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May 11, 2017

Most Dangerous Places for a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in PA

Motorcycle accidents injured some 88,000 people in the United States during 2015, according to data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While motorcycle accidents can occur anywhere, there are some places that are more dangerous than others. As a result, motorcyclists should take extra precautions if they find themselves in one of these areas or situations.

Busy Intersections

Intersections are inherently dangerous places for all motorists, particularly when those intersections are busy. At an intersection, vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists are traveling across one another’s paths, often perpendicularly. In addition, while a two-way intersection is dangerous enough, many urban areas have five-way or even six-way intersections, often resulting in extremely complex traffic patterns that are difficult to anticipate.

While intersections put everyone at risk, motorcyclists are at a particularly high risk of involvement in an accident at intersections because their smaller size makes them harder for motorists to spot. As a result, anyone riding a motorcycle should be extra careful when entering or approaching an intersection and make sure to follow the rules of the road.

Congested Roadways

Another situation in which motorcyclists are at an increased risk of involvement in a wreck is when they find themselves on a congested road. When vehicles are close to one another, motorcyclists tend to get boxed into areas where there is little room to maneuver. As a motorcyclist, it may be tempting to use your smaller size to zoom through traffic and between cars that are stopped or moving slowly because of heavy traffic. This practice, known as “lane splitting,” is not only illegal in the state of Florida but also extremely dangerous. Many drivers do not expect a motorcyclist to suddenly be beside them and may try and switch lanes without any warning. In addition, any error that you make could cause you to slam into the back of a slower moving or stopped vehicle, potentially throwing you off your bike and into traffic.

Roads with Low Sight Distance

Being able to see what is ahead of you is essential to avoiding collisions with other vehicles, objects, or avoiding road hazards. While the idea of taking your motorcycle out on a curvy road and seeing what it can do may be appealing, it also significantly increases your risk of involvement in an accident.

There are many ways that accidents on roads with low sight distance can occur. For example, motorists may not see that you are coming around a turn or over a hill and veer into your lane, causing a serious head-on collision. Similarly, if you are traveling at a high rate of speed, you may not be able to see a stopped vehicle or road hazard around a sharp turn until it is too late to avoid it.

Motorcyclists Injured in High-Risk Areas Can Often Recover Compensation

The fact that a particular situation is inherently riskier than others does not relieve other drivers of the duty to drive in a reasonably safe manner. For example, drivers should still stop at red lights at a confusing intersection, and the fact that a road has sharp curves does not mean that it is okay for a vehicle to weave out of its lane. For this reason, motorcyclists who are injured in accidents that occur in high-risk situations should always have their crash reviewed by an attorney in order to determine whether they can recover compensation.

Call a Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident in the Philadelphia area, you should discuss your case with a lawyer as soon as you can. The lawyers of The Levin Firm are committed to protecting the rights of motorcycle accident victims and understand how to maximize any settlement or award you obtain. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call The Levin Firm today at 215-823-5183 or contact us online.

 

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March 30, 2017

Five Common Reasons Why Philadelphia Motorcycle Accidents Happen

Personal Injury Lawyer in PA

Motorcycle accidents are extremely dangerous events and the injuries sustained by motorcycle operators and their passengers can oftentimes be severe and catastrophic. When these incidents are the result of the negligence of another person, victims can often recover significant compensation for the losses they have sustained, including their medical expenses, lost income, loss of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering.

Determining whether an accident was caused by negligence can be a complicated matter, which is why victims should always take the time to speak to an attorney after a wreck. A lawyer will thoroughly review your case and determine whether you have a claim to file.

Five Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

While the myriad of possible causes of Philadelphia motorcycle accidents is overwhelming and potentially unlimited, some of the more common causes of Philadelphia motorcycle accidents are as follows:

  • Disobeying traffic laws Traffic laws,1 including red light laws, right-of-way laws, and speed limits, exist for a reason. When a motor vehicle driver or motorcycle operator disobeys or disregards traffic laws, serious accidents and injuries may result.
  • Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol – Drugs and alcohol (even small amounts) can alter a person’s mindset and perception. Operating a car or motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a recipe for disaster.
  • Mechanical defects – When a car or motorcycle experiences a mechanical malfunction or defect while on the roadway, serious crashes can result. The most common example of a mechanical defect is a headlight, tail light, or turn signal light malfunctioning or burning out while on the roadway. In these instances, there may even be a potential cause of action against the product/part manufacturer or distributor.
  • Failing to appreciate road conditions – Motorcycle operators must be careful to appreciate the road conditions and operate their motorcycles accordingly. Common examples of dangerous road conditions that can lead to serious motorcycle accidents include potholes, sharp curves, steep hills, and construction zones.
  • Recklessness, carelessness, and negligence of a motor vehicle driver – When a motor vehicle driver acts in a reckless,2 careless, or negligent manner while behind the wheel of a car, serious accidents and injuries with motorcycles and other vehicles can result. Negligent or careless driving usually consists of speeding, following too closely, driving too fast for road or weather conditions, and making abrupt lane changes, usually without signaling.

Protecting Your Legal Rights after an Accident

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in the Philadelphia area, there are certain things you can do to maximize your chances of recovering compensation. The first issue you need to deal with after a motorcycle accident is your physical well-being; if emergency medical personnel recommend that you go to the hospital, do so. If you are able to stay at the scene of the accident, try and collect as much information as you can, including the names of the other drivers involved, the license plate numbers of the vehicles, the other drivers’ insurance information, and any identifying information on any commercial vehicles that may have been involved.

It is important to go see a doctor after an accident, even if you do not believe that your injuries require medical treatment. Doing so will ensure that your injuries are identified, treated and that an official record is generated. Seeing a physician is an important step in ensuring that you are able to recover compensation later, as insurance companies will often try and argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.

Finally, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can after an accident has occurred, as any delay could hurt your chances of recovering compensation for your losses.

Contact a Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, our experienced attorneys can assist you with safeguarding your legal rights and helping you to obtain monetary compensation.

Insurance companies sometimes deny liability altogether in motorcycle accident cases and refuse to pay. However, our experienced Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyers have the necessary legal knowledge and skills to combat the insurance companies and obtain a fair settlement on your behalf. If the insurance company denies liability – or if a fair settlement cannot be reached – our experienced attorneys are not afraid to litigate your case or take it to trial.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call the Levin Firm today at 215-825-5183 or contact us online.

1 http://www.dmv.pa.gov/Information-Centers/Laws-Regulations/Pages/PA-Vehicle-Code-(Title-75).aspx

2 https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/reckless

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March 20, 2017

How Motorcycle Helmets Drive Down Injury Rates

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in PA

Motorcycle accidents can happen anywhere, and the results can oftentimes be catastrophic. The many busy multi-lane highways and roadways in and around Philadelphia are prime territory for motorcycle accidents.

The main reason why motorcycles are so dangerous is because the operator (and the passenger, if there is one) do not have the body of a car surrounding them and protecting them in the event of a crash. Therefore, when a crash occurs, the operator and any passengers are likely to make direct contact with the ground and seriously injure themselves. A motorcycle helmet and other types of riding gear provide a protective barrier between a motorcycle rider’s head and the ground.

Motorcycle accidents can often by caused by the driver of another motor vehicle, meaning that victims are often able to obtain compensation for their injuries. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, our experienced Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help. We will review the unique facts and circumstances of your case and can assist you with maximizing its value. If your case is contested, our team will fully investigate your case and take it to trial if it becomes necessary.

Motorcycle Helmet Statistics

Motorcycle helmets save lives. Period. Statistically, according to both the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of death by 37% in motorcycle crashes and reduce the risk of head injuries by 69%.

Reducing or Eliminating Crash-Related Injuries

When riders sustain injuries in motorcycle crashes, the injuries are oftentimes catastrophic. Some of the most common types of injuries sustained in motorcycle crashes include the following:

  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries1 (TBIs)
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Concussions
  • Scrapes and abrasions
  • Scarring (especially facial scarring)

Given the seriousness of these injuries, motorcycle operators and passengers should not take any chances when it comes to motorcycle safety. Motorcycle helmets can help to prevent – or significantly lessen – the injuries a person sustains in the event of a crash in the following ways:

  • A helmet provides eye protection.
  • A helmet reduces or eliminates wind noise, allowing the operator to see and hear better, thereby reducing fatigue or “highway hypnosis.
  • A helmet provides a protective barrier between the operator’s head and the ground.

Most importantly, the simple act of putting on a motorcycle helmet is a reminder that riding a motorcycle can be a dangerous business, placing motorcycle operators and their passengers in the proper mindset.

How a Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help Victims

The days, week, and months immediately following a motorcycle accident can be stressful and confusing. Between doctors, specialists, insurance adjusters, and work or school, the aftermath of a serious accident can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are many ways that an attorney can help victims, including the following:

  • Evaluate your case and determine whether you will be able to file a claim
  • Investigate your accident and gather evidence that establishes that the other party was negligent
  • Communicate with the insurance company and make sure that any settlement or award you accept compensates you for your losses
  • File a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court

If you have been hurt in an accident, you should be certain to keep in mind that it is best to speak to an attorney as soon as you, because any delay could result in the loss or destruction of evidence that is essential to your claim. In addition, Pennsylvania personal injury claims are subject to a strict statute of limitations,2 which means that waiting to file a claim could result in the forfeiture of your right to recover compensation at all.

Contact a Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case

Motorcycle accidents can result in serious injuries, and in the worst cases, death. Riders, therefore, should take every possible precaution.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Remember that the insurance company is doing everything it can to pay you as little as possible, including potentially using tactics designed to get you to inadvertently admit partial or full liability for your accident

Our experienced Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyers have the necessary legal knowledge and expertise to negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf and help you to obtain a fair value for your case. If a favorable settlement offer cannot be reached, we are not afraid to take your case to trial.

You can contact the experienced Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyers at The Levin Firm today by calling 215-825-5183, or contact us online.

1 https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/tbi/Pages/default.aspx

2 https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/statute_of_limitations

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March 10, 2017

5 Common Causes of Philadelphia Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in PA

Thousands of people are injured in motorcycle accidents every year. Here are some of the more common causes of motorcycle accidents in the Philadelphia area.

Distracted Driving

Distracted drivers are less aware of their surroundings and often do not see motorcyclists until it is too late. While many of use tend to immediately think about smartphones when we think about distracted driving,1 distractions can take be much less high-tech. Some examples of the kinds of things that drivers can do and distract themselves include the following:

  • Grooming
  • Eating
  • Texting
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Using a GPS device
  • Reading
  • Talking
  • Looking at scenery
  • Looking for objects in the car
  • Tending to children
  • Drunk Driving

Despite public education campaigns aimed at educating people about the dangers of drunk driving and harsh penalties for even first-time offenders, people continue to drive drunk on a daily basis in the Philadelphia area. Drunk drivers pose a significant safety risk to motorcyclists as alcohol intoxication can affect a person’s spatial awareness, reaction time, and judgment. If you suspect that the driver who caused your accident was drunk, you should be sure to call the police.

Poor Road Maintenance

Poor road maintenance is a significant factor in many accidents, especially those involving just one vehicle. Issues like potholes, overgrown vegetation, inadequate signage, faded paint, broken stoplights, poor drainage, and excessive grade can very easily cause a serious motorcycle crash.

It is important for the victim to be aware of the fact that when accidents caused by poor road maintenance occur on public property, claims arising from them are subject to a special set of legal rules that govern legal actions against public entities. These kinds of claims are subject to significant time limits, so victims should be certain to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

Defective Motorcycles

Defectively manufactured, designed, or marketed motorcycles can cause extremely serious accidents, often with little to no warning. Some examples of the kinds of defects that often lead to crashes include brake failures, steering mechanism problems, defective tires, and fuel system defects. Victims of these kinds of incidents can often recover compensation from the manufacturer of the motorcycle.

Traffic Violations

Traffic laws exist to keep us all safe, and motorists who violate them can cause extremely serious injury-causing accidents. Some examples of the kinds of traffic violations that often lead to accidents involving motorcycles include the following:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield
  • Following too closely
  • Improper turns
  • Running stop signs or stop lights

Fortunately for victims, evidence that a driver violated a traffic law is often sufficient to establish liability. For this reason, it is important to contact law enforcement after an accident where a traffic violation may have occurred.

Steps to Take to Protect Your Rights

In order to recover compensation, victims need to be able to establish that their accident was the result of someone else’s negligence.2 There are certain steps that you can take after involvement in an accident, the most important of which are detailed below.

Collect Information – After an accident, you should collect as much information as you can about your accident. Examples of the kinds of facts of which should make not include the names of the other motorists involved, the weather conditions at the time of the accident, the license plate numbers of the other vehicles involved, and the other driver’s insurance information. If you can, you should take pictures of the scene of the accident, especially if you believe that a hazardous road condition caused or contributed to your accident.

Seek Medical Attention – You should always undergo a thorough medical evaluation after involvement in an accident. Doing so will ensure that your injuries are identified, treated, and documented.

Talk to a Lawyer – You should talk to a lawyer as soon as you can after you are hurt in a motorcycle accident. A lawyer will analyze your accident, determine whether you have a claim, and protect your rights throughout the process of obtaining compensation for your losses.

Call a Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else, you may be entitled to significant compensation under Pennsylvania law. Examples of the kinds of losses for which accident victims often recover include medical expenses, property damage, loss of quality of life, lost income, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. To schedule a free consultation with attorney Gabriel Levin, call our office today at 215-825-5184 or contact us online.

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July 21, 2016

Beware of Accidents Over Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Accidents

Labor Day weekend is always the mark that the end of summer is near. School has started, the weather is about to get cooler, and the majority of Americans have a three-day weekend to celebrate how hard they work the rest of the year. Many people planning short trips, outings, or parties to mark the holiday with their families and friends. Unfortunately, along with the food, family, and fun comes the risk of accidents and injuries over the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

The following are only some examples of why the risks of accidents and injuries may increase over this holiday weekend, so you can be aware of the risks and work to prevent injuries whenever possible. If injuries do occur, you should discuss your legal options with an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible following your accident.

Drunk driving accidents

Holidays are a prime time for drunk driving and the accidents that result from intoxicated drivers. Holiday gatherings tend to involve alcohol and, during long holiday weekends like Labor Day, many people drink all afternoon and into the evening. Whether a person is at a family barbecue or a bar, they should never ever consider getting behind the wheel of a car after having too much to drink. Not every driver makes the responsible decision, however, and accidents and injuries can happen.

The increased risks for drunk driving are demonstrated by a more concentrated effort on the part of law enforcement and government agencies to deter and catch drunk drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sponsors national enhanced drunk driving enforcement1 during the end of summer through the Labor Day weekend. “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” will kick into gear from August 17th to September 5th this year, spreading safety awareness and increasing law enforcement presence to try to prevent drunk drivers. These efforts cannot prevent all drunk driving, so you need to be as aware and safe as possible over this weekend to prevent accidents.

Water-related accidents

Another favorite pastime over Labor weekend is to head out and enjoy the water on one of the last summer weekends. Many swimming pools close after this holiday weekend, so many pools have large crowds during this time to end the season. Crowds can increase the hazards and decrease the supervision in or around swimming pools, which can lead to drowning or near-drowning accidents.

In addition, many families and groups of friends take off to spend the weekend on lakes and rivers. Boats, jet skis, tubes, and other water sports equipment are fun and relaxing yet they always bring the risk of injuries. Spend the day on the water often involves drinking and music and other forms of entertainment, which can make it easy to become distracted and ignore safety measures. Drunk, distracted, or inexperienced boat drivers can often be involved in boat accidents that can injure many people on board the boat. Anytime water is involved, there is the risk of serious drowning incidents or other traumatic injuries.

Recreational accidents

Besides driving and water, celebrations and long weekends can come with the risks of many other types of accidents and injuries. Only some of these recreational accidents involve the following:

  • Burns or fires from grills or bonfires
  • Injuries suffered in softball, soccer, golf, or other sports
  • ATV accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Dog bites,2 especially at BBQs or gatherings
  • Motorcycle accidents

Many of these accidents happen because of someone else’s negligence. If another party caused your injuries, you have the right to recover for your losses and hold them liable for their negligent actions. This Labor Day, please take as many home and recreational safety precautions3 as you can in whatever type of celebration you choose. However, if you are injured, it is important to know your legal rights.

Call for a Free Consultation with an Experienced Philadelphia Accident Attorney

If your holiday weekend is marred by an accident and injuries, you should not delay in calling a skilled personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia. At The Levin Firm, we have helped many clients and their families to obtain full compensation for the injuries and losses they have sustained in a wide variety of accidents. We will always stand up for your rights to recover for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, among other losses and will work for the most favorable settlement or award possible in your case. If you would like more information about how we can help you, please call 215-825-5183 today.

1http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/LaborDayWeekend

2http://www.cdc.gov/features/dog-bite-prevention/

3https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/

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