Motorcycle accident victims can face severe and life-altering injuries. The same attributes that make motorcycles fun to ride can expose the rider to more dangers compared to occupants of a passenger vehicle. It can be hard to figure out what your rights are after a motorcycle crash.
If another driver caused your accident, you can pursue compensation from them through a civil lawsuit. A motorcycle accident lawyer in Philadelphia from the Morelli Law Firm will work to secure the compensation you deserve while protecting your rights.
Fighting Prejudice Against Riders
Motorcycle riders in Philadelphia and across the country face discrimination in accident cases. There is a stereotype that riders are dangerous freedom-seekers that take risks on the roads. This is an unfair belief that can deny you compensation.
When you have a Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorney on your side, you have someone who will fight against prejudicial beliefs about your claim. Many riders operate their motorcycles in a safe manner. The danger lies in other drivers who do not pay attention to their surroundings.
Don’t let the insurance companies try to push you around with prejudice to paint you as an unsafe rider. Together, we can help you after your motorcycle accident to get fair compensation.
Damages in a Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident
Calculating the damages that you are entitled to receive after a motorcycle accident in Philadelphia is one of the most important steps in your case. You may not be able to go back and seek more compensation once the settlement is finalized, so it is critical that you include everything at the outset.
Your attorney will work with you to make sure you keep a complete and accurate record of your expenses. A few common types of expenses and damages that motorcycle accident victims may request in their claims include:
- Emergency medical responder fees
- Health insurance co-pay fees
- Physical therapy
- Medical devices like wheelchairs or walkers
- Ongoing estimated medical care costs
- Property damage
- Counseling for PTSD
- Disfigurement or scarring
You may also be able to claim lost wages if you need time away from work to recover. If you are unable to return to your field of employment and must change your career, you may be able to recover lost earning capacity.
Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in Pennsylvania
Motorcycle drivers in Pennsylvania are legally required to carry minimum liability insurance coverage. This insurance provides coverage for injuries and property damage in the event of an accident. The state minimum auto insurance covers:
- $5,000 for medical expenses
- $15,000 for one person’s injury or death
- $30,000 for multiple victims
- $5,000 for property damage
All drivers in Pennsylvania are required to carry this minimum coverage. However, it’s entirely possible that you or the driver who struck you purchased additional auto liability coverage. That could protect you from having to pay damages over the minimum coverage. A lawyer can help you understand your policy.
Should I Hire a Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer If I Filed an Insurance Claim?
Insurance companies do not always follow the rules or have your best interests in mind when it comes to the claims process. Many of these companies try to avoid paying the benefits you deserve under your policy.
Insurance companies are also sophisticated entities that engage in claims investigations, negotiations, and settlements every single day. For most injury victims, this is the first time they have had to file a claim. It can be hard to know whether you are being treated fairly, and reading your policy terms is often a frustrating and confusing experience.
Working with Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyers can help you take the guesswork out of the insurance process. An attorney will be able to recognize when the insurance company is trying to take advantage of you. If you need to take legal action against an insurance company, we will be ready to hold them accountable.
Who Is at Fault for a Motorcycle Accident?
When a car collides with a motorcycle, the driver of the car is usually responsible for causing the accident. All drivers owe other road users a duty of care and must remain focused on driving safely. However, there are several reasons why motorcycle riders wind up injured when they share the road with other drivers.
This is perhaps one of the deadliest practices on the road today. Between texting and social media, smartphones are a major reason for distracted driving. Other examples of distracted driving include:
- Eating and drinking
- Talking on the phone
- Talking to passengers
- GPS device use
- Interacting with children or pets in the car
- Adjusting the radio
When a driver is intoxicated, it is extremely difficult to drive safely and to pay attention to what is happening on the road. Because motorcycles are already smaller in profile than other vehicles, an intoxicated driver can easily miss seeing them.
Similar to drunk driving, drugged driving often leads to impaired faculties. Drugged driving can include prescription medications that prohibit driving as well as over-the-counter medicines.
Failure to Yield
Many motorcycle accidents happen when one driver fails to yield the right-of-way to a motorcycle that is passing through an intersection or making a left-hand turn.
Inadequate Road Maintenance
From potholes to broken traffic signals, if the road is not maintained properly, it puts motorcycle riders at risk. You may need to bring a case against the local government entity responsible for maintaining the roadway, which can be more complicated than a civil case against a non-government entity.
Reckless or Careless Driving
Many motorcycle accidents happen due to basic traffic violations that could have been avoided, such as:
- Following too closely
- Not using proper turn signals
- Running stop signs or red lights.
Obtaining a police report is a good way to determine if any traffic violations were involved in your situation. Traffic tickets can affect liability in your claim.
In some cases, your motorcycle may be to blame for your injuries. A defective component may require you to bring a claim or lawsuit against the manufacturer. You may also have a claim against a repair shop that failed to perform proper repairs and left your motorcycle in a dangerous condition.
These are just a few examples of how motorcycle accidents can happen. Even if your situation was not included, a personal injury lawyer from our law firm may be able to help you seek compensation.
How Comparative Negligence May Affect Your Compensation
Motorcycle accident victims are subject to Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence rule under 42 Pa. C.S. § 7102. This rule may affect your case if you are responsible or partially responsible for the accident. Under the comparative negligence rule, any financial compensation you receive may be reduced by the percentage of fault you are assigned.
For example, if you are found to be partially responsible for causing your motorcycle accident, you might be assigned 25% liability. This means any financial compensation you are awarded will be reduced by 25%.
The most important thing to know about comparative negligence is that it could potentially prevent you from recovering financial compensation. If you are found to be 51% responsible for causing the accident, you cannot collect a settlement or court award. Our team of motorcycle accident attorneys in Philadelphia will strive to prove that you deserve to be compensated.
Evidence Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Use
Another way that attorneys in Philadelphia motorcycle wrecks serve injured victims is by gathering and preserving crucial evidence that helps support their case. Typically, the staff at the Morelli Law Firm work diligently to compile evidence of the other parties’ fault for the accident as well as for the extent of your damage.
Evidence in motorcycle accident claims can include items like:
- Testimony from eyewitnesses to the accident
- Footage of the event from nearby traffic or surveillance cameras
- Testimony from accident reconstruction experts
- Your medical records
- Paperwork from your employer showing your lost wages
- Testimony from medical experts regarding any lost future earning capacity
- Miscellaneous evidence (such as a breath or blood test result for a drunk driver)
More evidence likely means more weight on your side of the negotiations. By showing the fault of the other parties and the true value of your damages, our legal team can help maximize your eventual compensation.
How Long Will It Take to Receive Compensation?
Assuming your case does not get dismissed due to the comparative negligence rules, there are five things that will affect how long it takes to receive compensation in your case. Some of these are beyond the control of you and your lawyer:
- The time you take to contact a lawyer about your case.
- How much disagreement there is between the parties over the law and the facts
- The number of parties in the claim. More parties mean longer cases
- How willing each side is to negotiate
- The value of your case
Hiring a lawyer will always speed up the process. The sooner you can get legal advice about your case, the sooner you can find out if you qualify for compensation and how long it might take to get it.
Do You Need an Attorney for Negotiations?
We highly recommend that you seek legal counsel for your motorcycle wreck claim. It’s important to have skilled attorneys on your side during negotiations with at-fault parties and insurance companies so that you do not get taken advantage of.
Remember: insurance agencies rely on a business model that requires them to pay out as little as possible. No matter how generous their initial offers might seem, and no matter how nice they seem at the negotiation table, their goal is to pay you less than you truly deserve.
Additionally, many motorcycle accident cases can involve wealthy, resource-laden parties like trucking companies or even government organizations. These entities have the power to fight aggressively on behalf of the at-fault driver, making it all the more important to have experienced Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyers on your side.
It’s also best to have an attorney present so that you signal a willingness to go to court if your compensation is inadequate. The vast majority of personal injury cases in Philadelphia and around the country result in a settlement long before a courtroom trial. However, showing that you have an attorney can alert the other side to your ability to fight for what you truly deserve.
You Have Limited Time to Work on Your Case
Note that time may be running out on your ability to pursue compensation. Injury victims in Pennsylvania typically have two years to bring their claim, according to Pa. C.S.A. §5524. If you let this time lapse, you may be barred from seeking compensation.
In fact, some cases may have far shorter deadlines by which you must either file your claim or notify the party you intend to sue. For example, lawsuits against government agencies typically require notification within months of the initial accident rather than years.
The best way to be sure that your case is handled in a timely, professional fashion is to speak with an attorney as soon after your wreck as possible. This also gives up more time to build a convincing case for you.
Let Us Help With Your Motorcycle Accident Case
We know that a motorcycle accident can leave you hurting and feeling confused about what to do, but you don’t have to figure this out alone. To discuss your case for FREE with an attorney, call us today or fill out our online Request Case Evaluation form with details of your accident and injury.
A Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer from the Morelli Law Firm can assist you with your case and advise your next steps. We will give you the guidance you need to get compensation for your injuries and move on with your life.
When you hire our personal injury law firm, we work on contingency. You pay us nothing unless and until we win you a compensation package.