In 2011, 199 people in Pennsylvania died in accidents involving motorcycle drivers or passengers. Why? Motorcycle accidents take place for many of the same reasons as other traffic accidents, including bad weather, drivers (of motorcycles and other vehicles) running stop lights and not using turn signals, driving after consuming alcohol or other drugs and one or even multiple drivers on the wrong side of the road. Road rage, rough patches of roadway (including potholes) and defective vehicles can contribute to accidents as well.
However, the biggest reason is that – while helmets and protective gear/ clothing help – motorcycles by their very nature are dangerous because they offer limited protection during a collision, even if drivers and riders are doing everything possible to stay safe. If you own and ride a motorcycle, you understand these challenges. And if you or someone you care about has been injured while riding your motorcycle, the Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyers at Brotherly Law would like to hear from you.
With over seven million registered motorcycles in the United States, we almost all know someone who rides one, whether it’s every day for transportation or on the weekends for fun. While the number of motorcycles is only a percentage of the many millions of passenger cars and small trucks on our roads, the dangers for those of us who ride motorcycles (or care about someone who does) are greater. For every 100,000 motorcycles registered in the U.S. there were 73 fatalities on average in 2005, about five times higher than the fatality rate for passenger vehicles.
Victims of motorcycle accidents endure many of the same types of injuries experienced by drivers and passengers involved in car and truck collisions. However, other injuries happen to motorcyclists almost exclusively. Case in point: Biker’s Arm. Since motorcycles lack both seat belts and a protective outer shell, riders and passengers are far more likely to be thrown long distances on impact. And, instinctively, we draw our arms in to protect our bodies, resulting in greater impact to our arms, including broken bones, as well as skin, muscle and even long-term nerve damage. If you’re continuing to experience any of these symptoms after a motorcycle crash, see a doctor and be sure to document your symptoms.
Leg accidents and pervasive muscle damage are common with motorcycle accidents too, including broken and shattered bones and kneecaps. Muscle damage can affect any part of your body and this, too, can lead to permanent disabilities.
As its name indicates, painful and possibly disabling “Road rash” results when bikers fly over their handlebars and their exposed or barely covered skin endures the impact of concrete, asphalt and other road surface. Much worse than a bruise or scrape, road rash can lead to ongoing infections, nerve damage and even varying degrees of paralysis.
It’s no surprise that head injuries are the most common form of motorcycle accident injury, often resulting in brain damage, swelling and concussions. Obviously, extremely severe head injuries can be fatal. This is certainly a strong argument for wearing helmets—motorcyclists who don’t’ wear them have a 40% greater chance of dying from an accident-induced head injury.
The Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute provides some telling statistics about motorcycle accidents. While over half of motorcycle accidents do involve one or more additional vehicles, of the almost 1,800 deaths that involved only the motorcyclist, 48 percent were speeding at the time, while just over 40 percent had blood alcohol level of .08 or more.
If you’ve been injured while driving or riding on a motorcycle – of if you’ve been seriously hurt in a collision in which a motorcycle was involved – contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Brotherly law.
We understand how to investigate these accidents to help build a strong case and we’re extremely adept at negotiating with insurance companies to help you secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries, suffering, emotional distress, time lost from work and ongoing medical expenses. Gregory C. Littman, Esq. and Austin R. Freundlich, Esq., our motorcycle accident lawyers in Philadelphia, will spend the time necessary listening to you and asking the right questions to determine if you have a strong case. Send us a message using the form on this website or call our legal team at (215) 545-8500. Your initial consultation is free.
If you have been injured due to no fault of your own, you may be able to hold the responsible party accountable for the monetary damages resulting from the accident. Fill out the form below to request a free consultation so we can evaluate your case.