How Much Is My Motorcycle Accident Case Worth in West Virginia?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in West Virginia, you deserve compensation for the damages. Usually, motorcycle accidents are highly injurious, since bikes do not afford riders or their passengers similar protection to other vehicles. Lack of physical enclosing, safety belts, or airbags makes them more susceptible to severe injuries such as road rash, traumatic brain injury, broken bones, spinal cord damage, etc. As a result, the damages resulting from a motorcycle accident can be pretty substantial. And perhaps, this could be the reason you’re worried about how much your motorcycle accident case is worth.
Sadly, there’s a bias that surrounds motorcycle accidents not just in West Virginia but universally. Motorcyclists are perceived as reckless road users, a blanket judgment that denies them fair compensation when involved in crashes. This is despite the fact that in most multiple vehicle accidents involving motorcycles, the other drivers are at fault for the accidents and not the motorcyclist. Distracted driving, speeding, turning in front of a motorcycle, failing to yield right of way, are common motorist behaviors on our West Virginia roads that endanger motorcyclists.
For this reason, those involved in motorcycle accidents deserve full compensation for their damages, just like any other road user involved in a motor vehicle crash.
How Much Can I Recover From My Motorcycle Accident Case?
West Virginia is a fault state, meaning the one responsible for the accident should pay for the damages sustained. In this case, if the accident was caused by the negligent acts of another motorist, their insurer should compensate you for the injuries and property damage.
West Virginia Insurance Coverage
Essentially, West Virginia law requires motorists to carry minimum liability and uninsured motorist insurance. This means that as long as the at-fault motorist has some minimum insurance as required by law, and you have evidence to prove their negligence, you should be able to recover your damages.
Both liability and uninsured motorist covers are guided by the same 25/50/25 rule. I.e., $25,000 for bodily injury per person and a maximum of $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, plus $25,000 for property damage
However, these are minimum requirements. Motorists always have options to take more cover as sometimes the minimum amounts cannot sufficiently cover damages, especially when accident victims sustain severe injuries. For instance, due to the nature of motorcycle accidents, the resulting injuries are pretty severe, hence a motorist’s minimum coverage might not adequately compensate the losses.
In the same way, motorcycles are regarded as motor vehicles and should therefore carry these minimum insurance policies. In the event your accident was not caused by another motorist’s error, your liability cover should cater to your damages. Or could be you were involved in a hit-and-run accident and you’re not able to identify the other vehicle. In this case, your uninsured cover should take care of your damages.
Factors Affecting Motorcycle Accident Case Compensation
Generally, how much you can recover from your motorcycle accident case will depend on;
- Damages you have sustained and
- Coverage available
If the crash was caused by the other motorist and your damages exceed their coverage, you can recover the rest by filing a lawsuit against them. However, should you decide to take this route, you should at least consider the driver’s ability to pay your damages, to avoid the risk of spending your resources pursuing someone who does not have the means to fulfill a judgment.
At the same time, you should keep in mind the statutory time limit for filing personal injury lawsuits in West Virginia. In West Virginia, the statute of limitations for a motorcycle accident claim is two years. After this deadline, you cannot be able to recover from the at-fault party, unless you qualify for exemptions such as; the victim being a minor or the at-fault party being outside the state. In this case, the limit should start counting once the minor reaches 18 or the defendant returns to the state.
Damages You Can Claim in a Motorcycle Accident Case
A motorcycle accident case is like any other personal injury claim. You’re entitled to receive compensation for the economic and non-economic damages you may have suffered. These may include;
Medical expenses – You should claim all the medical costs you have incurred and anticipate to incur from the injuries sustained. These should include hospital bills, doctor’s fees, cost of therapy, medication expenses, travel expenses to and from the hospital, cost of assistive devices, etc.
Lost wages – You should also claim your lost wages for the days you have missed work following your injuries, plus anticipated future lost earnings during your recovery.
Property damage – You should also be able to recover the cost of repairing your motorcycle or replacing it if it was totaled.
Pain and suffering – In addition to the quantifiable losses, you are entitled to receiving compensation for your physical pain, emotional distress, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, embarrassment, psychological trauma, and other similar damages.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Help You With Your Motorcycle Accident Case?
While it’s possible to pursue the settlement on your own, having an experienced personal injury lawyer representing you raise your chances of getting fair compensation. Especially, you should hire a lawyer experienced in motorcycle accident cases, since they’re familiar with the unique aspects of motorcycle accident claims.
Among other things, the lawyer should help you investigate the case, gather evidence, calculate damages, file a compensation claim, and negotiate a fair settlement.
Contact us today for a free case review.