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Comparative negligence in motorcycle crash cases

If you are hurt in a motorcycle accident while traveling in West Virginia, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or financial loss. However, the size of your financial award may be reduced if there is reason to believe you acted negligently before or during the crash.

Don’t forget your helmet

West Virginia law states that all riders and passengers must wear helmets while riding or operating a motorcycle. Therefore, a failure to wear a helmet while riding is a violation of state law and may impact your ability to collect from other parties in your case. You may also be deemed at least partially liable for your injuries if your helmet was cracked or was otherwise in poor condition.

Understanding comparative negligence

Comparative negligence is a system in which you can collect even if you are 99% at fault for a wreck. The size of your award is reduced in proportion to your fault in the matter. For instance, let’s assume that you were awarded $10,000 by a jury in your motorcycle accident case. Let’s also assume that you were found to be 10% liable for your injuries. In such a scenario, you would receive $9,000.

Other issues to consider

The exact impact that not wearing a helmet will have on your case depends on the details of your case. For instance, if you are suing for medical bills related to a broken arm, the fact that you didn’t have protection for your head may be irrelevant. However, if you’re seeking damages for medical bills related to a concussion, a jury may find that the lack of head protection played a key role in what happened to you.

Video footage, witness statements and other evidence may be used to help you obtain a favorable outcome in your personal injury case. West Virginia law gives you two years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit.

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