Motorcycle accidents often cause catastrophic injuries that can make the lives of injured riders much more difficult – physically, financially and psychologically. Schmidt Kramer’s Lancaster motorcycle accident lawyers understand the challenges that riders may face after a serious crash and can help to recover financial compensation from the at-fault party.
Your firm did a great job on my case, and I will make sure to recommend you in the future.
– Client of Schmidt Kramer
When motorcycle accident victims have legal representation, they stand to recover more financial compensation from their claim compared to those that do not hire a lawyer. At Schmidt Kramer, we have experience successfully handling motorcycle crash cases and charge no upfront fees if we take on your case.
We have recovered millions in compensation for victims of many types of personal injuries and our award winning legal team is led by our founding partner Charles E. Schmidt, Jr. – a lawyer with decades of experience that is also a former member of the Board of Governors for the Pennsylvania Association for Justice.
For a free consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call (717) 888-8888 today or fill out our “Free Case Consultation” form and a member from our legal team will contact you shortly.
Schmidt Kramer – No Upfront Fees.
Do I Have a Case?
Sometimes the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement for an injury victim’s damages. In these situations, our motorcycle accident attorneys in Lancaster may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
However, you may have limitations on the types of damages you can pursue, based on the type of car insurance you chose. Pennsylvania offers all drivers the choice between full and limited tort insurance coverage.
If you chose limited tort coverage, you can file a lawsuit, but you cannot pursue compensation for pain and suffering. The only exception to this regulation is if you suffered a serious injury that causes serious disfigurement or impairment of a bodily function. Our Lancaster motorcycle accident lawyers have detailed knowledge of the Pennsylvania statute that defines serious injuries.
If you chose full tort coverage, you can pursue compensation for all damages you suffered, no matter how severe your injuries are.
Schedule a free legal consultation today by completing a Free Case Evaluation form.
Proving Negligence in a Motorcycle Crash
If we file a lawsuit, we must establish a breach of duty of care to prove negligence occurred. A breach of duty of care is a failure of someone else to act the way a reasonable person would to prevent you from suffering harm.
However, there are some accidents in which the motorcycle rider is also at fault for the crash. For example, maybe you were violating a law at the time of the crash.
In these situations, Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence law will be applied. This law says you cannot recover compensation if you are more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. If you are not 50 percent or more at fault, your total compensation award will be reduced according to your percentage of fault.
For example, if you are 40 percent at fault, your award will be reduced by 40 percent. This means an award of $50,000 would be reduced to $30,000.
This law is typically applied in the courtroom by juries. However, sometimes insurance companies will use it in their attempts to lower the value of your insurance claim.
One way you could be found at fault for your injuries is if you were not wearing a helmet. Under Pennsylvania law, most motorcyclists are required to wear helmets, unless they fit one of these exceptions:
- You are riding in a three-wheeled motorcycle in an enclosed cab
- You are at least 21 years old and have had a license for two years
- You are 21 years old and have completed a motorcycle safety course from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation or Motorcycle Safety Foundation
- You are 21 years old and are a passenger on a motorcycle driven by someone who fits another exception
However, you may still be able to obtain compensation if you were required to wear a helmet and were not wearing one, or you were not wearing one that met the requirements from Pennsylvania’s motorcycle operator manual. Our Lancaster motorcycle accident attorneys can review your situation to determine if you are entitled to compensation. We are committed to helping you build a strong case so you are not assigned more fault than you deserve.
Contact us at (717) 888-8888 to find out how we can help you after an accident.
Motorcycle Crashes Caused by Negligence
There are many different types of motorcycle accidents that occur on Pennsylvania roadways. Some are caused by the carelessness of the riders themselves.
However, many motorcycle crashes are the result of another driver’s negligence. Some of the most common accidents caused by the negligence of another include:
Left-Turn Crashes in Intersections
These are extremely dangerous because the motorcycle and the car that hits the motorcycle are often traveling at high-speed.
These accidents involve a motorcycle that is going through an intersection and a car making a left turn across the motorcycle’s path. The driver of the car may not see the motorcycle and start making the turn. This results in the car crashing right into the motorcycle, which could be traveling at 35 miles per hour or even faster.
Sometimes these accidents occur because drivers do not check for motorcycles. Often drivers do not see motorcycles because they are not used to looking for them.
These are crashes that occur when a car hits the back of a motorcycle that is stopped at a stop sign or red light at an intersection. Even at relatively slow speed, this can be devastating for the motorcycle rider. He or she could be thrown off the bike and suffer broken bones or severe soft tissue injuries, like whiplash.
Some drivers do not check their blind spots before switching lanes, causing them to sideswipe or cut off motorcyclists. If the motorcyclist is unable to slow down or maneuver out of the way, he or she could slam into the car and lose control of the bike. This puts the rider at risk for falling off the bike. If the accident occurs at high-speed, the rider could suffer severe road rash or a traumatic brain injury.
The types of motorcycle crashes above are often the result of many forms of negligence, including:
- Disobeying traffic laws, including right-of-way laws
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Failing to check blind spots
- Not checking for motorcycles before pulling into an intersection to make a turn
Our Lancaster motorcycle attorneys can review your situation to see if negligence was involved in your accident. We are prepared to pursue the full value of your damages. We know how valuable compensation can be as you are trying to recover from your injuries.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents often leave victims with life-changing injuries. Some of the most common injuries from these crashes include:
- Road rash
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Severe bruising and lacerations
- Leg injuries
- Nerve damage
- Permanent disfigurement
These injuries can cause physical, financial and emotional damages, including:
- Medical expenses – If you are injured in the accident, you will have bills for your treatment, including bills for hospital stays, surgeries and other medical procedures, visits with doctors and specialists, MRIs and other tests, and prescription medications.
- Physical pain and suffering – The pain and suffering from your injury could be severe and long-lasting, requiring pain medication and other remedies so you can manage it on a daily basis.
- Emotional pain and suffering – Motorcycle accident injuries often cause psychological problems. Victims may feel depressed, have trouble sleeping or feel anxious. Sometimes this is because they are having trouble adjusting to the physical limitations or changes to their physical appearance caused by their injury.
- Lost wages and earning capacity – Victims of motorcycle accidents are often unable to work for a period of time after the crash. This causes a decrease in their monthly income that can make it difficult to pay bills or afford their medical treatment. Sometimes victims have permanent limitations that make it impossible for them to continue working at the same job or in the same capacity as before.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers in Lancaster know how to build a strong case as we pursue fair compensation for these and other damages you suffered.
We take cases on contingency, so there is no risk in contacting us. You will not be charged legal fees unless you receive compensation.
Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Lancaster today by calling (717) 888-8888.
Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in Pennsylvania
Like claims involving car accidents, motorcycle accident claims are often resolved by obtaining compensation from an insurance claim.
Pennsylvania is one of the few no-fault states in the nation when it comes to motor vehicle insurance claims. This means victims of accidents must seek compensation from their own insurance policy, even if they were not at-fault for the accident.
Motorcycle riders have the same requirements as drivers of cars when it comes to insuring their vehicles. Under Pennsylvania consolidated statutes, all riders must purchase medical benefits coverage worth a minimum of $5,000.
This covers necessary medical treatment and rehabilitative services, which could include:
- Hospital care
- Dental services
- Licensed physical therapy
- Prosthetic devices
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Nursing services
You have the option to purchase additional coverage for damages you could suffer in an accident. These coverages include:
- Collision – This pays for the cost of repairing damage to your vehicle from the accident. Even though this coverage is not required by law, if you financed your vehicle, your lender may have required that you obtain this coverage.
- Income loss – This pays for 80 percent of income you lost as a result of your injuries making you unable to work.
- Uninsured/underinsured – If the other driver does not have insurance coverage, you can obtain compensation from your uninsured/underinsured policy. This coverage only pays for medical expenses and not property damage. This coverage is often used after hit-and-run accidents.
You should file an insurance claim as soon as you are able. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to obtain compensation. Waiting to file is also a bad idea because it makes insurance companies suspicious. They may think you were injured from something else besides the motorcycle crash.
Be careful when talking to the insurance company. Provide the basic facts about the accident and nothing else. Do not admit fault or attempt to describe the severity of your injuries. Insurance adjusters want you to say these kinds of things because it may allow them to devalue your claim.
After contacting the insurance company for the first time, you may want to seek legal representation from a trusted Lancaster motorcycle accident lawyer. We can deal with the insurance company on your behalf to defend your rights.
We will handle negotiations with the insurer. We will not settle for any unfair offers because we will determine the full value of your damages.
Our attorneys can launch an in-depth investigation into the crash to determine the role negligence played. This includes taking pictures at the scene, reviewing your medical records, talking to witnesses, and consulting experts to gain a better understanding of the severity of your damages.
Contact a Lancaster, PA Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents are extremely dangerous, as riders are often severely injured. The attorneys at our firm understand the dangers and the types of injuries that can occur.
We can represent you when you pursue compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. We know how to defend your rights throughout the legal process and build a strong case.
There is no risk in contacting us because we offer a free, no obligation legal consultation. If you have a case and you decide to pursue it, we will not charge for representing you unless you are compensated for your damages.
Our goal is to aggressively pursue the fair compensation you deserve. We know how important compensation can be as you attempt to move forward with your life after an accident.