Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Table of Contents

    The allure of the open road while riding a motorcycle motivates millions of people to ride each and every year. Sometimes the reasons for riding can be more practical such as for day to day transportation to work or school. Regardless of your reason for riding, all motorcyclists and motorist deserve safe and well maintained highways and roads. Safety is especially important for a motorcyclist because motorcycles leave the rider more exposed to the violent forces that are involved in an accident. Motorcycles do not have air bags, a solid frame surrounding its passengers, safety harnesses, or other features cars, trucks, and SUVs use to lessen the impact on the occupants.

    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.

    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 us by calling (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.

    Distracted Driving

    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.

    Reckless Driving

    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.

    Question Witnesses

    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.

    Motorcycle Accidents Resulting in a Death

    Pennsylvania’s Wrongful Death Act corrected a problem left by the common law where the family members of a deceased loved one would be unable to recover for the death of their close family member. The Wrongful Death Act created an exception to this common law rule.

    Wrongful death damages focus on the loss suffered by the children, spouse, or parents of a deceased individual. Because wrongful death actions focus on the losses of the family members, damages for the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased individual are not available. However, one may recover:

    • Medical expenses incurred from the care of the deceased individual.
    • Funeral expenses
    • Expenses related to the administration of the deceased’s estate

    Furthermore, one is also permitted to recover what Pennsylvania courts term a pecuniary loss. A pecuniary loss is the monetary loss by a dependent when someone who provides support dies or is killed. These damages would typically include the present value of the services that the deceased would have rendered to the family if he or she had survived. It is important to note the Pennsylvania courts do not consider services in a cramped or overly restricted manner. The Rettger decision held that services was not limited to tasks such as the yard work that was at issue. Rather, services also includes the deep emotional and psychological loss when it is known that negligence was the cause of the parent, spouse or child’s death. Rettger v. UPMC, 991 A.2d 915 (Pa. Super. 2010). This severe anguish can also be included in the definition of services.

    Damages can also include the loss of any contribution the family member would have received between the time of the decedent’s death and the date of the award. More specifically, this can include money for a home or apartment, food, clothing, medical care and education.

    Survival Actions Filed by a Family Member

    Although pain and suffering damages are not available through a wrongful death action, a survival action brought by the deceased individual’s estate can seek damages for pain and suffering. Survival actions are available, “to recover damages for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another”. 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8301. However, for pain & suffering damages to be available, the individual who was killed must have consciously experienced the pain and suffering that is alleged. If the person was killed instantly or if they were rendered unconscious, pain and suffering damages are likely to be reduced or to be unavailable.

    Let’s unpack that, but first, it’s important to remember that the jury may choose to believe or disbelieve the testimony that is offered. However let’s assume that the jury finds credible the testimony that a motorcyclist did not see the tractor-trailer approaching from behind and that he or she was killed instantly. In a case like this, pain and suffering damages would be unlikely, at best. However, if the motorcyclist saw the impending collision in his or her mirror and was subsequently pinned under his or her bike while bleeding to death, then damages for pain and suffering would be extremely likely.

    However, the damages sought in wrongful death and survival actions may not overlap or result in a duplicative award. Kiser v. Schulte 648 A.2d 1 (Pa. 1994).

    Our Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Can Help

    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.

    personal injury lawyer

    ...I want to say that the Reiff Law Firm changed my entire life with handling of my legal case.

    As a former client, I want to say that the Reiff Law Firm changed my entire life with handling of my legal case. I was in a very serious automobile accident with severe injuries to neck and back areas. I contacted the law firm and asked what to do with the medical bills and how do I get the correct representation against the individual who rear-ended my car. In short, the firm took complete control of the case contacting my insurance company and asking for all the medical bills and legal matters be sent directly to them. I was able to get treatment from my doctor without worrying about the legal stuff. Furthermore, two years later the case was settled for a substantial amount of money. My life was much better due to the firm handling of my case. My attorneys at Reiff Law Firm are absolutely the best and I have recommended to my family friends. Thanks Reiff Law Firm.

    personal injury lawyer

    I’m very comfortable to say there’s no better in the city.

    Before meeting with Jeffrey Reiff and Bob Szostak from the Reiff law firm I’ve consulted with a few other injury attorneys in the Philadelphia region. Difference was, these guys know their stuff! I was absolutely blown away by how compassionate and welcome this law firm makes you feel. Once signed with them I never went a single week without staying in the loop with the progress and updates these guys have on your case. Working with them for some time turned what was an injury case, into a family! From calls and meetings, to just calling in to say “hi how’s everything going” I’ve never felt like a beat was skipped. I’d recommended the Reiff law firm 100%! I’m very comfortable to say there’s no better in the city. The awards they’ve earned over the years speaks for itself! I can never thank the Reiff law firm and Bob Szostak enough for everything they’ve done, their professionalism, compassion and all of their knowledge and experience! Highly rated! Best in the city! I look forward continuing our relationship in the future. Thanks again My Reiff family!

    personal injury lawyer

    What started out as a time for me that included a lot of doubt, questions and hopelessness has turned into one of a hopeful future.

    I highly recommend the team at the Reiff Law Firm. Both Jeff and Robert were there to guide me through a very difficult time. What started out as a time for me that included a lot of doubt, questions and hopelessness has turned into one of a hopeful future. The team at the Reiff Law Firm made me feel at ease and I had no doubts trusting them with various concerns. They kept me informed every step of the way without making me feel overwhelmed or anxious. Don't hesitate to contact them for your legal needs - especially if you want a team that has the utmost concern and compassion for their clients.

    personal injury lawyer

    ...without them I would have been lost.

    I can’t say enough great things about the Attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm. They made me feel at ease when I was going through a very difficult time in my life. Never being in a situation like this I was so unsure of where to start and how to go about the process. Justin gave me options where I thought I had none and explained everything in a way that I could understand. Justin and the team helped me arrange all of the treatment and therapy that I needed, without them I would have been lost. My attorney John went to bat for me like no one else could have, his knowledge and professionalism is unmatched. If anyone is ever in need of a team of attorneys the Reiff Law Firm is my ONLY recommendation.

    personal injury lawyer


    I was referred to the Reiff Law Firm by a friend who had previously been a client of the firm. My friend told me that the Reiff Firm had done an incredible job handling his case and treated him like family. My friend's recommendation was spot on. I am going to miss them now that my case is over. Attorney Reiff and Attorney Toczydlowski are excellent attorneys. They really care. They got me an INCREDIBLE RESULT. Most importantly they were there for me during some extremely dark and difficult times in my life. I highly recommend the Reiff Law Firm to anyone seeking the very best legal representation for injuries they suffered in an accident.

    personal injury lawyer

    ...what started as a small settlement ended $100, 000 more than expected.

    I greatly appreciate the care and compassion the Reiff Law Firm has given to my family at a very difficult time. They left no stone unturned in their investigation and what started as a small settlement ended $100, 000 more than expected. They did not give up and treated us like family.

    Verdicts & Settlements

    $13 Million

    Auto Defect/Product Liability

    Read More
    $8 Million

    Auto Defect/Product Liability

    Read More

    Our Offices

    1500 John F. Kennedy Blvd #501
    Philadelphia, PA 19102
    Get Directions

    Get a Free Case Review

    "*" indicates required fields

    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.