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West Virginia motorcyclists and crashes

A report from the Insurance Information Institute sheds new light on the hazards of being a motorcyclist across the country. According to the report, motorcycle fatalities were down 6.4 percent in 2013 from the 2012 total. Quoting a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, the III report says another 784 riders might have lived if they had worn helmets, which are mandatory in West Virginia.

Unlike most types of auto accidents, motorcyclists have very little protection in a crash. Motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in an accident than regular motorists and five times more likely to be injured, according to the report. The hours between noon and midnight represent roughly 72 percent of all motorcycle fatalities and almost 76 percent of all injuries, with the hours between 3 to 6 p.m. being the most dangerous for motorcyclists in general.

While rates of death and injury among younger motorcyclists has dropped in recent years, motorcyclists ages 40 and above tend to suffer more severe injuries, especially in those over age 60. Impaired driving was cited in the III report as the highest risk factor for crashes involving drivers from 40 to 44 years, while speed and driver error was a primary factor among younger riders and those riding super sports motorcycles.

In any kind of West Virginia motorcycle or car accident, the attorney may first review the police and medical responder reports as well as the conclusions of an accident investigation to determine liability. After this, the attorney may seek compensation for the family based upon type and severity of injuries and economic and lifestyle losses as a result of the accident. If a settlement agreement cannot be struck, the attorney might pursue civil action in open court to secure reasonable compensation.

Source: FindLaw, 'Motorcycle Accidents: Overview," Accessed on Feb. 2, 2015

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