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Motorcycle season's upon us in W VA-may mean motorcycle accidents

Because motorcycle accidents and injuries can be complex, it is important for injured riders to fully understand legal options available to them when a motorcycle accident occurs.

With the sun coming out at the end of winter and transition into spring, West Virginia expects that many motorcycle riders are eager to get out on the roadway. Also with that comes the warning that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4,000 deaths occur each year as a result of motorcycle accidents. One rider noted that it is important for riders to be prepared and encouraged beginning riders to take a beginner's class and to practice riding in low-traffic areas. He further encouraged riders to ensure they have the proper equipment and to check over the equipment they do have. Safety equipment such as a helmet could possibly prevent injury or death. The rider further noted that intersections are the most common place for motorcycle accidents to occur and that riders should use extra caution when approaching them and always pay attention to cars around them.

Around 70% of motorcycle collisions with cars occur at intersections. Intersections are especially dangerous because motorcycles, due to their smaller size, are less likely to be seen. Because motorcycles present smaller physical targets on the roadways, they are more easily missed by drivers and can be obscured more readily by other vehicles or road or weather conditions. This can be of even more concern in situations when a motorcycle confronts a negligent or distracted driver.

In addition to being an important safety requirement, motorcycle helmets are also a legal requirement when riding a motorcycle. Helmets may help prevent serious head, brain, neck and spinal cord injuries, or other catastrophic injuries, in the event of a motorcycle collision. When a motorcyclist has been injured by a negligent party, the rider may wish to pursue a liability claim against that negligent driver. Sometimes a rider's failure to wear a helmet may be brought up as the rider's own negligence, contributing to the accident. There is a distinction, however, between an act or omission that contributes to the accident and one that contributes to the injuries. The impact of helmet laws on negligence lawsuits can be complex.

Because of this, and the serious nature of motorcycle accidents and injuries motorcycle accident victims may suffer, it is important that injured victims seek accurate and reliable information about their particular case.

Source: WBOY.com, "Motorcycle Season To Start in West Virginia," Jamie Stover, March 15, 2013.

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