In West Virginia and all over the country, motorcycle accidents claim thousands of lives annually with many of them being caused by distracted or inattentive passenger vehicle drivers. One of the most common kind of fatal motorcycle accident occurs when a car, pickup truck or SUV makes a left turn directly into the path of an approaching rider. Passenger vehicle drivers who kill or catastrophically injure motorcyclists in such collisions usually say that they did not see the rider, or they saw the rider but misjudged their speed.
Passenger vehicles traveling in the same direction as motorcycles can be equally as dangerous to riders. Drivers who change lanes without signaling or check their mirrors can knock a rider off their motorcycle and leave them sprawling in the roadway to be struck by oncoming vehicles. Those who are lucky enough to avoid such a fate can suffer a serious head or brain injury even if they are wearing a DOT-approved helmet. This is why motorcycle instructors advise riders to assume that they are invisible to car drivers.
Car doors that swing open without warning are a peril that both cyclists and motorcyclists face in urban environments. This type of motorcycle accident is also the result of inattentiveness, and the injuries such behavior cause could be easily avoided if passenger vehicle drivers and their passengers are more cognizant of their surroundings.
Police reports may furnish experienced personal injury lawyers with evidence that may be able to establish negligence in motorcycle accident cases. Documents provided by law enforcement could reveal that a motorcycle struck the side of a passenger vehicle, which would suggest that the car involved was making a turn at the time. While police investigators may stop short of assigning blame, they could determine which road user had the right of way.