Motorcycles seem like a practical choice to get around Philadelphia’s meandering roads and narrow streets. However, since motorcycles don’t offer the same level of protection as other passenger vehicles, bikers are more susceptible to accidents from weather hazards and road conditions.
Based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, motorcyclists constituted 14% of all traffic-related deaths in 2020. Among major cities in the US, Philadelphia has one of the highest traffic fatalities, with seven deaths per 100,000 residents.
Pennsylvania allows motorcycle accident victims in Philadelphia and other cities to seek compensation for their injuries, medical bills, and other losses. Common injuries associated with motorcycle crashes range from broken bones to traumatic head and spinal cord injuries.
You can file a wrongful death claim if a loved one is killed in a motorcycle accident because of someone else’s negligence. However, you may need an experienced personal injury lawyer to negotiate with insurance companies and fight for your rights. While you or your loved one rest and recover, a personal injury attorney will ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Are you looking for the most skilled Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer to handle your personal injury case? The Personal Injury Center is the best place to start your search.
Damages You Can Include in Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
Motorcycle crashes are some of the worst accidents that can happen on Philadelphia roadways. No matter how careful motorcyclists are, the risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident is always present.
While motorcycle accident victims are generally eligible to file a personal injury claim, the process isn’t always straightforward. You’ll need sufficient evidence to prove your claim so that you can hold the at-fault party accountable and get fair compensation. That’s why getting a motorcycle accident attorney is necessary.
Several factors come into play when determining how much your motorcycle accident claim is worth. However, to give you a realistic expectation of your claim, it may be helpful to first understand the damages you can recover after a motorcycle accident.
Generally, damages are either economic or non-economic, and we’ll take a look at both of them.
Economic Damages in a Motorcycle Accident
Some losses you incur after a motorcycle accident may have a direct financial value and are called economic damages. Below are some of the most common economic losses you can suffer in a motorcycle accident.
- Medical Bills and Future Medical Expenses: Motorcycle accident victims may be able to get compensation for medical bills and other costs related to the accident. Typically, this type of economic damage makes up a substantial portion of a motorcycle accident claim. While this includes your current and expected medical costs, future medical expenses, such as a doctor’s opinion about your prognosis, may also be included.
For example, if your doctor tells you that you’ll need long-term physical therapy, your compensation can cover the cost of this treatment. However, make sure to monitor your medical records with the help of a skilled personal injury lawyer.
- Property Damages: The significant damages in a motorcycle crash likely spring from physical injuries and mental trauma. However, there will also be damage to the motorcycle; therefore, you should also seek property damages.
Property damages consist of repair costs of your motorcycle and any protective equipment. If the vehicle is irreparable, motorcycle accident victims can also seek compensation to replace the motorcycle. Note, however, that the amount you’ll be able to recover depends on how much your motorcycle was worth at the time of the accident.
- Lost Wages and Earning Capacity: Motorcycle accidents can affect your employment situation. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may not be able to return to work or do the same job after the crash. Therefore, motorcycle accident victims can get compensation for lost wages, which is the income they would have earned had they not been injured.
However, severe injuries from motorcycle accidents may cause long-term or permanent impairment, which can prevent you from returning to your previous occupation. In such cases, you can recover compensation for loss of earning capacity.
Non-Economic Damages in a Motorcycle Accident
Some of the losses from a motorcycle accident may be non-economic, which may have an adverse impact on a victim’s quality of life. However, since they are highly subjective, non-economic damages are more challenging to quantify, as you can’t simply calculate them by adding medical bills and receipts.
The following are examples of the type of non-economic damages you can recover after your motorcycle accident:
- Pain and Suffering: This type of non-economic damages encompasses the total level of physical pain and mental anguish experienced by a motorcycle accident injury. Even relatively minor motorcycle crashes can result in pain and suffering.
The damages for pain and suffering intend to compensate you for how much you were physically hurt and how debilitating your injuries are. This means that the amount of compensation you can get for non-economic damages depends on the severity of your injuries.
Broken bones and road rash cause a great deal of pain. However, spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries often have permanent or life-threatening effects. These catastrophic injuries are far more likely to result in a higher amount of compensation.
- Emotional Damages: Not all injuries incurred in a motorcycle crash are physical. Since motorcycle accidents are stressful and often traumatic, part of the damages motorcycle accident victims can recover is emotional distress.
Depending on the severity of the accident, injuries from emotional distress can last much longer than many physical injuries. In fact, they can even result in other severe long-term problems, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Loss of Consortium: A motorcycle accident doesn’t only affect the injured party, but it can also have an impact on the victim’s spouse, children, and family. This is particularly true when they depend on the victim for a source of income.
If a motorcyclist is injured or killed because of someone else’s negligence, family members may be entitled to non-economic damages for loss of consortium. This can be a spouse losing a sexual relationship, household labor, support, or companionship after the victim gets severely injured.
Ways To Win a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Being involved in a motorcycle accident can significantly affect your quality of life. While you can file personal injury claims for your economic and non-economic losses, the outcome may not always be in your favor.
Due to the nature of the injuries, motorcycle accident cases are often more complicated than other motor vehicle accidents. Motorcycle riders are generally viewed as natural risk-takers and reckless, who are constantly speeding on the roads. This preconceived belief can impact a motorcyclist’s chances of getting maximum compensation.
There is also the statute of limitations that only allows you to file a claim during a set period. In Pennsylvania, you have two years to prove the negligence of an at-fault party and file a claim after being injured in a motorcycle accident.
With serious injuries, costly medical expenses, and long-term loss of wages, it’s essential for motorcycle accident victims to know and protect their rights. Be proactive and win your motorcycle accident claim by doing the following:
Get Medical Attention
Motorcycle crashes are capable of causing serious injuries, such as broken bones, fractures, road rash, and traumatic brain injuries. In severe motorcycle accidents, victims may lose consciousness. If, however, you’re conscious, you should ask for medical assistance and describe your injuries to the paramedics.
Whether unconscious or not, motorcycle accident victims must get immediate medical attention. This is vital for your health and safety and for any claim you may want to file in the future. Even if you don’t believe your injuries are serious, you should still seek medical help right away, as you might feel fine even if you are not.
Since doctors are experienced in working with motorcycle accident victims, they can recognize subtle symptoms and injuries. Getting medical treatment as soon as possible is helpful when establishing the timing of the injury and its link to the motorcycle crash. You should also note that following a treatment plan is necessary for you to recover, and for any claim for compensation, you may file later.
Gather and Save Evidence
Motorcycle accident victims need physical and testimonial evidence to prove their injuries. Making sure you’re safe and can recover is the most important thing after an accident. However, if you want to win your motorcycle accident claim, you’ll need to gather evidence, such as photos and videos of the accident. You can use them as evidence when negotiating your claim.
This is why you shouldn’t self-treat your injuries. Even if it’s medically advisable, proving your injuries without medical records will be much more challenging. Therefore, ask the doctors to document your injuries before and after you get treatment.
Besides medical records, here is a list of evidence you should collect after being involved in a motorcycle accident:
- Police reports
- Pictures or videos of the accident scene and vehicle damage
- Witness statements and their contact information
- Medical bills for treatment of injuries
- Documentation of lost wages and earning capacity
Report the Motorcycle Accident
While a police report may not be admissible in court, it can contain valuable information that will help prove the cause of the motorcycle accident. The police officer will come to the crash scene, make a report and get the contact details of everyone involved. That’s why it’s always important to report a motorcycle accident to the police, even if it’s only a minor one.
Avoid Speaking to Insurance Adjusters
Before you can complete a motorcycle accident claim and get compensation, the insurance company will likely reach out to you. While insurance adjusters may seem friendly and concerned about you, their primary goal is to save money for the company. Therefore, they will do whatever they can to dispute or deny your claim and offer the lowest possible settlement.
Avoid speaking to insurance adjusters without a personal injury attorney’s presence or legal advice. This way, you won’t ruin your chances of receiving fair compensation. Remember that insurance adjusters use tactics to manipulate motorcycle accident victims, and they may even discourage you from hiring an attorney.
Hire an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Recovering from a motorcycle accident is stressful enough. Add to that the complexities of filing a motorcycle accident claim within the limitation period and trying to get the maximum compensation you deserve.
You’ll undoubtedly need the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer to understand your rights. They will properly represent you and help you gather all the necessary evidence to prove your case.
Remember that you can never count on an insurance company to get fair compensation. However, an experienced personal injury attorney from a reliable law firm knows how to deal and negotiate with insurance companies. Therefore, make sure you have a lawyer to represent you.
Get Legal Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Philadelphia. Visit The Personal Injury Center Today!
Being involved in a motorcycle accident results in losses and expenses, but you don’t have to deal with them alone. You could file a claim if you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident. However, you’ll need help to assert your rights so that you can win your motorcycle accident claim. Therefore, make sure to speak to a lawyer after your motorcycle accident.
How do you ensure that you get the best possible legal representation? The Personal Injury Center can help you find the most experienced lawyer specializing in motorcycle accident cases. Get a free consultation today and find the right Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorney to represent you.
FAQs on Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Philadelphia
The amount of compensation for each motorcycle accident can vary since it's based on the extent of your injuries and other factors. However, the average cost can range from $7,000 to 30,000.
If you're making a claim with your insurance company, they usually have 15 days to investigate the case and offer a settlement. However, if you're settling a claim with a third-party insurer, the company has 30 days to do it. Note that severe or life-changing injuries and disputed claims can take much longer.
While there are many causes of motorcycle accidents, the following are the most common causes of motorcycle crashes in Philadelphia:
- Disobeying traffic laws
- Drunk driving
- Lane splitting and changing lanes without looking
- Mechanical malfunction or defect in a motor vehicle
- Driver's recklessness and negligence
- Poor road conditions, such as potholes, broken concrete and ice patches