Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If You’ve Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Philadelphia or the Surrounding Counties, Let Us Help You Seek Justice.
The thrill of riding a motorcycle is palpable to just about anyone who has experienced it. But operating a motorcycle carries inherent risks often more perilous than those associated with driving other motor vehicles. These include the lack of body panels to provide protection that a car or other four-wheel vehicles afford, the lack of seat belts or air bags, and the decreased visibility of motorcycles in traffic.
The dangers of riding a motorcycle are evident in the available statistical evidence. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s most recent figures. Nationally, there were 5,458 motorcyclist fatalities in the United States in 2019, up 9% from 2018. In addition, there were 84,000 motorcycle-related injuries recorded in 2019, up 2% from the year before. In 2020, in Pennsylvania, the number of motorcycle crashes increased 14.1% from 2019 and fatal injury crashes increased 22.9% from 2019.1
Because of their vulnerability, our experience has shown that motorcyclists tend to be careful riders. However, because of the minimal protections afforded by motorcycles, when an accident occurs, damages and injuries are usually significant to the motorcyclist. A large part of the reason for this is that motorcyclists are not required to wear helmets in Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth is one of the states that allows most motorcyclists to forego helmets, only requiring them for riders and passengers aged 20 or younger or during the first two years of licensure unless they complete an approved safety course.2
Comparative Negligence & Obtaining Damages.
Pennsylvania uses a law known as “comparative negligence” which can reduce or even eliminate your recovery for a motorcycle accident.3 Pennsylvania uses a “51% rule” which means that as long as the victim or claimant is less than 51% to blame for the accident, they can recover damages. This means that if, for example, the injured party was found to be 25% liable for the accident, they can still recover 75% of the value of the awarded damages. However, if the victim is found to be 51% or more responsible for the accident, they will not receive any damages.
Due to Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence law, in a car accident, you must prove the person who hit you was at least 50% responsible for the accident to obtain damages – perhaps you can show the driver was operating their car recklessly or over the speed limit. If you show the driver is liable, the driver’s employer is also liable. In negligencecases, you cannot recover compensation if your fault caused over 51% of the accident. If your fault is 50% or less, it reduces the amount of your recovery.
Petrillo & Goldberg’s attorneys can help you understand the potential implications of the comparative negligence law in your case and maximize your recovery.
1 Source: PENNDOT.
2 35 Pa. C.S. §3525.
3 42 Pa. C.S. §7102.
Another Recovery Issue.
Another issue for motorcyclists to be aware of is that medical payment coverages only apply to pedestrians that a motorcyclist hits and injures. To make matters worse, motorcyclists are not entitled to medical expense coverage through their motor vehicle insurance policies. Accordingly, if a rider who goes down lacks health insurance, their medical expenses may quickly overshadow the liability coverage of the motorist who caused the accident. As such, we exhort all our motorcyclist clients to maximize their right to purchase significant underinsured coverage on their own policies.
If you or a loved one has been injured or worse in a motorcycle accident in the Philadelphia area, seek assistance of the legal team at Petrillo & Goldberg Law. We welcome the special challenge of motorcycle cases and will work diligently to recover all available damages on your behalf. We are here to help motorcycle injury victims obtain the compensation they deserve. We are available for a free consultation by telephone at 215-486-1LAW (215-486-1529) or at either our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or Pennsauken or Woodbury, New Jersey offices.