Motorcyclists represent only about two percent of the traffic on American highways. But motorcycle accidents cause about eight percent of deaths related to road accidents and the bike rider has about a 98 percent chance of being severely injured. A rider is far more exposed to impacts with other vehicles or with hard surfaces than are drivers and passengers of enclosed vehicles.
A motorcycle lacks the protective walls, the weight, and the safety features such as seat belts and headrests that are part of automobiles. This allows a motorcyclist to be more seriously hurt and motorcycle accidents tend to cause severe brain injury, back and spinal cord injuries, burns, broken bones, and amputations.
There does not need to be a collision with another vehicle for a motorcyclist to potentially recover monetary compensation following an accident. If you were cut off and this caused you to veer off course and crash, then the other party may be at fault even though no contact with your bike was made. Sometimes, also, there are road hazards in the way of cyclists that cause serious accidents and catastrophic injuries.
Motorcycle riders must be aware of their legal rights if they are involved in a traffic accident. The insurance laws may be very different with respect to motorcycles versus automobiles; consequently, it is very important to consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Challenges Cyclists Face
Motorcycle riders are in a unique position on the road. They enjoy the freedoms that come with their chosen form of transportation, but they are also left exposed to dangers not met by automobile drivers and other motorists. The lack of any substantial protective barriers between a motorcycle and the road, as well as the difficulty that other motorists may have in anticipating and seeing a motorcycle, leave riders prone to serious injury in the event of an accident.
Some of the unique problems faced by motorcycle riders are:
- Visual Recognition: Motorcycles make smaller visual targets, which are more likely to be obscured by other vehicles or by road and weather conditions. This is an issue especially at intersections, where approximately 70% of motorcycle-versus-vehicle collisions occur.
- Road Hazards: Hazards that are minor irritations for an automobile can be a major hazard for a motorcycle rider. These include potholes, oil slicks, puddles, debris, or other objects on the roadway, ruts, uneven pavement, and railroad tracks.
- Speed “Wobble” Accidents: Especially at higher speeds, the front end of a motorcycle may become unstable and begin to shake or “wobble.” This problem may be due to a misalignment of the front and rear tires of the motorcycle. If an accident is caused by such a high-speed wobble, the manufacturer of the motorcycle might be held financially responsible for any resulting injuries, under a product liability theory.
- Riding Skills; Familiarity: A motorcycle requires much more skill and physical coordination to operate than a car. Many motorcycle accidents are caused in whole or in part by a rider’s lack of basic riding skills or failure to appreciate the inherent operating characteristics and limitations of the motorcycle.
Questions About Motorcycle Accidents
The most common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Burn injuries
- Bone fractures
If your injuries were made more severe by not wearing a helmet, it may result in a partial reduction of your damages. You can discuss your specific case with a motorcycle accident lawyer to learn more.
Your award or settlement amount would depend on the particular circumstances of your motorcycle accident. In general, you could receive compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Depending on the specifics of the accident, you and other family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Our West Virginia wrongful death lawyer will be able to give you more information after reviewing your situation.
Wear a helmet. This is the law in West Virginia. It is also important to obey the rules of the road. Remember that often, other drivers cannot see you or do not see you quickly enough. Therefore, avoid impulsive movements such as darting into another lane or suddenly passing a vehicle. Remember that most drivers have a blind spot. If you can’t see the driver’s face in his rear view mirror, he probably can’t see you either, so move further forward or fall back a little. In general, safe motorcycle riding calls for more caution and attention to surrounding vehicles.
West Virginia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Drawing on his long experience as a trial attorney, Jim Leach gives the residents of West Virginia high-level service and individualized legal help. He regards each case as one-of-a-kind, and starts out with each new client by listening. Once he has a grasp of your particular situation and needs, he can apply his knowledge of how insurance companies operate. He is familiar with how they assess the trial and settlement value of your case. With his associates, he uses a unique case management system to collect and organize all the important facts, so that he can represent you successfully and win maximum compensation for you.
If you or a loved one has been severely injured in a motorcycle accident, you can talk to our experienced motorcycle accident lawyer team for strategic advise and valuable information on the motorcycle accident and negligence laws in West Virginia.
Discover the high standards of service at Jim Leach Attorneys at Law. Please contact our accident attorneys today for your case evaluation meeting.
Our attorneys represent motorcycle accident victims throughout West Virginia and Southern Ohio including the communities of Belpre, Parkersburg, Wheeling, Athens, Morgantown, Charleston, and Huntington.