Motorcycle accidents regularly occur on West Virginia roads, causing thousands of injuries every year. Even the most cautious and skilled motorcyclists cannot anticipate and avoid every motorcycle accident. Automobile drivers often do not observe motorcycles or fail to respect their right to share the road, and as a result, bikers frequently suffer severe injuries and damages. At Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, we understand the significant challenges and hardships that you and your family might be facing after a motorcycle accident. Our Charleston, WV motorcycle accident attorneys have committed their careers to helping those who have suffered the consequences of someone else’s negligence. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact our office for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Our Motorcycle Accident Practice
- Our Charleston, West Virginia personal injury attorneys are compassionate and empathetic. We care about our relationships with our clients, and we provide them with high-quality legal services. We will stay in touch with you throughout the legal process, answer your questions, and advocate for your rights.
- We know that securing maximum compensation for your losses will help you recover and move forward after your motorcycle accident. Our attorneys will advocate for you during settlement negotiations and at trial, if necessary. We will do whatever it takes to help you get the compensation that you deserve.
- Many of our clients experience significant financial burdens after motorcycle accidents due to expensive medical bills and lost wages. Our goal is to make our clients’ economic recovery process easier without adding to their financial stresses. We take injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so that you do not pay attorneys’ fees until you have been compensated for your losses.
How Can a Charleston Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help My Case?
While motorcycle drivers have a right to be on the road, and to be safe from the danger of other drivers on the road, these rights are often violated. When a driver violates the rules of the road and causes an accident that injures you, you are entitled to compensation. The benefit of a Charleston, WV motorcycle accident attorney begins with collecting evidence in support of your receiving full compensation for your injuries.
You can only collect damages that you can prove with evidence, and you can only collect on damages that are proven and then effectively claimed. When another driver is at fault, you’ll generally be collecting your compensation from their insurance company. Their insurance company will not compensate you automatically, you must assemble evidence, then draft a claim and submit it to them to receive your compensation. Your experienced motorcycle accident attorney has processed hundreds of similar claims, and knows what must be included to support success.
Your attorney handles every step of the process from collecting evidence through submitting your claim and negotiating the best possible settlement on your behalf. Working with an attorney helps to ensure that you receive the full compensation you are entitled to, while taking the stress of the claims process out of your day-to-day life.
What Compensation is Available After a Motorcycle Accident?
One of the reasons it is critical to find an experienced motorcycle accident attorney is because injuries are often severe, requiring extensive medical care and crippling medical bills. You need a legal advocate who will pursue full compensation and never encourage you to settle for an amount that does not adequately compensate you for your past, ongoing, and future accident-related losses. Depending on your circumstances, recoverable compensation may include lost wages due to missed work, loss of earning capacity for debilitating injuries, past and future medical expenses, pain, suffering, and reduced quality of life.
Being injured in a motorcycle accident can lead to more than just motorcycle repair bills and a brief visit to the emergency room. Your injuries could have long-term symptoms that require ongoing medical treatment, and they could impact your ability to work. The purpose of receiving compensation for your injuries is to “be made whole”, a legal term that describes the process of bringing you as close as possible to a financial position to make it so the accident had never happened.
Forms of compensation you could be eligible to receive for your motorcycle accident include:
- Short-term medical bills like the emergency room and related medications
- Long-term medical bills to treat your injuries, including medications, treatment, and rehabilitation
- Lost wages and work benefits in the short-term while recovering
- Lost earnings potential from the symptoms of your injuries in the long-term
- Loss of life when you lose a loved one to an accident, which can entitle you to damages to replace and compensate for the loss of their financial and emotional contribution to your household
Collecting the full damages you are entitled to depends upon collecting evidence to prove them. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will help you set up follow-up appointments from medical professionals and occupational experts to accurately measure all the costs and damages associated with your accident.
What Are West Virginia’s Motorcycle Laws?
In West Virginia, a universal helmet law was passed in 1971 that requires that all drivers and passengers on a motorcycle wear a helmet that meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute, Snell Safety Standards, or the U.S. Department of Transportation’s standards. Purchasing a helmet with the DOT sticker on it ensures that you have a compliant helmet. For your own personal safety, it is important to not purchase used helmets, as their lose their effectiveness after an impact and you don’t know how many accidents a used helmet may have been in.
The helmet law is especially relevant as West Virginia has a comparative fault law in place. This means that if the motorcycle driver in an accident is found to be at fault for their injuries, they may be unable to recover compensation. Not wearing a compliant helmet could lead to such fault, meaning that you and your family would have to cover all costs and damages associated with your accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration warns that motorcycle riders are regularly overrepresented in fatal traffic crashes. Some 5,014 motorcyclists having died on the roads of the US in 2019 alone. Even when motorcycle riders have the correct licensing and safety equipment, and are taking care to drive safely, accidents can and will happen.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted drivers
- Roadway hazards
- Vehicle failed to notice motorcycle
- Inexperienced riders
- Adverse weather conditions
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
In terms of your motorcycle accident and collecting compensation, what matters is that someone or something was the cause of the accident. When drivers are not paying attention, speeding, illegally switching lanes, and engaging in other potentially dangerous activities, they will be liable for accidents caused. For example, if a driver is engaged in distracted driving through texting while driving, their driving is impaired. Texting while driving impairs drivers manually, mentally, and visually.
Their hands are on the phone not the wheel, their mind is on the text not the road, and their eyes are on the phone not the road.
When drivers cause accidents by failing to be responsible and follow the rules of the road, they will be liable for the damages caused in any related accidents. Determining fault requires a careful review of the evidence and how the law applies to the unique circumstances of your accident, something your motorcycle accident attorney handles for you every step of the way.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
As mentioned above, motorcyclists and their passengers almost always sustained the most severe injuries in an accident. The injuries can oftentimes be more severe than car accident injuries. Bikers frequently experience broken or crushed bones, road rash, and torn muscles and ligaments. Even when wearing a helmet, motorcyclists can sustain concussions and other traumatic brain and spinal injuries. Unfortunately, injuries are sometimes fatal, and surviving family members are left to pursue justice for their loved ones under a wrongful death claim in Charleston, WV.
Types of Compensation Available After a Charleston, WV Motorcycle Accident
The types of compensation available to you after a Charleston, WV motorcycle accident will depend upon the unique facts and circumstances of your accident, and the evidence that supports your damages. If all you did after your accident was go to the emergency room then drop your motorcycle off to the mechanic, and all you have is an ER and repair bill, those are the only expenses you’ll be able to get covered.
You can only collect what you claim, and you will only be awarded parts of your claim that you can prove with evidence. Measuring the impact of your injuries on your present and future medical condition, and your present and future ability to work is essential to collecting the full amount you are entitled to. Medical experts at follow-up appointments measure your injuries and determine their long-term costs and treatment needs, while occupational experts apply this information to your working life.
The process of recovering your compensation is complex, and with a motorcycle accident attorney from Tiano O’Dell PLLC on your side you’ll collect what you deserve.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If another person’s negligence caused your accident, a personal injury attorney with motorcycle accident experience can help. The attorneys at Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, have represented clients in motorcycle accident injury claims for more than two decades. They know what it takes to succeed in Charleston car accident lawsuits, and they will advocate for the best possible outcome in your case.