A beautiful day of Fall colors greets motorcycle riders on The Blue Ridge Parkway

Family Firm of West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers Represents Victims of Motorcycle Accidents

Protecting the rights of injured motorcyclists

A motorcycle’s two-wheeled platform presents stability and balance issues uncommon in passenger cars, making its operator vulnerable to serious injury or death. Motorcycles also lack the door beams, airbags, doors, seatbelts, and padding that protect people in passenger cars. There is little wonder, then, that the Department of Transportation (DOT) reported that in 2012, motorcyclist fatalities accounted for 15 percent of total vehicle-related fatalities. This is while motorcycles made up only three percent of all registered vehicles in the United States and accounted for only 0.7 percent of all vehicle miles traveled. In 2012, motorcyclists suffered 4,957 fatalities and 93,000 injuries.

If you have been injured, or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, the West Virginia personal injury lawyers at Paulson & Nace, PLLC, understand the pain of your injury and loss. Our family owned and managed law firm is widely known and well regarded throughout West Virginia. For decades, we have helped individuals and families, representing their interests and protecting their rights when they were injured by other people’s negligent acts. Let us help you as well.

What are some causes and effects of motorcycle accidents?

While motorcycle accidents rarely occur under identical circumstances, general categories may be made by grouping together similar injuries and damages. These categories are often good indicators of whether compensation may be sought.

  • Single cycle accidents. Nearly half of all motorcycle accidents occur without the interference of another vehicle. By design, two wheels make motorcycles far more susceptible to loss of control on a variety of road surfaces, as well as when speeding or lane shifting. Motorcycles are also more likely to collide with a fixed object, such as a median, in attempts to avoid an accident with a larger vehicle.
  • Collisions with another motor vehicle. This is the most common type of motorcycle accident and involves a direct collision with another car or cars on the road. Due to the motorcycle’s compact size, it is easy to see how one can be relegated to a car’s blind spot and often go unnoticed. A car’s simple lane change can turn tragic when a motorcycle goes unnoticed. More than ninety percent of motorcycle-car collisions are fatal to the motorcyclist. The other ten percent result in the motorcyclist’s serious injury. In rare cases, there are fatalities to the car’s occupants.
  • Open door accidents. A motorcycle’s compact profile and agility allow it to ride close to parked cars. If an automobile driver fails to notice a motorcycle, he or she may cause an accident by opening the driver side door. This type of accident is especially common in urban settings where large numbers of cars are parked at curbside. When a motorcycle strikes a fixed object, its driver can easily be thrown from it and sustain serious body and brain trauma or death.
  • Wipeout accidents. A wipeout refers to a motorcycle accident in which the bike hits the ground rather than colliding with another vehicle or fixed object. These often happen on degraded road surfaces or on loose gravel, and are especially dangerous in high traffic areas. In wipeouts, the motorcyclist can be pinned beneath the bike and crushed, or suffer serious burns when exposed flesh comes into contact with the exhaust pipe.
  • Accidents involving pedestrians. These types of accidents occur when either the pedestrian or the motorcyclist does not notice the other. They are common at busy intersections as well as in urban settings where both vehicular and foot traffic are abundant. Here, too, the motorcyclist is more likely to suffer injury without striking the pedestrian when sudden swerving to avoid a hit causes loss of control.

What to do if you are in a motorcycle accident

Anyone who has ever been involved in a motor vehicle accident knows that the moments following it can be a time of fright and confusion. If you are such a victim, it is important to remain calm and not try to move because it is likely that you have been seriously injured. Instead, let the first responders get you to a hospital as soon as possible so that your condition can be evaluated.

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. A qualified West Virginia personal injury attorney can help by being the point of contact between you and other parties, as well as by overseeing the collection and evaluation of medical information and investigative reports.

Your skilled attorneys for motorcycle accident injuries in West Virginia

Paulson & Nace, PLLC, our family-owned and managed law firm, is widely recognized throughout West Virginia for compassionate care and comprehensive legal services to families, and for our aggressive advocacy for victims of motorcycle accidents. When you a personal injury lawyer from our practice us to represent you, you are choosing a team that values families and family relationships. Please call 304-741-8079 or fill out our contact form to tell us your story in a no-obligation consultation. Our office is located at 3501 Maccorkle Ave SE, Charleston, WV 25304.

We have dedicated our lives to helping victims of personal injury and their families. Let us help you.