Riding a motorcycle is a hobby, a means of transportation, and a way to unwind for many. While most car accidents involve minor injuries, the harm you can suffer in a motorcycle wreck can be life-threatening. If you or a loved one have been hit while riding a motorcycle and suffered harm, a personal injury lawyer from Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico can help.

We realize that there is no way to take away the pain you or your loved one endured in your motorcycle accident. Still, fair compensation may ease the physical, financial and emotional damages you are facing. Call us today at (540) 655-1854 or use our online contact form to request a free, no-obligation consultation.

Motorcycle Accidents in Roanoke, VA

An avid motorcyclist, Richard L. Derrico has been riding for more than 30 years. Along with Michelle C.F. Derrico, he has a thorough understanding of Virginia motorcyclists’ challenges on the road and in the courtroom. Research shows that most accidents involving motorcycles result from the other vehicle driver not seeing the motorcycle.

Other common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

Vehicles Making Left Turns

Cars and other vehicles on the road will often make a lawful – or sometimes illegal – left turn. This poses a severe threat to motorcyclists, who travel with a significantly smaller vehicle. These accidents frequently occur when the driver of a car does not see a motorcycle rider in their blind spot and hits them as they make their turn.

If you were riding your motorcycle and another vehicle turning left struck you and caused injuries, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer today.

Blind Spots

Every car has its blind spots, meaning areas of the road that a driver cannot see due to the construction of the vehicle. Most passenger cars have two blind spots – one on either side, so it’s essential to try and ride your motorcycle outside of those spots, as you will be more visible – and less likely to be hit. You can avoid another, much larger vehicle’s blind spots by riding in a lane that has slower traffic.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a massive problem in Roanoke, Virginia. When a driver messes around with the radio, checks a text message, eats, or engages in other distracting behaviors, they are putting every motorist at risk.

When the driver takes their attention away from the road, they can make a mistake that costs a motorcyclist their life even for just a second. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 500,000 drivers use their phones while behind the wheel during the day.

With so many people not paying attention, it’s essential to remain vigilant while you ride your motorcycle. By staying aware of what others are doing on the road around you, you can hopefully avoid a devastating motorcycle accident.

Call a motorcycle accident lawyer at Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico today if a distracted driver caused you harm.

Lane Splitting

Everyone has places they need to be. Sometimes, though, traffic gets in the way of their commute, and people only slowly make progress towards their destination. When this is the case, you may be tempted to use your motorcycle to engage in lane splitting. This is the act of riding your bike between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving traffic. While it may be tempting to split lanes, doing so creates the potential of an accident because of the small space left between your motorcycle and other vehicles.


Like car accidents, many motorcycle accidents are caused by speeding. When another vehicle moves slowly in front of you, it may be tempting to speed up on your bike, but doing so increases your chance of getting into a collision. Motorcycles offer little means of protection, so your injuries can be severe if you get into an accident caused by speeding.

Not seeing a motorcyclist does not excuse a driver from responsibility. It doesn’t matter what type of vehicle is involved in a crash. Everyone has the same rights on the road and before the law. If you have questions or concerns about what caused your accident, call a motorcycle accident lawyer at Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico right away.

Dangerous Roads & Intersections for Motorcycle in Roanoke

Anywhere with careless drivers is a dangerous place for motorcyclists. But using the Virginia Traffic Records Electronic Data System, you can see which roads, highways, and intersections are hazardous for Roanoke motorcyclists.

In 2019, there were 25 motorcycle accidents in Roanoke. Here are some areas that are particularly dangerous for motorcyclists:

  • Electric Road and Brambleton Avenue: Three motorcycle accidents occurred near this intersection. Two injuries occurred.
  • Hardy Road: In 2019, three motorcycle crashes happened on Hardy Road before becoming East Virginia Avenue. All three accidents caused injuries.
  • State Route 24: Two motorcycle accidents happened along State Route 24 in 2019. Both injured the motorcyclist.
  • U.S. Route 220: This road was the scene of two motorcycle accidents and one injury in 2019.

No matter where your motorcycle accident occurred, you may be owed compensation if another driver was at fault.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Since motorcycles are much smaller than cars and other passenger vehicles, you are likely to suffer injuries resulting from a crash. With so little protection available to motorcyclists – besides helmets and other protective clothing – it’s important to know about the potential injuries you can suffer in an accident so that you can do everything possible to prevent them.

A motorcycle accident lawyer at our firm can help if you or a loved one experienced:

  • Severe Roadrash
  • Broken bones
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord and neck injuries
  • Concussions and other head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Fatal motorcycle injuries

When you work with Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico, our motorcycle accident lawyers will help obtain the best possible result for your motorcycle accident claim. With our preparation and support from witnesses, medical specialists, psychologists, accident reconstructionists, and other professionals, we will work toward a fair motorcycle accident settlement or fight for the compensation you deserve in court.

What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident

When you are in a motorcycle accident, it can be hard to think straight in the minutes, days, and weeks afterward. But what you do after your crash is extremely important. It’s often the difference in what compensation you can recover for your injuries.

Here are some things you should consider doing after a motorcycle accident in Roanoke:

  • See a doctor: If you are seriously injured in the accident, you will likely have to see a doctor immediately. However, if you think you suffered only minor injuries and are considering skipping the hospital visit, think again. Your recovery to eh best extent possible will affect the rest of your life, no matter what happens in any potential case.

    Seeking medical care is vital to ensure you are not suffering serious hidden injuries. But it also creates a medical record of the ways your motorcycle accident harmed you. This will be useful in your possible lawsuit or insurance claim.

  • Take photos: As soon as possible, take pictures of your damaged motorcycle, your injuries, the accident scene, the other vehicle, and anything else that seems relevant to your case.
  • Talk to witnesses: If someone saw the crash happen, they could be a witness who later comes in handy when seeking compensation. Get their contact information, talk to them and give their information to your lawyer.
  • Keep a daily journal: Every day after your motorcycle crash, take a few minutes to write down how your injuries have affected you. Mention any pain you are feeling, any mental trauma you are experiencing, any trouble your injuries are causing with your work, any financial struggles your accident is causing, and anything else related to the crash. Even if years passed dine your accident, a journal allows you to testify with specifics rather than just “It Hurt.”

Roanoke Motorcycle Accident FAQ

As you pursue compensation for your motorcycle accident, you are bound to have questions. Below, our Roanoke motorcycle accident lawyers answered some of the most common questions about motorcycle accident claims.

What if I was partially at fault for my motorcycle accident?

Sadly, Virginia is one of a handful of states that still uses an old rule about shared fault in personal injury claims. This includes motorcycle accidents. If a court finds you even 1% at fault for the accident that injured you, you will be unable to recover compensation.

In other states, you can recover reduced compensation even if you share some of the blame. Insurance companies and at-fault parties try to use this strict rule against motorcyclists. They point unfair blame at you and see if it sticks. If it does, they owe you nothing.

This rule makes speaking with a trusted motorcycle accident lawyer more critical than ever. Your attorney can help you understand your options and your chances. Then, they can help you prove that you had no part in causing your motorcycle accident.

What’s the statute of limitations for motorcycle accidents in Virginia?

Motorcycle accident lawsuits fall under the category of “personal injury.” In Virginia, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. That means you have two years from the date of your motorcycle accident to file your claim. Missing this deadline could mean that you miss your chance to recover compensation.

What is the ‘reckless biker’ stereotype?

The “reckless biker” stereotype is a false and unfair stereotype that insurance companies and at-fault drivers’ lawyers like to use against motorcyclists. They falsely say motorcycle riders are inherently reckless. And because of that untrue statement, that must mean you were reckless when the crash happened.

If they successfully use this stereotype against you, you could lose your ability to recover compensation. Fortunately, an experienced lawyer can help your case stick to the facts of what happened — not unfair lies about those who choose to ride on two wheels.

What if I wasn’t wearing a helmet when my crash happened?

The answer to this question is complicated. The state of Virginia requires all motorcyclists to wear an approved helmet. So, if you weren’t wearing a helmet when your crash occurred, can you still recover compensation? Maybe.

The other side could point to your lack of a helmet as a form of negligence. Any negligence on your part could mean that you are unable to recover compensation. However, your lack of a helmet must have contributed to your injuries in some way.

For example, if you suffered a broken leg in a motorcycle crash and weren’t wearing a helmet, the helmet had nothing to do with why you were injured. On the other hand, if you suffered a TBI, the other side could point out that the helmet might have prevented your injury. Because cases like this can be so complex, it’s important to discuss your unique case with a lawyer.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Help Today

Your life should not be limited simply because another driver was negligent and caused your accident. Your primary concern should be healing when you’re in a motorcycle accident and suffering from various injuries. While you concentrate on recovery, let an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer from Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico handle your case. We’ll review the details from every angle and fight for everything you deserve.

To schedule a free evaluation, contact us today at (540) 655-1854.