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Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorney

When motorcycles are involved in collisions, the consequences are often severe. While safety equipment can reduce or prevent some injury, the speed and forces involved can result in catastrophic injury for motorcyclists.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you may need legal representation. A Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer from Youman & Caputo can help. We have extensive experience handling cases involving serious injury and a demonstrated ability to maximize compensation for our clients. In fact, we have recovered over $850 million dollars in settlements and verdicts. When you are ready, call today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Resources

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Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Leading Causes of Motorcycle Wrecks
Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycle Laws in Pennsylvania
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help?
Who Can Be Liable for a Crash?
Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident
Time Limits in Philadelphia Personal Injury Cases
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Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Statistics

A motorcycle accident can happen when a victim least expects it. Any motorcyclist could get injured in an accident due to a careless or inattentive driver, from a green and inexperienced motorcyclist to a seasoned rider with years of experience. Keeping up with the latest motorcycle accident statistics in Pennsylvania can help shed light on why these collisions take place and how to prevent them in the future.

The 2020 Pennsylvania Crash Facts and Statistics report from the Department of Transportation states the following:

  • A total of 3,398 motorcycle accidents were reported in Pennsylvania in 2020 – 215 of which were fatal for the motorcyclists.
  • The number of fatal motorcycle accidents increased by 22.9 percent from 2019 to 2020, while the number of injury motorcycle accidents increased by 14.1 percent.
  • Of the 217 motorcycle accident deaths that occurred in Pennsylvania in 2020, 53 percent of victims were not wearing helmets.

If a motorcyclist gets involved in an accident, the odds of suffering a severe injury are high. Per vehicle miles traveled in 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that motorcyclists are 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle accident. In 2020, a total of 5,579 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents around the country.

What Are the Leading Causes of Philadelphia Motorcycle Crashes?

One of the first steps to collecting financial compensation for a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania is identifying who or what caused the crash. The majority of serious and fatal motorcycle accidents in Philadelphia are preventable. They take place due to avoidable errors, such as a lapse in judgment or careless mistake made by a motor vehicle driver. If you don’t know what caused your motorcycle crash, an attorney can investigate for you.

Statistically, the most common causes of motorcycle accidents are:

  • Negligent drivers. A driver is negligent if he or she breaks a traffic law or behaves in a way that a prudent driver would not, such as by texting and driving, speeding, running red lights, or driving under the influence.
  • Unsafe left turns. Drivers turning left can cause motorcycle accidents by failing to notice an oncoming motorcycle in the opposite lane or misjudging its speed or distance. Turning left in front of a motorcyclist can cause a catastrophic T-bone or head-on collision.
  • Lane changes. Motorcycles are small and can easily be missed by an inattentive driver. This is especially true when a driver is changing lanes; a motorcycle may be in the driver’s blind spot, resulting in a lane-change or sideswipe accident.
  • Dangerous roadways. Small and lightweight motorcycles are more susceptible to road damage and defects than heavier motor vehicles. If a pothole, uneven shoulder, loose gravel, grass clipping or another road hazard causes a motorcycle accident, the city could be held responsible.
  • Motorcycle part defects. If a motorcycle contains a defective part, it could break down or malfunction during a ride and cause an accident. Examples include break failure or a tire blowout. Manufacturers can be held responsible for these injuries, in most cases.

If you believe that someone else reasonably could have prevented your motorcycle accident in Philadelphia, that party may be financially responsible for your medical bills, motorcycle repairs and other damages. Determining the cause of your wreck is something that an experienced attorney can help you with.

Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes

In a collision, there is nothing between a motorcyclist, the other vehicle, and the road. As a result, injuries to motorcyclists are often significant. These can include:

  • Road Rash and abrasions
  • Fractures – particularly to lower and upper extremities
  • Head and brain injuries, even if a helmet is worn
  • Neck, back and spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Death

Additionally, not all motorcycle accidents involve actual collisions with a vehicle. In many cases, vehicles maneuver unexpectedly or change lanes without seeing or noticing the motorcycle, forcing the rider to swerve or lay their bike down to avoid a collision. Our motor vehicle accident attorneys in Philadelphia understand how to fight for the rights of bikers injured by careless drivers.

Motorcycle Laws in Pennsylvania

It is imperative to know all of the laws that apply to you as a motorcyclist in Pennsylvania before you ride. This is the only way to make sure you uphold the rules that apply to you. Motorcycles are viewed in the same light as standard motor vehicles in Pennsylvania. 

Motorcyclists are subject to the same traffic laws, roadway rules and regulations. They must obey all applicable traffic signs and signals, including speed limits, red lights and stop signs. They also cannot ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Every motorcyclist in Pennsylvania, with some exceptions, must wear protective headgear (a helmet) that complies with federal safety standards. Eye protection is also required. Exceptions include a rider who is 21 or older and has completed a motorcycle safety course or been licensed to operate a motorcycle for at least two years. 

Motorcycles must be equipped with the required brakes, mirrors and lights to be deemed roadworthy and ridden on public roads. If a motorcyclist carries a passenger, it must be on a motorcycle that has been designed to do so. Carrying a passenger must not interfere with the operation of the bike in any way.

How A Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help

Unfortunately, motorcyclists often face bias in the event of an accident. Law enforcement, insurance companies, and even witnesses may have preconceived notions about the rider’s responsibility for a crash. Therefore, it is vital that injured cyclists speak with an experienced attorney. A Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation into the accident and collect evidence to overcome this bias and prove that another party may be responsible.

Additionally, insurance companies are notorious for taking steps to devalue or deny valid claims. An attorney can take over all interaction with insurers and work to recover full and fair compensation for your injuries. While Pennsylvania is a choice no-fault state with a full tort or limited tort insurance option, injured motorcyclists are always considered full tort if they have motorcycle insurance in the state.  This means that they are eligible to recover damages (financial compensation) for pain and suffering even if they do not suffer permanent injury.

In motorcycle accidents, victims may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Temporary or permanent disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of activities
  • Physical/emotional therapy
  • And more

While most injury claims are resolved through settlement with insurers, in the event that a fair settlement cannot be reached, a Philadelphia catastrophic injury attorney can take your case to trial on your behalf.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Motorcycle Accident in Philadelphia?

Pennsylvania is unique in how it handles car accident claims. Motorcycle accidents, however, are more straightforward, as they are always considered full tort claims. After an accident, a motorcyclist can bring a claim against the driver involved in the wreck to seek compensation for medical bills and property repairs, regardless of the severity of his or her injuries. Holding a driver liable requires proof of his or her negligence.

If it can be proven that the motor vehicle driver broke a traffic law or breached the duty of care owed to the motorcyclist, that driver’s car insurance company will have to pay for damages. Some cases, however, involve the negligence or fault of a third party. This could refer to a vehicle manufacturer, property owner, the city or state government, or another party. Identifying all liable parties is something that an attorney can do for you to help maximize your financial recovery.

What Damages Can Be Recovered After a Motorcycle Accident?

After a motorcycle accident, you may struggle to pay for your required medical bills and vehicle repairs, especially if the accident forced you to miss time at work. Filing an injury claim could end in financial compensation being awarded to you for these losses and others. Understanding the damages for which you can seek compensation as an injured motorcyclist in Pennsylvania can help you move forward with the money that you need.

Available damages can include: 

  • Existing medical bills and health care costs
  • Future foreseeable medical care
  • Medications and medical devices
  • Disability costs and accommodations
  • Motorcycle repairs or vehicle replacement
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Emotional or psychological trauma
  • Legal expenses and out-of-pocket costs
  • Punitive damages, in some cases

The amount of money that you receive from a successful claim can help to make you whole again, meaning it can return you to the financial state that you were in prior to the accident. An attorney from Youman & Caputo can evaluate how much your case is worth after learning about your injuries and how the accident impacted your life.

Time Limits in Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Cases

In Pennsylvania, motorcyclists generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. This time frame is referred to as the statute of limitations. While two years may seem like a long time, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible if you believe you may have a case.

Important evidence such as tire skid marks, eyewitness testimony, or surveillance footage may disappear or become unreliable over time. If your injuries are severe, it takes time to fully document the extent of your injuries and estimate what your future medical needs may be. Additionally, there are certain circumstances that can lengthen or shorten the statute of limitations.

Call for A Free and Confidential Case Evaluation

You don’t have to deal with the aftermath of a serious injury alone. If you or a loved one have been injured in a preventable motorcycle accident, our attorneys can help. Call Youman & Caputo for a free and confidential case evaluation today.