Delaware County (DelCo) Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycles are an exhilarating way to travel and Delaware County offers riders miles of scenic roads. However, the things that make riding so much fun also increase the danger motorcyclists face. Motorcycles present small profiles for other drivers while offering no protection to their riders. If a motorcyclist is in an accident, they will likely suffer serious injuries.
People are quick to blame a motorcyclist when an accident occurs. According to many motorists, these daredevils veer in and out of traffic, at high speeds, with little regard for their safety or the safety of others around them. However, many accidents are caused by drivers who were not paying attention or other factors beyond the cyclist’s control. If you or a loved one was in a motorcycle accident, you need an aggressive and experienced attorney on your side.
For more than thirty years, the attorneys of the Reiff Law Firm have stood up for the rights of motorcyclists injured due to the carelessness, recklessness, or negligence of other drivers. We handle every element of your case from its beginning to its completion so that you can focus on your recovery. To discuss your options and rights, call our law offices at (215) 709-6940.
How are Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits Different than Car Accidents in Delaware County?
While motorcycles only account for a small percentage of the total registered vehicles in Delaware County, they are involved in a disproportionately large percentage of accidents. There are also significant differences in personal injury lawsuits involving motorcycles than ordinary car crashes. Having an attorney that focuses on litigation arising from motorcycle crashes is crucial if you want to maximize your potential compensation.
The Severity of the Injuries
One significant difference between motorcyclists and every other motorist on the road is the lack of protection their respective vehicles provide. If someone is involved in a minor collision while on a motorcycle, they will likely suffer much more severe injuries than someone in a car. When evaluating a personal injury claim, it is critical to seek the appropriate amount of damages to sufficiently cover a motorcyclist’s medical treatment.
While many motorcycle accidents involve other vehicles, many do not. Road imperfections, construction, ice, gravel, and other debris could cause a car accident. However, a four-wheel vehicle is more stable and less susceptible to a loss of control because of the road’s condition. The slightest irregularity in a road surface could result in a motorcyclist losing control of their bike. In many personal injury cases arising from motorcycle accidents, the defendant is the entity charged with maintaining the road.
Unfortunately, many people dislike motorcyclists. They are considered reckless, dangerous, and often associated with gang-related activity. Whether an injured cyclist is working to settle with an insurance company or is pursuing a case in court, this prejudice is hard to overcome. A common defense in a motorcycle accident case is shifting blame to the rider. You need an experienced attorney that understands these additional hurdles and will fight against the perceived recklessness.
Proving You Were Not at Fault in a Delaware County Motorcycle Accident
Because of the prejudice many people hold against motorcyclists, even if another driver was clearly at fault, an insurance company might try to shift the blame in hopes of denying or reducing your claim. However, there are some steps you can take to help improve your chances of holding a responsible party liable for your injuries.
If your injuries allow you to walk around the accident scene, you should take pictures of the crash site. Be sure to include photos of the entire scene, including the position of all vehicles involved in the accident. If the road surface contributed to or caused the crash, be sure to include pictures. If you are too injured to take photos, ask a witness to take them for you.
Contact the Police and Get a Police Report
Call the police. Once the police are contacted, they will ensure that medical help arrives, secure the scene, and complete an accident report. The accident report will contain valuable information that could be used when negotiating with an insurer or pursuing a personal injury case. If the other driver received a traffic citation, it would be included in the report. The responding officer will also list their observations and conclusions based on their initial investigation of the accident. In addition, the report will include basic information such as the date, time, and location of the crash and the names of the parties involved, along with any potential witnesses.
Talk to Witnesses
It is critical to get the contact information from anyone who saw what happened. Statements from third-party individuals who have no stake in your claim provide compelling evidence. Their statements could help you prove you were not at fault when working with an insurance provider or arguing your position in court.
Contact Our Delaware County Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Whether your case settles with an insurance company or requires a jury decision, the best way to maximize your potential compensation is to hire an experienced lawyer. Our office has the attorneys, staff, and resources to gather evidence, investigate the crash, and work with medical professionals to build your case. You should not accept any offer from an insurance company before speaking with a knowledgeable attorney.
Settling with an Insurance Company or Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Many cases do not get to court – accident victims often agree to a settlement with an insurance company. However, it is important to remember that an insurance agent is not acting in your best interests. It is usually never advisable to accept the initial amount an insurer offers. Once you accept a settlement, you release the insurance company from all further liability. Our Delaware County motorcycle accident attorneys will help you understand the value of your claim. Without knowing what your claim is worth, it is impossible to make an informed decision regarding a settlement amount.
You also need to be careful regarding the information you give to an insurance adjuster. They are looking to reduce or deny your claim, not maximize your compensation. The slightest mistake could be used against you. By allowing our office to handle the negotiations, you could concentrate on getting better.
If a fair settlement is not forthcoming, then it is time to consider filing a lawsuit. When the evidence is strongly in your favor, the act of filing a case often results in a more reasonable offer from an insurance provider.
Motorcycle Accidents Can Have Serious Consequences
While some people consider car accidents to be one of the most terrifying events a person can experience in their day-to-day lives, motorcycle accidents are undoubtedly worse. Unlike a passenger in a car, truck or SUV the motorcycle rider is not surrounded by a protective layer of steel and glass. Further motorcycles typically lack safety features which are standard on cars like seatbelts and airbags. What this means is that motorcycle accidents typically lead to both more numerous injuries and that the injuries suffered are typically more severe.
What Kinds of Injuries are Typical in Motorcycle Accidents?
The injuries and damages caused by an accident are dependent upon the unique conditions, circumstances and factors present in an accident. Generally speaking, the greater the forces that are involved in the crash, the greater the injury that is produced. However, accidents involving motorcycles do routinely produce certain types of injuries. Injuries that are common in motorcycle collisions include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury– A brain injury is particularly concerning because it can impact how you act, how you perceive your environment and your ability to function independently. A TBI can also cause problems with memory, attention, and focus. While helmets can reduce the likelihood that you will suffer a TBI, they do not eliminate the risk. However, through intensive treatment and therapy, many people can learn to improve their ability to function despite their severe injury.
- Burns– Motorcycle accidents are much more likely to produce burn injuries than car, truck or bus crashes. Motorcycle riders can suffer burns if their skin comes in contact with components of the exhaust during a crash. Riders can also suffer agonizing friction burns from the road pavement if they are thrown from their motorcycle.
- Whiplash– Whiplash is probably the most common complaint from people who have been in an automobile accident. Whiplash occurs due to the rapid acceleration and deceleration forces that are experienced during an accident. Whiplash can cause nausea, confusion, back and neck pain, and problems with focus.
- Bone fractures– Fractures can be simple, where the skin is not punctured by the damaged bone, or complex where the bone goes through the skin allowing air and foreign object to contaminate the injury site. Complex fractures are more serious than a simple fracture though both injuries can have life-long consequences.
If you have suffered one of these injuries or another serious injury due to the negligence or recklessness of another motorist, you may have a personal injury claim. Our attorneys can work to obtain compensation for your doctor bills, hospital stay, rehabilitative therapy, diagnostic tests, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Our Delaware County Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help
Personal injury lawsuits arising out of motorcycle accidents present many challenges. These cases are often more complicated and involve more serious injuries than a typical car accident case. You need an experienced Delaware County motorcycle lawyer that focuses on protecting the rights of motorcyclists. To schedule your free and confidential consultation with an experienced attorney, call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 or contact us online.