Every year, there are approximately 50,000 automobile and motorcycle accidents resulting in a significant injury to one or more passengers in the state of Virginia alone. That’s about 137 a day. Thanks to increased efforts by auto manufacturers to improve the safety standards of most new vehicles, the survival rate of these accidents has improved dramatically, with an average of less than 1000 road and highway car accident fatalities occurring in Virginia per year. However, the many thousands of injured who survive automobile and motorcycle accidents often face difficulties when it is time to collect a settlement from insurance companies for the injuries they incurred in the accident.
This is particularly true when auto and motorcycle accident victims sustain traumatic brain injuries or closed head injuries. Because these types of “invisible” injuries, more than any others, can involve extensive and complex medical care, hospital stays and repeated visits to multiple medical professionals, less reputable insurance companies often balk at the true dollar figure required to insure a brain injury victim’s long-term care and rehabilitation. When it comes to insurance payouts, many insurance companies are in search of the cheapest solution to your medical needs, not the best.
At the Brain Injury Law Center, we believe our clients deserve the very best in medical care, particularly those suffering from brain injury. Few firms in the nation have a broader understanding of the comprehensive costs brain injury exacts from its victims — financially as well as mentally, physically and emotionally. With those injuries so often occurring as a result of violent auto and motorcycle accidents, Brain Injury Law Center attorneys possess uncommon knowledge and expertise in negotiating highly favorable settlements with auto insurance companies, and, when necessary, pursuing a verdict in a court of law. Along with brain injury cases, our firm specializes in neck and spinal cord injuries.
Automobile and Motorcycle Accident Injuries: sometimes a result of defective manufacturing
A majority of automobile and motorcycle accidents occur as a result of poor weather conditions, bad driving skills, driver distraction or driver intoxication. However, as auto manufacturers work constantly to mass produce an ever wider array of vehicles for a fickle consumer market, there have been many cases where safety has taken a backseat to market considerations. As newer vehicles become faster, bigger, stronger and smarter, they don’t necessarily become safer. A prime example of this is the recent popularity of SUVs. As these types of vehicles began to emerge as top sellers in the auto industry, many manufacturers – particularly Ford, Mitsubishi and Mazda – released SUV models that had not been fully tested for real-world driving conditions. The result was a dramatic increase in roll over incidents in cases of tire failure – with rollovers six times more likely in Ford Explorers, and two to three times more likely in other SUV and light truck models.
But defective safety components can be found in all types of automobiles, motorcycles and auto accessories. Defective steering, defective brakes, defective tires, defective air bags, defective seat belts and defective helmets on motorcycles are just a few of the many auto components for which auto manufacturers can be held liable.
Whether you have been in an automobile or motorcycle accident you believe was caused by defective components on your vehicle, or believe the settlement your insurance company has offered you doesn’t adequately cover your medical needs, it’s important to contact a law firm that understands the legal intricacies of personal injury claims, insurance laws and regulations and products liability law. The attorneys of the Brain Injury Law Center offer years of successful trial experience in each of these areas of the law.
Auto and motorcycle accidents: what to do to protect your legal rights
Following an automobile or motorcycle accident, if possible, you should stay at the scene until the police are notified and report to investigate. It is always a good idea to keep safety items in your trunk (flares, flashlights, etc.) as these items are useful at an accident scene. Although it is preferable to leave the vehicles where they come to rest after the collision until police arrive, on occasions your safety or that of others may require movement of the vehicles. In such an event, you should document the position of the vehicles as promptly as possible.
Police should also be called for minor accidents so that a formal report can be taken and filed. You should ask the officer how you can obtain a copy of this report.
Once any personal injuries are attended to, it is very important that you exchange information with the other drivers. You should get their names, addresses, telephone numbers, and driver’s license and license tag numbers. It is also important to get the name of their insurance companies and the policy numbers. You should also get the names, addresses, telephone numbers and license plate numbers of all witnesses and of the investigating officer.
It is important to remember that anything that you say at the accident scene may be later used by the insurance company. While you should be truthful in what you report to the officer, you need not go into detail in explaining the accident. Never allow the at-fault party to leave until the police arrive. If this happens, the insurance company may try to avoid responsibility and deny your claim. If you are injured, you should consult your personal physician and follow his or her advice. If unavailable, and you need immediate attention, you may choose to be seen at an emergency medical care facility. You should be certain to document all injuries that you have sustained.
You will also need to notify your automobile insurance agent of the accident as soon as possible as failure to report a claim can prejudice your rights. Again, be truthful in what you report but keep in mind that there may be differing views on the actual cause of the accident. Certainly you should not give a statement to any insurance investigator or agent.
Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation with a caring and competent personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and options.