There are a lot of stereotypes surrounding motorcycle riders. Popular media has helped to shape a “biker bias” that still exists today of the “bad” biker who’s reckless and out looking for trouble. As a result, many people, including insurance adjusters, think most motorcycle accidents are the rider’s fault and not the other driver’s. That is not always the case.

At Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, our motorcycle accident attorneys understand the popular misconceptions that plague West Virginia motorcyclists and how those misconceptions may impact how others view fault following a collision. In most accidents between a car and a motorcycle, who is at fault? We want to answer the question and help you understand the most common causes of West Virginia motorcycle accidents.

Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Who is at fault in most motorcycle accidents? The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHA) landmark causation study found that many multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents occur because other drivers fail to spot the motorcycle rider before the collision. Visibility is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in West Virginia and across the U.S. Other common causes of motorcycle crashes include:

  • Impaired driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Tailgating
  • Left-hand turn accidents
  • Failure to yield
  • Failure to obey traffic signs and signals

Many crashes in which the driver claims not to have seen the motorcycle rider result from unsafe behaviors, such as distracted driving, unsafe lane changes, and left-hand turn collisions.

Who is At Fault in Most Motorcycle Accidents?

What percentage of motorcycle accidents are the rider’s fault? The question can be challenging because of the unique factors in many motorcycle crash claims. The FHA’s study found that 44 percent of motorcycle accidents happen due to an “unsafe act” by the rider. In comparison, 63 percent of multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes involved an unsafe act by another vehicle’s driver.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in one year, there were 3,052 fatal two-vehicle crashes, each involving a motorcycle and another type of vehicle. In 43 percent of these accidents, the other vehicles turned left while the motorcycles were going straight, passing, or overtaking other vehicles.

Recent motorcycle accident statistics show that motorcycle fatalities in West Virginia have increased by 36 percent over the last several years. Many of those fatalities occur due to alcohol consumption, climate, and failure to wear helmets.

How is Liability Determined in Motorcycle Accident Cases?

Determining liability for a motorcycle accident requires carefully reviewing the evidence, such as police reports, photographs, video footage, and witness statements. Collecting and preserving evidence can be challenging for a motorcycle accident victim, so you need an experienced attorney to advocate for you. Never admit fault, and never accept anything from an insurance company without first speaking with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.

Contact our West Virginia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Do not let stereotypes and biker bias undermine your compensation claim. Let a West Virginia motorcycle accident attorney with Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, help prove the other driver was at fault and pursue every cent you deserve. Contact our office today for a free case evaluation with a West Virginia personal injury lawyer.