When you think about a motorcycle, you probably think about the wind in your hair and the freedom of the road. What most riders don’t consider are their potential accidents. Motorcycles’ sizes make them more difficult to see on the road, exposing their riders to more danger than the average driver.
Motorcycle accidents are frightening for all parties involved. The aftermath, however, can sometimes be more difficult to contend with than the accident itself.
If you endured injuries or personal losses in a motorcycle accident, you can turn to a Chesterfield, VA, motorcycle accident attorney. Christina Pendleton & Associates knows how to address your post-motorcycle accident losses.
Be Careful After a Motorcycle Accident
You’ll likely find yourself occupied with medical concerns and property damage in the days immediately following an accident. While emergency care after a motorcycle crash should be your primary concern, you can keep future civil action in mind. As such, there are a few things you shouldn’t do in the immediate aftermath of a crash.
Do Not Give a Statement
While it may be your instinct to apologize after a motorcycle accident, do not do so. Cooperate with law enforcement and any other parties injured in the accident, of course. However, keep your statements vague, especially in the days following the incident.
Whatever you say after a motorcycle accident can be used by other parties to establish fault. If you apologize or otherwise indicate responsibility for the accident, you may lose your right to compensation. For help communicating with the applicable parties, reach out to a lawyer as soon as you can after your accident.
Do Not Ignore Your Insurance
Virginia is an at-fault state. This means that whoever is deemed to be responsible for your accident may be held liable for your losses. Once you file an insurance claim, you can start to relieve some of your post-accident financial woes.
That said, you don’t have to file an insurance claim before taking civil action. You can start working with a motorcycle accident attorney in Chesterfield while still communicating with your insurance provider. A representative from your provider may even be able to help our office collect evidence to establish liability.
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Your Motorcycle Accident Damages
Your post-motorcycle accident expenses often come in waves. Your medical expenses are often your first concern. These are often followed by the cost of replacing damaged property. When it comes to your recovery, though, know that one of these expenses doesn’t outweigh the others. Instead, you can request compensation for all of them.
You don’t have to have a receipt for all the losses you note in a complaint, either. Instead, you can work with our motorcycle accident attorneys in Chesterfield, VA, to break your losses down into two categories. Your physical losses will include the aforementioned medical bills and property damage.
On the other hand, though, you can list your non-physical losses. These can include long-term trauma you endure as a result of your accident. If you feel your quality of life has irrevocably changed due to someone else’s negligence, you can request financial compensation based on that loss.
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Filing for Damages Within Virginia’s Statute of Limitations
You’re pressed for time if you want to file a post-accident complaint for compensation. The state of Virginia gives its injured residents two years to act on their losses, according to Code of Virginia §8.01-243.
This statute of limitations is firm. Anyone who fails to file a complaint within this time period will not have the opportunity to bring a claim regarding their motorcycle accident in the future. Fortunately, you can work with a personal injury lawyer to get your paperwork in before this deadline passes.
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The Information You Need to File a Motorcycle Accident Complaint
You’ll want to be certain that your motorcycle accident is as comprehensive as it can be upon its submission. This means you need to include all the information relevant to your accident, including:
- The name of the party to hold liable for your losses
- The extent of those losses
- Duty of care and evidence of its violation
- An estimate of the compensation you’re fighting for
You can work with professional witnesses, bystanders, and law enforcement to gather the evidence you need to back your claim. While your complaint may not carry your case to trial, the evidence you bring forward can make out-of-court negotiations more straightforward.
Duty of Care and Liability in Virginia
Some motorcycle accidents seem straightforward when it comes to liability. This isn’t always the case, though. Not only does Virginia law make fault complicated, but the party liable for your losses may not be immediately evident. Some of the parties most often held liable in these accidents include but are not limited to:
- A motorcycle’s manufacturer
- A car’s manufacturer
- Auto mechanics
- Government officials in charge of road conditions
- Construction crews
- Ridesharing companies
- Trucking companies
To prove liability, you need to establish a duty of care. Work with our Chesterfield motorcycle accident lawyers to determine which of the aforementioned parties neglected to uphold your safety within reason. So long as you have evidence to back your claim, you can bring your assertion of fault to civil court.
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Liability and Contributory Negligence in Virginia
Virginia operates on a standard of contributory negligence. The state can use the statute to limit a person’s ability to recover compensation after a motorcycle accident.
Contributory negligence in Virginia, as described by Code of Virginia §8.01-58, notes that any cyclist who contributes in any way to their accident is barred from pursuing compensation for their losses. This means that liable parties can argue that you contributed to even ten percent of your accident. In turn, these parties can deny you your financial support.
If you’re not sure whether or not you might be held liable for your own accident, seek out a personal injury attorney. You can work with our team to establish comprehensive liability and counter any claims otherwise.
The Pendleton Law Team Can Get You Back on the Road
Whether you’re contending with injuries or personal losses after a motorcycle accident, you can fight for financial support. Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Chesterfield, VA, know what kind of compensation to which you may be entitled and how to fight for it.
For more information about civil motorcycle accident cases, call on Christina Pendleton & Associates. You can schedule an initial consultation with our team and learn more about the process of filing a civil claim. Contact us via phone or through our website.
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