Our Hazleton Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Work Hard to Get You Justice
For motorcycle riders, accidents involving other vehicles can often have drastic consequences. Even riders who wear full riding gear can suffer serious injuries. Unfortunately, many people – insurance adjusters included – have a bias against motorcycle riders. This creates additional challenges for injured riders who are entitled to financial compensation.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Hazleton, you may be entitled to compensation for both the injuries you sustained and the pain and suffering you endured. At Munley Law, our Hazleton motorcycle accident lawyers have decades of experience advocating for motorcyclists and ensuring they receive the compensation and justice they deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact our Hazleton personal injury lawyers today for a free initial case evaluation.
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What Are the Common Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident?
In the past several decades, motorcycles have become an increasingly popular mode of transport; in fact, recent data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, from 2002 to 2021, the number of on-road motorcycles registered in the US increased from 4.3 million to 8.6 million. Unfortunately, however, motorcycle riders are also at a particularly high risk of accidents and injuries. In fact, the National Safety Council found that motorcyclists account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Because a motorcyclist lacks some of the physical protection that a passenger vehicle driver has, they can be at serious risk for injury when an accident occurs. A wide variety of injuries can occur from a motorcycle accident, but some common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Soft tissue injuries
- Loss of limb
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- And more
It’s important to remember that helmets are proven to decrease injuries and reduce deaths in motorcycle accidents. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that helmets saved nearly 2,000 lives in 2017; 749 more could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets. While there’s no way to absolutely prevent an accident, wearing a helmet greatly increases your odds of survival should one occur.
What Are the Main Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Hazleton?
Motorcycle accidents, like car accidents, can occur due to any number of factors. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- T-Bone collisions: T-Bone collisions occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another. This can be particularly devastating when a truck or passenger vehicle collides with the side of a motorcycle; a motorcycle driver is far less shielded from the impact than the driver of a car would be, and can experience major injury.
- Head-on collisions: As the name implies, head-on collisions occur when the front ends of two vehicles collide with each other.
- Distracted drivers: Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver’s hands off the wheel or their mind or eyes off the road. A distracted driver is far more likely to cause an accident; even if they become aware of an impending collision before it happens, if they’ve been distracted, they may not be able to break in time to prevent it.
- Car doors opening: It’s not uncommon for motorcycle accidents to occur when a driver of a parked car opens their door without looking, causing the motorcyclist to collide with door itself.
- Reckless driving: Reckless driving can cause all manner of accidents, including motorcycle accidents. Reckless driving includes things like speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changing, swerving, and more.
- Alcohol use: Drinking and driving are both dangerous and illegal, and operating a car or motorcycle when drunk can have disastrous consequences. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 1998, 45 percent of motorcyclists killed in single-vehicle crashes were intoxicated.
- Dangerous road conditions: Dangerous road conditions such as rain, fog, wind, or snow can limit visibility for all drivers and greatly increase the chance of an accident. Potholes and cracked roads can also cause an accident.
- Sudden stops: If a car driver negligently slams on their brakes, coming to a sudden halt, it could cause the motorcyclist behind them to crash into the rear of the vehicle.
- And more
How is Fault Determined in a Hazleton Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents are unique when it comes to determining fault because they fall under the umbrella of Pennsylvania’s choice no-fault system. What exactly does this mean? Some states use what’s called a “no-fault” system–this means that you file a claim with your own insurer regardless of who caused the accident. Essentially, all parties use their own insurance in order to pay for things like medical expenses, no matter who was at fault. Other states use a “fault-based” system–this means that the victim files a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. In other words, the at-fault party is responsible for using their insurance coverage to pay for the victim’s accident-related expenses.
Pennsylvania uniquely lets drivers choose between these two forms of insurance. One of the key differences between these two types of coverage is that they impact whether or not an injured party has the right to sue the at-fault driver. If you have fault-based insurance, you can sue the other driver in the case of an accident. If you have no-fault insurance, you generally cannot file a claim against them. However, there is an exception: regardless of what type of insurance you have, if you have significant or serious injuries (things like loss of a limb, traumatic brain injury, or permanent impairment of any bodily function), you may be able to file a suit against the other party.
In order to successfully file a suit, you and your motorcycle accident lawyer must show that the defendant was actually at fault for the accident. There are a few steps to this process: first, you and your attorney must show that the defendant violated their duty of care. All drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable caution while on the road and make safe responsible decisions; you’ll need to show that they violated this duty by exhibiting some kind of negligence (driving under the influence, speeding, texting while driving, etc.) Then you’ll need to show that this negligence was the direct cause of the accident that caused your injuries. Finally, you and your attorney will need to show that your injuries resulted in measurable losses–this could be things like lost wages, medical bills, and even more abstract losses such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.
What Kind of Compensation Can You Secure After a Motorcycle Accident?
It’s difficult to give any estimate of how much you’re eligible to receive in damages, as this depends greatly on the details of your accident and your case. In more general terms, you may be able to receive compensation for both economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses are those that have a clear and distinct monetary value. This includes medical bills and expenses, lost wages, future lost wages, rehabilitation and physical therapy costs, and more. However, when a severe injury occurs, the cost is more than any of this combined–the victim will be impacted mentally and emotionally, and may not be able to immediately return to the life they lived before. This is where non-economic losses come into play. These losses account for the more abstract losses an accident victim experiences–pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life. Your attorney will review your case in great detail in order to ensure you’re fairly compensated for every aspect of your suffering and loss.
What Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Do For You?
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident, or an auto accident of any kind, can be a stressful, hazy, overwhelming time. You need to be able to focus on your physical and mental recovery, and getting back to the life you love. When you work with a Hazleton motorcycle accident lawyer at Munley Law, you can rest assured that an experienced professional is handling all the complex legal components of your case, so that you can turn your attention to rest and recovery.
One of the first things a lawyer will do for you works tirelessly to gather all relevant and necessary evidence. This evidence will be used to both prove that the other party was at fault for the accident and that the settlement amount you’re requesting is deserved. This includes things like:
- The police report from the accident scene
- CCTV footage
- The driver’s phone records
- Medical bills
- Evidence of lost wages
- Witness testimony
Negotiate a Settlement
In addition to gathering evidence, much of which may be difficult or impossible to do without the aid of an attorney, your lawyer will spearhead the negotiation process on your behalf. The vast majority of the time, personal injury lawsuits settle out of court before a trial becomes necessary; securing a settlement without having to go to court is usually the primary goal. Your lawyer will review your case in thorough detail and account for every source of compensation you are owed. They’ll use this to evaluate the worth of your case, and will then present that number to the defendant and their legal team. In an ideal situation, this first settlement offer would be accepted. However, it’s not uncommon for the defendant to counter with an offer of their own. Your lawyer will negotiate with their team, always prioritizing your best interest, until you can reach an agreement. An experienced lawyer will never let you accept a settlement that’s unfairly low and does not adequately compensate you.
Protect You in Court
As previously mentioned, most personal injury cases, including those that involve motorcycle accidents, settle out of court. However, going to trial is always a possibility, and if that does happen, you want to be sure you have a trusted lawyer on your side. Some personal injury lawyers really only have experience negotiating settlements and would have to pass you along to someone else if a trial was necessary. But at Munley Law, all of our personal injury lawyers have hands-on courtroom experience and can protect you both through the negotiation process and during a trial.
Why Work With Our Accident Attorneys at Munley Law?
We understand that if you or a loved one has experienced a motorcycle accident in Hazleton, you have many options for who you trust to handle the legal aspect of your case. It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly, and that’s why with Munley Law, you are always entitled to a free initial case evaluation before making any commitment. You can call at any time to speak to one of our dedicated and experienced Hazelton personal injury lawyers, and learn how we can help fight for you and secure you the justice you deserve.
At Munley Law, we work round the clock to ensure each and every one of our motorcycle accident clients gets the attention and care they deserve. We have an incredible track record of securing highly satisfactory, multi-million dollar settlements for our clients. And we pride ourselves on not just our successes, but on the relationships we form with our clients. When you work with us, you won’t be just another number or one in a stack of cases–you’ll be treated like family.
Don’t hesitate: contact us today to learn more about how we can protect your rights and secure your compensation. We are ready and waiting to take your call.
Hazleton Practice Areas
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
197 N Cedar St,
Hazleton, PA 18201