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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 can investigate your case and represent you throughout the legal process.
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
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.
Common Pennsylvania Biker Crashes
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 to 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 and spine injuries are exceedingly common.
Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Who Know What to Do
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.
Call us today at 215-557-8686 to schedule a free consultation or complete our online form below. We can help you get through the aftermath of your motorcycle crash and seek the financial compensation you deserve.