Motorcyclists enjoy the freeing feeling of riding on the open road. For many, riding motorcycles is more than just their hobby, and their motorcycles may also be their main means of transportation. However, operating motorcycles or riding as passengers on them carries heightened risks.

Unlike other types of vehicles, motorcycles do not have the frames to absorb shock or provide added protection in accidents. Because motorcyclists and their passengers have very little protection available, they are much more likely to suffer from catastrophic injuries or to be killed when they are involved in collisions with trucks or cars.

After you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you can talk with a skilled personal injury attorney to learn about your legal rights. Our West Virginia motorcycle accident lawyers can review the facts of individual cases, answer questions you may have, and explain how the process involved in these types of claims works. You should also expect to receive honest evaluations of liability in your case and the likelihood they will be able to recover damages.

At Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, our accident attorneys are focused on the needs of the clients, placing you first. We understand how devastating motorcycle accidents can be for both injured plaintiffs as well as their families.

Common Reasons for Motorcycle Crashes

Lane splitting, or weaving between cars, is not prohibited in West Virginia but is still an extremely dangerous activity. Lane changing increases the risk of catastrophic accidents and makes it challenging for car and truck drivers to see motorcyclists.

Motorcyclists who are riding near intoxicated, distracted, or otherwise reckless drivers unintentionally heighten their risk of injury. Other common causes of motorcycling accidents include:

  • Running red lights
  • Speeding
  • Motorists cutting off bikers who have the right of way
  • Sudden braking
  • Drivers in parked cars opening their doors while a motorcyclist is passing

If unsafe road conditions (i.e., potholes, crumbling pavement, excessive road debris, lack of signage, etc.) contribute to a motorcyclist’s injuries, the county or state government could bear civil liability and may be cited in legal claims subsequently filed by the injured party and his or her legal counsel.

Types of Injuries & Damages in Motorcycle Crash Cases

Serious motorcycle collisions often leave people struggling with substantial financial expenses combined with physical and emotional pain and other struggles. When you are injured in a motorcycle crash, you should have strong legal advocates by your side.

Some of the most common injuries sustained in West Virginia motorcycle collisions include:

Since motorcycle crash injuries are often catastrophic in nature, it may be advisable for family members to contact a legal professional on an injured motorcyclist’s behalf. West Virginia law puts a two-year time limit on most motorcycle collision cases, and claims filed after the deadline expires are at risk of being dismissed. The two-year filing deadline starts on the date of the accident, making it important for you or a family member to contact a diligent local attorney as soon as possible. Legal claims could take weeks, if not months, to process. Acting with haste may therefore be essential to processing your case in a timely manner.

Commonly requested damages in motorcycle accident cases include:

  • Past and future medical care
  • Physical and/or occupational therapy
  • Loss wages
  • Property damage
  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disability (if an individual can no longer work because of his or her injuries)

If a motorcyclist passes away as a result of his or her injuries, their surviving loved ones could file wrongful death claims. Such claims may be filed in West Virginia by surviving spouses, parents, siblings, children, and any other financially dependent members of the decedent’s family. The term ‘children’ includes biological, adopted, and stepchildren. However, West Virginia courts limit the recovery of non-economic damages to $250,000 and  $500,000 for catastrophic injury damages.

West Virginia Motorcycle Laws

The state requires all motorcycle operators to wear helmets, but they are not required to wear goggles or face shields. Necessary motorcycle equipment includes turn signals, mirrors, and handlebars positioned no higher than 15 inches above the seat. There are currently no passenger restrictions, but passengers should still wear helmets and be able to sit comfortably and securely on seats. Motorcyclists are also required to use daytime headlights while riding to increase their visibility to car and truck drivers.

Speak With an Attorney Today about Your Motorcycle Collision in West Virginia

We fight hard for all of our clients in order to help them recover by securing financial compensation in the amounts they deserve. A West Virginia motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm understand how to build strong cases for our clients. This may involve working with investigators, accident reconstructionists, and other experts. Call today to get started.

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To Schedule an Appointment, Call Us Toll Free At 1.877.526.3457. Or, Send Us an E-mail for a Prompt Response.

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law
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