An Ohio County West Virginia Jury recently returned a $13.1 million dollar verdict for the wrongful death of a passenger of a motorcycle. The 16 yr old passenger was killed when the motorcycle she was a riding struck a vehicle at the intersection of 48th Street and Central Avenue in Wheeling.
The attorney in the case brought suit for the estate suit which was brought by Lauren Decker’s Estate and by her parents and brother Steve, will receive $600,000 for sorrow, $1 million for mental anguish, $300,000 for loss of society, $1 million for loss of companionship, $600,000 for loss of guidance. The Estate was award $750,000 for physical pain and suffering, $750,000 for emotional pain and suffering; medical bills in the amount of $314,588, funeral bills of $28,014.20 and $1.58 for loss of income. The defendants were also found to be responsible for $5 millions for punitive damages.
The suit was also brought against the owner of the motorcycle who was James Meintel who was living with the driver Lauren Decker age 21 at the time of the accident. Decker has previously pled guilty to the criminal charge of aggravated vehicular homicide for which she was sentenced with up to four years in the State Penitentiary.
The National Highway Safety Administration report in 2007 found that between 1975 and 2005 nearly 62,000-motorcycle riders died in multi vehicle accidents. There have also been an increasing number of rider deaths. There is also an increase of nearly 116% in deaths due to motorcycle crashes are due in part to the increase number of riders.
The beautiful scenery along two lane roads in West Virginia attracts thousands of motorcycle riders each year. More than 90 percent of the two-vehicle motorcycle crashes involving automobiles occur on two-lane highways and not interstates.
At the Wolfe Law firm we support the freedom of the riders of motorcycles to enjoy the roadways but recognize that automobiles do not always appreciate the motorcycle rider. When a five thousand pound car and a motorcycle are in an accident, it is often not good for the rider. At the Wolfe Law firm we have represented motorcycle riders who were injured in accidents through no fault of their own. Often it is the failure of the driver of the car or truck for fails to see or keep a look out for the motorcycle. Many of motorcycle training courses teach riders how to anticipate the fact that most drivers of vehicles with four wheel fails to see those on two.
Major injuries can result from an accident often with broken arms, legs or backs. It is also important to wear safety gear including, gloves, footwear, and helmets. Many riders also wear jackets and leg gear which provide protection and can provide light reflective colors.