July 26, 2022
What Steps Should I Take After a Motorcycle Accident?
Riding a motorcycle gives motorcycle enthusiasts a sense of freedom, heightening the senses as the wind races across the body and the vibrations spark a rush of adrenaline. Unfortunately, with a sense of freedom comes the reality of having little to no protection if something goes wrong. Simply put, riding a motorcycle is serious business.
According to a report by the National Safety Council (NSC), although motorcycles accounted for a mere three percent of all registered vehicles, and only .06 percent of miles traveled, 14 percent of all U.S. traffic fatalities in 2020 were from motorcycle accidents.
A report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) explains that serious injury or death is more likely in a motorcycle accident than other vehicles due to the lack of protection. The report found that in 2018, motorcycle accident fatalities occurred almost 28 times more frequently per mile traveled than in passenger vehicles.
What Should You Do Following a Motorcycle Accident?
While you are trying to assess what just happened, it is possible that some vehicles either might not see you or might not be able to stop in time. You must get off the road as quickly as possible. If traffic has stopped and you are able to, get your motorcycle off the road to avoid causing a danger to other vehicles. If you do not have time or are injured, do not worry about your motorcycle.
Keep on any protective gear you have. Keeping your helmet on is the most important, but protective clothing should stay on as well. This is because you may worsen your injuries by removing anything you are wearing. The paramedics will help when they arrive at the scene.
Even if you feel that you are not badly injured, you should stay at the scene. This will allow you to wait for the police and paramedics, and to assess the situation and gather information that might be needed later on. Remember that not all injuries adequately present themselves immediately following an accident; you might discover in the near future that you were badly injured.
If you are injured, do not refuse treatment at the scene. The same goes for the days immediately following the accident. Even if you feel that your injuries are small, refusing medical treatment could not only result in a more severe injury later on, but it could also be used against you by the insurance company or the court if you file a lawsuit.
Call the police. The police will assess the situation and file a report, the evidence from which might turn out to be critical to your case. The police will also help you to exchange information with anyone involved in the accident, and they will take necessary photos if warranted.
The police will take statements. Do not be apologetic in your statements to the police, as this may raise red flags to the police that the accident might have been your fault. The time immediately following an accident is an emotional one, so keep yourself as composed as possible and do not offer unnecessary information.
Gather information on your own if you are able. Be sure to obtain the information of any other driver involved. Important information to obtain includes insurance information, a driver’s license number, an address, and a phone number.
Take pictures. Photograph your motorcycle and any other vehicle involved. Be sure to include road conditions, debris, skid marks, and any other pertinent details. Make certain that you write down every detail of the accident that you can remember, including what you see from the results.
Finding witnesses is important as they can help corroborate your account of what happened. Make sure to collect their contact information, and it would be helpful if you wrote down their assessment of the accident.
Call your insurance company as soon as you can, as there is most likely a clause somewhere in the policy requiring you to do so. If you are injured, do not offer any medical information until you are certain of your injuries. Bear in mind that you are not required to speak with the other driver’s insurance company; it is best that you refrain from doing so.
Call a lawyer. Although the statute of limitations is long—two years in Pennsylvania—a lawyer can advise you as to the best course of action. A lawyer can help with a claim or lawsuit by finding and talking to witnesses, gathering evidence, and advising you accordingly.
Is Pennsylvania a No-Fault State?
Pennsylvania offers a choice of insurance, but it is not that simple. Pennsylvania requires all drivers to purchase bodily injury coverage, personal injury protection (PIP), and property damage liability. Above that, it offers full or limited tort.
Limited tort works much like a no-fault policy. It allows for medical expenses and lost wages, but it does not allow for pain and suffering. A lawsuit may be filed against the other driver only for what would be considered a serious injury. These exceptions include dismemberment, scarring, impairment of body function, or death.
With full tort, you have unrestricted rights to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver. You may be able to pursue damages for pain and suffering, and you can claim economic damages as well.
How Does a Lawsuit Work in Regard to a Motorcycle Accident?
Pennsylvania has what is called a comparative negligence law. This means that as the plaintiff in a lawsuit, you can receive only the amount of damages according to your percentage of fault. In other words, if you are found to be 25 percent at fault, you may receive 75 percent of the damages in your claim. It is important to note that the plaintiff cannot be 50 percent at fault, as this would negate collecting any compensation.
Montgomery County Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Represent Those Injured in a Motorcycle Accident.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, you need a competent lawyer to represent your best interests. Our experienced Montgomery County motorcycle accident lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us at 267-861-7100 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, we serve Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Norristown.