Our Motorcycle Accident FAQs
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Can I recover damages if I was partly to blame for a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania?
A motorcycle accident can turn a rider's life upside down, leaving him or her with serious injuries and an outrageous amount of unexpected medical debt. Pennsylvania tort law allows motorcyclists hurt in accidents caused by another person or entity's negligence to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Many injured motorcyclists may be hesitant to take legal action, particularly if they're concerned they might be partially at fault for the crash and their injuries.
Fortunately, when it comes to personal injury cases, Pennsylvania follows modified comparative fault rules. This means motorcycle accident victims may still be eligible to collect damages, even if they were partially at fault. Still, in order to collect compensation, the biker must be less responsible for the accident than the other involved party.
Comparative negligence laws can potentially reduce an injured motorcyclist's settlement—or even bar them from collecting compensation if they're more than 51 percent responsible. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help motorcycle accident victims find and gather information they need to build a strong case for their claim and the other party's liability.
If You Were Hurt In a Motorcycle Accident, We Can Help
Motorcycle accidents are rarely the fault of one single person. It's possible for both a motorist and a rider to be responsible for an accident to varying degrees. Those degrees determine whether the rider is likely entitled to compensation. Thanks to Pennsylvania's comparative negligence rules, cyclists may still be able to collect compensation for accident-related medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and damages—if they were less at fault for the accident than the involved motorist.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, the skilled attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can help you explore legal rights and options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
What should I do after a motorcycle accident?
Motorcycle accidents can leave riders with serious injuries that temporarily—or even permanently—affect their ability to work and care for themselves.
What motorcyclists do in the moments, days, and weeks following a crash can have a significant impact on their ability to collect compensation for their injuries and other losses.
If you're involved in a motorcycle accident, these steps can help you avoid mistakes that could harm a subsequent insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit:
- Take photos or video of injuries, property damages and the accident scene.
- Collect contact information from drivers and passengers in involved vehicles, as well as witnesses to the accident.
- Don't place or accept blame for the accident. When speaking with the police, keep answers honest, factual, and concise.
- Seek immediate medical attention, even if your injuries appear minor. Make sure the treating physician documents your injuries as having been sustained in a motorcycle crash.
- Don't provide a recorded statement for an insurance company—yours or the other party's. No matter how friendly the adjuster may be, the company might not have your best interests in mind, and what you say in the recording could be misconstrued and used against you.
- Don't give the other party's insurance company authorization to view your medical records.
- Consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney with experience handling motorcycle accident cases can help you understand your legal rights and options, and advise you on how and what to say when talking to insurance companies.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation
If you were injured in a Pennsylvania motorcycle wreck, contact the motorcycle accident attorneys atAccident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation. Our knowledgeable attorneys will go over the details of your motorcycle accident case and offer advice for how to best handle your claim.
After my motorcycle accident, should I give a recorded statement to the insurance company?
After being involved in a motorcycle crash, accident victims often field numerous calls from insurance companies—both their own and the other driver's—asking for recorded statements about the crash, the resulting injuries, and property damage.
Usually these calls are made by friendly-sounding insurance adjusters who imply that providing a recorded statement is necessary to resolve the claim. This is not the case.
Giving a recorded statement to an insurance company without first consulting with motorcycle accident attorneys can seriously harm a personal injury insurance claim or subsequent personal injury lawsuit.
In addition to complying with legal requirements, motorcyclists purchase insurance to protect themselves financially in the event of an accident. However, insurance companies are businesses and like most, their ultimate loyalties are to the company's bottom line, not an accident victim's wellbeing.
To that end, insurance companies and adjusters look for ways to minimize their financial obligations after an accident. Misspeaking during a recorded phone call with the insurance company can help them achieve that goal.
Unfortunately, these types of calls can be difficult for injured motorcyclists to avoid. That's why consulting an attorney before providing a recorded statement to an insurance company is absolutely essential. Experienced personal injury attorneys can help motorcycle accident victims protect their rights by advising them on what to say during a recorded statement, as well as how to phrase their answers to avoid misunderstandings.
Consult a Knowledgeable Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident that wasn't your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries, property damages, and other losses. Consulting a personal injury attorney before giving a recorded statement can help ensure your right to recover damages is protected.
Don't wait until it's too late. Contact the Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.
Can I file a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident if I wasn’t wearing a helmet?
Motorcycle helmets approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) are approximately 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries, and nearly 40 percent effective in preventing motorcycle accident fatalities.
In fact, helmets saved the lives of nearly 2,000 motorcyclists in 2016 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Despite decades of research showing the efficacy of motorcycle helmets, many motorcyclists choose not to wear this essential piece of safety gear.
After being injured in an accident, these same motorcyclists often wonder if—and how—failure to wear a helmet might impact their ability to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for damages.
The answer to the question depends on a variety of factors, including your state's helmet laws, injuries, and ability to show the defendant was negligent and directly responsible for said injuries.
Pennsylvania repealed its mandatory helmet law in 2003. As a result, only motorcyclists under the age of 21 who lack two years of riding experience or the completion of an approved motorcycle safety course are required to wear a helmet when operating or riding a motorcycle.
Still, failing to wear a helmet might throw a wrench in the works if the primary injuries sustained were to the head or brain, as the defense might try to argue the injuries were the result of not wearing a helmet.
Fortunately, because Pennsylvania is a “comparative fault” state, motorcyclists can still collect damages, even if they were partially responsible for their injuries. However, the damages they might collect may be reduced.
Hire a Knowledgeable Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another person or entity's negligence, your failure to wear a helmet shouldn't prevent you from receiving rightful compensation. Contact the motorcycle accident attorneys Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
What kinds of insurance coverage do motorcyclists need in Pennsylvania?
Motorcycle accidents can have serious physical and financial consequences for everyone involved, especially motorcyclists, who tend to suffer the brunt of the injuries in these types of collisions.
Pennsylvania requires motorcyclists who ride on public roads to carry the following minimum liability coverage amounts:
- $15,000 for the bodily injury or death of one person in an accident
- $30,000 for the bodily injury or death of more than one person in an accident
- $5,000 in property damage liability coverage
- Minimum $300 fine
- Three month suspension of the motorcyclist's license
- Three month suspension of the motorcycle's registration, which prohibits anyone to ride the machine
Motorcyclists who have their license or registration suspended may also be required to pay a restoration fee to have those privileges restored.
While carrying the mandated minimum liability insurance puts motorcyclists in compliance with Pennsylvania's insurance laws, it doesn't protect them from losses they could incur in an accident. For more complete protection, bikers can turn to options such as comprehensive coverage, or policies that include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Some Pennsylvania insurance providers may even offer discounts for motorcyclists who've completed certain safety courses, or who have safe driving records or bikes with factory installed anti-lock braking systems. They may also be able to get a better deal by buying multiple insurance policies—such as car, motorcycle, and homeowners insurance—from the same provider.
Consult an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents can be both physically and financially devastating. If you were injured in a motorcycle crash caused by someone else's negligence, it's important to consult an attorney, as you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Contact the Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss your rights.
What happens if I'm rear-ended while riding my motorcycle?
Rear-end accidents are often relatively minor when they occur between two passenger vehicles, but these crashes can be devastating when they involve a passenger vehicle hitting a motorcycle.
Statistics from a 2015 report conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated there were more than 4,600 fatal motorcycle crashes in the U.S.—170 of those in Pennsylvania.
Rear-end accidents are often caused by motorists who aren't paying attention, like distracted drivers; or those with
reduced judgment or slowed reaction times, such as drunk, drugged, or drowsy drivers.
Unlike people riding in a vehicle, a motorcyclist has no steel frame of protection in the event of a crash. The severity of the accident and resulting injuries depend in part on the vehicle's speed at the time of impact. Even at low speeds, a motorcyclist can be forcibly thrown from the bike. At high speeds, the front of the vehicle can lift the motorcycle's rear tire, hurling the motorcyclist to the ground or even under the vehicle.
Common injuries attributed to motorcycle rear-end accidents include:
- Severe abrasion injuries, also known as “road rash”
- Facial and dental injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Broken bones
- Moderate or severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Herniated discs
- Partial or total paralysis
After being rear-ended, an injured motorcyclist may need extensive medical care and require time off work for recovery. While this can put a strain on an accident victim's finances, if the crash was caused by a negligent motorist, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Take Action Now to Protect Your Recovery
If you're a motorcyclist who was injured when rear-ended by a negligent motorist, you may be entitled to compensation. It's important to act now to protect any potential recovery.
Contact the Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your motorcycle accident case. Our lawyers are eager to help you understand your legal rights and options.
Do I need an attorney for my motorcycle crash claim?
After your motorcycle crash, you were probably contacted by the other driver’s insurance company and offered a quick settlement. You may be wondering if you should accept the cash or talk to someone about it first, but you’ve never been in an accident and would not even know who to talk to. If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to consult a motorcycle accident attorney.
Why You Need an Attorney
For car accidents, we may tell you that there are some situations where you could probably handle the claim without the help of a lawyer. If there is little damage, you are not injured, and the other driver admits fault, you probably do not need legal representation. However, if you were riding a motorcycle at the time of the crash, you are almost always better off working with an attorney. Motorcycle accident cases often involve the following complicating factors, and an experienced attorney can offer invaluable help:
- Severe injuries. Because a motorcyclist is only protected by what he wears on his body, his injuries can be catastrophic when he is run off the road or hit by a car. A biker can suffer traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, or limb amputations. Having an attorney speak for him allows the motorcyclist to focus on his prognosis and recovery.
- High medical costs. Catastrophic injuries come with astronomical medical bills. The cost of emergency treatment, medical testing, consultations with specialists, and multiple surgeries can exceed a million dollars. Factor in ongoing therapies and possible life-long care, and you will need an advocate arguing for maximum damages.
- Bias towards bikers. Drivers, insurance adjusters, law enforcement officers, and even judges can carry a bias towards motorcyclists that can affect the outcome of an injury claim. A motorcycle accident attorney is experienced in countering this bias and arguing for the settlement you deserve.
- Pennsylvania helmet law. In Pennsylvania, you have the right not to wear a helmet if you are over the age of 21 and have taken a motorcycle safety course. If you exercise this right and are injured by a negligent driver, the lawyer for the at-fault driver may argue that you chose to endanger your own life. You will need an attorney defending your right and placing blame where it belongs—with the negligent driver.
Call Our Pittsburgh Law Office for a Free Consultation
If you are seriously injured in a motorcycle crash, we can take a look at the facts of your case for free and let you know if we can help you. If you are unable to reach out, have a family member or friend call us. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of bikers.