Virginia motorcyclists may be aware of the risk of accidents, and therefore injuries, as they ride their bikes. Motorcyclists have less physical protection from other vehicles on the road, and their mode of transportation is much smaller than a large truck, or even a small car. This can lead to increased dangers for motorcyclists navigating Virginia's roads. Accidents will happen between vehicles and motorcyclists, and when they do, one of the best things a motorcyclist can do is to be prepared for the legal landscape that may follow.
If a motorcyclist is involved in a motorcycle crash, the issue of liability may arise, as each driver may believe the other is at fault. One issue that can become particularly relevant in a lawsuit between a motorcyclist and a vehicle driver is the issue of contributory negligence. Virginia follows a pure contributory negligence rule. Under this rule, a driver who is injured may not obtain damages for his injuries if he bears any of the fault for an accident.
Pure contributory negligence may be hard to understand for some Virginians, as another driver may have been more at fault and caused an accident, and yet an injured motorcyclist will not be able to recover at all if he or she did something a court deems contributed to an accident, no matter how small. Something as simple as a broken brake light may be construed as a motorcyclist contributing to an accident.
Legal representation is essential for an injured motorcyclist following a motorcycle accident. Skilled representation may be able to help establish that a motorcyclist was not at fault for an accident, and therefore should be able to recover damages.
Source: FindLaw, "Comparative Negligence," accessed Dec. 11, 2015