Choose the Right Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Are you looking for a motorcycle accident lawyer in Pennsylvania? When riding a motorcycle, you have little protection and even low-speed collisions can cause severe injuries. Your body is completely exposed to cars, buses, trucks, and other vehicles that can cause a crash. Motorcycle accidents can be serious. In fact, 4,985 riders died in crashes in 2018.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania, you are going to need an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Kitay Law Offices is prepared to help and you can always call for a free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident Causes
Most often, you have little time to avoid a motorcycle accident. Since motorcycles are much smaller than most vehicles on the roads, other drivers can easily overlook you. As a result, what was once an open lane turns into a danger zone in a split-second. Plus, with almost no time to avoid the accident, you are at risk of severe injuries. In fact, The Motorcycle Safety Foundation estimates that most motorcycle accidents occur when the other driver fails to obey the motorcyclist’s right of way. When this happens, you will want an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer on your side.
Motorcycle Accident Examples
Motorcycle accidents have a wide variety of causes. Some of these include:
- Other driver was texting while driving
- Using GPS or other navigation device, causing the other driver to take their eyes off the road
- Making selections on the radio
- Eating in the car
- Looking into the back seat to take care of children
- Driving while drunk or under the influence of some other intoxicant
- Failure to use turn signals
- Not looking over their shoulder when changing into your lane
- Blowing past a stop sign
- Running a red light
- Making a left-hand turn without clearance
- Following too closely
Amazingly, this is just a fraction of the motorcycle accident causes we see regularly. Therefore, riding a motorcycle can be just as dangerous as it is exhilarating. Ensure you find the best personal injury lawyer for you after your motorcycle accident. The experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Kitay Law Offices are ready to help. Reach us online or at 888-KITAYLAW for a free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
While riding a motorcycle, your body is exposed to the world. Importantly, good quality clothing and gear can help protect against road rash. However, you are still likely to suffer a significant impact in any accident. Your leg may be sideswiped, a rear-end collision could knock you over, or a head-on collision may send you flying.
No matter what, your body is subject to strong forces and a severe impact. In fact, this is even true in a low-speed collision. Unfortunately, this trend has increased over the past several years. Since 1994, motorcycle-related deaths in the United States have more than doubled. When an accident occurs, ensure you have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney fighting for your rights.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Since motorcycle accidents are so unique, riders may suffer a wide variety of injuries in an accident. Therefore, some of the most common injuries include the following:
- Head injuries, including concussions, post-concussion syndrome, and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken bones
- Road rash and other burns
- Spinal injuries, including herinations and radiating pain to extremities
- Amputated limbs
- Crush injuries
- Torn muscles
Riding a motorcycle can be fun and empowering. Unfortunately, riding also puts you at risk of serious injuries. This is especially true when other drivers fail to take proper care on the roadway. As a result, you have a high chance of suffering injuries from a motorcycle accident at some point. When you do, get an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in your corner. The attorneys at Kitay Law Offices are ready to help. Contact us online or at 888-KITAYLAW. We’ll provide a free consultation and explain the next steps.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle accidents are all too common and the statistics show it. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reports that over 3,000 motorcycle crashes occurred in the Commonwealth each year from 2013 through 2017. Also, more than 170 of those crashes involved fatal injuries each of those years. Further, motorcycle passengers were killed in 7% of the 2017 accidents.
Motorcycles are still highly popular, however. Over 450,000 motorcycles were sold in the United States during 2018 and 2019. In addition, over 190,000 ATVs were sold throughout the country in that same time period.
Sadly, helmet use has decreased over the past several years. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that helmet use has dropped from 71% in 2000 to 65% in 2017. Further, 23.6% of the nation’s motorcycle-related deaths during the work-week occur during the rush hour times between 3pm and 6pm. On the weekend, 24.4% of deaths occur between the evening hours of 6pm-9pm. Importantly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that helmet use reduces the risk of death by 37% and the risk of head injury by 69%. If all riders had worn helmets in 2017, 749 additional lives could have been saved.
So, while riding is exciting, it can also be very dangerous. Unfortunately, another driver’s single mistake puts you at risk of serious injury. And due to the unique aspects of these crashes, your injuries could alter your life forever. This affects you and everybody else in your life. Therefore, make sure you have the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys in Pennsylvania at Kitay Law Offices on your side. We will fight for your rights to maximum compensation. Contact us online or call 888-KITAYLAW for a free consultation.
Pennsylvania Motorcycle Helmet Law
The Pennsylvania Motorcycle Helmet Law seeks to keep riders as safe as possible. Yes, wearing a helmet may not be as comfortable as riding without one. However, the motorcycle accident statistics we have provided on this page show how important it is to always wear a helmet while riding.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) has created a helpful document to ensure you are following the law. Therefore, to ensure you comply with the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Helmet Law, follow these requirements:
- Purchase a helmet that meets the United States Department of Transportation safety standards. Importantly, you can ensure compliance by looking for a “DOT” sticker on the helmet.
- Wear protective eye wear to defend against rocks, bugs, wind, and other flying objects.
- Ensure your helmet allows for a field of vision of at least 120 degrees.
Additional Responsibilities for Motorcycle Riders
In addition to these requirements, motorcycle riders in Pennsylvania have various responsibilities while on the roadway. These help to prevent collisions and can keep you and others safe. Luckily, this handy Motorcycle Operator Manual from PennDOT provides great detail regarding your responsibilities. Some of these include:
- Make yourself visible: Wear proper clothing, use your headlight to enhance your visibility, and ride in the lane so that other vehicles can see you.
- Use your turn signals: Show other drivers where you intend to go by using your turn signals and brake lights.
- Maintain proper spacing: Don’t follow too closely and pass other vehicles in a careful manner.
- Keep your eyes on the road: Stay alert for hazards. This applies to both dangerous road conditions and other drivers’ actions.
Still, accidents happen and you may suffer injuries. When it does, you will want an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Pennsylvania protecting your rights. Remember, the at-fault driver will have an attorney representing their interests. That attorney is hired by the insurance company. So, don’t put yourself at a disadvantage simply by trying to go it alone. Call Kitay Law Offices at 888-KITAYLAW or contact us online for a free consultation.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for my Motorcycle Accident in Pennsylvania?
Yes, you should definitely hire a motorcycle accident attorney for your case! Having an experienced attorney on your side is crucial to your success. As you can see from the other information we have provided on this page, motorcycle accidents are treated uniquely by Pennsylvania law. Therefore, you will want an attorney who deeply understands the law with a proven track record of success.
After your motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania, the at-fault driver will be represented by an attorney. This attorney will look out for the other driver’s best interests, not yours. In addition, the other driver’s insurance company will have an insurance adjuster assigned to your case. This adjuster will want to speak with you and gather information related to your accident and injuries.
Importantly, the insurance adjuster is not your friend. They may speak nicely to you and try to sound like your friend. However, they are responsible for settling your case for the lowest amount possible. As a result, you should have your own experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Pennsylvania by your side. This way, you will be protected. Further, your attorney will ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.
What if the Insurance Company already Offered Money for my Injuries?
The insurance adjuster for the at-fault driver may offer you money to settle your case. However, don’t take it! Speak to an attorney first.
The insurance adjuster’s job is to close out your claim for the lowest amount of money possible. They may tell you that the law doesn’t allow them to offer you any more money. In addition, the adjuster may tell you that you don’t have the right to receive compensation for all of your losses and damages. Don’t believe them!
Hire an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to fight for your rights. The lawyers at Kitay Law Offices will protect you, fight for you, and work to obtain the best result possible for your case. Call us at 888-KITAYLAW or contact us online for a free consultation.
Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident in Pennsylvania
You have the right to receive full compensation for your motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania. Motorcycle accidents can result in life-altering injuries. Importantly, your injuries may also affect your work, your personal life, and your family. Unfortunately, even low-speed motorcycle accident can have these effects. The injuries you suffer are called “personal injuries.”
An experienced lawyer will fight for maximum compensation. In doing so, your attorney will seek two different types of damages. These are called “Special” damages and “General” damages. Special damages may include:
Unpaid Medical Bills
Your accident likely caused injuries. As a result, you may have been taken to the hospital in an ambulance, had tests completed, and gone through physical therapy. In some cases, you may need various procedures completed, like injections or surgery. As a result, you may have piles of medical bills that have gone unpaid. You should receive compensation to cover these outstanding bills.
Medical Treatment in the Future
Unfortunately, some injuries never heal. Your motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania may have caused permanent injuries. If so, you may require ongoing medical care for months, years, or for the rest of your life. Obviously, medical care is not free. As a result, you will have medical bills in the future. As a result, you should receive money to cover that future cost.
Lost Wages in the Past
Frequently, motorcycle accident injuries make it impossible to go back to work right away. You may miss days, weeks, or months from work. Hopefully, you will eventually be able to return to work. However, you will miss out on your wages while you are out of work. Therefore, you should receive compensation to cover those lost wages.
Future Wage Loss
In some cases, your injuries may prevent you from ever returning back to the same type of work you did before the crash. You may have been on track for a promotion that you can no longer receive. Further, you may suffer injuries that prevent you from progressing with your career in the same way you had planned. If this is the case, you will lose out on wages for the rest of your life. The law provides for compensation in these situations.
What about compensation for my pain and suffering?
The previous categories of damages did not take into account your pain or suffering. However, the law does allow you to receive compensation for this, as well as the other ways in which your injuries have affected your life. Again, motorcycle accidents are different and unique. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will understand the law in your case.
In many motor vehicle accident cases, we need to discuss the differences between Limited Tort and Full Tort. Usually, the differences are important because the Tort Option on your own auto insurance policy may determine whether you can receive compensation for your pain and suffering. However, this discussion does not apply to motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania. Instead, as a motorcycle rider you are entitled to “General” damages. These may include the following:
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Even in low-speed motorcycle accidents, you may suffer significant injuries. As a result, you may experience extreme pain and suffering. To cope, you may need to change the way you live your life. In addition, your doctors may prescribe powerful pain killers to help you make it through each day. As a motorcycle rider in Pennsylvania, you should receive compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced from your injuries.
Mental Stress and Emotional Damages
In addition to physical injuries, motorcycle accidents can cause mental and emotional damages. Importantly, mental stress and anxiety can interfere with every aspect of your life. It can ruin your daily routine and prevent you from connecting with people you love. As a result, the law provides for compensation due to the mental and emotional impact your crash has caused.
Reduced Ability to Enjoy Life
Maybe you liked to go to the movies. Maybe you used to help your children practice for their sports activities. Whatever activity it may be, your motorcycle accident injuries can prevent you from participating in them like you used to. Standing too long can be painful. Sitting too long can feel horrible. As a result, enjoying the pleasures of life is just not the same as before. In this case, you should receive compensation for the affect your injuries have had on your ability to enjoy life.
Scars and other Disfigurement
Especially in motorcycle accidents, you may suffer scarring or other types of disfigurement. Road rash can leave permanent scarring. A T-bone accident may have resulted in an amputation to one of your legs. Unfortunately, a wide variety of these results can occur in motorcycle accidents. Fortunately, the law provides compensation for your scarring or disfigurement.
Embarrassment Related to your Accident and Injuries
If your motorcycle accident causes visible scarring, you may be embarrassed to go out in public. The same may be true if you suffered an amputation. As a result, you should receive compensation for this effect your injuries have caused on your life.
Importantly, obtaining compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries is no small task. Therefore, it is critical that you have an experienced attorney on your side. Kitay Law Offices is here to help. Contact us online or at 888-KITAYLAW. We will provide a free consultation and explain how we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Who can I Sue for my Motorcycle Accident in Pennsylvania?
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to sue multiple people or companies for your motorcycle accident injuries. Importantly, each case is different so you will want to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. For example, you can likely only sue the at-fault driver if they were simply on their way to the grocery store in their own car. On the other hand, you may be able to sue a company if the at-fault driver was running an errand for work. Therefore, some of your options may include:
- At-fault driver
- The vehicle owner if someone else was driving their car
- A company if the at-fault driver was in the course and scope of employment at the time of your crash
- Local, state, or federal entity due to road defects that should have been repaired but were not
- Repair shop if they performed poor work that caused the accident to occur
You can see, therefore, that you may be able to sue a variety of people or companies. Each of the people or companies that you sue will have an attorney on their side to defend against your claim. Therefore, make sure you hire an experienced lawyer to fight for your rights. Call Kitay Law Offices at 888-KITAYLAW or contact us online for a free consultation. We are here to help.
I have Medical Bills from my Motorcycle Accident in Pennsylvania. Who Pays?
Pennsylvania law gets tricky when it comes to who pays for your medical bills after a motorcycle accident. Logically, we should be able to simply take your pile of medical bills and send them to the at-fault driver for payment. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Instead, your experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Pennsylvania will explain the system for you.
The Medical Bill Payment System
As a starting point, the law generally requires your own auto insurance company to pay your medical bills. These are called “First-Party Benefits” and most auto insurance policies must have at least $5,000.00 available to pay for medical bills. Importantly, this is true even if the collision was not your fault. As a result, this is one of the reasons why we call Pennsylvania a “No-Fault” state.
However, motorcycle accidents are an exception to the First-Party Benefits rule. Instead, the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law specifically states that motorcycle riders are not eligible for First-Party Benefits. As a result, your motorcycle insurance company will not pay for any of your medical bills.
Since you are not eligible for First-Party Benefits, you must initially use your own health insurance to pay for medical bills related to your motorcycle accident. Therefore, you are responsible for co-pays, deductibles, or co-insurances. Those amounts you do have to pay will become part of the “Special” damages you can claim in your case.
If you don’t have health insurance, your medical bills will remain outstanding and become part of the damages you may claim in your case. Unfortunately, your bills may continue piling up until your motorcycle accident case is resolved. As a result, it is extremely important to have an outstanding attorney on your side. You can always contact the experienced lawyers at Kitay Law Offices for help at 888-KITAYLAW for a free consultation.
How Long Until My Case Settles?
This question has no simple answer. It is true that each case is different. However, most motorcycle accident cases settle at some point. Throughout the nation, only about 3% of all civil cases went to trial in state courts as of 2005.
To be clear, your motorcycle accident case is considered a “personal injury” case. We have written extensively about the Personal Injury Timeline. Generally, most cases settle within about 1.5 years after the date of your accident. Further, most cases settle without entering the court system. For a quick reference, download our helpful outline.
If your case cannot be resolved outside of court, your motorcycle accident lawyer will begin the litigation process. This brings us to the Personal Injury Litigation Timeline. Importantly, your case may still settle at any point in time while in litigation. If your case in unable to settle, it will eventually go to an arbitration or trial. As a result, making it through that entire process can easily take an additional 2 years after your case enters litigation. We have a helpful guide you can download for this process, as well.
The attorneys at Kitay Law Offices will explain this process so you understand what is happening throughout your case. We are ready to fight for your rights. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 888-KITAYLAW.
How Much is My Case Worth?
At the outset of your case, it is impossible to tell how much your motorcycle accident case is worth. Instead, you will need to work closely with the attorney throughout your case to determine your case value.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics compiles data regarding trial verdicts in personal injury cases. As of 2005, the median award for a plaintiff in a personal injury state court jury trial was $30,500.00. However, juries found in favor of the plaintiff only 54% of the time. In other words, each case truly is different and the value of your case is determined by many factors.
Therefore, ensure you retain an experienced attorney at Kitay Law Offices. We will guide you through each of the elements of your case to determine how much your motorcycle accident case is worth. As a result, we will seek maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact us online or at 888-KITAYLAW for a free consultation.
To be successful in your motorcycle accident claim, you must prove that the other driver is responsible to pay for your damages. Importantly, it is not enough that you were injured in an accident. Instead, you need to prove that the other party caused the collision to occur. This is a concept called “negligence.”
Essentially, negligence means that the other party failed to act in the same way a reasonable person would under the same circumstances as your accident. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Pennsylvania will develop evidence to prove the other driver’s negligence. Interestingly, proving negligence actually includes multiple elements:
- Duty: Under the circumstances of your case, you must show that the other driver needed to act in a certain way. In some circumstances, other people have no duty to be careful. So, this must be determined in each individual case.
- Breach of Duty: You must show that the other driver failed to act consistent with their Duty.
- Causation: The other driver’s Breach of Duty must have caused your injuries. Importantly, there could be more than one reason you suffered injuries. However, you must demonstrate that the other driver’s actions caused your injuries in some way.
- Damages: You cannot recover any compensation unless you have suffered some kind of damages. The other driver may have been completely negligent, but you get nothing if you have no damages.
Thankfully, it is OK if you were partially negligent in your motorcycle accident. In some states, you are prevented from recovering any compensation if you were even 1% responsible for the accident occurring. This concept is called “Contributory Negligence.”
Pennsylvania, however, uses a concept called “Comparative Negligence.” Here, you can still receive compensation for your damages even if you were up to 50% responsible for the accident occurring. On the other hand, if you are 51% negligent, you cannot recover anything for your injuries.
As you can see, proving liability can get pretty complicated. Importantly, each case is different. Also, the extent to which you were responsible for the accident can greatly affect your case. Therefore, ensure you have an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer on your side. The attorneys at Kitay Law Offices are ready to help. Contact us at 888-KITAYLAW or online for a free consultation.
What to do After a Motorcycle Accident in Pennsylvania
After an accident, you will likely experience an adrenaline rush. Your emotions may run high and you might even want to strike back at the other driver. However, it is important to keep your emotions under control and follow these steps:
- Police Report: Call the police and ensure they complete an Accident Report. This will help you show the other driver’s negligence. Plus, your attorney will use it to get some quick information about your accident.
- Don’t Negotiate: The at-fault driver may make a verbal settlement offer to you. Don’t take it! Get an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Pennsylvania on your side to help negotiate a settlement.
- Document the Scene: Take photos and videos of the accident scene and your injuries. Remember, if you don’t do this the at-fault driver will try to make the accident sound less severe that it actually was.
- Contact Witnesses: Speak with witnesses in the area and get their contact information. Importantly, these witnesses can help show that the other driver’s version of the accident is incorrect.
Once you have taken the above actions, get medical treatment for your injuries immediately. After seeing a doctor, you should contact an attorney for a free consultation. Here at Kitay Law Offices, we can review your case and show how we can help.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created a helpful Motorcycle Safety Guide. Here are some of the pointers you should follow to stay safe on the roads:
- Always wear a helmet
- Obtain a proper motorcycle license
- Support universal motorcycle helmet laws
- Don’t drink and drive
Kitay Law Offices fully supports these safety measures and we hope you stay safe on the roads. However, accidents do still happen. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, call the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Kitay Law Offices. You can reach us online or at 888-KITAYLAW. We will provide a free consultation and fight for your rights.
How can I make the Roads Safer for Motorcycles?
Several organizations throughout the country work to improve motorcycle safety on the roads. Get involved and you may help save a life. Some of these organizations include:
- Motorcycle Safety Foundation®: This group develops rider training programs and works with various governmental entities to improve road safety for motorcycle riders.
- National Safety Council®: This organization works to raise awareness for motorcycles on the roadway. In addition, they provide useful tips to improve your own safety while riding a motorcycle.
Unfortunately, accidents still happen. When they do, make sure you get an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer on your side.