Here in Pennsylvania, we like to consider ourselves a very motorcycle-friendly state. But even the most careful bikers risk more severe injuries and fatalities than drivers of larger motor vehicles.
Motorcyclists also often suffer extreme bias regarding accident and insurance claims, making it challenging to get the compensation they deserve after a severe injury. Because of this, you should get serious legal representation if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania. Let our motorcycle accident attorneys at Silver & Silver help.
Motorcycle Crash Statistics Paint a Concerning Picture
The National Highway Safety Administration publishes crash statistics every year. And unfortunately, 2021 saw a record in motorcycle fatalities since they began collecting data in 1975:
- In 2021, there were 5,932 bikers killed in traffic accidents, an 8 percent increase over the previous year.
- An estimated 82,686 motorcyclists were injured in traffic accidents, a 5 percent increase over the previous year.
- Per miles traveled the fatality rate of a biker was nearly 24 times the rate of an occupant in a passenger vehicle.
- In Pennsylvania alone, 226 motorcyclist fatalities and 3,362 motorcyclist injuries were reported in 2021.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Wayne, PA
Like any other motor vehicle accident, a motorcycle accident can be caused by a variety of things. But as a motorcyclist, you are at a significantly increased risk of injury, even in what would be considered a minor automobile accident.
Motorcycle accidents are most commonly caused by:
- Speeding — Excessive speed, either on the part of the biker or another driver, decreases either driver’s reaction times, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
- Unsafe lane changes — Drivers who make lane changes without first checking their blind spot risk hitting a motorcyclist who may be hidden from view, increasing the chances of a collision.
- Impaired driving — Driver impairment due to drugs or alcohol affects both bikers’ and drivers’ ability to operate their vehicles safely.
- Sudden stops — Whether a motorcyclist must stop suddenly, risking a rear-end collision, or another vehicle stops abruptly, both put a motorcyclist at risk of a motorcycle crash and serious injuries, especially if thrown into an intersection with oncoming traffic.
- Dangerous left-hand turns — Misjudgments in speed or distance of oncoming traffic when a vehicle is turning left at an intersection can result in some of the most dangerous accidents for motorcyclists on our roads today.
- Lane-splitting — Although illegal in Pennsylvania, lane-splitting, where the motorcycle maneuvers between two lanes of traffic going in the same direction, has led to many unfortunate motorcycle accidents.
- Unsafe road conditions — Weather, hazardous road conditions, and road maintenance without appropriate safety signage can result in dangerous hazards for a motorcyclist.
Unfortunately, as a biker, even the most minor of traffic incidents can result in serious injuries to you. Don’t try to navigate an accident claim on your own. Before accepting any settlement, understand what you are entitled to. Get the advice and guidance of the experienced Wayne accident lawyers at Silver & Silver.
The Vulnerabilities of the Biker in a Motorcycle Crash
As a motorcyclist, you are far more vulnerable to injuries on our roads. And it’s the very nature of the motorcycle itself that increases that vulnerability.
- Fewer wheels mean less traction – With only two wheels and no enclosed space, you are vulnerable to many hazards. Weather, particularly rain, snow, and ice, can affect your ability to see or maintain stability and control your vehicle. Your braking distance increases, thereby requiring quicker judgment calls. Furthermore, you are far more vulnerable to gravel, potholes, oil slicks, or other debris that could cause you to lose control.
- The size of the motorcycle makes you less likely to be seen – Because a motorcycle is much smaller than passenger vehicles and trucks, you can face visibility issues on the road, making you and your motorcycle more easily obscured in other vehicles’ blind spots and harder to see in general.
- You lack protection – Without a large vehicle body and safety features such as airbags and seatbelts, you are far more likely to suffer serious injuries or even a fatality when an accident occurs.
- Others misjudge your distance and speed – Other drivers often misjudge or underestimate the distance or speed you are traveling.
- You are subject to societal and insurance stigma – Society often views bikers as irresponsible and reckless. Insurance companies have also embraced that stigma to avoid paying claims. This can make it more difficult for you to get fairly compensated for your injuries after an accident.
How Motorcycle Insurance Differs From Automobile Insurance in Pennsylvania
While Pennsylvania is a “choice” no-fault insurance state, how insurance works in motorcycle accidents differs greatly from passenger vehicle claims.
In Pennsylvania, motorcycle insurance policies are not required to provide medical coverage for riders.
This differs from typical automobile insurance coverage, which must provide a minimum level of medical coverage for their policyholders. While the state minimum for auto insurance is $5,000 for personal injury protection, motorcycle policies do not automatically include PIP, and few insurance companies offer it for bikers.
If you are injured by a negligent driver, however, you are allowed the benefit of automatic full tort coverage for your damages. This means you have the ability to sue the negligent driver for both economic and non-economic damages.
However, proving negligence can be difficult. This is why it is crucial to have the representation and advice of an experienced Wayne motorcycle accident lawyer. At Silver & Silver, our skilled motorcycle accident attorneys will protect your rights and work diligently to recover the compensation you need and deserve for your damages.
What Damages Are You Entitled to If You Have Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Pennsylvania?
Financial compensation for injuries and damages after a motorcycle accident in Wayne, PA, may be available to help you heal and get your life back on track. Economic and non-economic damages available to you can include
- Medical costs, surgeries, hospital bills, doctor bills
- Medications, medical equipment and supplies, and other out-of-pocket costs
- Physical and occupational therapies
- Lost wages if you’ve been unable to work
- Lost future earning capacity if you’ve become disabled
- Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages
- Future medical and life care after a debilitating injury
- Wrongful death benefits for your loved ones if your accident resulted in a fatality.
The skilled Wayne motorcycle accident attorneys at Silver & Silver understand insurance company tactics to avoid paying injured motorcyclists. While you heal, we diligently fight for your rights to fair compensation. We will not hesitate to pursue the matter in court if a fair settlement can’t be negotiated. Schedule a free consultation at (610) 658-1900 or through our online contact form to learn more. You never pay legal fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
This website is designed to provide only general information. The information presented on this website is not formal legal advice. You should not rely on any general information from any source for making legal decisions. Each legal matter is unique and requires specific attention from a qualified and experienced attorney. Unless a representation agreement has been signed with the Law Offices of Silver and Silver, we are not your legal representatives.