Motorcycles are more than mere transportation. They represent adventure and freedom to many riders. For many motorcyclists, there are few things better than traveling down the open road on two wheels. Unfortunately, the very things that make a motorcycle exciting also make it dangerous. A motorcycle affords its rider little to no protection if its rider is involved in an accident. Because of this lack of protection, very few victims of motorcycle accidents walk away uninjured.
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you need our experienced and aggressive Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorneys. Every personal injury case arising from an automotive vehicle accident presents unique challenges. When the victim is a motorcyclist, there are additional hurdles, including a prevailing prejudice against riders. The Reiff Law Firm has been fighting for the rights of injured cyclists and their families for decades. To discuss your legal options, call (215) 709-6940. Your initial consultation is always free.
Common Causes of Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accidents
Every motorcycle accident case is unique. However, that there are some typical reasons motorcycle crashes occur. The first step in holding another driver or party liable for your injuries is determining how an accident happened. Below are some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania.
Reckless or Careless Drivers
Reckless and careless drivers are a common cause of all kinds of automotive vehicle accidents, including motorcycle crashes. Ignoring red lights, not yielding the right of way, speeding, and improper lane changes contribute to motorcycle wrecks throughout the commonwealth. Some of the bad behaviors average drivers exhibit present an added risk to motorcyclists because of their smaller silhouette. A driver might notice a looming truck if their attention was diverted towards a text message for a moment while never seeing a motorcycle under the same circumstances. It is not uncommon for a negligent driver to try and shift the blame on an injured rider, often claiming “it came out of nowhere.”
Poorly Designed or Maintained Roads
A confusing intersection could result in a fender-bender if two or more drivers are unsure of where one lane begins and another ends. However, these same types of accidents could be devastating to an unprotected motorcyclist. Additionally, the quality of the road surface impacts a motorcycle much more than a car. Debris, gravel, or a pothole could cause a motorcyclist to lose control and crash. When a motorcyclist loses control of their bike in the flow of heavy traffic, the resulting injuries are often catastrophic or fatal. Cities and municipalities are responsible for maintaining the roads and could be held accountable if poor conditions cause an accident.
Defective Motorcycle Parts
For a motorcycle to be safe, it must function and perform as intended. A malfunctioning part on a motorcycle creates a much more dangerous situation than for drivers of other vehicles. If a motorcycle breaks down while on a busy highway, it could prove fatal for its rider. When a malfunction occurs because a motorcycle is poorly made or there is a design flaw, the manufacturer could be held liable for any injuries or damages.
Liability in a Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident
Similar to any other personal injury case arising from a car accident, a motorcyclist will have to prove that another party was negligent to be compensated for their injuries. Negligence can be thought of as reckless or careless conduct that results in the injury of another. When traveling Pennsylvania roads, both motorists and motorcyclists must exercise reasonable care when operating their respective vehicles. This means following the rules of the road, not driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or when tired. If a motorist fails to exercise reasonable care and causes an accident, they could be liable for a victim’s injuries.
Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents in Pennsylvania
Many motorcycle accident victims suffer severe and life-threatening injuries. Unfortunately, sometimes these injuries are fatal. Because a motorcycle offers no protection for a rider when a crash occurs, the motorcyclist’s body is subjected to excessive forces, including impacts with the other vehicle and the road surface. This blunt force trauma results in serious and life-altering injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
While a helmet can reduce some of the damage from a head injury, it cannot prevent all head and brain injuries. When a rider is not wearing a helmet, their head is completely unprotected. Common head injuries included concussions, fractured skulls, and penetrating wounds. Traumatic brain injuries could result in the loss of cognitive and motor functions. Depending on the severity of the damage, a motorcycle accident victim could require a lifetime of care.
Broken Bones and Lacerations
A motorcyclist is not secured or attached to their vehicle. When a collision occurs at any speed, a rider is often thrown from the bike. The force from the impact of landing on another vehicle or the street could break or shatter bones.
Some riders will wear protective leathers to absorb some of the impact. However, this type of clothing offers only limited protection and not every rider wears it. The same forces that could fracture bones could also result in deep and dangerous lacerations that damage the skin, muscle, and internal organs.
Road rash is a type of injury particular to motorcycle riders. When a rider is thrown from their bike, they could slide across the rough asphalt for a considerable distance. When this occurs, the body suffers friction burns that could penetrate deep within the skin. These burn injuries are serious and often lead to infections and other medical complications.
Contact Our Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Attorneys For a Free Consultation
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you are probably facing expensive medical bills, physical therapy costs, and weeks or months of lost income. Motorcyclists need an attorney that has experience handling personal injury litigation arising from motorcycle accidents. At the Reiff Law Firm, our Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of hurt riders. You should concentrate on healing while our firm focuses on the compensation you deserve. Call (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free appointment to review your case.