IF YOU HAVE A COLLISION WHILE DRIVING A MOTORCYCLE, YOU ARE AT INCREASED RISK OF SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH BECAUSE YOU DO NOT HAVE THE PROTECTION OF AN ENCLOSED VEHICLE OR SAFETY BELTS. MANY PEOPLE ARE HURT AS PASSENGERS ON MOTORCYCLES AS WELL.
Although helmets and anti-lock brakes make motorcycling safer, statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show that bikers are 35 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than occupants of cars; and motorcyclists who ride without helmets are 40% more likely to die of head injury. Motorcyclists face more threats on the road for several reasons, including having to deal with drivers who are negligent, unaware, or unwilling to share the road.
In 2014 there were 3,284 motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania, and 186 of these accidents were fatal. If you have lost a loved one or have been seriously injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, you are entitled to be compensated for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered. If you were hit while riding a motorcycle, or if you were forced to veer off the road to avoid a car and you were injured, or even if you were a driver forced into an accident because a motorcyclist was not following the laws, the experienced and compassionate Williamsport motorcycle accident lawyer Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann can help by making sure you get the settlement or verdict you deserve.
Pennsylvania does not require helmets to be worn by motorcyclists. This is a terrible law, causing much more serious injury and a drain on the health care system.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The following are among the most common causes of motorcycle accidents:
Speeding and alcohol impairment: About 50 % of single-vehicle motorcycle crashes involve speeding and alcohol. Stick to posted speed limits and do not drink and drive.
Head-on collisions: The majority of motorcycle crashes with cars are caused by head-on collisions, and these crashes result in a higher fatality rate. Be aware that motorists often fail to see and recognize motorcycles in traffic.
Left turns: Collisions when making left-hand turns account for 42% of all crashes. Making a left turn involves cutting in front of an oncoming vehicle, and it can be difficult to determine if there is enough time to make the turn. Car drivers do not always clearly see a motorcycle approaching and may turn unexpectedly. Be alert for turning vehicles, and always wait until you are sure you can make the turn safely.
Lane splitting: Motorcyclists sometimes weave through traffic between two lanes of cars. Drivers do not expect the motorcycle to be there and may pull out suddenly, causing a crash. Avoid driving between lanes, even if traffic is heavy and cars have slowed or stopped.
Crashes between motorcycles and objects: 25% of motorcyclist deaths occur when motorcyclists crash with fixed objects… Maintaining control is more difficult on two wheels, and road hazards such as potholes, icy conditions, uneven lanes, and debris in the road pose significant danger to motorcyclists.
Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents
Recognize the most common injuries that happen in motorcycle accidents so you can take extra precautions to avoid them. These include:
1. Head and Neck Injuries
Head injuries can cause your skull to crack in an accident, and your brain to swell and push against your skull. Head injuries can result in a concussion and brain damage, and can even be fatal. Neck injuries can paralyze your body and also can kill.
Wearing a helmet is your best protection against head and neck injuries, and you should use a helmet every time you ride your motorcycle.
2. Road Rash
Road rash is an injury caused by sliding across the road after being thrown from a motorcycle in an accident. Injuries caused by concrete rubbing against your body can lead to more permanent damage such as skin irritations, infections, and nerve damage.
Road rash should be cleaned and treated by medical professionals. Prevention involves wearing protective clothing such as leather garments, heavy motorcycle jeans, kneepads, gloves, and jackets.
3. Muscle Damage
Damage to the muscles of your body may become permanent and lead to paralysis after a motorcycle accident. To prevent this, wear protective clothing and seek medical attention after an accident.
4. Ear Damage
Loud noise causes damage to your eardrums and leads to bursting and deafness. Helmets actually increase sounds, so wear ear plugs designed for your ear, that allow some sound from the driving environment.
5. Biker’s Arm
Biker’s arm occurs when bikers land on their arms in an attempt to deflect the impact of an accident. This may result in permanent nerve damage to the arm and upper body. Protective jackets and elbow pads may help protect against severe damage.
6. Leg, Knee, and Foot Injuries
These injuries include scrapes, cuts, severe bruising and broken bones, and may be permanently disabling. Protective clothing, kneepads, and motorcycle boots help limit these injuries.
What to do if You’re Injured In a Motorcycle Wreck
Get Medical Help. If you are injured in an accident, it is essential to get appropriate medical treatment immediately. Often the extent of injuries does not show up right away, but medical professionals know what to look for and how to prevent damage from getting worse.
Contact a Qualified Attorney. Many people will try to take advantage of those who are seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and motorcycle accidents. You should talk to a knowledgeable and competent lawyer. That lawyer will help you find out if your treatment is covered by your insurance, how to get your bills paid, and how you can go on living respectably.
Compensation. If you were involved in a crash due to the negligent behavior of another driver that resulted in serious injury or death, you may be entitled to compensation. Claims for motorcycle accidents are complicated, and it pays to have an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the legal aspects of motorcycle accidents and who will fight for your rights.
Manufacturer Liability. Sometimes motorcycles are defective. There are cases where kickstands have come down in an unanticipated manner. The science and engineering of creating safety for motorcycles is at hand, but many companies do not respect those developments. You may have a claim against the manufacturer of the motorcycle or the manufacturer of the driver of the car who did not see you.
Injured in an Motorcycle accident? Contact Us For a Free Consultation
If you have lost a loved one or have been seriously injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, you may be entitled to be compensated for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered.
Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows that accidents can happen even if a motorcyclist takes appropriate safety measures. We have spent decades honing our skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, and aggressively fight for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.
Do not delay — when it comes to accidents, prompt legal consultation can ensure the collection of relevant facts and the preservation of evidence. Contact Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann today by calling (570) 323-8711 for a free consultation, or use our online contact form.
”Cliff Rieders and his staff went over and above on our behalf. They were consummate professionals, always carefully explaining each step of the process and doing an outstanding job of preparing, communicating, and advocating for our case. I highly recommend them.” – Amy Josh (Google Review)
Attorney Cliff Rieders
Cliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.
Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.
As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]
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