There are a lot of things that make riding a motorcycle attractive but even experienced riders will admit that there are many dangers as well. Unfortunately, motorcyclists who are involved in accidents often suffer severe injuries and can even die as a result. Be prepared by learning how to avoid an accident. And know that our motorcycle accident lawyers are here to help should you need legal support.
Because cars are surrounded by metal, car accidents can be much less severe than motorcycle accidents. Since motorcycles offer little protection, motorcyclists are much more likely to be hurt in an accident.
If you or a loved one were involved in a motorcycle accident, you might have a right to seek compensation for your damages. After going to the doctor and getting the treatment you need, the best way to explore your right to compensation is by contacting the Morgantown motorcycle accident lawyers at Colombo Law.
West Virginia Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The most recent data on motorcycle accidents in our state comes from the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s Analysis of Fatal Crash Data from 2007-2011. This document shows that on average for those years:
- 4 percent of motorcycle accidents occurred on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
- 72 percent of fatalities were in individuals between the ages of 25 and 64
- 93 percent of those killed in motorcycle accidents were males
- 1 percent of those killed were not wearing a helmet
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
There are two common causes of motorcycle accidents: collisions with fixed objects and collisions with other motor vehicles.
Other common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- New passenger vehicle drivers may not have the real world experience needed to know how to safely share the road with motorcyclists.
- Many drivers tailgate. This is a sure way to rear-end an innocent motorcyclist, especially in poor weather conditions.
- Failure to check blind spots. Many drivers don’t check their blind spots before they change lanes. This can result in them hitting a motorcycle, and it’s a disaster that leaves the motorcyclist with few options when it comes to avoiding an accident.
- Misjudging speed and distance. Because motorcycles are small, drivers in cars tend to think they are farther away than they are. This can cause drivers to change lanes or turn in front of a motorcycle.
- Car drivers who speed may have trouble judging how far away a motorcyclist is. Speeding also makes it harder to stop in an emergency.
- Driving while distracted. Texting and talking on the phone are two ways a driver could engage in distracted driving and hit a motorcyclist.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The Morgantown motorcycle accident attorneys at Colombo Law have helped the victims of motorcycle accidents who are suffering from:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe bruising
- Cuts, scrapes, and abrasions
- Road rash
- Neck and back injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Temporary or permanent paralysis
- Burn injuries
- Organ damage
- Joint, tendon, muscle, or ligament tears
- Wrongful Death
What Can I Be Compensated for After a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents can result in both physical and emotional injuries. These can cost thousands of dollars in doctor’s bills and therapy expenses. If someone else’s negligence caused your motorcycle accident, you can be compensated for damages that include:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Emotional anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Medical bills
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
Insurance Requirements for Motorcycles in West Virginia
West Virginia motorcyclists are required to carry liability coverage that will pay for property damage and injury to others. Minimum insurance requirements are as follows:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 property damage coverage per accident
Though these are the amounts of insurance coverage you must carry to be compliant with the law, you may want to consider higher coverages to protect yourself in the event of a catastrophic accident.
West Virginia Motorcycle Safety Laws
Anyone who drives or rides a motorcycle in West Virginia, regardless of age, must wear a helmet that is securely fastened with a neck or chin strap. All helmets worn in West Virginia must be compliant with the specifications laid out by federal laws, the American National Standards Institute, or the Snell Safety Standards.
West Virginia motorcyclists are also required to wear shatter-resistant eyeglasses, goggles, or face shields, or have a windshield or windscreen that complies with federal requirements.
Why Should I Hire a Morgantown Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Motorcycle accident lawyers strive to protect your best interests as an injured motorcyclist. By contrast, the insurance adjusters who represent the people who hurt you don’t care about your best interests. They care about saving money and keeping you quiet until your case is closed.
After a motorcycle accident, you may be contacted by insurance adjustors or the other party’s lawyers. You may even be offered a settlement that seems fair. Remember: never accept the first settlement you’re offered. In many cases, the money you’re being offered is much less than you may deserve. Always discuss any settlement offers with a motorcycle accident lawyer before accepting.
At Colombo Law, our motorcycle accident lawyers offer free consultations to anyone who has suffered a motorcycle accident in Morgantown, West Virginia and we only charge you if we help you win your case. Call Colombo Law at 304-906-2815 to schedule your free consultation and find out if you have a case.