In 2017 there were over 3,000 motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania resulting in 186 fatalities and thousands of injuries. Motorcyclists are often perceived as risk takers that are both reckless and careless, but often it is the other driver who is at fault in a motorcycle accident. As Mercer County motorcycle accident attorneys know, even when motorcycles exercise due care and caution and liability is clearly not on the motorcycle, insurance companies will often still fight a full and fair settlement.
Motorcycle risks and safety
Motorcycles do not have basic protections that cars do, such as airbags and seatbelts. According to the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program, motorcyclists are fatally injured in accidents 38 times more often than motor vehicle occupants. Experts recommend protecting yourself with helmets and protective gear, keeping your distance from other vehicles, riding the speed limit, and not riding while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, taking safety precautions and exercising safe motorcycle operation does not prevent negligent drivers from sharing the road with you.
Common types of motorcycle injuries
Motorcycle injuries can be catastrophic and debilitating. See below for common types of motorcycle accident injuries.
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injuries
- Other neck and back injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
Consequences of motorcycle accident injuries
Motorcycle injuries often require a significant amount of time to heal. Healing may include many doctors’ appointments, surgeries, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. This means missing work and being unable to do things such as caring for children, driving, and other regular duties and services.
When injuries are long term and debilitating, expensive modifications and accommodations are frequently required such as making at least a portion of the home handicap accessible. This may mean widening doorways, new flooring to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers, and creating at least one handicap accessible entrance to the home. Sometimes modifications need to be made to a vehicle such as a raised roof to accommodate a driver seated in a mobility device or steering knobs or cuffs.
Fortunately for people who sustain debilitating injuries, technology allows them more freedom and independence than ever before, but these modifications typically come at very high prices. This is another reason that it is critical to consult with a motorcycle accident attorney prior to accepting an insurance settlement. Experienced attorneys will help to be sure that your recovery includes things like necessary modifications and future medical expenses.
Wrongful death claims
Wrongful death claims in Pennsylvania are sometimes available to certain family members who have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s fault. Recovery in wrongful death claims is meant to compensate family members for losses they have sustained as a result of the death such as loss of financial support, loss of emotional support and services, and funeral expenses.