Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

Motorcycle accidents raise unique issues for Virginia riders

Many Virginia motorcycle enthusiasts may agree that riding a motorcycle is equal parts freedom and danger. The danger largely comes from the fact that riders are nowhere near as protected as drivers of passenger and commercial vehicles. This raises some unique issues when it comes to motorcycle accidents.

Estimates indicate that a full two-thirds of accidents between motorcycles and other vehicles were the fault of the other vehicle. This is mainly because they are not as visible as other vehicles. The cause of these vehicle vs. motorcycle accidents is the fact that the other vehicle may have failed to yield the right-of-way to the motorcycle.

In addition to the dangers from other vehicles, a concept called "speed wobble" can also lead to serious injury or death. If the front end of a motorcycle is not properly aligned, it will wobble at high speed, which could cause an accident. In this case, a manufacturer defect could be blamed for the crash.

These accidents are also more deadly for motorcycle riders. In fact, statistics show that a rider's risk of death is nearly 26 times higher than the occupant of a passenger or commercial vehicle. Further, riders suffer injuries five times more often.

When motorcycle accidents occur that are not the fault of the rider, he or she -- or his or her family in the case of death -- retains the right to file civil action against the party or parties deemed responsible. It will be necessary to prove that the at-fault party or parties were negligent and that negligence led to the serious injuries or death suffered by the rider. Once negligence is established, the court may consider an award of damages permitted under Virginia law.

Source: FindLaw, "Motorcycle Accidents: Overview", , Aug. 22, 2014

Source: FindLaw, "Motorcycle Accidents: Overview", , Aug. 22, 2014

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