Most people don’t expect to get into a motorcycle accident. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are far too common in West Virginia and can be catastrophic for motorcyclists. With no protective shield standing between a motorcyclist and the road, motorcyclists often suffer severe or fatal injuries. Those fortunate enough to survive a serious motorcycle crash can face a lifetime of medical treatment and financial difficulty.
If you or your loved one has been hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by another company or motorist’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. At Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC, our motorcycle accident attorneys have a successful history of handling claims against insurance companies. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about how we can help you.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
In motorcycle accident cases, people will often assume that the motorcyclist was at fault for the accident. Instead, research shows that when passenger vehicles and motorcycles collide, passenger vehicle drivers are more likely to be at fault. Most motorcycle accidents could have been prevented if the at-fault driver had driven safely and reasonably. Many motorcycle accidents are caused by negligent or reckless driving, such as:
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Drowsy driving
- Mechanical failures
- Failure to watch for motorcycles when making left turns and changing lanes
- Failure to notice a motorcycle sharing a lane
- Hazardous road conditions
Determining liability is the first step in recovering compensation after a motorcycle accident. If a passenger vehicle driver caused the accident, the injured victim can seek compensation through his or her auto insurance policy or through a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, the victim may be able to bring a legal claim against the at-fault driver’s employer. When an accident is caused by hazardous road conditions such as dangerous construction sites, unsafe designs, or a lack of maintenance, the victim may be able to pursue a claim against a governmental agency.
Common Injuries Associated With Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists lack any type of exterior protection. As a result, riders are often thrown from their motorcycles during a collision. The injured motorist can sustain serious, disabling, or even deadly injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries from motorcycle crashes include the following:
- Road rash (abrasion)
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage to the rider’s arms or legs
- Traumatic brain injuries and other head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries which can result in varying degrees of paralysis
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in West Virginia
The first thing you should do after a motorcycle accident is to call the police. You need to make sure that objective third-party documents what happened at the scene of the accident. If you or someone else at the accident scene needs medical attention, call 911 and request that a law enforcement officer come to the scene and write a police report. If you are able to do so, try to gather information about the person or people involved in the accident, including any witnesses. Sometimes witnesses to motor vehicle accidents disappear, so try to obtain the contact information for witnesses first.
Documenting the accident scene with photos and videos can be helpful. Describe all of your injuries to the medical professional and police, including any pain you are feeling. Don’t say anything that implies you may be at fault. The determination of fault can be made later after the shock of the accident has gone away. During your initial conversation with your insurance carrier, avoid discussing fault. After you receive medical treatment, we recommend reaching out to a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
Damages Available in West Virginia Motorcycle Crash Cases
Motorcycle accident victims in West Virginia can pursue compensation for a wide range of damages. There are two main ways to recover damages after a motorcycle accident, through an insurance settlement, and through a personal injury lawsuit. Under Virginia law, negligent drivers who cause accidents that result in another person’s injuries are financially responsible for the victim’s damages. Obtaining a fair amount of financial recovery after an accident is more challenging than it sounds.
Financial awards and settlements can include compensation for the victim’s past medical expenses and projected future medical expenses. The bulk of settlement agreements in motorcycle accident cases typically involve medical expenses. Settlements can also include lost wages and earning potential, reduced quality of life, and pain and suffering. Plaintiffs can recover compensation for their mental and emotional anguish, property damage, and more.
How Much Is My Claim Worth?
Every motorcycle accident claim is unique. The amount of compensation you may be able to recover depends on multiple factors, including the severity of your injuries. If you can no longer work because of your injuries, your settlement will likely be higher than if you were able to recover and return to work. At Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC, we work with financial experts who can help us project all of the expenses you will have in the future. We will estimate your damages for all past, current, and future accident-related medical expenses, including surgical procedures, medications, travel-related expenses, and more.
Why You Need an Experienced Attorney on Your Side
Personal injury accident claims are some of the most complex types of lawsuits. Working with an attorney will help you understand all of your rights and legal options, as well as the pros and cons of each option. Recovering from a serious accident isn’t easy. When you work with an attorney, your attorney will handle the case from start to finish and begin investigating and gathering evidence immediately.
Schedule an Appointment for a Free Consultation
If you or your loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident in West Virginia, the attorneys at Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC are here to help. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about how we can help protect your legal rights.