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Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Serious motorcycle accidents often leave injured victims struggling both physically and financially. Steep medical bills, missed wages, high costs to repair or replace bikes, and additional unexpected costs and losses can quickly add up. 

If the negligence of another driver, poor road conditions or a defective bike part caused your motorcycle crash, you may be entitled to recover compensation with the help of a Petersburg motorcycle accident attorney.

A parked motorcycle

A parked motorcycle. Before you get on public roads, have the number for a Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer ready in case you get in a crash.

Why Is Riding So Dangerous?

There’s no question that riding a motorcycle is dangerous. No matter how much protective gear a rider wears, they will always have less protection than any vehicle with more than two wheels. Over 5,000 motorcyclists are killed every year in the U.S.

There is an attitude in American culture that sees motorcyclists as freedom-loving lawbreakers that think they can ride however they like. This is untrue, but it can lead to prejudice by insurers. You need a lawyer on your side that knows the realities of riding and can defend your position.

One of the best things you can do to protect yourself before a crash is to take a training course approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Proof of passing a course can show that you recognize the dangers of riding and that you have training.

Could My Claim Get Denied?

Since Virginia follows a pure contributory negligence standard, it’s extremely important that you follow all the road rules. If you are even a little negligent in your accident, the court and the insurer could deny you any compensation.

Some of the things you could do that may jeopardize your chances of getting a settlement include:

  • Speeding
  • Failing to yield
  • Riding while drunk or high
  • Being unlicensed for motorcycles or having an expired license
  • Lane splitting

The odds are already against you because of outdated attitudes, so it’s crucial that you give the insurer no ammunition to claim you were negligent. This also includes wearing appropriate safety gear.

Petersburg Motorcycle Laws

Petersburg has the following set of motorcycle laws, as dictated by the state of Virginia, designed to keep riders safe. If you break any of these rules in your accident, you could be seen as negligent.

Helmets

Motorcycle operators and passengers must wear a helmet. In addition, a form of eye protection, such as a face shield, safety glasses or goggles must be worn while riding. (Code of Virginia § 46.2-910)

Keep your helmet and shield in good repair as well. If there’s evidence that you reused a helmet after a previous crash, that could be grounds for negligence against you.

Passengers

If you plan to carry passengers on your bike, both a seat and a footrest must be available. (§ 46.2-909) They should also have a helmet and a way of communicating with you, whether through hand signals or through a helmet radio.

Carrying passengers is always risky because it changes the weight distribution on a bike. Heavier bikes can handle extra weight more than light ones. If your passenger has never been on a bike before, teach them about weight transfer and how to stay on safely.

Lane Sharing

In Virginia, two motorcycles may drive abreast (side by side) in a single lane. (§ 46.2-857) What’s not legal is lane splitting. This is the practice of riding between two lanes of traffic. While this practice is legal in most of the world (and California), it is not legal in Virginia.

Turn Signals

Since riders can be seen giving hand and arm signals, motorcycles are not required to have turn signals. (§ 46.2-1038) Nevertheless, we think it’s prudent to add them if you can. Bicyclists also use hand signals and a common claim by drivers is that they didn’t see the signal.

Dead Light Rule

Motorcycles are allowed to drive through a red light if the signal has not registered their presence after two complete cycles of the signal or after two minutes. (§ 46.2-833) This happens because you may not be heavy enough to trigger the signal.

Driving through a red light in this way, while legal, is extremely risky. Use your horn and treat it like a two-way stop. If you can do it safely, record the time before crossing. It may be possible to compare it to the light’s programming and records to prove it didn’t change.

Staying Visible

The most common excuse you’ll hear from a driver after a motorcycle accident is “I didn’t see them.” It may be true, but it’s also a way that insurers can say you didn’t do enough to make yourself seen. Here are some things you can do to stay visible.

  • Use your horn more often.
  • Avoid riding in blind spots.
  • Wear a hi-visibility vest or helmet.
  • Always use your lights.

One thing that doesn’t make you more visible is loud exhaust pipes. The sound from exhaust pipes is pushed backward when you ride due to the Doppler effect. The cars that need to know your presence are usually in front of you. Horns work better.

Why Do You Need a Motorcycle Lawyer?

After an accident, time is of the essence, and swift action is particularly important in motorcycle accident cases. Evidence must be gathered quickly and witness statements obtained before accuracy is lost. 

Once you hire a  Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer, they have the resources to immediately begin investigating the accident. They will use their legal expertise and call on accident experts to build a strong case on your behalf. 

Why Choose Our Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

  • We have extensive experience protecting the legal rights of motorcycle accident clients against insurance companies who are trying to take advantage of them.
  • We have the resources of a large firm, but the ability to provide each case with personalized service it requires.
  • Our attorneys use the latest advances in technology to make sure your case runs as efficiently and quickly as possible.

Call for a Free Consultation Today

There is no fee or obligation for letting us evaluate your case. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we will not be paid unless you win. For help from one of our Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyers, call us at the number on your screen or reach us online through our contact form.

Remember, even if the law is on your side there is prejudice against riders. You need someone that can cut through the nonsense arguments the insurer will use to deny you compensation. Compensation that you deserve because you’re far more likely to be injured than the other party.