The Reiff Law Firm is a Philadelphia personal injury law firm dedicated to representing injured motorcyclists, injured motorcycle passengers, and the family members of fatal accident victims. Our trial-ready, award-winning team of Pennsylvania accident attorneys has nearly 40 years of experience representing tens of thousands of personal injury and wrongful death victims and is prepared to launch an aggressive, comprehensive investigation into the causes of your accident to determine and prove liability. We will work tirelessly to uncover vital evidence, calculate the full scope of your future and anticipated losses, and craft the legal strategy with the highest likelihood of achieving a favorable outcome.
Some personal injury cases are straightforward. However, when the facts are uncertain or the circumstances unclear, an accident claim quickly becomes challenging. Motorcycle accident claims are especially demanding because riders carry a reputation of being reckless. Our Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorneys are well aware of the hurdles injured riders face while negotiating a settlement or fighting for their rights at trial.
Located in Center City, our motorcycle crash lawyers represent injury victims throughout the Philadelphia region and surrounding counties. For a free legal consultation about how we may be able to help you file a claim or lawsuit for your biking injury, contact our Philadelphia car accident law firm at (215) 709-6940 today.
Common Causes of Accidents and Factors That Contribute to Injuries in Philadelphia Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists share the road with much larger vehicles. When an accident occurs between a motorcycle and another vehicle, the rider often suffers the most severe injuries. There are some common causes of motorcycle accidents in and around the Philadelphia area.
Failing to Yield Making a Left-Hand Turn
Many motorcycle accidents occur when another driver makes a left-hand turn and fails to yield to an oncoming rider. The driver turns into the intersection, striking the motorcycle traveling straight through. These types of crashes also occur when a driver is trying to pass or overtake another vehicle.
More accidents are probably caused by a driver not paying attention than anything else. Looking down at a text or trying to eat a sandwich diverts a driver’s focus. When this occurs, drivers drift between lanes, miss traffic signals, or are unaware of changing traffic conditions. Because of the small profile of a motorcycle, even the slightest distraction could cause a driver not to see a rider.
Accidents are more likely to occur when a driver is speeding, improperly changing lanes, tailgating, or otherwise engaging in some reckless conduct. When tailgating results in a rear-end collision with another car, the result is usually some physical damage and minor injuries. However, when a car rear-ends a motorcycle, the injures are often severe or fatal.
Motorcycles provide a sense of freedom and excitement not found when operating other vehicles. Unfortunately, the same factors that make riding exhilarating contribute to potentially catastrophic injuries if the rider is involved in an accident.
Less Ability to Brake on a Motorcycle
When a driver slams on the brakes in a car, they expect the car to stop quickly. The braking systems in most cars are efficient and powerful. Motorcycles are different. If a motorcyclist is forced to quickly apply the brakes, they will likely lose control of their bike.
Motorcyclists Have Less Protection
Cars and trucks offer their drivers and passengers many safety devices to mitigate injuries in an accident, including safety belts and airbags. The construction itself provides a protective frame. Motorcycles offer none of these safety enhancements. There is little protecting a rider from other vehicles and the road surface.
Motorcycles are More Difficult to Control
While a motorcycle might appear to respond quickly and reliably to its rider’s desires, these machines are much more difficult to control than other vehicles. Motorcycles are not as easy to steer and must be constantly balanced. Additionally, two wheels do not offer the same stability as four wheels. Gravel, debris, potholes, or uneven roadways present a significant hazard to motorcyclists.
Proving Liability in a Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Case
For a motorcycle accident victim to be awarded compensatory damages, they must establish that another party was liable for the accident. Our Philadelphia motorcycle lawyers will work with a team of experts to investigate your crash. Our goal is to identify who is responsible for the crash. This includes working to overcome prejudices that exist against motorcyclists.
The Police Report
The police officers who responded to the accident will produce an accident report. A police report is an important document that describes the collision, lists information regarding the parties involved, and often serves as a starting point for our firm’s investigation.
In many cases, the police report will include the initial findings of the investigating officer, including a detailed description of what occurred. This information could help establish what driver was at fault. If the other driver was issued a citation for speeding, reckless driving, or intoxication, it could strengthen your case.
Examine the Accident Scene
While the police report will contain valuable information, it is also useful to examine the accident scene. Sometimes critical information is available that was left out of the report. For example, a local business or homeowner could have captured the crash on their security camera. Additionally, skid marks or other abnormalities at the scene could provide insight into what occurred.
While a police report might include statements from a witness, further questioning often reveals information that was not included in the report. Having one or more impartial witnesses that support your claim will add weight to your injury case.
Comparative Negligence and Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
Many accidents are the result of a chain of reactions and errors by multiple parties. Perhaps the motorcyclist was speeding while a driver was sending a text. Pennsylvania negligence law takes these types of situations into consideration. If you file a personal injury claim in Philadelphia, your potential compensation could be reduced because of Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence laws.
In Pennsylvania, a jury will be asked to determine what amount of damages a motorcycle accident victim deserves. Additionally, they will be asked to determine what percentage of each party’s conduct contributed to the crash. The victim’s award will then be reduced by their percentage of fault. If a plaintiff is more than 50% to blame, they will be prohibited from recovering any damages. To illustrate this point, imagine a motorcyclist is awarded $100,000 in damages. The jury believes the rider was 40% to blame for the accident. Their $100,000 award would be reduced to $60,000. Because of the prejudice against motorcyclists, it is important to have an attorney who has experience litigating motorcycle accident claims.
Philadelphia Motorcycle Injury Attorneys Representing Accident Victims
Principal and Founding Attorney Jeffrey Reiff has been involved in many motorcycle cases over his decades practicing law. In these matters, he has consistently provided high-quality representation, regardless of whether the case was relatively straightforward or required the advancement of groundbreaking theories of liability. Furthermore, he has participated in numerous motorcycle safety and motorcycle law forums, giving him an added layer of knowledge and insight specific to motorcycling injury cases. Call our Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorneys at (215) 709-6940 to discuss the details of your case.