Motorcycle Accident Victim?
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Motorcyclists in or near Philadelphia face unique dangers on the road every time they pull their bikes out of the driveway. No other motorist is at more risk of severe injury and more vulnerable to mistakes by other drivers than a rider. The hazards come from every angle, but often a distracted driver is to blame when a rider is placed in jeopardy. Motorcyclists are often overlooked by these careless motorists and left in dangerous situations.
Car, truck, and SUV drivers can make a turn or switch lanes without properly checking to see if there’s a rider nearby. The unprotected biker is left with quickly shrinking space and a scant, few seconds to figure out how to avoid a devastating collision.
In 2015, there were an impressive 401,439 registered motorcycles in Pennsylvania. Of these, 3,415 motorcycles were involved in accidents, and 179 riders and motorcycle passengers were killed. After hitting a biker, the plea of “I didn’t see them!” is a common defense made by drivers of cars and other vehicles. While sometimes drivers do have more trouble spotting motorcycles due to several factors, motorcycles are obviously not invisible. Instead, distracted driving is often the real cause.
Regardless of the other driver’s reason, if you were injured in a motorcycle accident where another vehicle struck you, a Philadelphia hit-by-car motorcycle accident lawyer from The Pearce Law Firm Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers P.C. can investigate your case and represent you throughout the legal process. Our team can help you with your motorcycle accident lawsuit in Philadelphia. Don’t struggle to negotiate with multiple insurance companies on your own get help from one of our Philadelphia motorcycle lawyers!
On This Page: We Can Defend You Against Careless Drivers, Motorcycle Hazards, Common Accident Types, Rear-End Motorcycle Accident Dangers, Proving Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents, Frequently Asked Questions, Motorcycle Crash Back & Spine Injuries, Defensive Driving, Let Us Help, Client Testimonial
Allow a Local Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Defend You
Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer Edith Pearce and The Pearce Law Firm Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers P.C. want safe lanes for all motorcyclists. Riders have the same rights to the road as any car or truck and Edith Pearce wants to make sure these rights are observed by all motorists. The Pearce Law Firm Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers P.C. also wants to protect riders who are forced into unfortunate accidents with careless drivers.
Insurance companies like to find reasons to blame motorcyclists for their own accidents and pay them as little as possible in an accident claim. Edith Pearce believes injured victims shouldn’t have to face insurance agents and adjusters alone.
If you are injured as the result of a mistake by a negligent driver, you should receive compensation for every dollar lost to medical bills and missed time at work and even emotional hardships you and your family have faced. Edith Pearce will fight to get the compensation that is due to any victim and is personally involved in every case that her firm represents. You will not be treated like just another file or case number.
While Pennsylvania is a no-fault state (which means that your own insurance should pay for your damages) there are cases where you can go above and beyond this to sue the other party for more compensation. Insurance companies have caps, and motorcycle injuries can be catastrophic. You want to make sure your injuries and damages are covered as much as possible.
It’s important that you speak to a Philadelphia hit-by-a-car motorcycle accident lawyer from our office to discuss whether you may be entitled to more damages in your motorcycle crash case. The Pearce Law Firm is well-versed in these types of cases, and we know how challenging motorcycle accidents can be. Not only might you be dealing with property damage and medical bills, but also bias against motorcyclists due to their vehicle’s smaller size and false perceptions that riders are reckless rebels.
Motorcycle Hazards In Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s historic atmosphere and bustling downtown make it much more fun to ride a bike than drive a car. Anyone who rides here should be able to safely navigate the roads.
If other drivers on the road would give proper attention to motorcyclists then more safe rides would be possible. But wherever distracted drivers use the lanes, motorcyclists will always be at risk. Drivers who cause accidents often say they couldn’t see the lower profile motorcycle in front of them or beside them. This is often an excuse for not checking mirrors and blind spots properly. Many won’t admit when they weren’t paying attention and veered into the path of an oncoming motorcycle.
The results can be catastrophic for riders who only have a helmet and clothing to protect them in an impact. The Insurance Information Institute found that motorcyclists were 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation released its latest numbers that show the tragic incidents that happen every day on state roads. In 2019, they reported 2,860 motorcyclists were injured in accidents and another 174 were tragically killed.
Common Motorcycle Accidents in Philadelphia
Motorcyclists often must monitor all other drivers on the road just to steer clear of obvious accident-prone situations. Some of the most common set-ups for devastating accidents will be recognizable to many experienced riders. A few are listed below:
- Left-Turn Accidents – A driver turning left across the path of an oncoming motorcycle.
- Lane-Splitting Accidents – When a motorcyclist pulls between slow-moving or stopped traffic and shares a lane with another vehicle. A maneuver that is currently illegal in Pennsylvania.
- Lane Changing Accidents – Usually a failure to check a blind spot leads to a motorist veering over on a motorcycle traveling right beside them.
- Rear-End Accidents – Motorists will somehow misjudge the distance between them and a motorcycle ahead, running right into them.
- Intersection Accidents – Motorcyclists can take off quicker than many cars, but sometimes that’s a danger when a rider jumps out on a green light and doesn’t notice someone blowing through a red light.
- Dooring – When someone inside a stopped or parked car opens a door quickly without seeing a motorcycle coming up alongside.
Tragically, distracted driving is the norm nowadays. Cell phone use for drivers is exceedingly high, and drivers have been known to not only text while driving but even film themselves and play video games while behind the wheel. While this is a newer legal issue, distracted driving due to cell phone use is almost certain to increase over time.
Add this to the well-established problems of drunk or drugged driving, speeding, and aggressive driving, and motorcycles are too often the senseless victims of other people’s negligence. When motorcyclists are hit by cars, serious injuries such as brain injuries and spine injuries are exceedingly common.
Rear-End Motorcycle Accident Dangers
The Pennsylvania DOT finds that rear-end collisions are a major factor in yearly accident numbers. In 2019, 22% of all accidents in the state were documented as rear-end crashes. That equated to over 27,000 crashes total. The number contributed to the 2,860 motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania in 2019, as well as a tragic 174 motorcyclist deaths.
Just like many mistakes made by distracted drivers when it comes to motorcycles, the cause is a bit of a mystery. A rear-end collision means the motorcyclist was directly in front of the driver. No mirrors or blind-spot checks are generally needed to see the motorcyclist.
Of course, distracted drivers can miss things directly out their front windshields as they check their phones and focus on passengers, but experts also think another contributing factor may add to the frequency of collisions.
At night or during the day, drivers’ brains are generally wired to look for the two taillights or two headlights of a car or SUV. Apparently, seeing the one headlight or taillight of a motorcycle can confuse the brain and cause it to misjudge distance. Driver fatigue and inattention certainly don’t help combat the problem. For whatever reason, the driver doesn’t stop in time and causes a dangerous impact on the rider.
Proving Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents
You would think a collision from behind would be an open-and-shut case. Blame should be easily attributed to the car, truck, or SUV driver, but with insurance companies, it’s not always that simple. Insurance agents are known to blame motorcyclists in almost any situation.
Even if investigators assigned the fault of the accident to the driver, insurance agents might try to pin a portion of the blame on the rider, hoping to reduce the amount of compensation they’ll have to provide. Then, of course, drivers can always lie to avoid responsibility too.
To protect and strengthen your case you should try to hang on to important documentation and evidence in the event a civil lawsuit is necessary to get help with your bills. An attorney on your side can help you collect this information, but it’s important to collect everything listed here and more:
- The police investigation report.
- Paramedic records.
- Witness statements.
- Traffic court dispositions.
- Photographs of the location and vehicles involved in the crash.
- Any traffic camera or security camera footage that might show the crash.
This proof can ensure that a driver can’t escape blame, but it can also make a difference in the amount of compensation that’ll be offered in a settlement or won in a civil court case. An attorney with experience defending motorcycle accident victims can make sure you receive enough compensation to pay for your entire recovery now, your lost time at work, and any treatment that may be needed in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have to file a motorcycle accident claim for damages?
The state of Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations is two years for filing a claim for damages after an accident. You must file your claim within 24 months of the date of the collision. The attorneys with The Pearce Law Firm do not recommend waiting months or years to file your claim. The sooner you file the easier it will be to gather evidence and locate documents and witnesses to prepare your argument against an insurance company.
If I get injured in Pennsylvania while not wearing my helmet, can I still get compensation?
If you are injured and not wearing your helmet, you can still get compensation for your injuries so long as the other driver was negligent. If you sustained a head injury, the jury might assign some of the blame on you for not wearing a helmet which would reduce the amount of compensation the jury will award in the case. You would still receive compensation based on the at-fault driver’s percentage of the blame.
If I’m a passenger on a motorcycle, and the at-fault driver was the operator of the bike I was on, can I sue him or her for compensation?
If the bike operator was negligent in driving the motorcycle and you were injured as a result, then you can make a claim against him or her for compensation. As a passenger, you can sue anyone responsible for an accident you were hurt in. If the at-fault driver is a friend or family member you may feel conflicted filing a civil lawsuit against them. You shouldn’t look at it as “targeting” a driver you know. Your case will seek to get compensation from the motorcyclist’s insurance company and generally won’t target him or her directly. This is why people pay insurance premiums, to assist victims in their time of need.
What type of damages can I claim in a motorcycle accident?
The law allows you to be compensated for all injuries and both economic and non-economic damages so long as the other driver was negligent. Economic damages are those that can easily have a dollar value assigned like medical bills and lost time from work. This can include future treatment costs and future lost paychecks from your job. Non-economic damages are things like mental anguish and pain and suffering where it’s much more difficult to put a value on. The cost of psychological counseling may be something included in an award.
Why Motorcycles Are Harder to See?
There are several reasons why motorcycles can be more difficult for other drivers to spot:
- Car, truck, and bus drivers are not used to looking out for smaller vehicles
- Motorcycles can appear farther away in mirrors than they actually are because of their smaller size
- Motorcycles more easily get caught in a driver’s blind spot
- Motorcyclists have a different riding pattern than other drivers
Motorcycle Crash Back and Spine Injuries
Some of the many back injuries associated with motorcycle crashes are as follows:
- Herniated Discs – During a crash, the discs of the spinal column could bear the brunt of the impact, damaging them extensively. Your range of motion may be compromised and pain or numbness can result.
- Spondylolisthesis – When a disc is knocked out of position, it can decrease the amount of space inside the spine and cause nerve pressure. This can result in loss of bladder control or pain and numbness in the legs. Unfortunately, the results of this trauma can go undetected at first, with the symptoms manifesting at a later date.
- Spinal Cord Injury – These injuries impact the spinal cord, which works with the brain to control all body parts and functions. Spinal injuries include inhibited voluntary and involuntary movement and paralysis, numbness, compromised breathing, loss of sexual function, and more.
- Soft-Tissue Damage – Muscles, nerves, cartilage, and ligaments can all be damaged in an accident. These injuries can be harder to prove, but your Philadelphia motorcycle accident back injury lawyer will know how to prove you’re in pain.
Ongoing Care, Ongoing Expenses
A painful, damaged back can make it impossible to work and carry on life as you used to. You may have to rely on others or retrain yourself to avoid aggravating your condition.
Surgery and extended hospitalization may be necessary with back injuries. You may need treatment and rehabilitation for years. You may also have to resort to pain medication just to get through the day. It’s essential that you make sure you have the best care so that you can improve as much as possible.
The best-case scenario would be for the insurance companies to pick up the bill for all of your current and future damages. However, they often stall, trying to pay you as little as they can get away with.
After a motorcycle accident, reimbursement for the following is possible:
- Medical expenses, current and future
- Physical therapy
- Rails, ramps, and home equipment
- Walkers, canes, and wheelchairs
- Loss of past and future wages
There are several national efforts, like the Share the Road Campaign, that try to educate drivers about coexisting with motorcycles. These campaigns caution car drivers to avoid crashing into motorcycles (or causing them to crash) by following too closely or changing lanes without warning. They also explain how motorcycle construction makes them more sensitive to dangerous road conditions.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation also tries to counter senseless accidents by helping motorcyclists ride as defensively as possible, offering a free Motorcycle Safety Program at “new, returning, and expert” skill levels. While new riders are primed on the basics, experienced riders are encouraged to hone their skills in swerving, cornering, braking, and, avoiding “collision traps.”
However, none of this means that if a crash happens the motorcyclist was at fault for not getting out of the way. Motorcyclists have the same rights as other drivers even if their vehicle is smaller, and all drivers have to be vigilant while on the road. If someone else was responsible for your accident, you should be careful in how you deal with your insurance company and not rush to settle because you may be entitled to further compensation.
Contact the Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Near You
If you have any questions and need further information from a Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer, please contact The Pearce Law Firm Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers P.C. online or call 215-791-8127 for a free case evaluation.
Sometimes back injuries are hard to prove as many people have some degeneration in their back—whether they know it or not—from past injuries and wear and tear. Insurance companies and defendants know this and will try to say that your back trouble is a pre-existing condition.
In Pennsylvania, it is possible to prove that a pre-existing condition was worsened in a crash. A Philadelphia motorcycle accident back injury lawyer from our office will know how to do this.
For you to get the maximum motorcycle accident settlement, you need to know how to deal with the insurance companies. If the settlement offered is inadequate, it may be necessary to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit in Philadelphia. The Pearce Law Firm Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers P.C. can look into your case and hire experts to testify on your behalf if a court date becomes necessary. Call us today at 215-791-8127 for free with no commitments, or complete the form below.
Edith Pearce is a Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer whose years in the insurance industry have taught her how to get the compensation her clients are entitled to. This includes recovering expenses, replacing income, vehicle replacement, and making sure that medical bills, and suffering, are fairly compensated. The firm will thoroughly investigate your motorcycle accident and work diligently to arrive at a timely settlement or proceed to trial to obtain compensation to cover your entire recovery.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Philadelphia or anywhere in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, contact us and speak to a Philadelphia motorcycle lawyer for a free consultation to discuss your legal options. We also have car accident lawyers in Bucks County, PA and Cherry Hill, NJ.
What A Happy Client Says About Us On Google:
If there were 10 Stars, Edith would get them from this Client, right here! I can’t even begin to start to tell you how amazing, kind , conscientious, non-scheister-y and, well….how non–lawyer-y, this Attorney is.
I was really scared when I got hit by a car and my ankle was broken. Also, I felt super bad about the thought of “suing” someone. I thought that was something that people who were trying to get away something. Thank goodness my boyfriend said “you’ve got to get a lawyer and another good friend–reccommended Edith highly.
Thank God I didn’t go to one of those awful companies (you know the one on the tv ad) as a friend had an awful, impersonal experience with them.
From the start, Edith made me feel comfortable, attended to, and like I was literally–her only priority. She got me into her office immediately, got me to doctors and specialists within days, re-directed all of my medical bills (which were sizeable) to be deferred until my case was settled. After that she went to work doing her magick.
What I was so struck by –was the thorough and dilligent follow up–let’s be honest, how many businesses–let alone lawyers–hold themselves so accountable–that they follow up with YOU first. I never had to call Edith once to see how my case was coming along. She always called me to give me periodic updates on how my case was proceeding and what she might need from me next–and also what were the next steps.
Then finally, once everything was compiled and submitted, within months, honestly even more quickly than I expected, I got a phone call from her. I never in my wildest imagination thought that I would get a settlement, but Edith got the max paid out from both the other insurance company—and also from my own for personal injuries–which I had no idea I was even entitled to. I could not believe it–truly awestruck and I feel eternally grateful and blessed to have found her.
Once payment was received, again she called to have me into her office promptly and once again–much quicker than I expected–
I cannot stress enough–how amazing her services are. Her “bedside manner ” is also incredibly sensitive, kind, considerate and –dare I say it–gentle! When does that happen???
I actually hugged her on my way out of the office. I would highly recommend this incredible attorney for any personal injury case, or any other case besides. She went above and beyond, as did everyone else in her office. They don’t make professionals like this any more.