Unfortunately, PA has one of the highest fatality rates for motorcycle accidents, with 184 fatalities recorded in 2017. As a motorcyclist, you need to know the laws that affect you in Pennsylvania and what actions you should take after being involved in an accident. What Action Should I Take After a Motorcycle Accident ? If […]
A motorcycle accident can be devastating.
Motorcyclists are more exposed than a driver of a vehicle and are more susceptible to serious injury if they're in an accident. Figuring out the next steps can be a challenge, but the most important thing is making sure that the injured motorcyclist has their injuries treated as soon as possible.
Once that’s taken care of, there is a lot more to worry about. There are medical bills as well as personal pain and suffering while you’re healing, which needs to be addressed.
Whatever you need help with, our motorcycle accident attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to see what we can do to help.
So What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
There are many things that can happen to cause an accident when you’re riding a motorcycle. One of the most common causes of an accident is a negligent driver making a left-hand turn in a vehicle. This can typically happen when a car and motorcycle are approaching each other coming from opposite directions. Typically, the car will make a left turn, not seeing the approaching motorcycle. This causes the motorcycle to crash into the side of the vehicle. Depending on the speed, this could cause serious injuries or even death.
Accidents with Merging Traffic
Another common accident happens when lanes are merging, and the motorcycle is not seen. Many people attribute this to the motorcycle being a small vehicle that is more difficult to see and easy to lose in your blind spot. Cars that don’t see the motorcycle will merge in front of the motorcycle, often cutting them off or crashing right into them. If you’re a motorcyclist, it’s best practice to avoid lingering in a car’s blind spot so you can safely get by and into a more visible part of the road.
Rear-Ending on a Motorcycle
Rear ending a motorcycle is another fairly common type of accident. What might be a simple fender bender in a vehicle could be truly disastrous for a motorcycle. If you’re riding a motorcycle, it’s smart to not put yourself between two large vehicles if you can avoid it. If you’re in between two large vehicles, you’re putting yourself at increased risk in the event that the vehicle behind you doesn’t see you at all, or doesn’t see you until the last minute and isn’t able to stop.
Getting Doored on a Bike
A dooring accident happens when a driver is parked on the side of the road and opens their driver’s side door into the street, which sets up a hazard for a motorcycle.
If the motorcyclist doesn’t have enough time to stop and the motorcycle obstructs their path, it can cause serious injury to them, and to both vehicles when the inevitable crash happens. These types of accidents can result in injuries from broken glass and other flying debris from the unexpected high impact crash.
Typical Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycles are less visible than cars, and the drivers are more vulnerable to injuries from accidents since they aren’t enclosed in the vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that motorcycle riders are 26 times more likely to be killed in an accident than those who are riding in a passenger vehicle. The stats also predict that they are 5 times more likely to sustain an injury.
Any injury sustained from a motorcycle crash is potentially serious, but there are some common injuries that show up more often than others.
Traumatic Brain Injuries or TBI
The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury". Traumatic brain injuries are common because motorcyclists are likely to hit their heads in a crash. The likelihood of this injury can be decreased by wearing a well-made and highly rated motorcycle helmet.
A motorcycle helmet will help reduce the impact of the blow, giving your head proper protection to hopefully limit the injuries. There's still a possibility of any head injury, including a TBI if you're wearing a helmet, but the damage is much less severe if you're wearing the proper protective equipment.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury could cause irreparable harm to the body. Spinal cord injuries happen and usually result from damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, or discs of the spinal column or to the spinal cord itself. This type of injury typically results in full or partial paralysis and can end up being a permanent disability.
When you’re riding a motorcycle, your legs are more vulnerable to injury because of their closer proximity to the pavement. If the weight of the motorcycle lands on your leg during a crash, this could result in fractured or broken bones. Wearing protective gear, like a riding suit with pads can help avoid some leg injuries. The padding on the suit provides you with some protection from road rash, but will not prevent all injuries.
Road Rash Injuries
A road rash injury is the most common injury among motorcycle riders, and if you’re in a motorcycle accident you will likely end up with a lot of road rash. A road rash injury is when the rider’s skin makes contact with the road surface. The friction between the skin and the road surface causes a serious skin abrasion, called a road rash.
The severity of the road rash will determine how quickly it needs to be treated, but road rash injuries are so severe that they can leave permanent scarring. They are also very susceptible to infection if not treated properly.
This is another reason wearing a bodysuit while riding is a good idea. The padding on these suits covers you and saves your skin from making direct contact with the road surface. It may not keep you from getting any road rash, but it’s certainly better than the alternative of having no protection at all.
There are three degrees of road rash, and they are dependent on the severity. Each has its own treatment method and requirements.
First-degree road rash is the least serious, with just superficial damage to your skin, like reddish skin and soreness. Typically, you can treat it yourself at home.
Second-degree road rash is more serious, and the most common in an accident. This type of road rash is when the top layer of your skin removed, revealing the underneath layer and leaving it exposed. This could leave you susceptible to infection which is why 2nd-degree road rash treatment is so important. It should be treated by medical professionals.
Third-degree road rash is the most severe. This is when both skin layers have been removed, leaving muscle and fat exposed. Immediate medical attention is required in these cases and you should not attempt to treat this yourself.
Other Motorcycle Accident Injuries
There are numerous other injuries you could sustain in a motorcycle accident, including internal injuries from blunt force or impact, or penetration from foreign objects like broken glass and other materials. Bone fractures are another common injury, again due to the vulnerability of the rider. The weight of the motorcycle and the speed of travel are usually the culprits when it comes to harsh injuries. If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident and injured, you’re going to want to find a motorcycle injury lawyer.
Do You Need a Motorcycle Injury Lawyer?
Motorcycle accidents can be particularly destructive, both to your body and your property. After you've been injured, the last things you want to have to worry about are the medical bills and the insurance companies tracking you down to get information.
Attorneys for motorcycle accidents are professionals at handling all of the stressful aftermath so you don't have so much to worry about. Insurance companies what you to accept a settlement for as little as possible so they don't have to face a major payout.
Lawyers that specialize in motorcycle injury cases are tough and will stand up to the insurance companies for you, to make sure you get a payout that will take care of your medical bills and compensate you for your pain and suffering due to the injuries you sustained.
Reasons to get a Motorcycle Injury Attorney
There are multiple reasons to get an attorney after you're injured in a motorcycle accident. Without proper legal representation, you could miss out on the money that you deserve out of the incident. Legal processes are complex and frustrating, often with piles of paperwork that need to be taken care of.
Insurance companies that are paid to intimidate you into settling low. Experienced motorcycle injury lawyers go toe-to-toe with them to make sure you have someone standing up for you.
Another reason getting an attorney is beneficial is that often you’ll be asked to sign paperwork without it being accurately described to you. Don’t sign anything until you have a lawyer present. The insurance company attorneys will try to talk you into signing early, using intimidation tactics, but you have time. Make sure you give an attorney a call.
What Can a Lawyer Do in a Motorcycle Injury Case?
Many motorcycle injury attorneys will at least take a look at your case for free. They can let you know what your options are so then you can decide how you want to proceed.
Typically these lawyers work for car injury law firms and specialize in motorcycle injuries, so they know what your next steps are. If you decide to allow an attorney to take your case, they will begin working on it immediately by sending investigators to the scene of the accident to determine the cause of the accident.
Then they will document any and all evidence possible to build your case. They’ll stand up to the insurance company lawyers on your behalf and take care of the mound of legal paperwork, so you have one less thing to worry about, and you aren’t taken advantage of.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Motorcycle Injury Lawyer?
Most personal injury attorneys don't charge you anything upfront. Typically, motorcycle accident victims only pay a percentage of your overall settlement to their lawyer, if they win the case. They'll fight for the maximum settlement, and likely the increase is worth the fees you'll pay to your attorney.
Make Sure You’re Represented – Don’t Do It Alone
If you’re in a motorcycle accident in Philadelphia, it’s best not to do everything yourself and try to battle everything alone. Working on your case by yourself will be frustrating and you’ll likely be disappointed with the outcome. Trying to talk to the car insurance company on your own will usually result in you being taken advantage of and misled. Some insurance companies won’t even deal directly with the individual and require a lawyer.
Even if you’ve already settled and received an outrageously low offer amount, you can still reach out to a Philadelphia motorcycle personal injury lawyer to see if they can help you. They may be able to negotiate on your behalf, putting more money in your pocket and giving you the defense you deserve.
Here’s the bottom line: insurance companies do not want to pay out what you actually deserve. It is not at all beneficial for an insurance company if they pay out more than they think they can get you to settle for. This means you’ll get the absolute lowest offer possible, without knowing that they would be willing to pay more, which isn’t fair to you. The insurance companies have their own representation for a reason, and you deserve that same benefit.
When you’re in a motorcycle accident in Philadelphia, it’s important to have the best representation on your side.
You need an attorney who will fight to give you the compensation for your pain and suffering that you deserve. You shouldn’t have to worry about paying bills and dealing with the insurance company. You need people you can trust, so you can focus on healing. Call a Philadelphia motorcycle personal injury lawyer today. We Win or It's Free!