This negligence action brought by the Personal injury victim’s motorcycle accident attorney after the defendant lost control of her car, crossed the center line of travel and struck the motorcyclist head-on. The opposing lawyers agreed that the the car driver was at fault, but argued that the injuries suffered were pre-existing and not related to this accident.
Claims and Facts
The man who suffered the motorcycle personal injury was in his 30’s at the time of the accident. Evidence showed that both vehicles were totaled as a result of this motorcycle accident. The injured motorcycle driver was taken to the hospital emergency room from the scene by a friend. The personal injury victim’s treating doctor testified that he did have pre-existing injuries in his back, but that these injuries were aggravated by this motorcycle accident. The personal injury victim testified that before the accident, he was able to perform normal daily functions, but after the acident he was limited. Doctors for the opposing accident attorneys testified that any personal injuries complained of were as a result of the pre-existing injuries, and not anything to do with this accident.
The arbitrators in this case found that the plaintiff was injured from the accident, but that because he was already injured before this accident occurred, he was not entitled to more than $15,000.
A Lawyer’s Perspective
This Pennsylvania motorcycle accident claim highlights 2 interesting issues.
First, the issue that motorcyclists are generally looked upon as being at fault for their accidents. People seem to have a pre-conceived notion that motorcyclists are reckless and therefore, they are involved in a lot of accidents through their own fault. In this case, that was not an issue.
The second issue is, because of the pre-existing condition, the opposing lawyers had a strong argument that the personal injuries were not due to this motorcycle accident. This second issue is an obstacle in all Pennsylvania personal injury lawsuits where the same body part was injured perviously. To overcome this issue, it is important that the personal injury victim be able to discuss how his life has changed since the new injury. The more his life has changed, the more the motorcycle injury lawyer can recover for the client.