Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Pennsylvania motorcycle accidents are increasingly common. Bikers are at an increased risk of injuries and even death in an accident. The lack of physical protections contributes to the severity of motorcycle crashes.
Both bikers and drivers have to stay alert and vigilant of their surroundings to keep everyone safe. However, it is often the drivers who are at fault for causing a motorcycle wreck. This is backed up by data. According to national statistics, 96 percent of fatal motorcycle wrecks involve a motorcycle hitting a vehicle. Drivers often fail to notice motorcycles. Instead, their focus and attention are on other cars or even distractions like cellphones or vehicle passengers. Consequently, motorcycle accidents are likely to result in significant injuries – head injuries, spinal cord injuries and other serious injuries, often leading to death.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a total of 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2018. According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, motorcycle deaths accounted for 14 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2018.
Pennsylvania motorcycle accident statistics follow similar trends to those across the nation. More specifically, in 2017:
- 3,194 motorcycle crashes happened in Pennsylvania
- 3,053 people were injured in Pennsylvania motorcycle crashes
- 187 people died in motorcycle crashes in Pennsylvania in 2017
- 185 motorcycle drivers were killed in Pennsylvania crashes
Pennsylvania Helmet Laws
Pennsylvania law requires anyone that operates or rides a motorcycle to wear a helmet unless they are over the age of 21 and have either two years of riding experience or a completed motorcycle safety course. Motorcyclists with learner’s permits must wear a helmet no matter what age they are. And, motorcycle passengers do not have to wear helmets if they are 21 years old or older. Moreover, motorcycle helmets must meet standards approved by the United States Department of Transportation.
Wearing a helmet reduces the severity of a head injury and can save lives. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that over 1,600 bikers are saved every year because they were wearing a proper helmet. Studies have found that helmets reduce the risk of death by 37-42 percent.
Motorcycle Accident Causes
It is a common misconception that motorcycle riders are aggressive and irresponsible. Often motorcycle wrecks are caused by drivers. Vehicle miles traveled by motorcycles reveal that bikers are killed 27 times more often than motorists. This is further supported by data that shows that motorcyclists are killed 38 times more often than occupants of cars.
Motorcyclists do not cause a large number of accidents. In the aftermath of motorcycle accidents, drivers admit that they did not see the biker. Motorcycles are often invisible to drivers. Some reasons for this phenomenon include:
- The bike and its rider is smaller and hard to see when driving between large vehicles
- The driver does not hear the motorcycle over traffic noise, the radio or conversation with a passenger
- The driver is not aware of their surroundings or are distracted
- The driver is not cautious and alert at all times
- The driver is not looking in the direction of the biker
- The biker is in the car’s blind spot
- Drivers often misjudge the speed of a motorcycle
- The driver is driving under the influence
- Motion induced blindness, the disappearance or illusion where an object disappears when masked with a moving background
- Selective inattention when the driver’s brain blocks what it considers to be irrelevant
- Contrast blindness happens when there is a lack of contrast with the sun behind a motorcyclist, particularly if the biker’s clothing and the bike are neutral in color
The frequency and severity of motorcycle accidents across Pennsylvania have prompted the government and state police to work to reduce this trend. The ad campaign “Share the Road with Motorcycles” aims to educate drivers to watch out for bikers. Live Free Ride Alive is operated by the state and seeks to inform the public about motorcycle figures, fact, training programs, permits and license tests. Nevertheless, accidents still happen.
Most Common Motorcycle Injuries
Motorcycle accidents frequently result in severe injuries, or even death, to the biker and their passenger(s). Motorcycles lack the same protections offered by vehicles. Therefore, bikers often sustain serious injuries. The most common injuries from motorcycle wrecks include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Fractured bones
- Torn muscles
- Ruptured tendons
- Severe bruising
- Head injuries
- Eardrum injuries
- Facial injuries
- Spine injuries
- Slipped disk
- Severed spinal cord
Motorcycle Accident Compensation
In Pennsylvania, you are required to have motorcycle insurance. However, motorcycle insurance is a little different from car insurance.
Generally, motorcycle insurance does not cover medical expenses suffered in an accident, regardless of who is to blame. That means your bills will go to your health insurance company, and the rest of the costs will pass to you. This does not limit you from seeking compensation for your injuries and damages from the at-fault person. However, if you were at fault for the accident, you will need to pay for your medical and damage expenses. Now, if you were partly at fault, you may still be eligible to recover a portion of your damages.
MyPhillyLawyer aggressively pursues all negligent parties following a motorcycle accident. Did a car turn left illegally in front of the motorcycle? Did your city neglect to warn of dangers such as sharp curves? Was the motorcycle engine defective? Was your bike rear-ended? Whatever caused the accident, we will find out who was responsible and work to obtain compensation from them to help our clients cope with injury and loss.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Being involved in a motorcycle accident is a frightening experience. The stress associated with recovery, medical bills and job security is hard to deal with. Know that you are not alone.
Our team at MyPhillyLawyer will aggressively seek out all negligent parties involved in your accident. We will work to obtain the compensation you deserve for damages and injuries. At MyPhillyLawyer, we collectively have over 100 years of legal experience. We have your back. Contact our office at 215-789-9346.