Motorcycle Accident Attorney in West Virginia
Motorcycle accidents have been on the rise in recent years. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are now more than 5,000 fatal motorcycle crashes on the nation’s roadways each year. The statistics also show that bikers are 28 times more likely to be killed in a fatal crash than occupants of a passenger vehicle. Motorcyclists are increasingly at risk on the road, and drivers of other vehicles need to pay greater attention to bikers they share the roads with. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer, so you understand your rights and options.
Free Consultation with a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
At Bailey, Javins & Carter, LC, we have over four decades of experience representing victims injured in motorcycle crashes in West Virginia. Our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law, and we have a proven track record of success with even the most complex cases against the most well-funded adversaries. We work closely with our clients, taking the time to fully investigate their case and explore all potential legal avenues toward obtaining full compensation. Our extensive experience, depth of understanding, and tireless commitment to the aggressive advocacy on our clients’ behalf are major reasons we have been repeatedly recognized by our peers for our accomplishments in the field of personal injury law.
Common Reasons Motorcycle Accidents Occur
There are several reasons why motorcycle crashes happen. These include:
When West Virginia motorists exceed the speed limit, they have a harder time reacting to hazardous conditions. This becomes even more dangerous when there are motorcyclists riding nearby. Because they are small in size and stature, motorcycles are difficult to spot even under ideal conditions. When a driver is speeding excessively, there is a far greater chance that they will not see the motorcycle until it is too late.
Excessive speeding is just one example of a driving behavior known as “reckless driving”. Someone who drives carelessly or recklessly shows willful and wanton disregard for the rules of the road and the safety of themselves and others. Some other examples of reckless driving include tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, running stop signs, and running stop lights. Drivers of passenger vehicles who engage in this type of behavior put motorcyclists at great risk.
Alcohol and Drugs
One of the common reasons a motorist speeds and drives recklessly is because their state is chemically altered by alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs. Driving while intoxicated can cause a motorist to lose their inhibitions and drive carelessly. It can also result in slower reaction times, drowsy driving, or even falling asleep at the wheel. All of these behaviors are extremely hazardous and can endanger fellow motorists, especially those riding motorcycles.
Motorists have more distractions these days than ever before. We have always had billboards, car radios, food and drink, and other passengers to distract us. Now we have cell phones, GPS navigation systems, and worst of all, texting/smartphone messaging while driving. Texting while driving is an especially dangerous practice because it distracts you in three ways; visually, manually, and cognitively. The distracted driving epidemic that has been created by all this new technology could be one of the reasons motorcycle accident fatalities are on the rise.
Blind Spot Accidents
Motorcycles have a small profile, which makes it easy for them to get lost in a vehicle’s blind spot. This happens a lot with big rig trucks that already have a large blind spot. Blind spot accidents are particularly common when vehicles attempt to change lanes or make a left turn without double-checking those hidden areas. When a motorcycle is hit in a blind spot accident, it can result in serious and catastrophic injuries.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Poor road conditions can be hard on any vehicle, but when a motorcycle encounters this problem, it can be downright hazardous. Some examples of road conditions that can be dangerous for motorcyclists include potholes, uneven roadways, loose gravel, snow and ice, dead animals, fallen trees or other debris, drop offs, and construction zones. When a motorcyclist is injured in an accident due to dangerous road conditions, the local municipality that is responsible for maintaining the road may be at-fault. Litigation against a government entity is a highly complex area of the law, however, and it is always best to speak with a seasoned attorney if you are considering this option.
Faulty Vehicle Parts
Some accidents happen because of a dangerous or defective motorcycle and/or motorcycle part. Common examples of this include relatively new tires that blow out, a defective brake line, or a computer dashboard malfunction. When a motorcycle accident occurs because of a faulty vehicle or vehicle part, the responsible party could be the designer, manufacturer, distributor, or another party within the supply chain.
Damages in West Virginia Motorcycle Accident Cases
When someone is injured in a motorcycle accident and it is the fault of another party, they are entitled to compensation for their injuries. Damages can be divided into three general categories:
- Economic Damages: These are damages that are quantifiable, such as the cost to replace the motorcycle, medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, loss of earning capacity (in the case of a debilitating condition that renders you no longer able to work), and funeral and burial expenses (in the case of a wrongful death).
- Non-Economic Damages: These are damages that it is difficult to assign a dollar figure to. Examples include physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, diminished quality of life, and loss of consortium.
- Punitive Damages: In rare cases in which the actions of the responsible party were especially egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter them (and others) from similar behaviors in the future.
West Virginia applies the legal doctrine known as “modified comparative negligence”. Under this doctrine, injury victims can recover damages if they are less than 50% at-fault for the accident. However, damages can be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault the victim shares. For example, if your total amount of damages equals $200,000 and you are found to be 10% at-fault, your compensation award would be reduced by $20,000.
Contact a Seasoned West Virginia Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
Being injured in a motorcycle crash can be a life-altering event. Mounting medical bills, time missed from work, and physical and emotional pain and suffering can turn your whole world upside down. At Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., we understand the enormous toll motorcycle accident injuries take on victims and their families, and our goal is to make the legal process smooth and seamless. We are skilled, compassionate, and responsive. We take the time to thoroughly review your case and explain all your legal options, so you can always make the most informed decision. After you retain our services, we stay in regular contact and provide frequent updates on the progress of your case, so you are always kept informed. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled West Virginia personal injury lawyers.
We work on a contingency basis. We don’t get paid unless you do.