A motorcycle rider is defenseless against many of the hazards of motor vehicle accidents. Without the metal frame of a car for protection, a motorcyclist faces severe and even catastrophic injuries from any kind of crash. Motorcycle accidents most commonly occur when car and truck drivers fail to respect the rights of bikers. However, if you are hurt in a motorcycle crash as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
The injuries caused by a motorcycle crash can change your life forever. Serious brain or spine injuries may never fully heal, and can result in permanent paralysis or disability. The experienced attorneys at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., can help ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for these injuries. A motorcycle accident lawyer from our law firm will consider all of your expenses, both past and future, when assembling your personal injury lawsuit. We have a record of success with cases involving serious injuries, and have the resources to fully investigate motorcycle accidents.
What are Common Motorcycle Accident Causes?
The majority of motorcycle accidents that involve other vehicles are the fault of the other driver, not the motorcyclist. However, dangerous practices by bikers can also increase the risk of a collision.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes include:
- Driver inattention or distraction. Many motorcycle accidents are the result of a car or truck driver simply not seeing the motorcycle. Drivers should check carefully for all types of vehicles before turning and merging, however many neglect doing so. Common occurrences include a motorist taking a left turn at a stoplight, pulling out from a stop sign or merging into traffic and colliding with an unseen motorcycle.
- Right of way violations. When drivers do not yield the right of way to motorcyclists, serious crashes often result. These kinds of accidents can occur if the driver incorrectly assumes that he or she has the right of way, or does not see the motorcycle.
- Drunk driving. Intoxication lowers a driver’s ability to focus and react. Since motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles, a drunk driver is even more likely to overlook a biker. Additionally, driving under the influence is the leading cause of single-vehicle motorcycle accidents.
- Road defects and hazards. Deep potholes, ice and uneven pavement can pose a serious danger to motorcyclists. These defects can cause a bike to overbalance, especially at high speeds.
- Lane splitting. This practice involves a motorcyclist riding in between two adjacent lanes of traffic. Drivers do not expect vehicles to travel between lanes, and so may cause a serious motorcycle crash when attempting to merge. Lane splitting is expressly banned in Pennsylvania, while New Jersey regulations strongly discourage it.
Are Motorcycle Helmets Required by Law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey?
Since motorcycles do not have seatbelts, airbags, or other safety features, the injuries resulting from a crash can be severe. A motorcycle accident can cause brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, road rash, and broken bones. All too often, motorcycle accidents result in wrongful death. However, the proper motorcycle equipment, including a sturdy helmet, can help protect motorcyclists from life-changing catastrophic injuries. As a result, many states have laws concerning motorcycle helmet use. These include:
- Pennsylvania Motorcycle Helmet Laws. In Pennsylvania, helmet use is mandatory only for certain riders. You are NOT required to wear a helmet if you are at least 21 and have had your motorcycle license for at least two years. Additionally, you may be exempt from helmet use is you complete an approved safety course and are at least 21 years old. Motorcycle passengers must wear a helmet unless the driver is exempt from helmet use and the passenger is over 21. However, even though helmets are not mandatory, motorcyclists should always wear one anyway. A helmet reduces the risk of serious traumatic brain injuries and death in the event of a motorcycle crash.
- New Jersey Motorcycle Helmet Laws. New Jersey has a universal motorcycle helmet law. Therefore, all motorcycle riders and passengers must wear a helmet at all times.
Bikers who travel between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, or commute to or from Philadelphia, should take care to obey all state laws. Violating helmet laws may limit your ability to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit in the event of a motorcycle crash.
Call a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
If you have questions about your legal options after a motorcycle crash, our law firm is here to help. Our attorneys know how to get the facts in motorcycle accident cases. We use motorcycle and car crash experts to determine how the accident took place and who was at fault. Our history of success with these kinds of cases has equipped us to help you pursue full and fair compensation for the losses you have suffered.
Contact us today to schedule a free case consultation with a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer. We accept cases nationwide from our law offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Cherry Hill, New Jersey. We also handle cases on a contingency fee basis — you will not have to pay us unless we get results for you.