We have plenty of motorcyclists in and around Philly. This is a wonderful place to ride, especially once you get a little bit out of the city and onto the open roads. We know that you do your best to ride safely, however you cannot control the actions of the drivers around you.
When you need a Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorney, Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. is standing by. Our qualified and experienced team is ready to investigate your case and work to secure the compensation you deserve for all of your crash-related expenses.
What Can Happen?
Anyone who owns a motorcycle knows that there are added risks when they hit the roadways. Even when a rider is wearing a helmet, they will never have as much protection as a regular vehicle passenger. This makes them more vulnerable to the actions of negligent and careless drivers.
For the latest reporting year in Pennsylvania, there were:
- 185 motorcyclist fatalities
- 3,052 motorcyclist injuries
Nearly every motorcycle crash results in some kind of injury or fatality.
Why is that?
Consider that the average passenger vehicle weighs around 4,000 pounds. When a motorcyclist is struck, they will absorb the impact of the vehicle and then an impact with the ground. It is not uncommon for us to see the following injuries in the aftermath of a motorcycle crash:
- Spinal cord trauma (possible paralysis)
- Head injuries/traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations, amputations, or road rash
The cost of these injuries can become tremendous and extend well beyond initial medical expenses. In many cases, multiple surgeries and extended rehabilitation are necessary for a victim to make a recovery. If a person is unable to work and earn an income, this will compound the financial problems.
Motorcyclists are vulnerable to getting struck by negligent and careless drivers. It is not uncommon for a cyclist to be injured as a result of:
- Impaired drivers
- Distracted drivers
- Those who speed or drive aggressively
- Drivers following them too closely
- Improper driver lane changes
We also need to point out that motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to crashes due to poorly maintained roadways. Government agencies and private companies tasked with ensuring roadways are drivable should perform regular inspections and maintenance and immediately repair any damages or remove hazards from the road.
Safety Tips for Drivers Sharing the Road
You may not be accustomed to sharing the road with motorcycles so it is a good idea to keep these safety tips in mind. The first is to look out for motorcyclists. This might sound like common sense but since riders and their vehicles are often smaller than other vehicles on the road they can be difficult to see. When you do see a motorcyclist leave enough space between you and the motorcycle. You should always signal lane changes and merge into traffic so every motorist is aware of your intentions, not just motorcycle riders. Always keep in mind that a motorcycle has all the same rights to the road as any other vehicle and you should allow them to have a full lane to maneuver through traffic.
What Your Attorney Can Do
Your first priority after a motorcycle crash needs to be dealing with your injuries. This can make it difficult to deal with insurance companies and other parties. At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., we are ready to step in and help if someone else’s negligence has caused you harm. We want to ensure that you are compensated for all of your injury-related expenses, including:
- Coverage of medical expenses
- Recovery of lost wages if you cannot work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
Although there are more than 850,000 licensed motorcycle riders in Pennsylvania, hundreds of thousands of car drivers on our roads still do not know how to share the road with motorcyclists. Being in a motorcycle crash is not exactly a pleasant experience. A large percentage of motorcycle accidents in our state are caused by car drivers’ failure to obey the law and reduce the risk of colliding with motorcyclists.
Luckily, our Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorney from Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., can help if you were injured in a collision involving a passenger car or other vehicle on our roads.
Which Pennsylvania’s Traffic Rules Apply to Motorcyclists?
Motorcycle riders in Pennsylvania have every right and obligation that other motorists have. Therefore, motorcyclists have a duty to obey all traffic rules and regulations such as driving below the posted speed limit, yielding the right of way when necessary, and many more. Although motorcyclists are not allowed to lane split in Pennsylvania, they can share a lane with another motorcycle (but never with a motor vehicle).
Who’s Allowed to Ride a Motorcycle in Pennsylvania?
Riding a motorcycle without an applicable license can get you in trouble and can leave you with no compensation in the event of a motorcycle crash. Our Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer explains that you are required to get a Class M license to operate a motorcycle in the state of Pennsylvania lawfully.
To obtain this license, an individual is required to pass a knowledge test and operate a bike with a learner’s permit for 12 months. A motorcyclist under the age of 18 must carry a learner’s permit for at least half a year and must complete 65 supervised hours of riding time.
A minor can ride a motorcycle under strict conditions. They must have had their permit for at least 6 months and have 65 hours of supervised riding. This must be completed prior to taking the skills test. They must also attend and complete a Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program Basic Rider Course. This course is 15 hours long and does count towards their 65-hour driving requirement.
What Are Motorcycle Safety Requirements in Pennsylvania?
Whether or not you, as a motorcyclist, complied with safety requirements can affect the outcome of your claim in the event of a motor vehicle crash. In Pennsylvania, motorcycle riders and passengers are required to sit on permanently attached seats, while the rider is not allowed to hold anything in his or her hands that impedes his or her ability to ride safely.
Tips for Motorcycle Safety
Motorcycle riders can take a few things into consideration to keep themselves safe on the road. You should know your motorcycle and always conduct a pre-ride check. You will need to wear a U.S. DOT-approved helmet and other protective gear. Wear reflective clothing so that others can see you on the road, no matter the conditions, take training classes and use common senses when it comes to obeying traffic laws and riding sober. In the spring, ensure that you are aware of road conditions that may have been affected during the winter. Be aware of weather and road conditions regardless of the time of year.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws
The law requires that any person who rides or operates a motorcycle should wear protective headgear. The exception to this law is if the person is over the age of 21 years old and has either completed a motorcycle safety course or has two years of riding experience. If the motorcycle is three-wheeled or has an enclosed cab, they also do not have to wear a helmet. With this in mind, Pennsylvania has devised regulations for helmets that are to be worn.
The helmet must be labeled with the size, model designation, the month and year the helmet was manufactured, and the name of the manufacturer. The DOT sticker must also be centered on the back of the helmet while all of the other information can be placed inside of the helmet.
Many motorcyclists worry that a motorcycle will impair hearing or vision, they do not. Moreso, helems can help to prevent severe neck and head injuries
Not only will you be required to follow helmet laws, but protective eyewear laws are also in place. Shatterproof eye protection is recommended but any eye-wear will suffice. If you are not in compliance with the motorcycle laws in Pennsylvania this can affect your case. You will need to disclose and discuss all elements of your case with a Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorney.
Handlebars in a motorcycle must not exceed shoulder height, while the bike must have a red tail light and a headlight in front of the bike. All equipment parts and components must be in proper working condition. Our Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorney here at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., also says that Pennsylvania law requires motorcycles to undergo safety inspections annually.
Do I Have Access to MedPay Coverage for My Injury?
As an injured motorcyclist in Pennsylvania, you may wonder whether you have access to medical payment coverage, also known as MedPay coverage, to pay for the medical expenses associated with your injury.
Unfortunately, motorcycle riders do not qualify for MedPay coverage, which pays for the driver’s and passenger’s injuries and requires Pennsylvania motorists to carry a minimum of $5,000 in MedPay. MedPay coverage is available to car drivers regardless of who was at fault for the crash.
However, there are many other options when seeking compensation for your injury as a motorcyclist in Pennsylvania. Discuss your case with our Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer to find out about your options.