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Why are motorcycle accidents so challenging?

By Beth Gibson on July 17, 2019

While motorcycle accident cases share many of the same characteristics as car accident cases, they tend to be more difficult to recover from—both physically and financially. John Singleton and Ken Gibson of GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys spoke about the significance of motorcycle collisions in a recent interview:

What’s important to know about a motorcycle wreck?

John: “The thing about a motorcycle accident is there’s never a small motorcycle accident. When you’re on a motorcycle and you run into a car because it pulled out in front of you, or you get hit from the side and broadsided, you, the motorcyclist, are going to be hurt. And you’re going to be hurt very badly, and it’s going to be a very serious case.”

Note: Motorcycle riders often suffer severe injuries, such as spinal trauma, traumatic brain injuries, shattered bones (especially in the legs and arms), ruptured organs, internal bleeding, and widespread road rash. Unlike car wrecks, most motorcycle wrecks occur during clear or cloudy daylight, and not in intersections. The most harmful thing that can happen to a motorcyclist is being hit by a car (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Traffic Safety Facts).

What’s a common problem you see with motorcycle cases?

John: “The problem with a motorcycle case for you as a rider, is that the driver is going to say you were speeding, you didn’t have your light on, you were switching lanes, you were lane-splitting, you were swerving in and out of traffic, etc. So the biggest thing you need to bring us when you come in is the information you have from the scene of the wreck and your maintenance records.”

Note: There were 23 motorcycle collisions in the Middle Peninsula in 2018, and most of them involved injury. Motorcyclists were 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled in 2016, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The hours between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. saw nearly half of these accidents.

Ken, you want to tell them about what happens, or what the defense is, in a motorcycle case?

Ken: “Yes. One of the biggest challenges we face is that Virginia is one of three states that has the principle called contributory negligence. This means that if the defendant, the person who caused the accident, can prove that our client was also negligent and that negligence contributed to the accident, then we have no claim and we lose.

“So it’s a huge challenge for us, and we do everything we can to accumulate the documents and the evidence that we need to overcome that defense.

“Like John said, there’s no such thing as ‘a small motorcycle accident’.”

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, you’re likely facing mounting medical bills, significant time off from work, and a long recovery period. By enlisting the representation of the skilled legal team at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, you may receive compensation for your losses. Call (804) 413-6777 for a free case evaluation today.

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Community service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.