If you have been injured in a serious motorcycle accident caused by another motorist in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, you may be facing a lengthy recovery and a lot of medical bills. If another driver caused the accident, you should not be saddled with paying the medical bills. You may have a legal right to seek compensation. Find out about your legal options by calling for a free consultation with an experienced motorcycle lawyer.
The Colleran Firm is a highly regarded law firm based in Philadelphia
. Our personal injury attorneys have more than a century of collective legal experience. Our law firm has helped accident victims and their families recover full compensation for injuries sustained in all types of motor vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Check out some of the numerous multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements
we have obtained for clients. The Colleran Firm will pay the up-front costs of pursuing a truck accident lawsuit and receive a share of any settlement or jury verdict only if we obtain compensation for you. If you do not receive compensation, you do not owe us any legal fee.
How We Handle Motorcycle Accidents
A Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer will analyze your accident and determine all the potentially responsible parties and their insurance providers. If several motorists are jointly liable for your accident, the involvement of multiple insurance parties may broaden the pool of money available to provide compensation.
We will review your own insurance policies to determine if they limit in any way your ability to recover compensation for personal injuries.
We will obtain the police report, interview witnesses and gather evidence to support your claim.
We will gather your medical expenses and make an estimate of your present and future losses related to the motorcycle crash. If your injuries will require ongoing care or will necessitate remodeling your house to permit you to live independently, those expenses should be factored into the claim.
We will present a claim to the insurance company seeking compensation that reflects the full extent of your losses. We will negotiate aggressively with the insurance company for a just settlement. Our motorbike accident attorneys will keep you informed of the progress of the negotiations and let you know of any settlement offer. We will offer our perspective on whether the settlement offer is fair, but you will decide whether to accept the offer.
We will file a lawsuit on your behalf in the appropriate Pennsylvania or New Jersey court and pursue justice for you if the insurance company refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement. We typically settle cases out of court. But we have full confidence in our litigation skills if the case proceeds to trial.
Causes of a Motorcycle Crash
Motorcycle riders have the same right to the road as other motorists on Pennsylvania roads and highways. Many motorcyclists obey traffic laws and are extremely safety conscious because they understand the consequences of a crash. Yet, many automobile drivers fail to remain alert for motorcyclists and cause crashes as a result.
Failure to Yield —Automobile drivers turning left at intersections often overlook oncoming motorcyclists or misjudge their speed and cause a collision by turning in front of the motorcycle. A biker who is proceeding straight through an intersection may be unable to avoid hitting a car that turns unexpectedly across the rider’s path.
Improper Lane Change—If a motorist tries to change lanes hurriedly and fails to see the motorcycle in the adjoining lane, the automobile driver can violate the rider’s right of way and cause a collision or force the rider off the road. Because a motorcycle has a narrow profile, it can easily disappear in a car’s blind spots if the driver does not check carefully.
Following Too Closely—Motorcycles weigh less and stop more quickly than large vehicles. If the driver of an automobile or truck fails to allow an adequate following distance, the larger vehicle may hit the motorcycle from behind if the motorcycle brakes unexpectedly.
—An automobile driver who is distracted by an electronic device such as a cell phone or is not paying adequate attention to the road may drift into an oncoming lane of traffic and cause a head-on collision.
Driving While Impaired
—A drunk driver is a danger to everyone sharing the road. If a drunk driver in a car or truck collides with the motorcyclist, the biker will likely sustain the brunt of the injuries because of the size difference between the vehicles.
In Pennsylvania, Interstate 95 and Interstate 76 in Philadelphia are particularly dangerous for accidents. The Pennsylvania Turnpike also has a high rate of traffic accidents.
In New Jersey, the most dangerous roads for accidents include:
- New Jersey Turnpike
- Garden State Parkway
- Route 9
- Route 47
- Route 206
- Route 1
- Route 130
- Interstate 80 and I-295
- Route 22
- Route 35
- Route 49.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle crashes are violent events and can leave a rider seriously injured and facing months of medical treatment and rehabilitation. The common types of serious injuries in motorcycle accidents include:
- Fractures. The impact of being ejected from a motorcycle can cause broken bones. Many riders automatically extend an arm to break their fall, so bone fractures to hands and arms are common, even in minor crashes. Fractures involving hips, elbows or knees may require surgery to repair.
- Lower-Extremity Injuries. A third of non-fatal motorcycle crash injuries involve the lower extremities including the foot, ankle, leg, knee, and thigh. Fractures of the long leg bone, the femur, and hip dislocation are the most common types of lower extremity injuries suffered in motorcycle crashes.
- Head/Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). A rider who is thrown from a motorcycle may strike his or her head on the pavement or other hard surface and sustain a concussion or more serious brain injury.
- Chest Injuries. An impact to the chest can fracture the breast bone or cause rib fractures. Multiple rib fractures may be extremely painful and cause difficulty breathing. Crushing injuries to the chest caused in high speed motorbike accidents may increase pressure on the chest and disrupt proper blood flow.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. If a motorcyclist sustains a blow to the neck or back that fractures, compresses or shatters one or more vertebrae, it can lead to a traumatic spinal cord injury and paralysis.
- Abdominal Injuries. The blunt force trauma suffered in a motorcycle collision may damage kidneys, spleen, liver, bowels, stomach, or any organ in the abdomen, as well as muscles, nerves, and other soft tissue. If not promptly diagnosed and treated with surgery, internal organ damage can lead to a life-threatening infection.
As a seriously injured rider, you may be unable to return to work for a long time. You will need all the resources at your disposal to recover and move forward. Contact our knowledgeable motorcycle attorneys to discuss your eligibility to seek compensation to help cover your medical bills and other expenses.
Types of Compensation Available to Motorcycle Accident Victims and Families
If you were seriously injured in a motorbike accident due to someone else’s negligence in Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to claim compensation for:
- medical bills
- present and future loss of income
- pain and suffering.
The spouse, children or parents of a motorcyclist in a fatal motorcycle accident due to others’ negligence may be entitled to bring a wrongful death action and seek compensation for:
- doctor and hospital expenses
- funeral and burial expenses
- loss of financial support of the family
- loss of parental guidance to children.
There is a limited amount of time to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Don’t lose your right to seek compensation. It is important to have a knowledgeable Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer start investigating your claim as soon as possible.
Can I sue the city or state if a road hazard contributed to my accident?
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and cities and towns in Pennsylvania are protected by sovereign immunity from lawsuits. But there is an exception that allows a driver who has been injured in an accident due to a road defect to seek compensation if the hazard created a foreseeable risk of injury and the Commonwealth had notice of the hazard. PaDOT is required to maintain highways in a reasonably safe condition for ravel.
Filing a lawsuit against a government in Pennsylvania requires giving notice to the government with 180 days of the accident. If you fail to give proper notification, you may lose your right to seek compensation. If you have suffered an injury because of a road hazard, you may have a right to sue. A knowledgeable lawyer can review the specific facts and make a determination. Be mindful that bringing a claim against a government has special rules and time limits. It is important to contact a lawyer promptly to investigate your accident and give notice to the appropriate government agency if necessary.
Who will pay for my medical bills if the driver who hit me was uninsured or underinsured?
Motorists in Pennsylvania are required to have Medical Benefits insurance coverage that pays for your injuries up to certain policy limits, regardless of fault. If your injuries are severe, you may need to look to other insurance coverage. If you have uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist insurance, that policy will cover your medical bills up to the to the policy limits if the at-fault driver does not have sufficient liability insurance or has no insurance. One of the first things an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will do is determine all the at-fault parties and the insurance policies that are available to pay your medical bills.
A driver turned left in front of my motorcycle. Who was at fault for the accident?
A driver failing to yield the right of way and turning in front of an oncoming biker is a common scenario for a motorcycle crash. Motorists waiting to turn left at an intersection often fail to see an oncoming motorcycle or misjudge the speed of the smaller vehicle. When a motorcycle is traveling within the speed limit and has a green light to proceed through the intersection and a motorist turns unexpectedly in front of the rider, the automobile driver is at fault. Police may cite the motorist for failure to yield right of way, causing the motorcyclist to hit the side of the car.
Can I recover compensation if I wasn’t wearing a helmet in a Pennsylvania motorcycle accident?
Helmets are optional for most riders in Pennsylvania who are 21 or older and have completed an approved motorcycle safety course. You can still seek compensation for your injuries even if you were not wearing a motorcycle helmet. But your decision not to wear a helmet may cost you money. Pennsylvania uses the legal doctrine of comparative fault in awarding damages in motorcycle accidents. If a court determines that your lack of a helmet contributed to your injuries, then any compensation you are entitled to receive would be reduced by your percentage of fault. The attorneys at the Colleran Firm seek to show that the other motorist is fully at fault in an accident and that the motorcyclist did not bear any responsibility.