Experienced Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Your mother was right – motorcycles are indeed dangerous. Motorcycle 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.
What Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Cost?
Sometimes a motorcycle accident lawsuit can be costly. Because of this, most PA motorcycle accident attorneys will only take a case if the motorcycle injuries are significant enough to justify the expenses that the motorcycle accident attorney will have to spend to pursue the lawsuit. Property damage only claims are usually not handled by a personal injury attorney. In addition to your motorcycle accident attorney fees, there are court costs, expert witness fees, investigation charges, clerical labor and other expenses. Because I offer a ‘No Win, No Fee’ legal service, you only pay these fees if I win your court case, and then they are reimbursed out of your final judgment.
Motorcycle Accident Compensation in Personal Injury Lawsuits
Let me be clear, my goal is to get a satisfactory accident settlement first. However, if negotiations between the motorcycle accident attorneys and the opposing insurance company fail, or if the statute of limitations is rapidly approaching, Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorneys are more or less obligated to file a motorcycle injury lawsuit to protect your rights, with your permission, of course. If this happens, the motorcycle lawsuit process begins. A trial date is usually set for a year from the date of the filing.
During the “discovery” phase, before your trial begins, both sides exchange information about the motorcycle accident claim. If the insurance company attorney wants to show that you contributed to the accident or had pre-existing injuries, your private information can become part of the court record. Motorcycle accident lawsuits include depositions, medical exams, document disclosures that may relate to the case and requests for information (called interrogatories), from other parties involved in the case.
As a Pennsylvania motorcycle injury lawyer who handles motorcycle accident questions day in and day out, Jeffrey H. Penneys is very skilled at the discovery process. Motorcycle accident attorneys file the motions to ask for discovery documents and conduct interviews of pertinent parties through the deposition process. You can trust Jeff to advise you of your rights and discuss any issues that come up in your lawsuit. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney, Philadelphia accident lawyer Jeffrey Harlan Penneys, Esq., is also very skilled at negotiating claims to make sure all medical expenses and repair expenses are covered.
Pre-trial Discovery in Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
The pretrial period during which attorneys from both sides of a motorcycle accident lawsuit find facts and pursue evidence is called discovery. Information gathered during discovery is shared by both attorneys in the motorcycle injury case.
Interviewing witnesses is part of the lawsuit preparation process. The motorcycle accident attorney from both sides interview witnesses, drivers, and parties having information about the accident case in their depositions, at which attorneys from both sides of the lawsuit are present. A stenographer records everything in a deposition and prepares a transcript which attorneys from both sides may use as evidence at trial.
Motorcycle injury medical bills, medical evaluations, statements of earnings, statements about other aspects of your case and other documents can be sought by each attorney during discovery.
Having statements of witnesses at the scene of the accident in advance is crucial to your case because if a witness contradicts an earlier statement, the prior statements can be used to establish inconsistencies in testimony. Pennsylvania motorcycle accident Attorney Jeffrey Harlan Penneys will be present at all depositions and review all of the documents in your case in advance of trial.
Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Discovery Can Motivate Settlements
As the discovery process goes on, the insurance company will get a better sense of who was at fault for the accident as well as how serious the resulting personal injuries are. They may be willing to offer a higher settlement than they offered before the filing of the motorcycle accident lawsuit if things don’t look favorable to them as the discovery progresses.
It is important to disclose your medical history to me before attempting a motorcycle accident lawsuit at trial; if the insurance company finds evidence of a prior injury in your medical history, they may have a better chance with a jury because it will be more difficult to claim that the personal injury resulted from the motorcycle accident.
Your hiring of a top PA motorcycle accident attorney can also be an incentive for the insurance company to offer a settlement rather than risk a larger award of motorcycle accident damages with a jury verdict and an expensive trial against a good attorney.
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.
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 motorcycle accident 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 Philadelphia motorcycle injury lawyer immediately after a motorcycle accident?
Yes, absolutely. A good motorcycle accident attorney 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.
Contact a Philly Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
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 Philadelphia, 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.