Motorcyclists face many potential hazards when navigating roadways throughout the United States. Approximately 5,000 motorcycle drivers are killed in traffic accidents across the country each year. Despite motorcycles making up a mere 3% of registered vehicles in the United States and 1% of miles traveled, motorcyclists account for 14% of annual traffic fatalities. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) estimates that compared to occupants of cars, motorcyclists are six times more likely to be injured in accidents and 29 times more likely to be killed in accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash in Philadelphia or the surrounding area, contact a Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer.
Motorcycle Accident Risk is Increasing for Some Groups
Interest in motorcycles has risen among baby boomers. Between 2006 and 2015, the number of motorcycles registered in the United States rose from approximately 6.6 million to more than 8.6 million. That’s an increase of more than 28%. Unfortunately, this has also resulted in a 17% increase in motorcycle accident fatalities involving riders aged 40 years and older. That said, the overall rate of motorcycle injuries and fatalities throughout the country has otherwise remained stable.
Common Motorcycle Accident Causes in Pennsylvania
Frontal collisions account for approximately ¾ of two-vehicle crashes involving motorcycles. They typically occur when another vehicle crosses the path of a motorcyclist, leaving them little room or time to avoid an impending collision. More than 40% of collisions involving a motorcycle and other type of vehicle occur because the driver of the other vehicle was turning left. In instances where the motorcyclist is not entirely to blame, it is important to discuss the case with a motorcycle accident attorney in Philadelphia. However, it is worth noting that a significant number of motorcycle accidents occur when the rider collides with a stationary object. Contrary to popular belief, factors like poor weather conditions have little impact on the likelihood of a motorcycle accident occurring. Most occur during daytime hours on non-interstate roads, and only 2% occur in rainy conditions.
Alcohol Impairment and Speeding
Motorcycle riders in PA are generally more likely than drivers of other vehicles to be impaired by alcohol at the time of an accident. More than ¼ of motorcyclists killed in traffic accidents have a BAC above the legal limit of .08. An additional 7% will have some degree of alcohol in their systems. Roughly ⅓ of motorcyclists involved in collisions are driving in excess of the speed limit at the time of the incident. It’s extremely important for motorcyclists in Pennsylvania to exercise caution on the road. Along with refraining from driving under the influence, they must heed all posted traffic signs, respect the speed limit, and maintain safe space between themselves and other vehicles. Motorcyclists are already at a greater risk of injury and death than other drivers because they are not protected by the exterior of a vehicle like a car. If you or a loved one has been harmed while riding a motorcycle in Pennsylvania, it’s important to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in pA who can discuss your case.
Liability and Damages in PA Motorcycle Accident Cases
You may be entitled to damages if you’ve been involved in a Pennsylvania motorcycle accident and another driver was at fault. There are even instances when motorcyclists are entitled to damages even if they are partially at fault. That’s why it is important to discuss the details of your case with a motorcycle accident attorney in Philadelphia. A motorcycle accident lawyer in PA can assess your case and elaborate on issues pertaining to liability and damages. Each case is unique, but damages that are commonly awarded include:
- Reimbursement for medical expenses
- Compensation for projected future medical expenses
- Past and projected lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage (such as the cost of repairs to or replacement of your motorcycle)
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accidents in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit as a result of a motorcycle accident is generally two years from the date of the collision. After the statute of limitations expires, the court will typically not accept the filing. There are several exceptions to this rule, and injury victims who seek justice through the courts are advised to speak with a qualified attorney to determine their legal standing for filing a lawsuit.
If a public entity is a possible defendant or the driver responsible for the crash was behind the wheel of a publicly-owned vehicle, a different and much shorter statute of limitations applies. For instance, if a public school bus strikes a motorcyclist, this shorter statute of limitations would apply.
A Notice of Claim requires filing with the public entity within six months of the accident. Claims against the state are filed with the Office of the Attorney General. However, if the injured party is too disabled from the accident to file a claim, an additional 90 days is granted.
If the victim dies from their motorcycle accident injuries, the family must file a Notice of Claim within six months of the date of death.
Regulations for filing personal injury lawsuits against government entities are complicated. That is why you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible. There is also the possibility that the victim did not realize the a public entity is a possible defendant. By waiting too long to contact a personal injury lawyer, the victim could be deprived of their ability to sue.
There are certain limited exceptions that delay the two-year statute of limitations. If the victim was under 18 at the time of the motorcycle accident, the two-year deadline is delayed under the individual turns 18. They then have until their 20th birthday to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Another possible exception occurs if the person responsible for the accident leaves Pennsylvania for at least four months between the accident date and the filing of the lawsuit. In this case, the window of time to file a lawsuit is extended accordingly. It is also extended if the at-fault person tries to hide within the state by using a false name. In this scenario, the time they were trying to conceal their identity does not count as part of the two years.
Talk to a Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania? Have you lost a loved one as a result of a motorcycle collision? If so, you need help from a motorcycle accident lawyer in Philadelphia who understands the complicated process of seeking damages. Act fast, as the Statute of Limitations establishes deadlines for filing lawsuits. At the Rothenberg Law Firm, our team of motorcycle accident attorneys in Philadelphia will help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 1-888-651-1384 or complete our free case evaluation form to schedule a FREE consultation. We’ll evaluate your case and determine if you are entitled to damages. If our motorcycle accident lawyers in PA take your case on, we work on a contingency fee basis. That’s another way of saying we won’t charge you any legal fees unless we succeed in helping you get compensation first. CliIf you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident call us today for a free, no obligation consultation.ck Here