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Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

There are nearly 850,000 licensed motorcyclists in our state, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), making them a significant presence on the road. When an accident happens involving a larger vehicle, the consequences can be severe.

According to 2024 PennDOT data, there were 3,448 crashes involving motorcycles on Pennsylvania roadways in 2023, resulting in 238 fatalities.  The majority of accidents happened on state highways, where the posted speed limits are the highest.

Trends suggest that motorcycle collision fatalities are on the decline. In just one year, the fatality rate went from 7.5% to 4.8%. While this is a significant improvement, lives are still being changed and taken because of negligent driving.

While we’d never hope that you would become involved in a crash while riding your motorbike, if you did and now you find yourself suffering from serious injuries, our law firm, Shrager Sachs & Blanco, wants to help. Contact us to be connected with a Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss how your wreck occurred and what rights you may have to recover compensation for your crash-related losses. We offer free consultations.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

When you file a motorcycle accident claim, you’ll need to prove you weren’t at fault. Part of building your case involves determining why the crash happened in the first place.

Your lawyer will investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident and determine what happened and why. If your accident happened in the city, as opposed to a more suburban or rural area, the cause could be more difficult to determine because of the traffic and commotion in places like Philadelphia.

The most common causes of motorcycle crashes include:

  • Speeding is one of the leading causes of all motor vehicle accidents. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the greater the impact will be. For a motorcyclist, this can lead to catastrophic injuries or death.
  • Left-Hand Turns. When a motorcycle is traveling straight through an intersection, passing a car, or attempting to overtake a car, they’re at risk of being struck by a turning vehicle. This is because oftentimes drivers are not expecting motorcyclists and they might not see them in time to avoid a collision.
  • Lane Splitting. Lane splitting happens when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving vehicles. Wrecks happen when the motorcyclist gets too close to cars, because there’s less room to maneuver, and when drivers are anticipating that a vehicle will be passing them.
  • Inclement Weather. Driving a motorcycle in the rain or snow is incredibly dangerous. Because the vehicles only have two wheels, they’re thrown off-balance much easier. If a rider encounters inclement weather, it’s best to pull over until it’s passed.
  • Distracted Driving. Distracted drivers may be texting, eating, talking on the phone, or adjusting their vehicle’s controls. The driver may be unaware of a nearby motorcycle and could hit it.
  • Vehicle Defects. When a manufacturer is negligent, it’s possible that defective automotive parts are released. When a vehicle is built with faulty parts, it’s more likely for a crash to occur.
  • Poor Road Maintenance. Potholes, uneven lanes, and poor streetlights contribute to a number of crashes.

Injuries Related to a Motorcycle Wreck in Philadelphia

Motorcyclists are more likely to be injured in a crash because of the lack of protection. Even with a helmet and padding, injuries are still a major possibility.

Head Injuries

Head injuries are among the most common and deadly. Some of the most minor injuries are concussions, but traumatic brain injury is possible. Without a helmet, a person is at risk for a cracked skull.

Internal Injuries

In addition to head injuries, broken bones are common. When riders are thrown onto the pavement at high speeds or collide directly with the front, back, or side of a car, broken arms, legs, hips, feet, legs, or wrists are possible. Some broken bones can heal in weeks or months with the proper cast, but other fractures could require surgery.

The blunt-force trauma from a wreck can cause internal damage. It’s always a medical emergency when internal organs suffer a blow or penetration trauma.

Road Rash

One of the most common injuries motorcyclists have to deal with is road rash. When a rider makes contact with the road surface during an accident, serious skin abrasions are possible. While a minor case of road rash can be cleaned and bandaged and will likely heal, serious abrasions are susceptible to permanent scarring and infection.

In some cases, skin graphs need to be used to cover the injured area so healing can take place. Recovery from road rash can be long and painful, which is why it’s important to always wear full protective gear when riding.

Pennsylvania Motorcycle Riding Laws

Part of being a responsible driver is following the state laws that apply to your vehicle. In our state, there are motorcycle laws that apply to helmet usage and operating and maintaining the vehicle.

Pennsylvania law requires any person under the age of 21 to wear protective headgear. This includes drivers and passengers. If a person is older than 21, has at least two years of riding experience, or completed a motorcycle safety course approved by PennDOT or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, they are not legally required to wear a helmet, but doing so is always recommended.

When a helmet has to be worn, it has to meet the state’s minimum performance requirements and the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. In addition to the helmet, protective eyewear is required.

All motorists need to be aware that motorcycles have full access to traffic lanes. This means that a larger vehicle is not allowed to share a lane or pass illegally. However, two motorcycles are allowed to right next to each other in a single lane.

As with all vehicles, there are regulations in place to keep them in working order. A motorcycle in Philadelphia must have brake lights in the back, footrests and handholds, and a suspension bar in the front. Yearly inspections are required to ensure the vehicle does not need repairs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Crashes

When clients come into our office after a bike wreck, there are frequently asked questions that come up. Some of the most common queries we answer when starting a claim for someone include the following:

What should I do if I have a wreck on my motorbike in Philadelphia?

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, the first step is to evaluate yourself for injuries and contact emergency services. Severe injuries are more common with this type of accident, so seeking medical attention immediately is crucial for your health and well-being.

In the days following the accident, you’ll want to take photos of the property damage and your injuries, get a copy of the police report, keep a record of your injuries and time off work, and get in touch with a Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer.

Do I have to contact the police if I’m involved in a motorcycle accident in PA?

Regardless of the type of auto accident, if a crash results in serious property damage, injuries, or fatalities, you are legally obligated to make a report to law enforcement officials. You’ll benefit from having a report filed because that can later be used as evidence to prove you were not at fault.

Are motorbike crash cases harder to win than car wreck ones?

While motorcycle accident claims rarely go to trial, the possibility exists. When this happens, it can be challenging to have a jury side with a motorcyclist because of the stereotype that they’re reckless. With the right lawyer, however, you’ll be able to build a strong case that proves you were wronged and that the other motorist acted negligently.

Can a motorcycle passenger file a personal injury claim?

Because a motorcycle passenger rarely does anything that contributes to a crash, they’re more likely to receive compensation. The passenger also has the option of filing two claims – one against the motorcycle operator and one against the other motorist. Depending on the circumstances, the victim could collect compensation from both parties.

I was injured in a motorbike accident, but I wasn’t wearing a helmet. Can I still recover damages from the other driver?

You can still recover compensation if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of a crash. It’s important to note, however, that insurance companies may try to use your lack of helmet to reduce the settlement they offer you. Our attorneys will fight to get you full compensation.

Should I hire a lawyer to help me after an accident on my motorcycle in Philly?

Even in an accident that only results in minor injuries or property damage, it’s a good idea to consult a Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer. You may not realize some of the losses you faced or will face. However, an experienced legal team like Shrager Sachs & Blanco will know how to best evaluate your potential case situation and determine if and how much you’re owed. It might be more than you realize.

Determining Liability for a Motorcycle Crash in Philadelphia

Before you can seek compensation for your accident-related losses, you need to identify the party or parties you believe are responsible for your crash. Your personal injury lawyer can work with accident reconstructionists to determine what happened and who caused the accident. The responsible party could be:

  • The driver of the other vehicle involved
  • The vehicle’s manufacturer
  • A government entity responsible for maintaining and repairing roadways
  • The manufacturer of a component of the motorcycle

Pennsylvania is a choice no-fault car insurance state. This means that if you chose to have no-fault coverage at the time you signed up for your car insurance policy, you need to file a claim under your own personal injury protection coverage to get compensation after a motorcycle crash.

Your lawyer can determine how your car insurance will affect how you receive compensation.

Seeking Damages for Losses

Once you’ve filed a claim and established fault, you’ll want to seek compensation for your expenses related to the wreck. It’s important to note that the statute of limitations for filing a claim in PA is two years. If you miss the deadline, you’ll render yourself ineligible for compensation. Your attorney will work to ensure you have the best chance of receiving the money you need.

There are different types of compensation you can seek after a motorcycle accident. You can separate them into two categories: economic and noneconomic.

Economic damages are calculable. This includes expenses like hospital bills, property damage repair costs, medical equipment or medications, and lost wages. Future lost wages and future cost of care are also included.

Noneconomic damages are harder to determine because they can’t be directly computed. They exist to compensate victims for their pain and suffering. The amount of noneconomic damages a person receives is based on factors like the severity of their injuries and how their everyday life has been impacted.

Contact Shrager Sachs & Blanco After a Philadelphia Motorcycle Crash

If you’ve been injured in a crash, you deserve legal representation that will fight for you. Each Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer in our office is dedicated to helping clients recover as fully as possible from collisions.

While it may seem overwhelming to take on a personal injury claim like this on your own while you’re recovering from your injuries, you don’t have to worry about doing so when Shrager Sachs & Blanco is on your side. We’ll handle difficult paperwork and conversations for you.

To learn more about your rights and legal options for holding the negligent party responsible for their actions, contact us for a free consultation.

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