Bicycle Accident Attorney in Wheeling
Bicycles are frequently seen on the streets of West Virginia. When everyone follows the rules of the road, it is generally safe to ride a bicycle. Bicyclists can suffer severe injuries in the event of a collision with a negligent car or truck driver. The competent Wheeling bicycle accident attorney at Ghaphery Law Offices, PLLC, holds negligent drivers accountable.
Bicyclists, unlike car passengers and drivers, do not have a metal body to shield them from the elements. Bicyclists almost always sustain more injuries than motorists in collisions involving bicycles and motor vehicles. These injuries may include fractures, spinal cord, and brain trauma.
Even victims with less severe injuries may require months of treatment before they can return to their pre-accident lives. Numerous bicycle accidents involve children, who can be permanently traumatized by these harrowing and traumatic experiences. Call our West Virginia office today to learn more!
Why Do I Need a Bicycle Accident Attorney in West Virginia?
Accidents involving cyclists and motorists raise a complex web of legal issues. This is just one of the many reasons why you should hire a legal advocate to assist you with your case. Consult our personal injury attorney, who is familiar with the complexities of cycling accidents.
If your case requires the assistance of an investigative expert, we will hire one on your behalf. This will strengthen your case for compensation by providing specific details. Here are a few additional crucial ways our skilled Wheeling bicycle accident attorney can assist you:
Avoid Complex Legal Traps
Remember that you should refrain from communicating with insurance companies before contacting a legal professional. Anything you say could be used against you as they construct their counterargument. Instead, our qualified Wheeling bicycle accident attorney can draft a letter for you that will help you avoid legal pitfalls in the future.
Your Complete Recovery is Given the Highest Priority
Our personal injury attorney will be by your side from the moment your accident occurs to ensure that you receive the best treatment possible. Our legal knowledge ensures you receive the necessary compensation from negligent parties to cover all recovery expenses.
This ensures that you have the best possible chance of making a full recovery, allowing you to return to your normal lifestyle.
Your Legal Interests Are Completely Safeguarded
Our Wheeling bicycle accident attorney’s years of experience and knowledge have taught him that cyclist injuries do not always manifest immediately. This indicates that you require legal counsel to obtain compensation for future care.
Accidental injuries may include delayed physical and mental stress that may necessitate professional assistance in the future. Our legal team will protect your legal interests for as long as you require it.
Your Compensation Claim is Individually Tailored
In a compensation case, our versed personal injury lawyer is aware of all the loopholes, technicalities, and paperwork errors to avoid. This ensures that you will never lose compensation that is rightfully yours.
In addition, we are well-versed in the regulations governing the filing of a personal injury case. We understand precisely how to tailor a legal strategy to your specific requirements.
Receive Knowledgeable Counsel Regarding Proving Fault
Your case for compensation hinges on proving the negligence of those responsible for your accident. Our knowledgeable Wheeling bicycle accident attorney will provide you with all the necessary guidance for identifying and proving fault. You will be able to file a claim that accurately reflects the damages owed to you.
Discover the Peace of Mind You Deserve
With the assistance of an experienced legal professional, you will be able to rest easier knowing that you have their knowledge as leverage. This allows you to recover fully without the stress of attempting to build your case with limited knowledge of the system.
When recovering from an accident, the assurance that you will receive compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering are essential. This is the responsibility of our personal injury attorney, and this peace of mind is crucial to your recovery.
What Are the Different West Virginia Bicycle Laws?
West Virginia drivers frequently cause bicycle accidents by violating one of the state’s bicycle laws. A violation of traffic regulations can place a motor vehicle directly in the path of a bicyclist, resulting in an avoidable collision.
If you believe that a driver’s violation of a traffic law caused your bicycle accident, our skilled Wheeling bicycle accident attorney can help you gather evidence and present it to an insurance company, judge, or jury. Your case may involve multiple bicycle laws in West Virginia:
Bicycle as a Vehicle
Bicycles must adhere to the same rules of the road as motor vehicles, per West Virginia law. Bicyclists are required to ride in the same direction as traffic and to obey all traffic signs and signals, including stop signs and traffic lights. Bicyclists possess the same rights as motorists.
Other motorists must respect these rights and treat cyclists similarly to how they would treat other motorists.
The Right of Way
In most road situations where a motor vehicle would have the right of way, a bicyclist will also have the right of way. At a four-way stop, for instance, a driver must yield to a bicyclist who arrived first. In West Virginia, failure to yield is one of the leading causes of bicycle accidents.
The Bicycle Helmet Law
Bicyclists older than 15 years old in West Virginia are not required by law to wear a helmet. However, West Virginia Code Section 17C-11A-4 states that anyone under the age of 15 must wear a helmet when operating or riding a bicycle on a public road.
Do not assume you are ineligible for financial compensation because you violated one of these laws at the time of your accident. West Virginia’s modified comparative fault standard (West Virginia Code 55-7-13A) stipulates that even if the plaintiff contributed to the damages, they might still be eligible for compensation.
Our skilled Wheeling bicycle accident attorney at Ghaphery Law Offices, PLLC, can assist you in countering the comparative fault defense.
What Are the Different Types of Bicycle Accidents?
Since it is your responsibility as the injured party to establish fault and liability, one of the initial steps is to examine your bicycle accident type for signs of causation. The type of accident can indicate who or what caused the collision. The following are common types of bicycle accidents in West Virginia:
Stop Sign and Intersection Collisions
At stop signs and intersections, accidents occur when drivers fail to yield the right of way. For example, if a driver fails to come to a complete stop and yield to a cyclist who has the right of way, they may cause an accident.
Left-Hand Turn Collision
Drivers frequently underestimate the distance and velocity of approaching cyclists. They could turn left too closely in front of a bicycle, resulting in a head-on or T-bone collision. A driver who is inattentive or distracted may also fail to notice an approaching cyclist when making a left turn.
A driver who follows a bicyclist too closely (tailgating) may be liable for a rear-end collision that results. A driver should leave at least three feet of the following distance between the front of their vehicle and a bicyclist. Following or passing too closely can result in rear-end collisions or sideswipes.
A dooring accident occurs when a motorist opens a car door into an oncoming bicyclist. When bike lanes run adjacent to parking spaces in densely populated downtown areas, this type of accident is especially common. Before opening a door, it is the driver’s responsibility to check their mirrors for approaching cyclists.
Contact a personal injury attorney for assistance after any type of bicycle accident in West Virginia. Our Wheeling bicycle accident attorney can assist you in determining fault by re-visiting the crash site, reading the police report, interviewing witnesses, analyzing photographs, and employing crash reconstruction experts, among other methods.
Then, we can file a claim on your behalf against the responsible party or parties to recover monetary damages.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in West Virginia?
Due to the inherent nature of bicycle-vehicle collisions, the injuries sustained by bicyclists are frequently severe, resulting in severe, long-term injury or death. To successfully win a personal injury case, you must understand the most common causes of bicycle accidents in West Virginia. These causes often include:
Poor Highway Conditions
The government has a responsibility to keep roads clear of debris and other potential dangers. Dangerous roads must be marked clearly.
Bicycle Trail Accidents
Bicyclists are required by West Virginia law to use designated bike lanes. However, occasionally automobile drivers utilize the bike lane. In other instances, the government fails to maintain the bike path adequately, leaving debris or hazardous conditions in the designated bicyclist area.
At intersections, drivers are typically preoccupied with spotting other vehicles. However, they must also be vigilant for cyclists.
Violation of Motor Vehicle Laws
Drivers of motor vehicles must abide by all West Virginia laws to protect the safety of other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Absence of Property Signal
When turning or changing lanes, motor vehicles must signal appropriately. In addition, drivers must emit an audible signal when passing on the left.
Refusal to Yield to Bicycles
Bicycles have no automatic precedence over vehicles. Therefore, they are required to yield to bicyclists in appropriate situations.
When opening the door, it is vital to be aware of any bicyclists that may be passing. Failure to do so could result in severe injury or death.
What Are the Common Bicycle Accident Injuries?
The state of West Virginia is poor at publishing accident statistics. This includes bicycle-related accident statistics for the entire state. Nevertheless, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bicycle accidents claimed numerous lives across the United States in the most recent reporting year.
In addition to these fatalities, thousands of bicyclists were injured due to the recklessness or negligence of other motorists. Bicyclists are, unfortunately, extremely vulnerable when it comes to road safety. These individuals are not afforded the same level of protection as occupants of conventional passenger vehicles.
The bicycle lacks airbags, seatbelts, and metal frames for protection. It is not unusual for our attorneys to assist clients who have suffered the following injuries as a result of these incidents:
- Spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Major facial or head injuries
- Skin lacerations or road rash
- Fractures and dislocations
- Internal organ damage
- Internal hemorrhage
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
- Serious blood loss
In addition to these traumatic injuries, we know that bicycle accident victims can also experience significant emotional and psychological trauma. Even though this type of injury may not be as visible as those listed above, it is no less real.
What Can I Do Following a West Virginia Bicycle Accident?
Bicyclists can sustain life-threatening injuries in the event of a collision, particularly with a motor vehicle. These injuries may require weeks, months, or even years to recover from. Even a simple fracture may necessitate surgery and months of physical therapy to restore the limb’s full functionality.
As a result, cyclists frequently incur enormous medical bills and other costs following a serious collision. A bicycle accident personal injury claim can assist victims of collisions in recovering damages. To protect their right to compensation, a cyclist must take certain steps under West Virginia law. Take the following actions following a bicycle accident to facilitate the claims process.
Wait for the Police to Arrive If Possible
Every bicyclist will use the police report as an essential piece of evidence when filing a personal injury claim. A police officer will arrive at the scene and compile a report describing what transpired, including the personal information of all parties involved and any witnesses. It even makes an initial fault designation.
If a cyclist who has been injured can do so, they must tell the responding officer what happened. In some instances, a cyclist’s injuries are too severe to wait for the police. As soon as possible, contact the police department that responded to the scene and request a statement for the report.
Get Appropriate Medical Treatment
Some cyclists believe they are fine after a collision and do not require medical attention. However, it may take hours or even days for an injury’s full symptoms to manifest. Rather than taking a wait-and-see approach, riders must seek medical treatment immediately after a collision.
Appropriate medical care serves two important purposes: first, it ensures that injured riders receive the care they need and are back on the road to recovery as quickly as possible. Second, it provides an official record of a cyclist’s injuries, which is necessary for filing a personal injury claim.
Do Not Sign Documents From a Driver’s Insurance Company
If a driver’s insurance company accepts liability for an accident, it will likely dispatch a claims adjuster to collect additional details. In particular, a claims adjuster may request the injured rider’s permission to record a statement or sign a medical release form to obtain additional information about the accident.
Riders should only agree to these terms if instructed by a personal injury lawyer. Signing a medical release prematurely, for instance, could result in a lower settlement because a cyclist’s medical record has not yet documented the full extent of their injuries.
Similarly, a recorded statement could serve as evidence in court that a motorcyclist’s injuries are not as severe as they claim, as claims adjusters and defense attorneys can manipulate a motorcyclist’s words to their advantage.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Following a bicycle accident, a variety of negative side effects may persist for several weeks or months. In some instances, bicycle accidents can result in life-altering or fatal injuries. A cyclist who is injured may incur thousands of dollars in economic damages in addition to the pain and suffering associated with the incident.
Our skilled Wheeling bicycle accident attorney can assist injured cyclists in protecting their legal right to compensation. A bicycle accident claim can compensate a cyclist for both material and intangible losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and loss of life quality.
How Do Claims for Bicycle Accidents Work?
If you or a family member are injured in a bicycle accident, you may be eligible for compensation for your physical injuries, medical bills, and other losses. To obtain the compensation you are entitled to, you must file a claim and take on an insurance company.
A successful claim can help your family pay for necessary medical care, including rehabilitation and therapy, both now and in the future. Identifying fault is a crucial step in obtaining the financial recovery you require. You cannot file an insurance claim in West Virginia until you determine who was at fault for your bicycle accident.
This is how West Virginia’s insurance law based on fault operates. In a no-fault state, on the other hand, fault determination is unnecessary. Regardless of who caused the bicycle accident, you would file a claim with your own insurance company. When a cyclist is injured or killed in a bicycle accident, the first question asked is, “Was he or she wearing a helmet?”
In the absence of a helmet, the rider is responsible for their injuries. The helmet is intended to absorb impact and shield the head from minor impacts. It was never intended to function as the first line of defense when a vehicle strikes a cyclist and throws them to the ground.
The helmet is ineffective against a ten-thousand-pound truck that strikes or runs over you. The United States has the highest rate of helmet use and the highest rate of cyclist fatalities of any country.
What Are the Types of Recoverable Compensation Available for a West Virginia Bicycle Accident Claim?
Bicycle accident victims in West Virginia may be eligible for a variety of forms of compensation from the driver at fault. On behalf of our clients, our skilled Wheeling bicycle accident attorney seeks both economic and non-economic compensation. This may consist of the following:
This is also known as “special damages” and pertains to the types of compensation that are relatively calculable following a bicycle accident in West Virginia. Examples include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Cash-paying expenses
- Property damage expenses
This is also known as “general damages” and refers to the more incalculable types of losses bicycle accident victims in West Virginia incur. This may consist of a victim’s:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Psychological and emotional distress
- Loss of life’s pleasure
- Additionally, consortium for a relative or a spouse
The total amount of compensation available to victims of bicycle accidents in West Virginia will vary depending on the specifics of each case. In these circumstances, victims need to work with a personal injury attorney who can enlist the help of economic and financial experts.
Call our Wheeling Bicycle Accident Attorney Now!
The majority of bicycle accidents are caused by drivers who are too preoccupied to notice a cyclist sharing the road with them. Other car accidents involving bicycles involve hit-and-run drivers who flee the scene without providing their insurance information or contact information. Whatever your situation, our attorneys can assist you.
At Ghaphery Law Offices, PLLC, we provide aggressive legal representation that will fight for every form of possible compensation. Our firm should evaluate your case as soon as possible following the accident. When we become involved early in the process, we can collect and preserve all necessary evidence to support the claim.
If the insurance company attempts to reduce your compensation, challenge your case, or complicate the claims process, we are qualified to take the case to court and obtain a verdict. We are trial attorneys with a long history of success in difficult cases, and we have achieved several noteworthy victories, both in settlements and verdicts, throughout our years of practice.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, you should hire our competent and aggressive Wheeling bicycle accident attorney, who will fight for you throughout the entire process. We offer free consultations with our personal injury lawyers. We will discuss your options and answer your questions.