If You Were in a Motorcycle Accident
There are several critical steps to take if you were in a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania:
- Report the accident. Under Pennsylvania law, parties involved in motor vehicle crashes have five days to report the accident to law enforcement. However, if the accident resulted in bodily injuries or death, the parties must call the police to the scene of the accident to prepare a report.
- Seek medical attention. Seeking medical help is essential if you are involved in a motorcycle accident. Documenting your injuries is important to protect your physical well-being and support your future legal claim when recovering damages.
- Collect evidence. You need to collect evidence at the scene of the motorcycle accident. Valuable pieces of evidence include but are not limited to photos taken at the scene and witness statements.
- Contact the insurance company. You need to report your accident to the insurance company within a reasonable time. Failure to do so may result in the denial of your future claim.
- Hire a personal injury attorney. Hiring a skilled attorney is an essential step to increase your chances of a favorable outcome. Your attorney will handle the legal aspects of the claims process while you devote your time and energy to recovering from injuries. Insurers can be especially difficult to negotiate claims involving motorcyclists, often because of the unfair bias some jurors may have against them. Our firm has had successful verdicts and settlements for such injured motorcyclists.
Pennsylvania Motorcycle Laws
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, you need to be familiar with motorcycle laws in the state of Pennsylvania. Knowing state laws could help you determine who was responsible for the collision.
When determining fault for a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania, it is essential to understand which party acted negligently. Negligence is a person’s failure to exercise due care under the circumstances. For example, if a driver changes lanes without checking side-view mirrors, ends up striking a motorcycle rider, that driver will be considered negligent due to failure to check surroundings before switching lanes.
In some motorcycle accidents, both parties may share fault for the crash. Pennsylvania follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence, which allows negligent parties to recover damages unless the degree of fault exceeds 50%. Under this system, recoverable damages are reduced in proportion to a person’s percentage of fault.
If Your Loved One Was Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
Generally, a spouse or another family member will need to establish guardianship or be appointed by the injured party as the “agent” to manage affairs to file a personal injury claim on behalf of the loved one.
If a person dies in a motorcycle accident, surviving family members or the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.