Scranton Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle riding is a great way to travel through eastern Pennsylvania and explore all that the state has to offer. It can also be an unsafe method of travel – according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle accidents occur over 25 times more often than car accidents per mile traveled.
Motorcycles do not offer the exterior protection of metal that normal cars do, which can make the effects of a crash much more devastating.
What Are the Most Common Injuries for Motorcyclists?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration collects and reports data on motorcycle crashes each year to inform public policy. According to their research, lower extremity wounds are the most common injuries in riders. These include road rash, burns, and crush injuries. The other common types of motorcycle injuries include:
- Head injuries, (both open and closed), concussions, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Head injuries are most common in riders who don’t wear a helmet.
- Abdominal/trunk injuries, which can include internal bleeding, organ bruising, bruised or broken ribs, or severe road rash
- Upper extremity injuries, including torn muscles or ligaments of the shoulder and broken arm bones
Many of these injuries can be minimized by taking appropriate safety precautions – for example, by wearing a helmet and protective clothing. Still, motorcycle riders will incur injuries due to circumstances beyond their control.
Why Are Motorcycle Accidents So Common?
Motorcycles are more prone to accidents than cars, and it’s usually because some drivers don’t pay enough attention to the riders on the road. You can take all the safety precautions necessary, but still be at the mercy of other drivers. Distracted driving and negligence both play a role in motorcycle accidents. Riders also contend with other unique circumstances that lead to injury. These are the most common types of motorcycle accidents:
- Rear-end accidents – While these may be classified as “fender benders” when they involve two cars, a rear-end accident can mean serious injuries for a rider.
- Car door opening – When drivers are parallel parked, they often don’t think to look around before exiting their vehicle. This type of accident often results in extensive injuries for a biker.
- Sideswiping while changing lanes – Motorcycles often fit into a driver’s blind spot. When drivers don’t check their surroundings carefully, the consequences can be devastating.
- Turning left in front of a rider – Sometimes it’s carelessness, or even recklessness that leads a driver to turn left in front of a motorcycle. It can be the result of misjudging speed but this type of accident often leads to serious injuries.
Who Is Responsible For Damages Caused in a Motorcycle Accident in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania follows a form of a “no-fault” auto insurance system. As a result, motorcyclists will turn to their insurance companies to help pay for medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who caused it. Additionally, whether you chose “limited tort” coverage or “full tort” coverage when you bought insurance will impact who is responsible for your other damages.
- Limited Tort Coverage: With limited tort coverage, you will have to file a claim under your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for medical bills and other financial d losses. You forfeit your right to recover compensation for pain and suffering after a motorcycle accident. Only if your injury qualifies as “serious” under state law can you step outside of no-fault and file a claim against the at-fault party.
- Full Tort Coverage: If you chose full tort coverage, you have the option to sue the at-fault party under any circumstances. Meaning that there is no injury threshold, and you can file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurer for any accident-related losses. Full tort insurance has a higher monthly premium than limited tort insurance but provides better coverage.
Regarding the types of parties commonly responsible for damages in motorcycle accident cases, those include negligent drivers, third parties such as a government entity if a preventable road condition caused the accident, or a manufacturer if a defective vehicle, motorcycle, or part caused the crash. Additionally, the motorcyclist may be partially or entirely to blame. Therefore, after a collision, a thorough investigation must be completed to determine which party caused the accident and is therefore responsible.
What Damages Can Motorcycle Accident Victims Recover in Scranton, PA?
After a motorcycle accident, victims may be entitled to recover the following types of damages:
Reimbursement for actual financial losses, such as:
- Medical Expenses: Costs for treatment related to the injuries caused by the motorcycle accident.
- Anticipated Future Medical Expenses: The cost of any ongoing and future treatment you may need.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for the time missed from work while recovering, up until now and any income or benefits you will lose in the future.
- Diminished Earning Capacity: If your injuries interfere with your ability to earn an income, you may be entitled to compensation for the difference in the level of income you can make now compared to before the accident.
Compensation for subjective, non-monetary losses, such as:
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain you have had to endure and will in the future.
- Emotional Distress: If the accident or your injuries have caused psychological conditions, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, etc.
- Disability or Disfigurement: If the accident left you with a permanent disability that leaves you unable to care for yourself independently or a permanent disfigurement that causes physical and emotional pain.
- Loss of Quality of Life: If you cannot do things you enjoyed doing before the collision.
- Loss of Consortium: A spouse can recover this type of compensation if your injury causes a loss of marital benefits, such as affection, companionship, services, or sexual relations.
- Wrongful Death: If the motorcycle accident resulted in the death of a loved one, surviving family members can pursue compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of expected income, and more.
In some motorcycle accident cases, the court will award punitive damages, but this type of compensation is reserved to punish defendants (at-fault parties) who were extremely reckless.
Contact Our Scranton Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you’ve been injured in an accident on your motorcycle, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries. If the other driver was negligent, you may be able to receive a settlement to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with your rehabilitation and recovery. Pennsylvania is a “choice no-fault” state, meaning you may be able to pursue a claim, even if you elected to purchase no-fault insurance.
The attorneys at Rosenbaum & Associates have been helping families in the Wilkes-Barre & Scranton area for more than 25 years. We want to put our dedication to work for you. Your road to recovery begins with a free initial consultation at our injury firm – contact us today.