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West Virginia Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been hit by a vehicle, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. You should also contact a West Virginia bicycle accident lawyer about your right to claim compensation. Bicyclists lack the protective shell that a vehicle body provides. Consequently, they can suffer severe injuries when struck by cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles.

The Manchin Injury Law Group in Fairmont, West Virginia is a team of highly experienced WV personal injury attorneys. We aggressively represent our clients, seeking maximum compensation for their medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.

For a free consultation with our West Virginia bike accident attorneys, call us at (304) 367-1862.

Content:

Why Choose Manchin Injury Law Group?

  • We have over 37 years of experience representing injured bicyclists and pedestrians throughout West Virginia. Our law firm has maintained an excellent reputation in the legal community.
  • Our attorneys understand how bicycle accident claims work, as well as the obstacles clients often face. We also know what is at stake for you. We will go the extra mile to ensure maximum compensation for your past and future losses.
  • We never make our clients take on the costs of legal fees out of pocket. Our West Virginia bicycle accident attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not pay your lawyer unless he or she wins your case.

How Can a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help?

Hiring a bicycle accident lawyer in Fairmont, West Virginia can help you with every aspect of the legal process. Your lawyer can investigate your bike accident, determine liability and file your injury claim for you while you heal. An attorney can also negotiate the value of your settlement with an insurance company to prevent it from taking advantage of you. You can entrust any legal matter you need handled during an injury claim to an attorney.

Common Bicycle Injuries in West Virginia

A bicycle accident can inflict serious to catastrophic injuries on a bicyclist. With or without a helmet, a biker hit by a vehicle in West Virginia can suffer life-changing injuries. If you or a loved one has any type of injury after a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Common injuries suffered in bicycle accidents include:

No two bicycle accidents are alike. Although certain types of injuries are more common in these collisions than others, such as tissue injuries and musculoskeletal trauma, you are 100% unique as an injured victim. This is why it is important to hire a cycling accident lawyer to represent you. A lawyer can highlight what is unique about you and your case to fight for the financial outcome you deserve.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in West Virginia

Most roads with heavy traffic have bicycle lanes beside the main section of the road. The lanes are usually between on-street parking and driving lanes. A person can easily injure a bicyclist by opening a parked car’s door without looking first. If the bicyclist and the car are close enough and the bicyclist is going fast, he or she will most likely not be able to stop. Hitting an open car door at high speed can severely damage a bicyclist.

Larger cars, such as semi-trucks, large commercial vans, and tractor-trailers are often significantly up off the ground. Being higher off the ground makes it more difficult for the driver to see a bicyclist. Any contact could cause a bicycle accident. If visibility is low, it is more likely that the driver will inadvertently brush a bicyclist.

Another cause of bicycle accidents comes from cars making right turns. It is more difficult for drivers to see bicyclists when they are turning right, increasing the risk that they may not see a bicyclist and hit him or her as they are turning.

West Virginia Bicycle Laws

Many bicycle accidents are due to a driver breaking one of West Virginia’s bicycle laws. Broken traffic laws can place a motor vehicle in the direct path of a bicyclist, leading to a preventable collision. If you believe a driver caused your bicycle accident through a broken traffic law, a lawyer can help you gather evidence and present it to an insurance company, judge or jury. Your case may involve many of West Virginia’s bicycle laws:

  • Bicycles as vehicles. According to West Virginia law, bicycles must abide by the same rules of the road as motor vehicles. Bikers must move in the same direction as traffic and obey all traffic signs and signals, including stop signs and traffic lights. Bicyclists also have all of the same rights as drivers. Other motorists must respect these rights and treat bicyclists as they would other drivers.
  • Rights-of-way. For the most part, if a motor vehicle would have the right-of-way in a roadway situation, a bicyclist will also have the right-of-way. For example, a driver must yield to a bicyclist who arrived at a four-way stop first. Failure to yield is one of the most common causes of bike accidents in West Virginia.
  • Bicycle helmet law. In West Virginia, if a bicyclist is over the age of 15, he or she does not lawfully have to wear a helmet. However, West Virginia Code Section 17C-11A-4 states that any person under 15 years old must wear a helmet to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle on any public roadway.

If you were breaking one of these laws at the time of your accident, do not assume you are ineligible for financial compensation. West Virginia’s modified comparative fault standard (West Virginia Code 55-7-13A) states that if the plaintiff contributed to the damages, he or she can still be eligible for a percentage of compensation. A bicycle accident lawyer from Manchin Injury Law Group can help you combat the comparative fault defense.

Proving Liability

You need to prove a driver was driving negligently and that his or her negligent actions caused your injury. When drivers are on the road, they automatically have a duty to drive in a way that keeps them and the other people on the road reasonably safe. If a driver caused the incident, he or she did not uphold his or her duty. Failure to uphold his or her duty and being the cause of your injury make him or her liable, and a court would rule that the driver should compensate you for injuries due to the incident.

Possible Damages in West Virginia

A court can award a bicyclist damages in such a case. The most basic compensation for is medical expenses. If the defendant seriously injured you and you subsequently had medical bills, he or she is responsible for compensating you.

The court could also award you damages for your pain and suffering, which focuses on compensating you for the emotional, physical, and psychological distress or anxiety you experienced because of the incident. To determine the emotional and mental pain and suffering, your West Virginia bicycle accident attorney would call in witnesses to attest to the difficulties you have been experiencing since the accident.

If the accident caused considerable damage to your bicycle, the court could also order the defendant to reimburse you the cost of bicycle repairs, or if the damage was significant enough, a new bicycle.

The court could also award you lost wages. If you had to take days off work because of your injury, the court could order the defendant to compensate you for the wages you would have earned. The court could also award you damages if the accident reduced your overall salary potential. If you can no longer earn as much as you did before the accident, this is grounds for additional compensation.

Types of Bicycle Accidents

Since it is your responsibility as the injured party to prove fault and liability, one of the first steps is to analyze your type of bicycle accident for signs of causation. The type of accident can point to who or what caused your crash. Common types of bicycle accidents in West Virginia include:

  • Stop sign and intersection accidents. Accidents at stop signs and intersections occur when someone fails to yield the right-of-way. If a driver fails to make a complete stop and yield to a bicyclist with the right-of-way, for example, he or she may cause a collision.
  • Left-hand turn accident. Drivers often underestimate the distance and speed of oncoming bicyclists. They may turn left in front of a bicycle too close, causing a head-on or T-bone collision. An inattentive or distracted driver may also not notice an oncoming bicyclist when making a left-hand turn.
  • Rear-end collisions. If a driver is following a bicyclist too closely (tailgating), he or she could be liable for a resultant rear-end collision. It is dangerous for a driver not to leave at least three feet of following distance between the front of his or her car and a bicyclist. Following or passing too closely can lead to rear-end or sideswipe accidents.
  • Dooring accidents. A dooring accident describes a driver opening his or her car door into an oncoming bicyclist. These accidents are especially common when bike paths run next to parking spaces in busy downtown areas. It is a driver’s responsibility to check his or her mirrors for approaching bikers before opening a door.

After any type of bicycle accident in Fairmont, contact an attorney for legal assistance. An attorney can help you determine fault by revisiting the scene of your crash, reading the police report, interviewing eyewitnesses, analyzing photographs, hiring crash reconstruction experts and more. Then, your attorney can file a claim against the liable party or parties on your behalf in pursuit of financial damages.

Free Consultation with a West Virginia Bike Accident Lawyer

To schedule a free case evaluation, call the West Virginia bike collision lawyers at Manchin Injury Law Group at (304) 367-1862 or send us an email.

From our offices in Fairmont, we represent people in Clarksburg, Morgantown, and throughout West Virginia.