Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Erie, PA
Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Help Victims of Negligence Get Compensated for Their Injuries
There were over 18,000 motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania from 2012 through 2016. Motorcycle riders, however skilled, are vulnerable to accidents and injuries. The lack of structural protection and restraint leads to significant and sometimes catastrophic injuries, leaving victims significantly disabled and unable to work. In addition to involving severe physical injuries, motorcycle cases also present legal challenges. It is important to have a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer advise you about your rights and options after a motorcycle crash.
How Our Law Firm Helps After a Motorcycle Accident in Erie, PA
The experienced Erie County motorcycle accident attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. thoroughly investigate each case to determine the cause and the proper defendants. We zealously represent accident victims in their fight for fair and equitable damages. Starting with a description of all your legal options, we will provide you with the information you need for making sound decisions. We will investigate the accident, take on insurance companies, and stand by you from the initial investigation through the ultimate resolution of your case.
In addition, using our firm will give you an advantage over the insurance company. Collectively, Attorneys Eric Purchase and Craig Murphey have over 40 years of experience working as insurance defense lawyers, handling many cases for Erie Insurance and State Farm Insurance. They have taught claims professionals and understand how to encourage insurance companies to settle cases for fair and just amounts. Beyond that, we have a former insurance adjuster on staff who understands the negotiation process, as well as the expected value of a case.
Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents on Pennsylvania Roads
The most common injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents include:
- Head and brain injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussion, and open head injuries
- Road rash, a term used to describe the serious skin abrasions that can result from sliding across a roadway after the motorcycle goes down
- Muscle damage
- Nerve damage
- Leg fractures and other leg injuries
- Spinal cord injuries that cause paralysis
- Motorcycle accidents also result in a disproportionate number of deaths
Challenges of Motorcycle Accidents in Pennsylvania
Motorcycle accidents present challenges not often seen in more routine car accident cases. Many jurors are car operators and tend to be biased against motorcyclists. The accidents themselves, even though most often the fault of the other driver, must be thoroughly investigated and their facts carefully prepared in order to effectively persuade juries of the negligence of the car or truck operator.
Insurance coverage in Pennsylvania motorcycle accident cases is also more complicated. Most Pennsylvania auto insurance companies force motorcyclists to insure motorcycles separately from their other vehicles. This often results in low or limited coverage. When coupled with the exclusionary clauses that frequently apply, motorcycle accident insurance can result in complex coverage determinations.
Whatever the challenges presented by your case, having experienced and knowledgeable lawyers on your side after a motorcycle accident can make a big difference.
Contact Our Erie, Pennsylvania Law Firm After a Motorcycle Crash That Causes Severe Injuries
For more information, contact the experienced and knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. in Erie, PA by calling 814-273-2010 or toll free at 814-273-2010. You may also use our website’s contact form. We genuinely care about you and the outcome of your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Accident Claims in Erie, PA
The days following a motorcycle accident can be critical to getting the compensation you need to move forward. Commonly, however, motorcycle accident victims in Erie are confused about what they should be doing to protect their rights. Because of the often-severe nature of motorcycle accident injuries, you need a skilled lawyer by your side to fight for full compensation.
At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., our motorcycle accident lawyers stand ready to begin protecting your legal rights. Below are some answers to common questions about motorcycle accident claims in Erie, PA. We are here to address your concerns in greater detail, so call or contact our office today for a free consultation.
Always see a doctor, especially after a motorcycle accident. Most motorcycle accident injuries will be immediately apparent. However, you may think that you got lucky—only to discover in the hours or days after the accident that you suffered internal injuries that only a doctor could diagnose. You should also:
– Report the accident to both law enforcement and your insurance company (although, refrain from giving a written statement to insurance without speaking to a lawyer),
– Keep records of all treatment and other events associated with the accident,
– Write down the contact information of witnesses, the other drivers and the responding police officers,
– Refrain from talking to the at-fault drivers or their insurance companies about the accident,
– Stop posting on social media,
– Don’t agree to a meeting with the insurance company or attempt to negotiate on your own. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer before taking any action that could impact your compensation award.
Motorcycle accidents are caused by many of the same factors that contribute to any other motor vehicle accident in Western Pennsylvania. These factors include:
– Distracted driving,
– Fatigued driving,
– Driver aggression,
– Traffic violations, such as speeding and failure to properly yield,
– Drunk or impaired driving,
– Texting while driving,
– Poor weather,
– Road hazards.
However, many motorcycle accidents are caused by the simple fact that the driver of a larger vehicle did not see the motorcycle. Motorcycles, of course, take up less space. If a driver is not paying sufficient attention, it can be easy to miss a motorcycle on the road.
All drivers and passengers on a motorcycle should wear a helmet to protect themselves. However, under Pennsylvania law, motorcyclists who are 21 and over need not legally wear a helmet if:
– They have two years’ motorcycle riding experience, or
– They have completed a motorcycle safety class, which must be approved by either PennDOT or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
In addition, to satisfy the helmet law, the helmet must be approved by the Department of Transportation and contain certain information (it should be stamped with the “DOT” sticker on the outside of the helmet).
No. You may still have the right to recover compensation even without a helmet. However, your compensation award might be reduced if it can be shown that your injuries would have been less severe with the helmet. In other words, if the injuries were partially caused by the lack of helmet, you may be found partly at fault.
The answer depends upon the cause of the accident. If the lane sharing—which is not legal—was the sole cause of the accident, you may be found at fault and unable to recover compensation. However, motorcycle accident cases are rarely so simple. If another vehicle was at fault or partially at fault, you may still be entitled to recover compensation.
If you lost a spouse, parent or close family member in a motorcycle accident, you may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. In these cases, you may be entitled to compensation for your loved one’s medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of financial support, loss of spousal companionship or company, pain and suffering and more.
In addition to decades worth of experience successfully helping Erie accident victims recover compensation for their injuries, we also have substantial insurance defense experience. Collectively, our lawyers have over 40 years’ experience working in insurance defense. Our experience working on the “other side of the table” gives us important insight into how insurance companies handle motorcycle accident cases. We know the tactics the insurer might use—including attempting to shift blame onto the motorcyclist who was really the victim. We are especially well-qualified to counter these tactics.
Motorcycle insurance is something separate and distinct from your car insurance. That means that your car insurance will not cover your expenses if you were injured on a motorcycle. You should maintain a separate motorcycle insurance policy to make sure you are covered in the event of an accident—especially because motorcycle accidents tend to cause much more severe injuries than car accidents.
The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of the accident. However, the sooner we begin your investigation, the more likely we are to recover strong evidence to help with your claim.
Whether you are not sure what caused your accident or the insurance company has already tried to blame you, the motorcyclist, for the accident, speak with a lawyer. Our lawyers offer a free case evaluation so that we can help you answer this question. Whether you have a good case depends primarily upon who caused the accident. The severity and impact of your injuries will also determine how we will proceed with your case.
Call Today for Your Free Case Review with Our Experienced Erie, PA Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an Erie, PA motorcycle accident, speak with our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers for help getting justice. To learn more about your right to financial compensation, call our office or contact us online today.