsible for your own injuries–even a little. That’s because Virginia follows the doctrine of contributory negligence, which means that if you can be proven to be even slightly responsible for your injuries you likely won’t be successful in your claim.
It’s an very harsh doctrine of law in Virginia that encourages insurance companies to find ways to pin the blame on you while you’re trying to recover from harm that was caused by someone else. That’s why you need the help of an experienced Virginia motorcycle accident lawyer.
I’m here to help you, support you, guide you and advocate for you while you recover from your injury. During my decades as a personal injury attorney I’ve helped motorcycle crash victims like you fight against insurance companies by proving that their injuries are valid and they did not cause their own accident.
I used to be a defense attorney for insurance companies like Progressive, Liberty Mutual, USAA, etc… I know how insurance companies work and I can help you build the strongest case possible to withstand their attacks and maximize your results.
What you need to know following a motorcycle accident in Virginia
There are some important things to know about successfully recovering financially from your Virginia motorbike accident.
If you have more than one insurance policies you should notify all policy carriers of the collision, but don’t give them a recorded statement until you have spoken with a Virginia personal injury attorney.
Often, motorcyclists have one policy for their motorcycle and a separate policy for other household vehicles. Depending on the language of your policies, you may have additional coverage under your household vehicle policy as a secondary source of liability coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, and medical payments coverage.
This means that if you’re in an accident it’s important to notify all of your insurance policy carriers, to ensure you can access the full coverage you’re entitled to.
That said, it’s important not to give them a recorded statement after an accident. You may be tempted to–and they will try to persuade you to — but they can use your statement against you as evidence you aren’t legitimately harmed or that you caused the accident yourself. Just tell them you are not ready to give a recorded statement until you talk with a lawyer first.
Thanks to the doctrine of contributory negligence, insurance companies don’t need to prove a lot to minimize or deny your claim, and they’ll do what they can to get you to implicate yourself.
You don’t legally have to give them a recorded statement before talking to an experienced lawyer. Contact me first for a free strategy session. We will discuss the facts of how the collision occurred, what happened to you, who the insurance carriers are, what your insurance coverage amounts are, and how to proceed. When you retain me as your motorcycle accident lawyer, I’ll communicate with the insurance carrier on your behalf.
It’s wise to keep your damaged helmet, clothing, and shoes after your accident and take photos of your injuries.
It’s tempting to throw them away, but your clothing, helmet, jackets and shoes help us establish what injuries you suffered in your motorcycle collision. The insurance companies may argue that your injuries aren’t real, but that argument can be successfully met by showing your damaged clothing and helmet, as well as photos of your abrasions, road rash, bruises, and other physical marks on your body.
If we have your clothing as evidence following a Virginia motorcycle crash, we can show the damage to the clothing and safety gear is consistent with your injuries. That helps to strengthen your claim.
Your dashboard cameras can show causation
Dashboard cameras (also known as dashcams) are devices mounted on your car or motorcycle that record what is happening in and around our vehicle. They record everything onto a memory device — often beginning recording as soon as your vehicle is turned on. You can then review that video after your drive and depending on the specific camera software, you should be able to download and save video clips.
If you have a dashboard camera, you likely have evidence that shows what caused the crash and what your actions were leading up to the motorcycle accident. Having that dashcam video can help strengthen your claim when we face arguments about liability and especially if the case goes to a trial.
If you’re reading this and you don’t have a dashboard camera, consider getting one as it may provide you with valuable evidence at some point in the future.
Your injuries may be more serious than typical car crash victims, but medical care providers might try to refuse treatment
Because you’re not in an enclosed vehicle, it’s common for motorcycle accident victims to either be thrown from their vehicle or have it land partially or fully on top of them, causing catastrophic injuries and possibly requiring amputation, such as one victim I helped who lost his leg in a Virginia motorcycle crash.
While you’re attempting recovery, you may come across medical care providers in Virginia who claim they don’t treat accident victims. This is illegal–you cannot be denied medical care because your injuries were caused by a motor vehicle accident–but advocating for yourself is just one more thing you have to take care of while you’re suffering physically and emotionally from your accident.
If you don’t receive timely and consistent medical treatment so that you can make a full and speedy recovery, however, your claim could be harmed. That’s because you have a duty to mitigate damages by getting timely medical care. Asserting your rights is vital, but difficult given everything you’re going through.
I can advocate for you to ensure you have access to proper treatment.
How I help you after your Virginia motorcycle crash
You have a long list of things to take care of after your Virginia motorcycle accident. You have to:
- Obtain proper medical treatment
- Undergo any necessary medical procedures
- Recover from your physical injuries
- Deal with repairing or replacing your motorbike
- Manage your finances, which can be difficult if you’re not able to work
On top of all that, you have to deal with insurance companies and hope they settle your claim fairly (even though it’s not in their best interests to do so) and advocate for yourself if anyone in the insurance or medical systems treat you unfairly.
I help you by taking care of all the matters relating to your claim; so that you can focus on recovery and healing. I always tell my clients that focusing on your recovery should be your top priority; leave it to me to worry about your claim.
My priority is getting you proper compensation. The insurance company’s priority is protecting its profits. I collaborate with my clients to educate and inform them about the insurance claims process and how to protect their claim against the insurance companies’ scrutiny.
During this stressful time, I help you by:
- Communicating with insurance companies
- Gathering evidence to strengthen your claim
- Advocating for your right to fair compensation
- Protecting you from missteps that could negatively affect your claim
- Fighting for you, whether that means obtaining a fair settlement or litigating your claim in court
- Providing you with the information you need to make informed decisions based on your best interests
Depending on how the insurance company responds, you have options regarding your claim.
Negotiation: We also start with negotiation, as this is the least expensive and least time-consuming option to bring resolution to your claim. I negotiate with the insurance company to obtain a fair settlement. Negotiation avoids the cost and uncertainty of a trial, but the insurance company will often try to minimize your claim, which is why you shouldn’t negotiate with the insurance company alone. Most lawyers will tell you that when an injured person has begun negotiating with an insurance carrier on their own and before hiring an attorney, it is much harder for an attorney to later negotiate with the insurance carrier for the real value of the claim. Insurance adjusters are adept at being conversational and lulling injured persons into saying too much, often resulting in damaging comments that undermine the case value.
Litigation: If we are not able to reach a satisfactory settlement by negotiation, then litigation is the next step. The courts decide who is responsible for the accident, whether you are owed anything and how much is owed. We’ll provide evidence and expert testimony where necessary to argue against the insurance company’s claims and show why you deserve the amount you’re seeking. This is your best option if the insurance company is making unreasonable allegations about you, refuses to negotiate or otherwise unfairly denies or delays your claim.
Mediation: A mediator listens to both sides and recommends an appropriate resolution based. We usually use mediation in cases with high value where both parties desire to avoid the expense of litigation and both parties agree the insurance carrier owes a sum. It’s just the question of how much they owe that is in question. Most mediators we use are retired judges who bring their lifetime of experience in the law and on the bench to the benefit of the parties.
The bottom line
A motorcycle accident in Virginia can have lifelong consequences for you and your loved ones. It’s important to build a strong case based on solid evidence to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
The insurance companies will fight against you to minimize how much they have to pay you because the system is on their side. One accidental comment or misstep could derail your claim, but you might not be aware of how easily that can happen.
I’ve helped many Virginia accident victims like you fight against their insurance companies to get fair compensation, and I can help you, too.
Contact me to find out more about strengthening your Virginia motorcycle accident claim.