Motorcycles lack the exterior protection provided by passenger vehicles, making bikers particularly vulnerable to injury in the event of an accident.
Those fortunate enough to survive a serious motorcycle crash are often left with devastating, sometimes disfiguring, injuries.
While some motorcycle accident injuries heal with time and proper medical treatment, disfiguring injuries serve as a constant reminder of the traumatic incident, which can have wide-reaching negative consequences for victims.
However, individuals marred in accidents caused by another person or company's negligence may be entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.
Are you considering taking legal action for disfiguring injuries sustained in a Pennsylvania motorcycle crash? Here's what you should know before filing a lawsuit.
Disfigurement Associated With Motorcycle Accidents
Most types of disfigurement suffered in these crashes fall into one of the following three categories:
- Scarring. Common motorcycle accident injuries such as lacerations, burns, and “road rash” abrasion injuries can lead to permanent scarring for victims.
- Amputations. Lost limbs and amputations are catastrophic injuries that can dramatically change a victim's quality of life.
- Facial and dental injuries. Disfiguring facial injuries are common among motorcycle accident victims. Examples include scarring from abrasions, burns, or lacerations; broken or crushed facial bones; and the loss of a nose or jaw.
How Disfigurement Affects Motorcycle Crash Victims
For many people, how they look is part of their identities. Suffering a disfiguring injury in a motorcycle accident can lead to severe psychological problems for victims, including depression, anxiety, and loss of self-esteem and confidence. As a result, impaired motorcyclists may have difficulty maintaining relationships with family, friends, and coworkers.
Disfigurement doesn't just affect motorcycle crash victims emotionally—it can also threaten to destroy them financially. Not only do these kinds of injuries often require victims to have extensive plastic surgeries, rely on prosthetic limbs to regain function, and undergo substantial rehabilitation, but they can also make it difficult or impossible for them to hold jobs in specific fields.
Potential Damages in Accident Disfigurement Cases
Disfigurement can impose a significant financial burden on motorcycle accident victims and their families. Fortunately, Pennsylvania law allows riders injured in crashes caused by another person or company's wrong choices to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
In motorcycle crash cases involving disfigurement, a potential settlement or financial award can include compensation for the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Accident-related medical expenses
- Property damage repair or replacement costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of society and consortium
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
How long an injured motorcyclist has to file a personal injury lawsuit depends on the state's civil statute of limitations laws. In Pennsylvania, crash victims must file their personal injury lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident and injury. Failing to file until after the two-year deadline results in a case dismissal.
Even when individuals are within the two-year time frame, waiting too long to file a lawsuit can still have devastating consequences. For example, evidence can be contaminated or lost, and witnesses may forget what they saw or become unavailable.
Consult an Experienced Attorney About Legal Rights and Options
If you sustained disfiguring injuries in a motorcycle accident that wasn't your fault, the skilled attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can help you investigate your rights to compensation, and obtain a fair financial recovery. While we can't turn back the clock to prevent your accident, we can help you get the compensation and justice you'll need to move forward. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.