What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia motorcycle accident resulting in lost wages and pain and suffering

Motorcycle enthusiasts flock to Pennsylvania, drawn by its stunning scenery and varied terrain, making it a prime destination for riders who prioritize both enjoyment and safety. Riders are smart to take extra precautions for safety, knowing that they are among the most vulnerable road users. However, motorcycle accidents still happen far too often when negligent drivers are careless behind the wheel.

When they do, they cause catastrophic harm and often fatal injuries to the motorcyclist. You have rights as an injured rider, so You might have a valid motorcycle accident claim, offering potential legal remedies. Understanding your rights and the legal avenues available is critical for any rider injured in a motorcycle accident in Philadelphia, where timely action can significantly influence the success of your claim. Your success with a claim partly depends upon taking action right away, so you will need to know what to do after a motorcycle accident in Philadelphia.

Understanding the Vulnerability of Motorcyclists and the Importance of Legal Support in an Accident

The lack of protective barriers and safety mechanisms like seatbelts means motorcyclists are exceptionally vulnerable, resulting in injuries that have profound physical, emotional, and financial impacts Motorcycle collisions are serious for several reasons, starting with the lack of a metal barrier to protect the rider from impact. There is also no seatbelt or other guard to prevent a motorcyclist from being ejected, so the victim will sustain additional injuries from a second impact with the ground. The severe injuries to the rider cause losses that affect them physically, emotionally, and financially.

Another aspect of your success with a motorcycle crash claim is retaining legal counsel to assist with the process. Securing the services of a knowledgeable Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer is a pivotal step in effectively managing the motorcycle injury claim and process and enhancing your chances of obtaining fair compensation. Your Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer will handle essential tasks and details, but you should review a few tips on how you can a personal injury lawyer to help support your case.

a motorcycle accident case in Philadelphia

What To Do at the Scene of a Motorcycle Accident in Philadelphia

At the accident scene, of a motorcycle crash, collecting evidence with your smartphone, such as photos of your injuries, the vehicles involved, and the crash location, is crucial for supporting your claim. Your first priority is your health, so make sure to dial 911 and get appropriate medical attention right away. The physical effects of the collision are still present, so there is a wealth of evidence that can be used for your claim. Use your cell phone to capture video and photos of:

  • Your injuries;
  • Physical damage to vehicles;
  • The intersection or stretch of roadway where the motorcycle crash occurred;
  • Traffic lights, signage, and other controls;
  • Lane markings and turn lanes;
  • Any obstacles that impair vision or prevent control of vehicles; and,
  • Area businesses that may have video footage of the collision on security cameras.

If possible, you should reach out to any potential witnesses who observed the crash. These individuals could provide information about fault, a key factor in a serious motorcycle accident case. A neutral eyewitness lends credibility to your version of how the collision happened.

Unfortunately, due to your injuries, gathering information may be challenging. You could be unable to move or unconscious, and you might be transported by ambulance. You can request that police take video and images, and they will prepare a police report. Plus, your motorcycle accident attorney can follow up with an investigation to gather important evidence.

What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Philadelphia

When you seek proper medical care for your injuries immediately after a motorcycle crash, you will be on the road to recovery as quickly as possible. At the same time, there are a few tasks to consider if you are able. Loved ones may be able to assist you with a few To Do’s in the days and weeks after you were hurt in an serious motorcycle accident injury as:

  • Contact a Pennsylvania motorcycle crash lawyer to discuss your legal remedies. Your attorney will provide guidance on specific tasks to tackle, if any.
  • Review your motorcycle insurance policy regarding notifying the company about accidents. You will be seeking compensation from the at-fault driver, but you must still inform your own insurer.
  • Stick to the follow up and care plan as instructed by your treating physicians. You do not want to re-injure or exacerbate your injuries.
  • Avoid posting any photos, videos, or other content on social media that might call your injuries into question. Insurers investigate meticulously, and they are not above bringing your social life into court to show that you were not hurt that badly.

Engaging with a Pennsylvania motorcycle crash attorney early on provides you with expert guidance on handling your personal injury claim both with insurance and pursuing compensation from the at-fault driver.

an average motorcycle accident settlement with an insurance company

Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Pennsylvania

Speeding, impaired driving, and distracted driving are among the top causes of motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania, highlighting the importance of accountability and safety on the roads.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penn DOT) reports some shocking statistics about motorcycle crashes, which total around 3,480 every year. Approximately 215 riders are killed and another 3,250 are injured in these incidents. In other words, almost 99 percent of all motorcycle accidents result in at least one casualty. The data reveals some of the most common causes behind motorcycle crashes, such as:

  • Speeding;
  • Running red lights and stop signs;
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Failure to yield right of way;
  • Erratic lane changes;
  • Texting, talking on the phone, surfing the internet, and illegal use of a cell phone while driving; and,
  • Other forms of distracted driving, such as using a GPS, eating, drinking, and putting on makeup.

However, the underlying reason behind motorcycle collisions is negligence. This term means more than just carelessness, as it is a theory of liability in the practice of law. To recover compensation, you must show that the other driver or at-fault motorist caused the accident by failing to drive safely.

Understanding Motorcycle Accident Claims in Philadelphia

Philadelphia streets witness numerous motorcycle accidents each year, presenting unique challenges and legal considerations for the victims. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer becomes an indispensable ally, guiding you through the complexities of filing a motorcycle accident claim. These claims aim to compensate for the damages sustained, covering everything from medical bills to pain and suffering damages, and lost wages.

an average motorcycle accident settlement with an insurance company

Average Motorcycle Accident Settlements in Philadelphia

The question of the average motorcycle accident settlement looms large for victims. Settlements vary widely based on the severity of injuries, the impact on the victim's life, and the specifics of each case.

Experienced motorcycle accident lawyers in Philadelphia leverage their knowledge and resources to negotiate with insurance companies, aiming for a settlement that fully addresses the victim's medical expenses, motorcycle repair or replacement costs, and compensates for any long-term effects of the motorcycle accident injury claim itself.

Dealing With Insurance Companies in Pennsylvania

Insurance companies play a critical role in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident. Negotiating a fair settlement for a motorcycle,requires understanding the tactics insurers might use to minimize payouts.

A skilled motorcycle accident attorney will advocate on your behalf, ensuring that the insurance company adequately compensates for the damages, including medical bills, property damage, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Key Factors Influencing Motorcycle Accident Settlements in Philadelphia

Several factors impact the final settlement amount in a motorcycle accident case, including:

  • The clarity of fault in the accident.
  • The severity and permanence of injuries.
  • The total of medical expenses, both current and future.
  • The amount of lost wages and loss of earning capacity.
  • The limits of the at-fault party's insurance coverage.

An experienced personal injury lawyer meticulously assesses these factors, crafting a compelling case for a favorable settlement.

a motorcycle accident injury settlement with severe injuries, medical expenses after insurance coverage didn't cover it.

Personal Injury Lawsuits in Philadelphia Motorcycle Accidents

When settlement negotiations falter, filing a personal injury lawsuit becomes necessary. This legal action seeks a court judgment awarding compensation for your losses. The process involves gathering evidence, such as medical records and police reports, presenting the case in court, and potentially going to trial.

The representation of an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial in navigating these legal waters effectively, ensuring that your rights are protected and your personal injury case is presented compellingly.

The Emotional and Psychological Impact of Motorcycle Accidents

Beyond physical injuries, motorcycle accident victims often face significant emotional and psychological distress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These non-economic damages are harder to quantify but are equally important in evaluating the full impact of the accident on the victim's life.

Legal representation experienced in personal injury claims can argue for comprehensive compensation that includes these often-overlooked aspects of motorcycle accident trauma.

Tips and Strategies to Maximize Your Settlement

To maximize your motorcycle accident settlement, consider the following strategies:

  • Document everything: Keep detailed records of all medical treatments, expenses, and correspondence with insurance companies.
  • Follow through with medical care: Adhering to your treatment plan demonstrates the seriousness of your injuries.
  • Avoid social media: Posts about your accident or recovery can be used by insurance adjusters to undermine your claim.
  • Hire an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer: Legal expertise is crucial in navigating the complexities of motorcycle accident claims and negotiating with insurance companies.

How To Choose the Right Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

The success of your motorcycle accident claim often hinges on the quality of your legal representation. Look for a personal injury lawyer or motorcycle accident attorney with a proven track record in motorcycle accident and personal injury cases. The right attorney not only understands the legal landscape but also empathizes with your situation, offering support and guidance throughout the claim process.

motorcycle accident settlements with the help of a Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorney

How Compensation Works for Victims in Motorcycle Accidents

In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, understanding how compensation works, including economic and noneconomic damages, is essential for victims seeking to recover their losses.

The point of monetary damages in motorcycle accidents is to put the victim in the same position had the crash never happened, at least to the greatest extent possible.

There are two types of compensation available in Pennsylvania motorcycle collision cases:

  1. Economic Damages: In this category, the losses you sustain are tangible and measurable. For instance, you incur medical bills for emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, rehab, pain medications, treatment from specialists, and many other costs. If your injuries are so serious that you cannot work, you may lose wages due to time away from your job. These economic losses are recoverable in a motorcycle accident claim.
  2. Noneconomic Damages: When someone is injured in a collision, they will also ensure losses that are subjective and personal to their own experience. Noneconomic damages are not represented by a dollar value, but you may still be entitled to recover compensation. Examples include pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring and disfigurement, and any other factors that affect your quality of life.

In rare cases, the victim of a motorcycle crash may be able to seek punitive damages. These are damages meant to punish the at-fault motorcycle driver for engaging in outrageous conduct, acting with an evil motive, and disregarding the safety of others.

Steps in the Legal Process for a Motorcycle Accident Case in PA

Motorcycle accidents are a type of traffic crash, so some aspects of your case are similar to being involved in a car collision. Pennsylvania law requires motorists to carry minimums for auto insurance coverage, and this is where you will begin with the legal process.

You must file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and you will need to prove both fault and the nature of your losses. Your claim will also include a demand for payment in the amount of compensation you seek.

Many motorcycle crash claims settle without going to court, but dealing with insurers can be challenging. These entities are for-profit businesses that put their own bottom line ahead of your interests. If the insurance company will not pay a fair amount, you will need to take your case to trial.

an injured motorcyclist with a severe injury insurance claim receiving extensive medical treatment from first responders to the motorcycle rider

How a Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help

A Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorney can help with all essential tasks at each stage of your case, including:

  • Collecting and organizing important evidence, including the photos, videos, and other information you gathered at the scene;
  • Reviewing your medical records;
  • Preparing all claims forms and paperwork for submission to the insurance company;
  • Engaging in negotiations with the insurer in an attempt to resolve your claim for a fair amount;
  • Advocating on your behalf during mediation, which is a form of alternative dispute resolution that helps some parties reach a settlement; and,
  • Taking your case to court.

With the pretrial stages of litigation, you can count on your lawyer to handle motions, court appearances, depositions, and discovery. At trial, your attorney will present evidence and witness testimony to support your motorcycle accident lawsuit.

Limitations with Motorcycle Accident Cases in Philadelphia

A motorcycle collision lawyer can also help by guiding you through challenges for these claims, because there may be some restrictions on your rights. For instance:

  • Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations is two years for motorcycle collisions, and the clock starts to run on the date of the accident. If you do not file a lawsuit in court before the deadline, your claim is barred and you cannot recover compensation.
  • There is a statutory cap on some motorcycle accident cases, so you should be aware of some implications. If you are seeking damages from the State of Pennsylvania or a local government, you are limited to $250,000 to $500,000. This statutory cap only applies to noneconomic damages.
  • Pennsylvania follows the rule of comparative negligence in motorcycle accidents. If the victim’s negligence contributed to the crash, compensation will be reduced by that person’s percentage of fault. When the rider is more than 50 percent responsible, it is not possible to recover any monetary damages.

Comparative negligence arises in motorcycle collision cases quite often when the at-fault driver alleges that the motorcyclist was lane-splitting. Driving in between lanes of stopped or slowed traffic is illegal in Pennsylvania, which is a form of negligence.

Set Up a Consultation with a Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Advancing through the legal process with the support of a skilled motorcycle accident attorney ensures that all critical evidence is collected and that you are effectively represented in negotiations and, if necessary, in court.

While these are helpful tips on what to do after a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania, you should rely on legal counsel for assistance with all essential tasks. Our team of motorcycle accident lawyers at Mattiacci Law, Inc., will be at your side in dealing with the insurance company. We are also ready to fight for your rights in court as necessary to ensure you receive fair compensation.

Please contact us today to speak to a Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer. We can set up a no-cost case review to discuss details.

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