The idea of 4,000+ pounds of steel and glass moving towards you at a high speed when you have nothing to protect you but for, perhaps, a helmet, is absolutely terrifying. Tragically, for many motorcyclists in Virginia, this scenario is a reality – there are dozens of motorcyclists killed in our state yearly, and even more who are injured in motorcycle accidents.
At the Straw Law Firm, our Virginia motorcycle accident attorney is passionate about helping injured motorcyclists like you understand their options after a crash and recover the maximum amount of damages available. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, here are some key things that you need to know–
1. Seeking Medical Care Is the Number One Priority
After you are involved in a motorcycle accident, seeking medical care should be your number-one priority. Not only do you need medical care to get treatment for your injuries and to improve your chances of healing to the maximum extent possible, but you also need to seek medical care in order to establish a connection between your injuries and the accident – a critical element when pursuing an accident claim.
Be sure to keep thorough documentation regarding all medical care received, and follow your doctor’s orders. If you don’t follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan, an insurance company may argue that you failed to do due diligence in reaching maximum medical improvement.
2. The Responsible Party Is Liable for Your Injuries
Per Virginia’s fault laws, the party who caused your accident through an act of fault/negligence is responsible for paying for your injuries – this is referred to as being liable for your damages. In order to hold the party liable, you will need to prove that they breached the duty of care owed to you, and that the breach was the proximate cause of harm.
While you maintain a right to file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault party, typically, motorcycle accident claims are paid by the liability insurance company of the at-fault party. As such, you will file a claim against the responsible party’s insurer.
3. You Must File Your Claim within the Statute of Limitations
While it may feel as if there are a thousand things to do after being involved in a serious motorcycle accident, including, most importantly, healing from your injuries, you must file your motorcycle accident injury claim within the statute of limitations in our state. The statute of limitations is two years from the date of accident; if you fail to bring forth your claim within the two-year timeline, you will be permanently barred from recovery.
4. Gathering Evidence Immediately Is Key
As stated above, you’ll need to prove that the responsible party breached the duty of care owed to you (i.e. acted negligently) and that the negligence was the proximate cause of your accident and injuries. You will also need to prove the extent of your injuries. As such, gathering evidence as soon as possible may be key to the outcome of your case. Important evidence that you should gather at the scene includes witnesses’ names and statements, a copy of the police report, photos of the accident scene and damages, and the other party’s name, vehicle information, and contact information. Other evidence that should be collected shortly after the accident includes the control module data from the involved vehicle, the opinion of an accident reconstructionist, and any video footage of the accident. If you work with an attorney, your attorney can handle the investigative process and evidence-gathering process.
5. Working with a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
Finally, you should know that following a motorcycle accident, working with a motorcycle accident attorney can be a boon to your case. A motorcycle accident attorney will serve you by:
- Investigating your case;
- Hiring experts to build your claim;
- Identifying all potentially-liable parties and their insurers;
- Valuing your damages and calculating the worth of your claim;
- Handling all paperwork, documents, and filings related to your case;
- Issuing a demand letter to the insurance company;
- Negotiating your settlement; and
- Filing a lawsuit and taking your case to court if necessary.
Call the Straw Law Firm Today to Learn More
At the Straw Law Firm, our motorcycle accident attorney, Gary L. Straw, is dedicated to working for injured motorcyclists who need help recovering the settlements that they deserve. When you call our law firm, we’ll handle all of the details of your claim so that you can focus on your recovery and wellbeing. Our attorney has the experience, the legal acumen, and the reputation that you can trust. To schedule a free case consultation, please call the Straw Law Firm directly at (434) 595-3581, send us a message, or stop by our office today to request more information.