Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Helping Victims of West Virginia Motorcycle Accidents
There are 52,000 motorcycles registered in the state, and there are 111,500 drivers with a motorcycle endorsement on their license. In a recent crash data report covering a five-year period, fatalities among motorcyclists in West Virginia far outpaced both the regional and national average. The personal injury attorneys at Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson in Martinsburg have been helping victims of motorcycle accidents in the eastern panhandle for over 30 years. Our lawyers understand bike accidents and can help you obtain a settlement or verdict that fairly compensates you for your injuries and expenses.
Car Drivers Need to Share the Road with Motorcycles
Because motorcycles are smaller and lighter than other vehicles on the road, and because the rider is exposed and vulnerable to a collision, any involvement in an automobile accident is likely to cause serious injuries or even wrongful death to the rider. Unfortunately, the size of a motorcycle can make them difficult to see before it is too late to avoid an impact. Car and truck drivers should be mindful of the fact that there are motorcycles on the road and should always check their surroundings before turning or changing lanes.
Motorcycle accidents are not always caused by neglect. Some drivers plainly do not respect motorcycles and will drive aggressively or recklessly around the bikes. Others simply do not appreciate the limitations of a motorcycle’s handling. Aggressive, reckless or careless driving can cause an accident or force a rider off the road or into a dangerous skid.
Rider Error Also Causes Accidents
Motorcycle riders are not always the victims but can be responsible for causing accidents due to careless or reckless driving. According to the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program Annual Report for 2012, out of 1,819 students taking training from the Highway Safety Office, only 26 took classes on motorcycle issues. In addition, a recent traffic safety study found that 63.2% of motorcycle fatalities in West Virginia had a “driver factor” such as failure to keep in the proper lane or driving too fast. Bikers of course are supposed to know and obey the rules of the road and are required to ride with ordinary care, just as drivers of cars and trucks are.
Drive Safely, Seek Experienced Legal Representation
The West Virginia Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Program works with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to enhance public awareness of motorcycle safety and provide safety training to riders. We encourage bikers to wear helmets for safety and ride with care, and we urge car and truck drivers to always be aware of their surroundings and the likelihood of motorcycles on the road. If you or a loved is injured in a motorcycle accident in West Virginia, contact Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson in Martinsburg for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.