Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Representing Victims in Philadelphia, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre & Beyond
Motorcycle accidents are often incredibly devastating. Because motorcyclists have so little protection when compared with passengers in other types of motor vehicles, these accidents can (and frequently do) result in serious injuries, massive property damage, and even death. When a motorcycle accident negatively affects your life, it is crucial that you get legal help for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other financial and non-financial losses.
At Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law PC, we have been representing severely injured motorcycle accident victims since 2000. In our decades in practice, we have successfully secured more than $110 million for our clients, both in the form of settlements and jury verdicts. With offices in Philadelphia, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre, we are ready to assist anyone who has been injured in a motorcycle crash. Our Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorneys will work hard in their efforts to get you the compensation that you need and deserve.
The True Dangers of Motorcycle Accidents
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, motorcycle deaths have been on the rise since 2008. In 2016 alone, 4,976 motorcyclists lost their lives and accounted for 13 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths—more than double the number of deaths in 1997.
In Pennsylvania, motorcycle crash deaths rose from 2018 to 2019, with 174 motorcycle operators and passengers losing their lives in traffic accidents in 2019 (up from 164 in 2018). In 2019, motorcyclist injuries also rose from the previous year, with 2,860 motorcyclists sustaining injuries due to crashes. While this number was higher than the total number of motorcyclist injuries in Pennsylvania in 2018, it represents a downward trend in the total number of motorcyclist injuries in the state over the past five years.
Why are motorcycle accidents so fatal? Besides the vulnerability of motorcyclists, motorcycles are less stable and operators are more likely to lose control or even tip over than those in other types of motor vehicles. Along with the physical aspects of a motorcycle, operating a motorcycle takes a significant amount of skill and can become more difficult when passing through different terrains and driving environments, especially if road conditions are less than optimal.
Pennsylvania Motorcycle Helmet Law
In 2003, Pennsylvania repealed its mandatory helmet law. However, this does not mean that anyone can ride without a helmet.
According to state law, the following conditions must be met in order to ride without an approved motorcycle helmet:
- The driver must be over the age of 21
- The driver has either been licensed to operate a motorcycle for two years or completed a PennDOT-approved safety course
- The driver is riding in a three-wheeled cycle equipped with an enclosed cab
If the operator or passenger is under the age of 21, they must wear a helmet, no matter how long they have been licensed. In addition, all motorcyclists regardless of age must wear eye protection that has been approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
If you're in an accident while riding a motorcycle, you are inherently more at risk of injuries than if you were in a vehicle. If you aren't wearing proper gear while riding, this risk is compounded. Here are some of the injuries you could suffer:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal/Back injuries
- Broken/Fractured bones
- Road rash
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- And more
As you can see, if you are in an accident, you could suffer from a multitude of injuries. Having an experienced Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer on your side can help you focus on recovering while they do the heavy lifting.
Proving Negligence in Your Motorcycle Accident Case
In most motorcycle accident cases, the plaintiff (the person bringing the claim) must prove that the defendant was negligent in some way. The process of proving negligence is typically fairly difficult for the average person.
A few key aspects must be demonstrated to show negligence on behalf of the defendant:
- The law required the defendant to drive carefully
- The defendant did not drive carefully
- The defendant caused the plaintiff's injuries
- The plaintiff was injured and/or suffered losses
In addition to proving that the defendant was negligent, a personal injury attorney may also need to prove that their plaintiff was acting carefully while operating the motorcycle.
With evidence, attorneys will want to establish some of the following:
- The motorcyclist was driving carefully
- The motorcyclist is experienced
- The motorcyclist has had formal motorcycling safety training
- The other driver acted more dangerously than the motorcycle driver
Our Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorneys can also help an injured motorcyclist obtain police reports and get statements from witnesses about the nature of the crash.
Our team knows how to answer all of the above questions. We know how to value a case. We are patient and will not rush to assign a value to these items until we are certain that they are accurate. This area of the claim doesn't follow a formula. It takes years of experience to determine a fair amount and, even then, only when all factors of the case are considered. We take into account all of our clients’ injuries and losses and, from there, are able to build solid cases aimed at securing maximum compensation.
Contact Us 24/7 to Set Up a Free Consultation
At Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law PC, we have successfully litigated numerous cases in which motorcycle accidents tragically affected the lives of victims and/or the victims’ loved ones. We understand how complex these accidents can be and are prepared to fight for the justice and recovery you deserve, both in and out of the courtroom. We stand for the injured and will make sure your voice is heard.
Remember, as in any personal injury claim, time is of the essence. Not only can evidence be lost the longer you wait to file a claim, but in the state of Pennsylvania you only have two years from the date of the accident to bring your motorcycle accident claim. If you fail to file within the two-year statute of limitations, you will not be able to seek compensation for your damages.