Helmet Laws

West Virginia Motorcycle Injury Lawyer

Wolfe Law Firm is renowned for its skill in personal injury law. Founding partner Dorwin J. Wolfe has consistently fought for the rights of motorcycle accident victims, recovering compensation for injured riders and families across the state. We are dedicated to providing you the highest quality legal representation and helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Motorcycle Accident Trends

West Virginia is a leader in motorcycle tourism. The state attracts riders of every stripe with its beautiful landscape and country roads. But interstate fatalities in nearby Randolph County and Lewis County are reminders of the dangers inherent to riding. Every year, motorcycle accidents injure 88,000 bikers and kill nearly 5,000. Because head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents, helmet laws were enacted to reduce the likelihood of a crash by 37%. Studies estimate that bikers without helmets are 15% more likely to suffer non-fatal injuries and 40% more likely to die in a crash.

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

More than half of all motorcycle accidents involve at least one other vehicle. In most cases, a negligent driver is at fault. Possible causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Vehicle defect
  • Un-signaled turn
  • Distracted driving
  • Inclement weather
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Falling asleep at the wheel
  • Driving under the influence
  • Speeding, intentional actions
  • Changed road, traffic conditions
  • Glare, blind spot, obstructed view

Even the most cautious rider, equipped with protective clothing and helmet, remains vulnerable to injury or death from accidents involving negligent drivers.

West Virginia Helmet Laws

West Virginia law requires that motorcycle operators and passengers wear safety helmets that are “securely fastened” by a neck or chin strap. This is to protect riders against traumatic brain injury from hard blows or impacts penetrating the skull. Head trauma often results in damage to the brain and spinal cord, affecting motor and cognitive function. State laws also require that motorcycle helmets meet federal performance standards. West Virginia constituents have complained that these helmets are more expensive and indistinguishable from counterfeit helmets, which police are not trained to detect.

West Virginia Helmet Reform Bill

West Virginia recently proposed a bill that would exempt certain riders from the helmet law. Known as the “motorcycle lighting bill,” the change was intended to attract motorcycle enthusiasts and compete with neighboring states that did not require adults to wear helmets. But the changes were withdrawn, leaving only the lighting portion of the bill. This would allow bikers to place lights on their motorcycles to illuminate their frames and increase their visibility. Bikers must still wear helmets meeting federal standards. However, failure to wear a helmet does not prevent an injured motorcycle rider from seeking personal injury damages from at-fault drivers.

Experience and Knowledge of Local Laws

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, it is critical to hire a West Virginia motorcycle accident lawyer familiar with state and local laws. Wolfe Law Firm has over 20 years of experience representing motorcycle accident victims in West Virginia. We stay on top of the latest helmet requirements and constantly-changing trends that affect your case. Always at the forefront of personal injury law, Wolfe Law Firm thoroughly pursues every avenue of relief, maximizing your chances of recovery. Allow us to deal with the insurance companies, witnesses, and other liable parties. We can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other benefits. You pay no attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Call (877) 637-5756 for a free consultation or contact us online.