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We Represent Injured Motorcyclists

A lawyer can help you move forward after a crash

Motorcycles are a great way for many people to enjoy the open road throughout West Virginia, especially in the warm summer months. While there's a common stereotype of bikers as reckless, irresponsible thrill-seekers, we know that most motorcyclists drive safely and responsibly on two and four wheels alike.

That's why it can be so troubling when motorcyclists are hurt in accidents. To be sure, motorists and motorcyclists both have a responsibility to share the road. But all too often, when crashes happen, the driver of the car is at fault - and the biker is seriously injured.

At Recht Law Offices, we've been helping injured bikers recover the compensation they need to move forward since 1952. We understand the laws surrounding motorcycle accidents and the challenges posed by dealing with insurance companies. A motorcycle accident attorney from our firm will fight for you every step of the way.

Because motorcyclists don't have the enclosed body of a vehicle protecting them, they're some of the most vulnerable people on the road. You may be unable to work because of a head or brain injury or be permanently disabled due to biker's arm. Your life will have to change - and you deserve to be compensated for those changes.

If you've been hurt in a motorcycle accident, don't hesitate to take action to protect your rights. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation. Call 1 (877) 321-7324.

Motorcycle Injury Risks

Being hit directly by another vehicle or being thrown off a motorcycle can lead to serious injuries. Here are some of the most common injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents:

  • Broken Bones: Because motorcyclists are exposed during accidents, they can easily be hit with enough force to break bones. Fractures usually take weeks or months to heal, which can mean a lot of missed work. Surgery may be required to repair a fracture, and physical therapy may be needed to recover muscle strength. Even a fairly minor break can prove to be very expensive.
  • Internal Injuries: Often, the sheer force involved in a motorcycle accident can cause damage to internal organs. Internal injuries are especially dangerous because they may not be immediately evident after the accident. That's why it's so important to see a doctor right away.
  • Road Rash: This is a common term for skin injuries suffered when the biker's exposed skin rubs against the road surface after falling or being thrown from the motorcycle. Road rash injuries can be severe, especially if they become infected. A settlement or verdict in the biker's favor can pay for skin grafts and other reconstructive surgery.
  • Biker's Arm: When a biker is thrown off his or her bike, the natural reflex is to hold out an arm to break the fall or wrap the arms around the body to reduce impact. Unfortunately, this can lead to significant nerve damage in the arm. A biker's arm injury can make it difficult or impossible to work or care for loved ones.
  • Brain Injury: Even with helmets, motorcyclists can suffer significant traumatic brain injuries after being thrown from their vehicles or hitting another vehicle. Brain injuries can have massive long-term consequences for your quality of life.

Because motorcyclists can suffer such severe injuries in accidents, insurance companies will fight hard to reduce their liability in such cases. You need enough financial compensation to pay for the long-term cost of your accident, not just a "low-ball" settlement. You need an experienced attorney from Recht Law on your side.

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Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

In our experience, most motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers who do not know how to safely share the road with motorcycles. Here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents:

  • Turning in front of the motorcycle. The majority of motorcycle accidents happen at intersections when a car making a left turn fails to yield to an oncoming bike. Drivers need to understand that a motorcycle is still a vehicle, and they need to yield just as they would yield to an oncoming car.
  • Following too closely. Motorcyclists frequently need to change speed or reposition within a lane to adjust to changing road conditions. When motorists follow too closely, they may fail to react to those changes and rear-end the bike.
  • Distracted driving. A motorcycle is smaller than a car and harder to see in traffic. That means bikers are often hit by distracted or fatigued drivers.
  • No-contact accidents. Sometimes, motorcyclists are seriously injured without ever being physically hit by another vehicle. Failure to appropriately yield or merge can result in a bike being forced off the road.

If your accident was caused by another driver, you will need to prove negligence on their part in order to collect financial compensation. Our attorneys are familiar with the common causes of motorcycle accidents and know how to show that you are entitled to compensation.

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How Insurance Companies Treat Motorcycle Accidents

As a rule, insurance companies are especially ornery when dealing with injured bikers. They may argue that you assumed the risk of injury when you got on your bike, even if what happened wasn't your fault. They may look for other reasons to reduce or deny your claim. They may say you delayed seeking medical treatment and suggest you're not seriously injured.

The reality is, motorcycle accidents tend to result in large claims because the injuries suffered are so severe. That means the insurance companies have a great incentive to reduce your claim by as much as possible. Their adjusters and attorneys will fight hard, and they'll use anything you say against you.

That's why it's so important to contact us right away after a motorcycle accident. The insurance company isn't on your side. We are - and we can handle their questions on your behalf to protect your legal rights.

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Motorcycle Passenger Injuries

Passengers riding on the back of a motorcycle or in a side car are just as vulnerable to injury as the bikers themselves, and they don't have anywhere near as much agency to avoid being hurt. Under the law, anyone who contributes to an accident can be held liable. In some cases, passengers are found responsible for accidents after distracting the biker or throwing the bike itself off balance.

Cases involving passenger injuries can be challenging because, often, the person responsible for the accident is a friend or family member. It's important to remember that you aren't trying to take money from your loved one; rather, your goal is to collect the compensation you're entitled to receive from their insurance company. To handle such a difficult claim, you need an experienced and compassionate attorney on your side. You need Recht Law.

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What If I Wasn't Wearing a Helmet?

Under West Virginia law, all motorcycle riders and passengers are required to wear helmets. Ohio and Pennsylvania have less restrictive laws, but not wearing a helmet can still be viewed as a form of negligence that can make the rider responsible for his or her injuries. Many bikers believe that if they are hurt while not wearing a helmet, they won't be able to recover damages - and many attorneys refuse to take those cases.

The truth, though, is that helmet use is just one of many factors that can apply to a case arising from a motorcycle accident. Helmets don't prevent all injuries. If you hurt your leg, back or arm in the accident, the fact that you weren't wearing a helmet may not be especially relevant. Our investigation may even show that a head injury wouldn't have been prevented by a helmet.

Moreover, even if you were partially responsible for the injury due to your failure to wear a helmet, you may benefit from comparative negligence laws. A jury might find that your injuries were 40 percent due to your own negligence and 60 percent due to the driver who caused the accident. In that case, your award would be reduced to 60 percent. For instance, if you were awarded $100,000, you'd actually receive $60,000.

It's true that if you weren't wearing a helmet, your case may be a little harder. But you still have legal rights, and we still want to hear from you. Our attorneys don't back down from difficult cases. We'll get the facts of what happened and fight for the compensation you need.

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