Your mother was right – motorcycles are indeed dangerous. Motorcycles accidents make up 15 percent of all traffic deaths, even though motorcycles only amount to about one percent of all miles driven on public roads. That makes a motorcycle 15 times as dangerous to drive as a car. Still, I speak from personal experience when I say that the feeling of freedom is often worth the risk.
The problem with motorcycles is that even the safest motorcyclist cannot completely control when an automobile driver is going to run him or her off the road, or even run the rider down. In the United States, motorists are simply not looking out for motorcyclists the way that motorists do in some countries where motorcycles are more commonly seen on the roads.
You Are Going to Need Someone in Your Corner
Although motorcycle accidents are frequently catastrophic, this doesn’t change the fact that insurance companies exist to make a profit, or the fact that they will spare no effort to minimize or even deny your motorcycle accident claim. As an injured victim, you are not in a particularly strong position to resist the cunning manipulations of insurance adjusters. Yet you must, for the sake of your health and your future.
That is where I come in. My name is Jeffrey H. Penneys, and I have been dealing with stingy personal injury insurance companies for over two decades now. Due to my track record of successful trial practice, few insurance companies are willing to oppose me all the way to a final verdict. That means that 90 percent of the claims I handle are settled outside of court.
My Medical Treatment Access Guarantee
“I will make sure you obtain the medical treatment you require for your injuries, without you being obligated to pay your medical bills until after your injury claim has been resolved.” – Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq.
Types of Personal Injury Cases I Handle
I handle the following types of personal injury cases, among others:
Car Accidents: Pennsylvania sees well over 50,000 car accident injuries per year, along with over 1,000 deaths. A significant percentage of these accidents were the completely avoidable consequence of driver misconduct such as texting and driving, intoxication, or careless driving habits. There is no reason why you should have to passively accept losses inflicted on you by another driver’s carelessness.
Bicycle Accidents: Bicyclists are surprisingly vulnerable on Pennsylvania roads, even though 95 percent of fatalities occur among riders who fail to wear safety helmets. Often, a motorist simply doesn’t see a bicyclist until he or she hears the “thud” that says that the driver has just injured or killed someone. Most bicycle accidents are the fault of the motorist.
Truck Accidents: The momentum of an 18-wheel truck as it speeds down a highway makes it difficult to stop, especially in adverse weather conditions. Due to a truck’s massive size, truck accidents tend to be far more serious that other traffic accidents. A good truck accident lawyer can help you reconstruct the accident to prove whose fault the accident was.
Medical Malpractice: Doctors are human just like the rest of us, and not every medical error amounts to professional malpractice. In some cases, however, a doctor or other health care provider engages in inexcusable misconduct, often with lifetime consequences for the patient. It often takes a medical malpractice lawyer to prove the link between medical misconduct and the harm done to you.
SEPTA Accidents: Public buses, trains, and trolleys are among the safest ways to travel around Philadelphia. Despite SEPTA’s reasonably good safety record, however, accidents do occur from time to time, and they are usually the result of someone’s negligence – the SEPTA driver, for example, or another driver on the road at the time of the accident.
Slip and Fall Accidents: The owner or renter of premises, whether a public business or private property, is responsible for identifying dangerous conditions on the property that might make it dangerous for guests, and either repairing the dangerous condition or conspicuously warning of it. Failure to do so can result in legal liability if an accident occurs.
Dog Bites: Unlike many states, Pennsylvania dog bite law allows victims of dog attacks to win lawsuits without even having to prove that the dog owner was negligent. This reality can make an insurance company (typically a homeowner’s insurance company) much more compliant at the negotiating table. Nevertheless, considerable skill is required to obtain the full value of a dog bite claim.
Wrongful Death: A wrongful death lawsuit is designed to compensate the victim’s estate and any surviving spouse, children, and parents. Although it can be tricky to calculate damages in a wrongful death claim, damages awards tend to be sizeable, especially if the victim was young and supported many dependents.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should I accept a quick settlement from the other driver’s insurance company?
Accepting a quick settlement is almost never a good idea, because insurance companies very rarely offer adequate settlements quickly. In all likelihood, you are being offered a paltry sum in the hopes that you will “take the money and run,” thereby saving the insurance company a lot of money. Check with your lawyer before accepting any settlement offer.
Can I still win a personal injury claim if I wasn’t wearing a helmet?
Pennsylvania’s motorcycle helmet law requires motorcyclists (and passengers) to wear a helmet unless they are over 21 and have either two years of riding experience or have completed a motorcycle safety course. If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, you might have to settle for reduced damages.
My motorcycle accident occurred because the other driver turned left in front of me. Whose fault was the accident?
In such circumstances, courts almost always blame the automobile driver. It is possible that you might have also contributed to the accident, however. Even then, under Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence statute, you might still be able to recover reduced damages.
Should I speak with the other driver’s insurance company?
No. You should not speak with the other driver’s insurance company except through your lawyer. The insurance company’s goal is to minimize or deny your claim, and they have many tricks up their sleeve. I know their tricks and I will not fall for them.
Is there a deadline for filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit?
You have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit, or two years from the date of death if the victim died. If the injury was latent, you have two years from the date you discovered or should have discovered the injury.
Who can file a claim if the motorcycle accident victim dies of his or her injuries?
Under Pennsylvania’s wrongful death statute, the personal representative of the victim’s estate (named in the will or appointed by a court) can file a lawsuit on behalf of the victim’s estate and close relatives. If he or she does not do so within six months, the beneficiaries of the victim’s estate can file the lawsuit.
Are motorcycle accidents involving automobiles usually the automobile driver’s fault?
Usually, but not always. Some of the most common ways that automobiles cause motorcycle accidents are:
- Failing to take into account the driver’s blind spot
- Failure to yield
- Intoxicated or distracted driving
- Misjudging the motorcycle’s speed
Do I need to contact a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer immediately after a motorcycle accident?
Yes, absolutely. A good Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer will know how to gather evidence that deteriorates over time (witnesses whose memories fade, for example), and he or she will know how to deal with duplicitous insurance companies and their bag of tricks.
Should I settle my claim or take it to court?
It is generally easier to settle, and that is what happens most of the time. It is important, however, that you show the other side that you remain ready and willing to litigate in court; otherwise, the insurance company will have no motivation to settle with you for a fair amount.
How can I collect compensation if the at-fault driver was uninsured or if the value of my claim exceeds his or her insurance coverage?
Mandatory Pennsylvania auto insurance includes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of $15,000 per victim and $30,000 per accident. If this is not enough, your health insurance policy might apply, or you might seek compensation out of the at-fault driver’s personal assets. Ideally, you elected to further cover yourself with “Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage” if the at-fault vehicle is either uninsured, or there is not enough insurance to cover all of your damages.
No Upfront Fees – You Only Pay If You Win
My track record of victory offers me an advantage that I can pass on to you. I will charge you nothing up front, and if I don’t win your case, you will never owe me a dime in legal fees. I can afford to make this offer because well over 90 percent of my clients walk out of my office with compensation in their pockets. I only win if you do too, and that’s exactly the way I like it.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania, or if your loved one has been killed in a motorcycle accident, contact me immediately if you suspect that the accident might have been someone else’s fault. I can be reached online, or by telephone at 1-800-465-8795 or 215-771-0430 (cell). Contact me to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation of your case.