Motorcycle Crashes in Virginia
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are common in Virginia. Motorcycles are more affected than other vehicles by road conditions such as potholes, debris, uneven road surfaces and slippery surfaces.
There have been over 2000 motorcycle accidents in Virginia in each of the past five years. Just in 2012 there were 2,416 crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011 motorcyclists were over 30 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash per vehicle mile traveled, and five times more likely to be injured.
Lane splitting and motorcycle accidents
Lane splitting occurs when a motorcycle drives in between two lanes of traffic between other vehicles, or shares a lane with another motorcycle.
Virginia is one of two states that specifically prohibits motorcycles from lane splitting. Some people consider lane splitting – also known as white-lining or lane sharing – to be safer than having motorcycles sit in traffic taking up the place of a car. Currently change.org has a petition to the Virginia General Assembly to legalize lane splitting but the change has not yet been passed. Until there is a change in the law, motorcyclists should realize that lane splitting may create additional liability in the case of an accident.
Legal responsibility in a motorcycle accident
Virginia is a “fault” state, which means fault must be proven before you can collect any damages in the event of an accident. Damages are awarded on the basis of legal responsibility for the accident. These are some examples of fault:
- A driver fails to obey regulations, exercise ordinary caution or drives while drunk or overly tired
- Your motorcycle repair person repairs your motorcycle in a negligent or unprofessional way
- The manufacturer has installed a defective part in your motorcycle
- Local authorities have failed to maintain the roads in a reasonable manner
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you should speak with a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. An early investigation of the circumstances of the accident can help determine fault and build your case. Contact Forbes & Broadwell today to discuss your situation.