Common Questions After A Motorcycle Accident In West Virginia
Being involved in a serious collision can be overwhelming – particularly for motorcyclists, who are especially vulnerable to serious injuries. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you likely have questions about insurance claims, motorcycle repairs, medical bills and many other pressing challenges.
Below, we have answered some common questions regarding motorcycle accident claims and how bikers can protect their rights. Read on to learn more or contact us for a free consultation.
How much time do I have to file a claim?
In West Virginia, the statute of limitations – or deadline to file a personal injury claim – is generally two years from the date of the collision for adults. However, that does not mean you should wait two years to begin protecting your rights. It is generally in your best interest to begin your claim as early as possible. Not only does it lead to a more prompt resolution, but it also helps your attorney conduct a thorough investigation and preserve important evidence. After a collision, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
How long will it take to resolve my claim?
Motorcycle cases often involve severe injuries, which means it may take some time to resolve. Typically, it is not advisable to settle your claim until your treatment is complete, unless there is limited insurance available to pay your claim. If you rush into a settlement, you may not get full compensation for your claim. It is important to work with experienced lawyers who will take the time to help you get the full value for your claim.
How much is my motorcycle accident case worth?
Every case is different, and results can vary widely depending on the severity of your injuries, lost wages, property damage, available insurance and other factors. No attorney can guarantee results, but an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer should be able to give you an idea of what compensation may be available in your situation.
If I was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, will that hurt my case?
Under West Virginia law, all motorcycle operators and passengers are required to wear a proper helmet. If you were hurt in an accident while not wearing a helmet, you may be found partly at fault for your injuries. For example, a jury may find you partially responsible if you sustain a head injury that could have been prevented by a helmet. However, under West Virginia’s fault-based system, it may still be possible to obtain compensation if the other driver was 50% or more at fault.
Unfortunately, it is a common tactic of insurance companies to paint motorcyclists who do not wear helmets as irresponsible. The insurance company will try to use this to underpay valid claims for motorcycle injuries. You should work with experienced motorcycle accident attorneys who respect motorcyclists and know how to fight for their rights.
My motorcycle was wrecked in an accident caused by another driver. How will I pay to get it fixed?
Repairing or replacing your motorcycle after an accident can be a substantial expense, especially when compounded with medical bills and lost wages. Your own collision coverage may help pay for these repairs, but sometimes it is necessary to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
Insurance companies sometime delay repairs or payment for loss of your motorcycle to pressure you into taking a quick settlement of all of your claims. An attorney can help protect you and get you back on the road as quickly as possible, without compromising your personal injury case.
The responsible driver’s insurance company offered me a settlement. Should I take it?
After a serious accident, a quick cash settlement can be very tempting. Very rarely do insurance companies make a fair offer of settlement right after a collision. Usually, insurance companies offer quick settlements in hopes that injured people will accept less than the true value of their cases.
Motorcyclists often sustain serious injuries in crashes and the full extent and expense of those injuries can take time to become known. It is wise to discuss any settlement offer with an attorney before accepting. The right lawyer can help you identify all the costs associated with your injury – present and future – to ensure that you get the compensation you truly deserve.
I think I may have been partially responsible for the accident. Should I still pursue a claim?
First, it is generally not in your best interest to admit fault after an accident. Determining liability for an accident is complex and best left to professionals. A motorcycle accident is an intense, traumatic event that happens in a moment – the people involved do not always see the complete picture. If you have concerns about your role in the collision, it is essential that you discuss them with someone who is looking out for your best interests before bringing them to an insurance company or any other party.
Even if you did contribute to the accident in some way, you may still be able to recover compensation under West Virginia’s comparative fault system. If you are found 50% or less at fault for the collision, you may still be able to collect a portion of your damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
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These answers provide general information, but there is no substitute for a one-on-one consultation with a member of our highly experienced legal team. During your first meeting, we will take the time to answer your questions and begin formulating a custom-tailored plan to investigate and pursue the compensation to which you are entitled by law.
At Farmer, Cline & Campbell, PLLC, we we have built a reputation for helping injury victims obtain fair compensation and make the fullest possible recovery. To learn more and speak with one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys, please fill out our easy contact form or call (866) 587-0167.