On any given weekend, if the weather is good, motorcycle riders will be out on West Virginia’s scenic winding roads. Whether alone or in groups, riders have their choice of great places to go in The Mountain State.
Many riders follow generally recognized safety practices, like always wearing a helmet. Even with full gear and a helmet, a motor vehicle has more protection than a motorcycle, such as seat belts and airbags. An accident on a motorcycle can be more serious—even catastrophic—than most car accidents.
West Virginia Statistics
West Virginia’s motorcycle accident rate increased by 36% in 2020 and sees 7 fatalities for every 10,000 motorcycles. Alcohol was involved in many, with 29% having a blood alcohol content (BAC of .01, 18% legally intoxicated at .08%, and 8% with a BAC of .15%, leading to severe impairment.
Despite laws requiring all riders to wear one, helmet usage declined by 3% in 2021 nationwide. In West Virginia, 17 of the 37 fatalities were not wearing a helmet.
Frequent Causes of Charleston, West Virginia Motorcycle Accidents
Even when riders do all they can to ride safely, they can still be injured in an accident. Inexperience is also a contributing factor. Riders themselves may engage in behaviors such as:
• Drinking and riding
• Lane splitting or riding in between cars in traffic (this is illegal in West Virginia)
• Other unsafe practices such as distracted driving.
But more often, drivers of vehicles are at fault for motorcycle accidents. Many drivers claim that they “didn’t see” the motorcycle, but it’s still not a defense. They are required to share the road with other vehicles and exercise caution at all times.
Drivers cause many accidents with motorcycles because of:
• Failing to check blind spots for harder-to-see riders
• Sudden stops
• Changing lanes without looking first or using turn signals
• Turning left without looking first
• Distracted driving, i.e., talking or texting while driving
• Reckless driving
• Failure to check for a motorcycle engaging in lane sharing
• Opening a car door in the path of a motorcycle or bicycle (known as “dooring”)
• Rear-ending a motorcycle, even at a low speed
If the accident is caused by hazardous road conditions from insufficient maintenance, improper road design, or errors in construction, a municipality and/or building contractor may be liable.
Injuries From A Motorcycle Accident
Because of the lack of protection afforded auto drivers, motorcyclists frequently experience more serious injuries than those in car accidents. These can include:
• Abrasions and lacerations are known as “road rash”
• Bone breaks and fractures
• Nerve damage stemming from the use of arms during an accident known as “rider’s arm”
• Concussions and other brain injuries
• Loss of limbs
• Eye damage
After an accident, your first priority should be to get immediate medical attention and report your accident to the police. If you are able, use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene for your claim.
A motorcycle accident attorney can help you recover compensation for your injuries such as medical expenses (including continuing care like rehabilitation), lost wages and lost future wages, property, and other damages. If you’ve lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, an attorney can help you recover damages with a wrongful death claim.
Get The Leading West Virginia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer On Your Side
Pursuing a motorcycle accident case is a highly complex affair. Chad Love has the experience and compassion to represent you if you have been injured while on your motorcycle. He will help you receive compensation to help you with paying medical bills, replacing damaged property, and the many other related costs from the accident. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney like Chad Love on your side. You need someone who can aggressively investigate and pursue your case, negotiate with insurance companies, and hold the responsible party accountable for negligence.