Riding a bicycle in Morgantown, West Virginia can be a fun, healthy, and affordable way to get around. Unfortunately, with so many distracted and reckless drivers on the road, biking can also pose serious accident and injury risks. If you have been injured in a recent bicycle accident in Morgantown, the dedicated and skilled West Virginia bicycle accident attorneys at Robinette Legal Group, PLLC can help. We will provide dedicated client care to help you recover the compensation you need.
Why Choose the Morgantown Bicycle Accident Lawyers at the Robinette Legal Group?
- As a former insurance lawyer, Jeff Robinette has special knowledge of how insurance companies defend against injury lawsuits. He can use this knowledge to strengthen your case.
- Our attorneys have years of experience going up against auto insurance companies in pursuit of fair compensation for victims of bicycle accidents throughout West Virginia.
- Our Morgantown personal injury lawyers handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t pay anything for our services unless we win. We will absorb 100 percent of the financial risk for you.
How Do Bicycle Accident Claims Work?
If you or a loved one gets injured in a bicycle accident, the law may make you eligible for financial compensation for your related physical injuries, medical bills, and other losses. To obtain the compensation you deserve, you must file a claim and go up against an insurance provider. A successful claim can help your family pay for present and future necessary medical care, including rehabilitation and therapy.
Determining fault is a critical step toward receiving the financial recovery you need. In West Virginia, you cannot file an insurance claim until you understand who was at fault for your bicycle accident. This is how West Virginia’s fault-based insurance law works. In a no-fault state, on the other hand, it is not necessary to determine fault. You would file a claim with your own insurance company, regardless of who caused your bicycle accident.
When a bike accident injures or kills the rider, the first question is always “Was he/she wearing a helmet?” If the helmet is absent, the rider is blamed for his own injuries. The helmet is designed to cushion the blow and protect the head from minimal impacts. It was never designed to be the first line of defense when a vehicle hits a bicycle rider and throws them on the pavement. The helmet is no match for a ten-thousand-pound truck hitting you or running over you. The United States has the highest rate of helmet use of all countries and also has the highest rate of cyclist fatalities.
What Causes Most Morgantown, WV Bicycle Accidents?
Many different things cause bicycle accidents in Morgantown, but the most common is driver error. Drivers have a responsibility to respect bicyclists’ rights to the road and maintain a safe distance. Unfortunately, many drivers break traffic laws and engage in careless and reckless driving practices, such as:
- Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Texting and driving
- Driving while distracted
- Excessive speeding
- Passing too closely
- Making illegal turns
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to oncoming bicyclists
Other possible causes of bike accidents in Morgantown include roadway hazards and defective bike parts. If a careless driver crashes into a bicyclist in West Virginia, his or her auto insurance company will cover damages. All drivers in the state must carry minimum amounts of insurance for this purpose. A lawyer can investigate your bicycle accident to determine fault. From there, your lawyer can identify the defendant(s) and assist you with claims filing for the best possible results.
Do You Need a Bicycle Accident Attorney?
There are many important tasks a bicycle accident attorney in Morgantown can handle on your behalf. The aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming, but hiring a lawyer allows you to focus on recovering from your injuries while a trained professional handles everything else, including gathering police reports and other evidence, assessing the cause of the accident, speaking to eyewitnesses, obtaining surveillance footage and photographs, and negotiating with an insurance company for you.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries in Morgantown
West Virginia is not very good at publishing accident statistics. This includes statistics related to bicycle accidents that occur across the state. However, we do know that bicycle accidents claimed the lives of 846 people across the US during the latest reporting year, according to data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In addition to these fatalities, thousands of bicyclists were injured as a result of the careless or negligent actions of other drivers.
Unfortunately, bicyclists are incredibly vulnerable when it comes to roadway safety. These individuals do not have the same types of protection that those inside traditional passenger vehicles do. There are no airbags, seatbelts, or metal frames to protect the bicyclist. It is not uncommon for our attorneys to help clients who have sustained the following injuries in these incidents:
- Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Severe facial or head wounds
- Lacerations or road rash
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
- Massive blood loss
In addition to these traumatic injuries, we also know that individuals injured in bicycle accidents can suffer from significant emotional and psychological trauma. Even though this type of injury may not be as visible, it is no less real than the injuries listed above.
What Rights do Bicyclists Have on Morgantown Roadways?
Bicyclists in West Virginia can use the roadways just like other motor vehicles, with the exception of travel on major highways or if there is a bicycle path adjacent to the roadway. West Virginia law requires that bicyclists stay as close to the right side of the road as possible. Bicyclists are also required to move in the same direction as traffic, and they have to follow the same rules that other vehicles do.
Because bicyclists are required to follow the same laws as other drivers, this also means that vehicle drivers have to respect the rights of bicyclists on the roadway. They cannot illegally pass or tailgate bicyclists. They have to yield the right of way to a bicyclist at stop signs or stoplights.
Types of Compensation Available for a West Virginia Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accident victims in Morgantown may be able to recover various types of compensation from an at-fault driver. Our bicycle accident lawyers in West Virginia strive to recover both economic and non-economic compensation on behalf of our clients. This can include the following:
- Economic compensation. This is also referred to as “special damages” and revolves around the types of compensation that are relatively calculable after a Morgantown bicycle accident. This can include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage expenses
- Non-economic compensation. This is also referred to as “general damages” and revolves around more immeasurable types of losses that Morgantown bicycle accident victims incur. This can include a victim’s:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and psychological distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Also consortium for a family member or spouse
The total amount of compensation available to bicycle accident victims in West Virginia will vary depending on the facts related to each particular situation. It is imperative for victims in these situations to work with an attorney who can enlist the assistance of economic and financial experts to assist with the case.
Contact Attorney Jeff Robinette Today
If you suffered an injury in a Morgantown bicycle accident due to the careless actions of another person or party, contact us for a free consultation. Our attorneys at Robinette Legal Group, PLLC can help you seek financial recovery for a broken bone, head trauma, a back injury, or another type of serious bicycle accident injury. Click here or call (304) 594-1800 now to request your free case evaluation from a dedicated Morgantown Bike Accident Lawyer.