Settling a Motorcycle Injury Claim in Virginia
Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience. The feel of the open road, the rush of acceleration, and the sense of freedom are what attract many to motorcycle riding. However, motorcycles also come with increased risks compared to driving a car. Motorcycle riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle and are more exposed in the event of an accident. This vulnerability means that motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries for the rider. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash in Virginia, you may be wondering what compensation you are entitled to and how long the process takes. Here’s an overview of how long it takes to settle a motorcycle injury claim in Virginia.
Anatomy of a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Virginia
Several factors influence the timeline of a motorcycle injury claim in Virginia:
Severity of injuries – More severe injuries that require extensive medical treatment will take longer to fully document and quantify damages for settlement negotiations. Settlement is unlikely until the medical situation has stabilized.
Negotiation process – Both sides investigate fault and damages and exchange information. Complex cases with disputed liability take longer.
Litigation – If negotiations fail and a lawsuit is filed, the process takes longer as evidence is gathered, depositions taken, and motions filed. Very few cases go all the way to a trial.
Insurer delays – Insurance companies may delay and deny valid claims hoping the injured party will settle for less. A personal injury lawyer can put pressure on the insurer.
Key Phases of a Virginia Motorcycle Injury Claim
Immediate medical treatment – Seeking prompt medical care is crucial not just for recovery, but also to document injuries for the claim. Gaps in treatment can weaken the case.
Investigation and research – Your attorney will gather evidence like police reports, helmet cam footage, and eyewitness statements to establish liability.
Settlement demand letter – Once your injuries and medical expenses are known, your personal injury lawyer will make a demand to the insurer for compensation including medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering damages.
Negotiations – The insurer will likely make a lower counteroffer. Your personal injury lawyer will negotiate to reach a fair settlement or take the case to litigation.
Lawsuit – If needed, your motorcycle accident lawyer will file a lawsuit and the case proceeds through motions, discovery, depositions, and possibly a trial, which can add years to the timeline.
Settlement – Over 90% of claims settle out of court. Once an agreement is reached, the insurer pays the claim.
How Long Does a Typical Motorcycle Injury Claim Take in Virginia?
The timeline varies substantially case-by-case, but some general estimates:
Minor Injuries: 3 – 9 months Simple cases with minimal injuries can often settle in less than a year if liability is clear-cut.
Major Injuries: 1 – 2 years Severe injuries requiring long hospitalization and rehabilitation will likely take over a year just to quantify damages before negotiations start.
Disputed Liability: Up to 3 years Lengthy investigations and negotiations drag out disputed cases. May take 2 – 3 years just to reach a settlement pre-trial.
Litigation: 3+ years Once a lawsuit is filed, add at least another year, and often two to three years if the case proceeds to trial and appeals.
While an expedited settlement is ideal, seriously injured riders should be prepared for a lengthy process and avoid rushing into an inadequate early settlement before the full extent of damages is known. An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to move the case efficiently towards a fair payout.
Maximizing Compensation in a Virginia Motorcycle Injury Claim
To get full and fair compensation in your motorcycle injury claim, key steps include:
Get immediate medical treatment, follow doctors’ orders, and document all expenses
Speak with an attorney promptly before making any statements to insurers
Have your attorney manage communication and negotiate aggressively on your behalf
Be patient through delays – your motorcycle accident lawyer will continually pressure the insurer and not let them forget about your claim
Consider settlement offers carefully – don’t accept less than full and fair damages
Be ready to take the case to litigation if needed – your personal injury lawyer can represent you in court
Frequently Asked Questions About Virginia Motorcycle Injury Claims
1. Who is at fault for my motorcycle accident in Virginia?
Your personal injury lawyer will investigate fault by gathering evidence like police reports, eyewitness statements, footage, and more. Liability often falls on the driver of the other vehicle, but poor road conditions or your own negligence can play a role.
2. What is the statute of limitations for motorcycle injury claims in Virginia?
You normally have two years from the date of injury to file a motorcycle injury claim in Virginia before your right to sue expires. Complex cases may allow more time.
3. What damages can I claim in a Virginia motorcycle injury lawsuit?
You can claim economic damages like medical bills, lost income, property damage, and non-economic damages for pain/suffering, permanent impairment, loss of enjoyment of life and more. An attorney will seek full compensation.
4. Will my motorcycle accident claim go to court in Virginia?
Most claims settle out of court through negotiations between attorneys. However, your motorcycle accident lawyer can take your case to litigation and represent you at trial if needed to pursue your full entitled damages.
5. How much is my motorcycle accident claim worth in Virginia?
The value depends on severity of injuries, length of treatment, assignment of fault, and negotiation skills of your attorney. Serious injuries often result in settlements well into six figures with the highest awards into the millions.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Virginia, you deserve experienced legal representation to get the maximum compensation you are entitled to under the law. A motorcycle accident attorney will aggressively protect your rights every step of the way. Do not leave your financial recovery to chance – contact our firm today for a free consultation.
Choosing a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Virginia
With an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, you can feel confident you will ultimately receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law for your injuries, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages stemming from the motorcycle crash. Though the process takes time, full justice is worth pursuing.
Altizer Law has guided clients through their personal injury cases with a personalized touch. We are here to help you and treat every client with the utmost care and empathy. Call our team of experienced attorneys today at 540.345.2000.