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What Can a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Do for You?
A Motorcycle Lawyer Can Offer You Tools You Need
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can offer you a lot of benefits. You will need someone with experience in dealing with bike accidents and how to handle their cases. You will have peace of mind knowing that your medical bills will be addressed along with your claim. The Miley Legal Group takes pride in the care they give to their clients. You will have assigned staff to your case that will allow you to deal one on one with our firm. The assigned staff will deal with your medical providers and insurance companies directly on your behalf.
Your motorcycle attorney will protect your rights and provide personal service to you. You will be kept up to date on your case and you will receive any correspondences between our firm and those involved in your case. You will be comforted in knowing that if you are not treated fairly by the insurance company, we will utilize any resource available to fight for justice. We have a proven track record of fighting insurance companies to get what our clients are entitled to.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help Me?
How do we provide these things? We will educate you along the way. We will answer your questions and make sure you understand every step before a decision is made. We will immediately begin to gather documentation and evidence on your case. This will allow us to identify at-fault parties, insurance involved, and review the facts of your case. Our staff will also begin to interview witnesses and investigate the scene of the accident.
This will only be the beginning. The motorcycle accident claim process can be tedious and lengthy, you will be confident that you have chosen the best option when you choose our firm.
Do I Need a Motorcycle Lawyer?
Let a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help You
You have been in a motorcycle accident. It was devastating; you were hospitalized and have begun recovery. What should you do? What should you not do? Who can help?
As with any accident, whether in a car or on a motorcycle, there are important factors you must consider immediately. You may not want to deal with the insurance company, with the medical bills or even deal with getting your motorcycle repaired. You are hurt, in a lot of pain and want to try and move on with your life. But who is going to pay your medical bills and who is going to put your life back together?
Severity of the Damages to You and Your Motorcycle Matter
In some instances, you may not need an attorney. In fact, if you only have property damages and you did not get medical attention, you probably could settle with the insurance company on your own. In fact, at your free consultation, that may be something that we recommend. However, if you have significant medical bills and possible permanent damage, you will need an attorney. If that’s the case, there are a number of things you need to be immediately made aware of.
One of the first things you need to be aware of are deadlines in the law that can affect your case. The most important date you need to be aware of, is the date a lawsuit must be filed by. If this date passes, you will miss you best opportunity to get the money you need to rebuild yourself and your bike. As with car accidents, a typical motorcycle accident case that involves injury has two years from the date of incident to file a lawsuit. Not two years from when you are recovered, but two years from the accident. (Children under the age of 18 who are injured fall under a different category, contact us for further details.)
Do Not Delay in Hiring a Motorcycle Lawyer
Delaying the process of hiring a lawyer and filing a claim can destroy your injury claim. It can also affect what you can recover. A delay in the process can affect the evidence that will be available to you and your attorney when working to collect.
In all accidents evidence is key. Your first and foremost actions should be to get the best medical attention you can and as quickly as you can. Healing should be your number one priority. This process will be long and hard, visits with doctors, physical therapists and chiropractors. Your first thoughts should not be to hire a lawyer, but waiting to do so can and will affect your case.
Preservation of evidence is necessary to win your case. An attorney has the experience to gather and protect what you will need in the coming months. Whether it is getting your motorcycle inspected or snapping picture of the accident scene before mother nature or other drivers destroy it; an experienced motorcycle attorney has the knowledge of what needs to be gathered to best present your claim. With the increase use of technology in courtrooms, evidence is becoming more and more important.
Insurance Companies Do Not Like Motorcycle Accident Victims
We have seen cases in which insurance companies will try any and all tactics to get out of paying what victims deserve. Accident scene reconstruction, injury graphics and even private investigators can be used to prove that you were somehow at fault for the accident. You will need an attorney to assist you in combating against not only the stigma of bike riders, but also against a number of these tactics. Insurance companies will look at damages to your bike, how much treatment you received, did you have pre-existing conditions, were there gaps in your treatment and even if you have taken prescription medication. They will have an attorney on their side and you will want one on yours.Their attorney will begin the process of protecting their bottom line immediately. You should be prepared. You will be asked to provide statements, sign documents and even provide medical history. Do not make the mistake of damaging your claim by providing insurance companies with information that they get directly from you!
Do I have a Motorcycle Accident Case?
Not every accident leads to a personal injury case. There are a few requirements that must be reviewed prior to determining if you have a case. An experienced attorney can review these with you and The Miley Legal Group does offer FREE case evaluations, but here are a few things that are common in most personal injury cases.
Liability is an Important Part of a Motorcycle Wreck Case
Were you the victim of the accident? Or, does someone hold liability. The easiest way to determine this is from the police report. In general law enforcement will make a determination of who is at fault for the accident. There is a lot to the concept of liability, so even though a report has made the determination, it still needs to be able to hold up in a court of law.
Using an example, as a motorcycle rider, you have certain responsibilities under the law. These include following road signs, speed limits, etc… If those are not followed and an accident is caused, then there is fault. In most cases, the at fault driver is breaking the law and their negligence caused the accident.
The Amount of Injuries after a Motorcycle Crash are Important
Another determination that should be considered is the severity of your injuries or damages. It is important to note that a number of accident cases can be settled without an attorney when there are no medical injuries involved. If you just have damages to your bike, then it can be handled as a property claim. However, with motorcycles in general, most accidents have significant injuries and need an attorney to navigate the process.
Keep in mind that there are a variety of applicable damages with a motorcycle accident. Types of damages generally fall into two categories, special and general. Special damages consist of economic damages (wages), medical bills, property damages and other damages that you can place a specific number on. General damages are pain and suffering type damages that make it more difficult to place a number on. This is where an experienced attorney can help. An attorney that has dealt with a number of accident cases will have a better idea of what general damages are fair.
Let Your Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Review Your Claim
If you have any doubt, contact our office for a case evaluation. Our cases evaluations are free and you are never under any obligation. Even if you agree not to hire The Miley Legal Group, we will guide you in the right direction for your case.
How Much Motorcycle Accident Insurance Should I Carry?
Motorcycle Accident Insurance to Cover your Claim
More often than not, we have clients come into our office needing our services because of a motorcycle collision where either the driver or the accident victim does not carry adequate insurance to cover the damages. This poses a very big issue. We see those involved in motorcycle collisions often have injuries that are more serious, therefore more costly. When someone hits you while you are operating a motorcycle, it is important to have enough insurance coverage that will allow you to be compensated for the injuries that you sustain. It is vital to review your insurance policy BEFORE getting on your motorcycle to be sure that your coverages are high enough to protect you if you become the victim of an accident.
After a Motorcycle Wreck, Insurance is Important
To give you an example, our office represented a gentleman who was struck while riding his motorcycle by a young woman who pulled out into the roadway without any regard to the safety of the driver. In fact, the young driver claimed that she did not see the rider before moving into the roadway. After significant injury, the motorcycle rider required several surgeries, with medical bills, totaling over $275,000. The young woman that struck our client only had $100,000 in liability coverage and our client only carries $25,000 in underinsured motorist coverage on his motorcycle policy. Between the two, the amounts do not come close to adequately compensating our client for his medical bills, let alone pain and suffering or lost wages.
We also see way too often car collisions that occur when the driver that hits a motorcyclist is not insured AT ALL. This is when it is important to have adequate uninsured motorist coverage as well, to protect you if this situation were to ever become your reality. Even though the at-fault driver may get a citation for not having insurance, you still will not have the benefit of insurance coverage to help cover your injuries.
Let Your Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help You
If you have not already done so, you should review your motorcycle insurance policy to ensure you have the coverage you need in case of an accident. We offer a free insurance review if you have any question or doubt.
What are current Motorcycle Laws and Regulation in West Virginia?
West Virginia has laws specifically related to motorcycle drivers. Below you will find some of the most important current motorcycle laws.
Helmet and Equipment Requirements in West Virginia
- Every motorcycle must display lighted headlamps at all times when on the highway.
- Every motorcycle must be equipped with: (1) at least 1 but not more than 2 headlamps; (2) at least 1 brake operated by hand or foot; and (3) a rearview mirror affixed to the handlebars or fairings, and adjusted so that the operator has a clear view of 200 feet.
- The operator or passengers on a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle must wear a protective helmet with a neck or chin-strap; and safety, shatter-resistant eyeglasses, eye goggles, or face shields.
- If any motorcycle is equipped with a windshield or windscreen, the windshield or windscreen must be constructed of safety, shatter-resistant material.
- It is not permissible to operate a motorcycle with handlebars or grips that are more than 15 inches higher than the uppermost part of the operator’s seat.
- An operator of a motorcycle may carry as many passengers as the vehicle or sidecar is designed for.
License Requirements for Motorcycle Riders in West Virginia
In order to operate a motorcycle on public roads in West Virginia, the driver must obtain a motorcycle endorsement. You will be required to take and pass both a knowledge test and an “on-cycle” test before you receive your endorsement. If you are under 18, you must complete a GDL Level 2 endorsement. Contact your local DMV for testing information.
What are the truck driver drug testing requirements after a trucking accident?
In some commercial truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires employers to drug test the driver. The details of the requirements are found in 49 CFR Part 382.303.
Drug Testing after a Truck Accident
In minor accidents in which no one is injured or killed and no major property damage is present, the FMCSA does not require employers to test the truck driver for drugs.
However, if any of the following is true, employers must test the driver “as soon as practicable following an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a public road in commerce.”
- There was a fatality.
- Somebody was injured and the truck driver received a citation.
- There was “disabling damage” to any vehicle in the accident and the vehicle was towed away and the truck driver received a citation.
The test must be administered within 32 hours of the accident. If it’s not, the employer will have to document why it didn’t test the driver and then submit a report to the FMCSA upon request.
The employer must use a test approved by the FMCSA. The following are the criteria the test must meet.
- A urine test for the use of controlled substances.
- Conducted by Federal, State, or local officials having independent authority for the test.
- Conformed to the applicable Federal, State or local controlled substances testing requirements.
- Obtained by the employer.
Consulting a Truck Accident Attorney in Clarksburg
If you or your loved one suffered injuries in truck accident in Clarksburg and you suspect the driver was likely under the influence of drugs or alcohol or otherwise at fault, call our team at the Miley Legal Group to discuss your legal options. You may obtain records from the truck company to support your case – but act quickly because the truck company may destroy records after a certain time period.
Contact us today at 304-931-4088 to schedule your free consultation.
What does med pay (medical payments) cover in the event of an auto accident?
What is Med Pay (Medical Payments) Explained by Clarksburg Accident Attorney
If you are ever in a car accident, medical payments coverage will cover medical bills for you and your passengers. It may work in conjunction with or in lieu of your health care coverage, depending on your health care policy.
Med Pay Auto Insurance Basics
Med pay is an optional coverage in West Virginia. It covers the following.
- Medical bills not covered by your health care plan. This can include expenses such as your deductible, ambulance bills, chiropractic care, dental prosthetics, etc.
- It follows you, not the car. That is, it doesn’t only cover you while you’re driving your car, but also when you’re in someone else’s car, walking, biking, etc.
- It covers you regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
- The cost of med pay coverage is generally very little.
- There is no deductible for med pay. It kicks in the moment you are injured.
- If you already carry personal injury protection (PIP), med pay can pick up the deductible you’d normally have to pay for your PIP to kick in.
Christy Moulton Perry, director of product management for Great Northwest Insurance Co. gives a helpful example to Bankrate: "[I]f your health insurance has a $1,000 deductible, a 20 percent co-pay, and you have a $5,000 medical claim from an accident, with your health insurance you would typically pay $1,800 out of pocket. But with your MedPay, you would pay zero out of pocket. That's a big difference."
Med pay may or may not be right for you; it depends on several factors. Speak to your insurance agent to learn more.
Consulting an Attorney in Clarksburg at Miley Legal Group
If you were in a serious auto accident, run your case by an attorney to determine your legal options. For help in the Clarksburg area, contact the Miley Legal Group at 304-931-4088 for a free consultation.
Will comprehensive insurance coverage help me in the event of an auto accident in Clarksburg?
While comprehensive insurance coverage can be a very helpful in certain kinds of situations, it doesn’t really come into play in an actual collision. Rather, liability and collision coverage may be factors when you’re in an accident.
Understanding Basic Auto Insurance Coverages
The auto insurance packet you receive with a new or renewed plan is purposefully dense, so as to address all the legalities of your coverage. Unfortunately, this is beneficial mostly for the insurance company rather than the insured simply because the average person does not understand legalese.
To help decipher the jargon, below we will briefly discuss the major types of auto insurance coverages and the types of situations in which they apply .
- Liability: Liability insurance covers damages to others when you are at fault for the accident. This is broken up into two types: bodily injury liability (their medical bills) and property damage liability (their car). Remember, liability coverage only covers other’s damages, not yours.
- Collision: Collision insurance covers damage to your car when you’re in an accident, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage pays for damage or loss to your vehicle for causes other than collision. Your comprehensive insurance coverage would cover your losses in situations such as theft, fire, vandalism, hail damage, and damage caused by falling objects, etc. One situation where your comprehensive coverage may cover you in an accident is if you hit an animal such as a deer, it can cover repair or replacement of your vehicle.
There are several types of other coverages, as well. Two of the most helpful are uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (pays for your damages when the other driver has no insurance, insurance isn’t enough, or in hit-and-run accidents), and personal injury protection (pays for your and your passengers’ medical bills regardless of fault).
Note, collision and comprehensive coverages are not mandatory insurance coverage in West Virginia, so there is a chance that you don’t have them on your policy. However, if your vehicle has been financed, most financial institutions require this additional coverage to protect their collateral. If you’ve been in an accident, speak to an injury attorney to determine what your legal options are and what types of compensation you may be eligible to recover.
Our Auto Accident Attorneys in Clarksburg Can Help
Have questions after an auto accident in Clarksburg? Our attorneys at the Miley Legal Group can help. Contact us today at 304-931-4088 today for a free consultation.
When can the trucking company destroy truck driver’s hours of service records in Clarksburg?
Trucking companies must keep truck drivers’ hours of service records for at least six months, as per Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. It’s a federal law. At the six-month mark, carriers can destroy and dispose of the records.
What This Law Can Mean for Truck Accident Victims
When a truck driver causes an accident, some unscrupulous trucking companies might “misplace” records like hours of service records.
If they lose or destroy hours of service records, they are in violation of §395.8(k)(1). The regulations state, “Each motor carrier shall maintain records of duty status and all supporting documents for each driver it employs for a period of six months from the date of receipt.” But after six months, these records may be gone forever.
An attorney can send a spoliation letter to the company. The letter essentially tells the company that a claim is in the works and that they must retain certain records until the conclusion of the case. Without this letter, it’s quite likely the company will destroy records after six months, and the victim will have insufficient evidence to win their claim.
Hours of Service Records Can Help a Truck Accident Claim
Information in a truck driver’s hours of service could make or break the case. It can be vital to winning an accident claim. Let’s say, for example, that the driver’s hours of service log shows the driver violated FMCSA rules by driving too many hours consecutively without taking a break. The courts may then determine that the driver’s potential tiredness and fatigue caused or contributed to the accident, and, therefore, the company will be liable for the accident.
Free Consult with a Truck Accident Attorney in Clarksburg
If you or your loved one were in a truck accident, call an injury attorney in Clarksburg. Contact the Miley Legal Group at 304-931-4088 today to set up a free consultation.
If there are multiple beneficiaries in a wrongful death case, will there be multiple lawsuits or just one on behalf of all beneficiaries?
While the law limits a single personal representative to filing a wrongful death lawsuit, there can be multiple beneficiaries who recover compensation from the lawsuit. The personal representative files the lawsuit on behalf of all the beneficiaries.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim filed against a person who causes the death of another person because of negligence or intentional act. The deceased’s personal representative will file a wrongful death claim, not on behalf of the deceased, but on behalf of the beneficiaries. The personal representative may also file a survival action on behalf of the deceased’s estate.
According to West Virginia Code Section 55-7-6(b), below are individuals who may recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit
- Surviving spouse
- Adopted children
- Brothers and sisters
- Any persons who were financially dependent upon the victim at the time of death
If you’re unsure whether a certain beneficiary is entitled to damages in your claim, consult an attorney to review the specifics of the case.
What types of damages are available in a wrongful death lawsuit?
Below are some of the damages recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit, per West Virginia Code Section 55-7-6(c).
- Mental Anguish
- Reasonably expected loss of income, services, protection, comfort, guidance, kindly offices, and advice
- Expenses for care, treatment, and hospitalization
- Funeral expenses
The judge or jury may decide in which proportions to distribute the damages to the beneficiaries, which is important in the event there are multiple beneficiaries in the claim.
Also keep in mind that the deceased’s personal representative must file a wrongful death suit for damages within two years of the time of death.
Do I need an attorney?
You do not have to hire an attorney for your wrongful death claim, but an attorney is a valuable asset. An attorney can help you understand the ins and outs of a wrongful death lawsuit, who can file a lawsuit, and who may recover damages, such as in the event of multiple beneficiaries. Remember, you only have two years to file a claim, so it’s important that you take action as soon as possible.
To begin, call the attorneys at the Miley Legal Group for answers to your questions today at 304-931-4088. You can also fill out our contact form to set up your free consultation.