West Virginia Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Motor vehicle accidents often result in property damage and injuries. However, when a bicycle and vehicle collide, the potential for serious injuries is much greater. If a bicyclist is hit by a car, he or she is likely to suffer serious if not fatal injuries. It’s important to understand your rights and options in the event of such an incident. Conversely, if you were driving your car and collided with a bicycle, a seasoned West Virginia bicycle accident lawyer can help you navigate the resulting legal proceedings.
Common Causes of West Virginia Bicycle Collisions
Bicycles are inherently more dangerous than motor vehicles when it comes to accidents. The rider is far more exposed to external forces, and bicycles don’t offer the same level of protection that enclosed cars do. Additionally, bicycles are much smaller and therefore less visible than other cars. In tight or busy streets, it can be difficult for drivers to locate or notice bicyclists before it’s too late to avoid a collision.
Most bicycle accidents happen on the sides of the road. Many cities have bicycle lanes outside of the regular lanes of traffic that are wide enough to accommodate cyclists. However, these lanes often run between the road lanes and parking spaces along the sidewalks. If a driver opens his or her car door into the bicycle lane without checking to see if the lane is clear first, a passing bicyclist may not have time to stop before colliding with the opened door.
Some vehicles such as large tractor-trailers, lifted trucks, or commercial vans sit higher off the road than other vehicles. This means those vehicles’ rear-view mirrors also sit higher, and it can be much harder to notice passing bicycles. Larger vehicles sometimes brush against a cyclist and even a slight bump can send a bicyclist sprawling.
Right-hand vehicle turns are another common cause of bicycle accidents. It is much more difficult for drivers to notice passing bicycles on the right of their vehicles compared to the left side, where the driver has a much better angle of view through the rear-view mirror. If a driver fails to signal for a right-hand turn, a passing bicyclist may have intended to ride along the vehicle in the bicycle lane, but instead, winds up without enough time to stop from hitting the right side of the turning vehicle.
Frequent Injuries Associated with Bicycle Accidents
The injuries cyclists sustain when hit by cars and trucks can be catastrophic. At Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, our West Virginia bicycle accident attorneys have seen cyclists left with some of the following life-altering injuries:
Filing a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in West Virginia
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, your first steps should be to seek medical attention and alert the police. Your doctor will provide you with a medical report that details the extent of your injuries, their treatments, and any potential side effects or lasting damage from the incident. The police report for your incident will provide more details about the accident. Once a physician has addressed your immediate medical concerns and you have a police report of the incident, retain a reliable and experienced West Virginia personal injury lawyer experienced in bicycle accidents.
Claimable Damages in a West Virginia Bicycle Accident Case
West Virginia allows victims of bicycle accidents to bring a claim against other motorists for any injuries they received in a bike accident. Your attorney will help you build a case and seek compensation for damages including:
- Medical expenses – such as emergency service bills, hospital bills, prescription costs, and any necessary subsequent surgeries or ongoing treatments.
- Pain and suffering – your attorney will call in expert witnesses to provide the court with a clearer understanding of the physical pain and psychological distress your accident caused.
- Property damage – such as a destroyed bicycle or other damaged belongings.
- Lost wages – if you are forced to take time off from work due to your injuries, you can sue the defendant for the income you would have earned had you been able to work.
Tiano O’Dell, PLLC | Bicycle Accident Attorneys in West Virginia
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident in West Virginia, reach out to the legal team at the law firm of Tiano O’Dell, PLLC by calling our office at 304-720-6700 today. We offer free initial case evaluations, so get in touch with us as soon as possible to start reviewing your options with a knowledgeable West Virginia bicycle accident lawyer.