What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash in Virginia
Riding a motorcycle gives you an incredible sense of freedom, but that freedom comes with serious risks. Hopefully, you never end up in an accident. However, if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident in Virginia, you may be unsure of what to do next. This simple 6-step guide walks you through the most important steps to take after a motorcycle crash to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve and need to recover.
Altizer Law has successfully guided thousands of Virginia clients through their motorcycle accident and personal injury cases. We are here to help you, and are happy to discuss in your free consultation. Call our team of experienced injury attorneys today at 540.345.2000.
1. Firstly, Always Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Your health should be your #1 priority after any accident, especially on a bike or motorcycle. Even if you don’t think you suffered any major injuries, always get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries like concussions or internal bleeding may not have obvious symptoms at first. Getting prompt medical care can identify any hidden injuries and prevent further complications.
Seeing a doctor right away also documents your injuries while they’re still fresh, which can help strengthen your claim later. Be sure to follow all your doctor’s recommendations for treatment and therapy. Don’t downplay your pain or injuries to avoid looking weak. The records from your medical visits will be key evidence if you pursue compensation for your injuries.
2. Report the Accident to the Police
You’ll need an official accident report for insurance and legal claims. Even if emergency responders came to the scene, make sure to file a report with the police department yourself. Supplying as many details as you can remember will create the most accurate report. If there were any witnesses, get their contact information so the police can include their accounts as well.
If the police issue any traffic citations to the other driver, ask for a copy for your records. This official finding of fault can help prove the other driver’s negligence later on.
3. Document the Scene Thoroughly
Pictures of damage, skid marks, debris, road conditions, and anything else that contributes to how the crash happened will strengthen your case. Take photos from multiple angles, and get wide shots as well as close-ups. If you’re not up for doing this yourself after the collision, see if a friend or family member can document the scene for you.
4. Get Information from the Other Driver
In addition to getting their name, address, phone number, and insurance details, find out if they have an attorney. Ask witnesses if they would be willing to give a statement about what they saw. Even a simple account of the weather, road conditions, speed, or any abnormal driving can help identify factors that led to the crash.
5. Contact a Motorcycle Injury Lawyer in Virginia
A skilled motorcycle accident attorney knows how to maximize your compensation so you can fully recover. They will launch an independent investigation of the crash, negotiate assertively with insurance companies, and take the case to trial if a satisfactory settlement can’t be reached.
A 2016 study by theVirginia Department of Motor Vehicles found that over 75% of motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle. Since the blame is rarely clear-cut, having a qualified lawyer in your corner levels the playing field against opponents like huge insurance companies.
6. Avoid These Common Mistakes
It’s understandable to be shaken up after a motorcycle crash, but some mistakes could undermine your chances of fair compensation:
Accepting a quick settlement from the insurance company. Settlements offered immediately after an accident are usually much less than the value of your injuries and losses.
Posting about the accident on social media. Insurers scour platforms like Facebook for evidence they can use against you.
Delaying medical treatment. Gaps between an accident and diagnosis can make injuries seem less connected to the crash.
Talking to the other driver’s insurance. They are looking out for their own interests, not yours. Refer them to your attorney.
Throwing away damaged equipment before it’s inspected. Your helmet, jacket, motorcycle parts, etc. are evidence.
With the right preparation and legal help, you can recover from a motorcycle crash the right way. For dedicated representation after a motorcycle accident in Virginia, contact a motorcycle injury lawyer at Altizer Law, an award-winning Virginia Injury Law Firm, today for a free consultation, or call us at 540.345.2000.
FAQs: About Motorcycle Accident Law and Attorneys in Virginia
What should I do at the scene of a motorcycle accident?
First, seek medical attention if you are injured. Also gather information by taking photos, getting contact details from the other driver and witnesses, and filing an accident report.
How long do I have to file a claim after a motorcycle accident in Virginia?
In Virginia, you generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit related to a motorcycle crash. There may be exceptions though, so consult a lawyer about deadlines.
Is it worth getting a lawyer for a motorcycle accident?
Yes, having an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer makes it much more likely you will receive full and fair compensation. They handle the complex legal process for you.
Should I give a recorded statement to the insurance company after a motorcycle crash?
No. Anything you say can be used against you later. Politely decline to provide a recorded statement and refer the insurance adjuster to contact your attorney instead.
Can I still get compensation if I was partly at fault for the motorcycle accident?
Yes, Virginia follows modified comparative negligence rules. So even if you were partially responsible, you can still recover damages minus your percentage of fault.