When motorcycle accidents happen, there are many important things to consider, such as who may be liable and what steps you need to take in order to file a claim for financial compensation. In the aftermath of a motorcycle crash, many motorcyclists deal with severe and debilitating injuries. Often those injuries prevent a motorcyclist from returning to work, and the injured motorcyclist must undergo surgery and other forms of treatment.
Getting injured in a motorcycle crash can be devastating, and it is essential to know that an experienced Virginia motorcycle accident lawyer can help you to seek the financial compensation you deserve. In the meantime, the following are five things you should know about filing a motorcycle accident claim.
- Another Driver May Be At Fault for Your Injuries
Many motorcycle accidents happen because of another driver’s negligence. According to Ride Apart, some of the most common types of motorcycle accidents happen when a car or truck driver fails to see a motorcyclist in his or her blind spot, or when a car or truck driver follows too closely behind a motorcyclist. Since motorcyclists have far less protection than a vehicle occupant, they can sustain severe and life-threatening injuries in these types of crashes.
- Many Claims for Compensation Begin with Auto Insurance Claims
Even if another driver is at fault for a motorcyclist’s injuries, the motorcyclist may still begin the process of seeking financial compensation by filing an auto insurance claim. In Virginia, a person injured in an auto accident usually has the option of filing a first-party claim with his or her own insurer or a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer.
- You Should Not Accept a Low-Ball Settlement Offer
If you have already filed an insurance claim, or if you are planning to do so, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who can negotiate a reasonable settlement offer with the auto insurer. Many auto insurance companies will offer a lower initial settlement in order to get the claimant to agree to that settlement and, thus, to pay out less money. It is nearly always possible to negotiate a fairer settlement with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
- You Will Likely Have Two Years from the Date of the Accident to File a Lawsuit
Under Virginia law, a person who is injured in a motorcycle accident will most likely have two years from the date of the motorcycle accident to file a lawsuit. The clock on the time window begins to tick on the date of the accident. Once two years have passed, your claim will become time-barred. A dedicated personal injury attorney can help to ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner.
- Contributory Negligence Could Bar Your Recovery
Virginia has what is known as a “pure contributory negligence” rule when it comes to plaintiff fault. What this means is that, if you file a lawsuit and the defendant alleges that you are also partially at fault for the motorcycle accident or for the severity of your injuries, you could be barred from recovery. In a pure contributory negligence system, if a plaintiff is even 1 percent at fault, that plaintiff cannot recover. A personal injury lawyer can work to prove that you do not bear any responsibility and that you are entitled to recover damages.
Contact an Experienced Manassas Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Were you seriously injured in a motorcycle crash? Do you need assistance seeking the compensation you deserve? Motorcyclists should never have to pay the price for another driver’s careless or reckless actions behind the wheel. One of the experienced Fairfax motorcycle accident attorneys at our firm can speak with you today about your options for seeking compensation. Do not hesitate to get in touch to learn more about how our personal injury team can assist you. Contact Dougherty Tobias Iszard, Northern Virginia Law, P.C. for more information.