July 17, 2018

Deadly Motorcycle Accidents in Philadelphia

Motorcycle and Wrongful Death Attorney in PA

As temperatures heat up, its natural to want to spend more time on your bikecruising the open road. Its important to recognize, however, that motorcycle accidents are some of the deadliest on our roadways. When youre on your motorcycle, after all, theres absolutely nothing other than your helmet and gear to protect you from the impact of an accident. If another drivers negligence has left you or someone you care about injuredor worsein a motorcycle accident, seek experienced legal counsel.

Deadly Philadelphia Motorcycle Accidents

On one Thursday in June, Philadelphia saw two separate deadly motorcycle accidents. The first involved a woman motorist who made a U-turn into the path of a 27-year-old biker, who died from the injuries he incurred. The second accident involved a biker who was riding in a pack of bikes. When the motorcyclist attempted to change lanes, another biker hit himcausing the 41-year-old man to lose control of his bike and crash into a tree. The man later died in the hospital. When motorists fail to exercise appropriate caution, their negligence can lead to deadly motorcycle accidents in the blink of an eye.

Wrongful Death Claims

When someone elses negligence causes your loved one to be killed, you could have a wrongful death claim. In Pennsylvania, the victims spouse, parent, or child can bring a wrongful death claim. With such a claim, you seek compensation for those losses you suffered because of your loved ones untimely demise. Such losses can be both financial and emotional. While no settlement amount can ever bring your loved one back to you, just compensation can help you and your family to better navigate the path toward emotional and financial recovery.

If youve lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another drivers negligence, you know how devastating that is, and you need experienced legal counsel. Losing a loved one in a case of wrongful death is exceedingly difficult to process, but the dedicated legal team at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia is here to work with you through this process. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys have the determination, skill, and compassion to fight for your just compensation.

Financial and Emotional Damages

If youve lost a loved one to a fatal motorcycle accident that was caused by another drivers negligence, youve likely suffered considerable financial losses, including the medical expenses incurred. Further, if the victim was the primary breadwinner (or a breadwinner) in your family, youll also suffer from wages lost and from earning potential that has been cut short. The financial damages associated with wrongful death claims are often exceedingly high.

The emotional damages associated with these claims, however, can be even more staggering and difficult to endure. Your family has lost the deceaseds love, companionship, parenting, and comfort (to name but a few relationship roles), and its impossible to put a price on that. Juries are instructed to come up with values that they consider fair in relation to the circumstances of the claim. Its a difficult but important calculation.

The Statistics

Motorcycle accidents are exceedingly dangerous and are often deadly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) forwards several grim statistics related to motorcycle accidents that occurred in 2015:

  • Motorcycle fatalities were up by 8 percent (over the 2014 fatality rate).
  • Motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic-accident deaths, 4 percent of all traffic-related injuries, 17 percent of all vehicle occupant fatalities (including cyclists and passengers), and 4 percent of all vehicle occupant injuries.
  • Motorcyclists are nearly 29 times more likelyper vehicle, mile traveledto die in traffic accidents than are drivers and occupants of cars.

These dire statistics highlight just how treacherous motorcycle accidents can be. When you ride, always make riding safely your top priority.

Negligent Drivers

Negligent drivers (and even other bikers) sometimes cause serious, often deadly, motorcycle accidents. Negligence refers to driving without appropriate concern for the safety of others on the roadincluding motorcyclists. There are many varieties of negligent driving:

  • Driving while distracted
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Driving aggressively, including speeding
  • Ignoring traffic signal, lights, and signs
  • Failing to accommodate for the condition of the road, including the effects of inclement weather

Distracted Drivers

Distracted drivers are so prevalent and so dangerous that its important to take a closer look at the issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as any driving in which the motorists attention is focused on anything other than the paramount task of driving safely. Distractions come in many forms, but the pinnacle of distractions is the ever-popular smartphone. As we become increasingly attached to our smartphones, distracted driving continues to skyrocket.

The NHTSA forwards several grim statistics related to distracted driving:

  • In 2016, 3,450 people were killed in traffic accidents involving distracted drivers.
  • In 2015, 391,000 people were injured in traffic accidents involving distracted drivers.
  • During daylight hours, about 481,000 motorists are engaged with their smartphones while driving.
  • When drivers text, they take their eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds at a time, which is tantamount to driving blind for the length of a football field (when traveling at 55 miles per hour).

Start Looking for Motorcycles

When you ride, you have the obvious disadvantage of not being as visible as other vehicles on the road. Some drivers simply fail to look for or see motorcycles in their midst (distractions dont help). An important element of driving safely is paying attention to other vehicles on the road, including motorcycles.

If Youve Lost a Loved One in a Motorcycle Accident, Talk with an Experienced Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Losing a loved one in a motorcycle accident caused by another drivers negligence is tragic, and youre likely not to have any idea how to proceed. You arent alone, however. The dedicated legal team at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia is here to help. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys have the skill, determination, and compassion to help guide your claim toward just resolution. Were here to help, so please contact or call us at (215) 825-5183 today.

May 8, 2018

Watch Out for Potholes in Philadelphia and New Jersey

Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer PA

While the transition from winter to spring weather can be a welcome one in the northeast, with it often comes a less-than-desirable effect on our roadways—potholes. Both Philadelphia and New Jersey are notorious for potholes. Potholes sometimes cannot be avoided and may even form on well-maintained streets. Winter weather brings moisture that seeps into small cracks in the pavement. The moisture freezes in low temperatures and expands, causing the roadway to crack and break apart.

When the temperature increases with spring, the pavement often crumbles as a result of multiple cracks. The result is what we call “potholes.” Potholes form directly in the path where traffic is heaviest. That means potholes are often much worse in heavily-trafficked areas such as Philadelphia or Norristown, as the stress from the constant weight of traffic and heavy commercial vehicles can break away more and more pavement around the edges of the potholes. Often street maintenance crews in large cities like Philadelphia cannot keep up with the number of potholes forming, and some may persist for a long period of time, presenting hazards for all vehicles on the road.

Crashes Due to Potholes

Potholes are dangerous and may cause accidents. In some cases, a driver may unexpectedly hit a pothole and sustain serious damage to their vehicle, such as undercarriage, axle, or tire damage. In other situations, hitting a pothole can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle and crash into another car. A driver may also suddenly slam on the brakes or swerve to avoid a large pothole, causing a collision.

Potholes accidents have the potential to cause serious traumatic injuries to vehicle occupants, in addition to vehicle damage. Pothole accident cases can also be complicated, especially if they involve claims against a governmental entity responsible for maintaining the roads. It may also be difficult to prove that a pothole caused a collision. For these reasons, anyone who has been injured in an accident that may have resulted from a dangerous pothole needs the right attorney on their side as soon as possible.

Motorcycle and Bicycle Accidents

Potholes can cause accidents involving any type of vehicle. Even pedestrians can trip and fall due to a pothole. However, potholes can be particularly dangerous for people riding motorcycles or bicycles. These two-wheeled vehicles can react in extremely dangerous ways if an operator suddenly hits a pothole.

First, if a motorcyclist or bicyclist tries to avoid a pothole by swerving around it, they can easily lose their balance due to the sudden movement, and may lose control and crash. If they actually hit the pothole, the front tire may drop into the pothole and stop. The momentum of the vehicle can then cause the motorcycle or bicycle to tip forward, often throwing the rider forward off the vehicle. In such accidents, riders often hit the pavement face-first. Even with a helmet, this type of crash can result in severe injuries, including:

  • Broken jaw
  • Broken nose or cheekbones
  • Dental damage
  • Skull fractures
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractured hands, wrists, or arms
  • Friction burns (“road rash”)
  • Serious lacerations
  • Fractured legs or shattered knees

Many of these injuries leave a motorcyclist or bicyclist scarred, disfigured, or disabled for the rest of their lives. Those who are lucky enough to survive may have extreme costs and losses due to serious injuries—which could have been prevented simply by repairing a pothole.

Seeking Compensation After a Pothole Accident

If a city or state failed to repair a pothole in a timely manner and you suffered injuries as a result, you may be able to hold the municipality responsible for all of your losses. Unfortunately, pothole cases are rarely that straightforward and municipalities will fight liability for property damage and injury costs whenever they can. To make matters worse, they often have government immunity on their side, which can limit a government agency’s liability for certain types of accidents.

Even if you do have the ability to file an insurance claim against the government, the requirements are different from regular personal injury actions. For example, time limits are generally much shorter and you must include specific information for your claim to be considered. For this reason, it is essential that you have an attorney on your side who understands how sovereign immunity laws work and how to pursue a claim on your behalf when applicable.

If a claim against the government is not possible after a pothole accident, you may have to turn to your own insurance to cover your losses. Just because you pay premiums each month does not mean that your insurance company will simply cut you a check, however. Instead, such insurance claims often require a significant amount of negotiating before you receive fair compensation for your vehicle damage and all of your injury-related losses. Having a knowledgeable lawyer represent you when filing a claim with an insurance company can help maximize your recovery.

Contact a Philadelphia and Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyer for Help

Whether you were injured in a car accident, bicycle accident, motorcycle accident, or any other type of vehicle accident, you should not hesitate to call The Levin Firm to discuss your rights. We can assist you throughout the entire insurance process to help ensure you recover proper compensation for your pothole-related accident and injuries. We can also determine whether a municipality was negligent in failing to repair a pothole or another road hazard. Our team has the skill and experience to take on governmental entities when necessary. However, cases against government agencies have very strict time limits and any delay can threaten your ability to seek compensation. Please call 215-825-5183 or contact us online so we can get started evaluating your case as soon as possible.

April 19, 2018

Choose the Right Type of Motorcycle for Your Safety

motorcycle accident lawyer in pa

Motorcycle accidents are among the deadliest on our roads. As such, it’s imperative that you make safety your top concern every time you ride. Choosing a bike that’s not only right for you but that’s also safer for you is a great place to start. 

The Sobering Statistics

Before choosing your ride, carefully consider the dangers inherent to motorcycles. The Insurance Information Institute shares the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) motorcycle accident statistics based on overall miles traveled in 2015:

  • Motorcyclists were 29 times more likely than car occupants to be killed in traffic accidents (40 percent of these accident victims weren’t wearing helmets).
  • Motorcyclists were five times more likely to be injured in traffic accidents.

In addition to not wearing a helmet, factors that significantly increased the odds of being injured in a bike accident include being 60 or older, speeding, and riding while impaired. Riders should always remain alert and drive defensively. Be aware that many drivers simply do not see motorcycles.

If a driver who was not paying attention to motorcycles on the road caused an accident that left you injured, you need skilled legal counsel. These claims can be complicated and the process can seem overwhelming, especially when you are injured. The dedicated legal team at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia has the determination, skill, and experience handling motorcycle accident claims to help you recover fair compensation for your injuries after an accident.

Choosing the Right Bike

Finding a bike that’s right for your skill level is an important factor to take into consideration when choosing a bike. Consumer Reports shares some tips on how to make the safest choice:

Choose a Bike You Can Handle Safely

If you’re new to riding or haven’t been on a bike in a while, you may be surprised to experience the power that new models—even those with smaller engines—can pack. The bikes of today are decidedly faster and more powerful than bikes of yesteryear. When it comes to choosing a bike that’s right for you, make sure that you’re not purchasing more bike than you can safely handle.

Fit is an important factor when choosing a motorcycle. When you’re seated atop a bike that’s a good fit, both your feet should rest comfortably flat on the ground. If you’re on your tiptoes, the bike’s too big. The handlebars and controls should be comfortably within your reach. Test drive and get a good feel for how the bikes you’re considering handle, and choose one that you can easily mount and dismount from the center stand. A good point to remember is that a bike that feels too heavy probably is too heavy.

Engine size also matters. A smaller 250-cc to 300-cc engine can be a great place to start. These bikes are convenient for commuters and easier—and thus safer—to handle. If you’re looking to rack up a lot of highway miles, however, you may want to consider a bike with an engine in the 500-cc to 750-cc range that allows you to safely keep up with highway traffic.

Choose a Bike with Antilock Brakes

Antilock brakes are available on many motorcycle models and are proven to save lives. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety reports that the fatality rate for motorcycles that are equipped with optional antilock brakes is 31 percent lower than for the same motorcycle models that aren’t equipped with the option. The Institute explains that braking a motorcycle is more complex than braking a car. On a motorcycle, braking too hard can cause your bike’s wheels to lock up and send you into to skid. Braking inadequately is likewise obviously dangerous.

An antilock braking system allows you to apply full pressure to the brakes without risking a lockup. This safety mechanism automatically decreases pressure when a lockup is imminent and reapplies the pressure when traction is restored and it’s safe to do so.

Some Bikes Are More Dangerous than Others

The Institute also reports that some types of motorcycles are simply more dangerous than others. So-called supersport bikes are associated with a fatality rate that’s four times that of standard motorcycles and cruisers. Supersport motorcycles mimic racing bikes, with lightweight engines and amped-up horsepower. Remember those features may make a bike more dangerous when you choose a bike that’s right for you. Stick to a model that’s built for fun and safety—not just for speed.

Educate Yourself

Getting the training that you need to operate your bike safely is perhaps even more important than choosing the right bike. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, which is sponsored by motorcycle manufacturers and distributors, partners with NHTSA, state governments, and other organizations to help improve motorcycle safety through training, education, and licensing. The emphasis of this training is riding within your skill limitations; wearing appropriate safety gear; and riding sober. While these courses focus on safety basics, they can also help you learn advanced techniques, such as how to perform emergency evasion maneuvers.

Protect Your Brain

Finally, never ride without a helmet. Helmets save lives and reduce the incidence of brain injuries. Choose a helmet that provides full protection. Consumer Reports relays that full-faced helmets approved by the Department of Transportation are the safest option.

If You’ve Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident, You Need an Experienced Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Motorcycle accidents are extremely dangerous and often cause serious injuries. Always be on the lookout for distracted drivers and drivers who just don’t see motorcycles. If another driver’s negligence causes a motorcycle accident and you are injured, make sure you get the right legal team on your side. At The Levin Firm in Philadelphia, we are dedicated to helping people who have been injured in accidents recover. Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined experience working to help Philadelphia accident victims. We have the skill, knowledge, and commitment to fight for your rights and fair compensation. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at 215-825-5183 today.

January 23, 2018

Why do Motorcyclists have a Higher Risk of Accident?

Why do Motorcyclists have a Higher Risk of Accident

Traditional drivers of motor vehicles are protected by two tons of steel, seat belts, airbags, and a motor vehicle tested and designed to absorb the force of an impact. It’s not difficult to understand, therefore, why a motorcyclist would be at a greater risk of injury after an accident when compared to the driver of a car. In fact, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly 80% of all motorcycle accidents result in personal injuries or even prove fatal to the rider, while only 30% of accidents result in injuries to car and truck drivers. However, just because a rider is more prone to injury after an accident does not explain why riders are at a higher risk of getting into an accident in the first place. There are a variety of factors that contribute to the increased risk of motorcycle accidents in Philadelphia, and despite the fact that lack of proper motorcycle training is a factor, the accident is not always the fault of the rider.

Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

The Pennsylvania Motorcycle Handbook reports that a leading cause of motorcycle accidents and death in PA is alcohol. Other than alcohol and drug-related factors, however, one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents is curving roads and sharp turns. If a curve is taken too quickly on a motorcycle, because your center of gravity is lower to the ground and the bike is lighter, it is easy to lose your balance and traction and spin out of control. This is especially likely if the ground is slick because there is less friction. This is not the case for traditional motor vehicles, which are substantially heavier than motorcycles and can take certain turns without fear of spinning out. Motor vehicles also have four tires that provide stability and traction, which is typically not the case for a bike. For these reasons, it is especially important to know your bike, including the pressure needed to be applied to your front and rear brakes, the center of gravity of the bike, how smooth your clutch and throttle are, the traction on your tires, and the hydraulic fluid levels for shock impact. Safety experts also recommend making sure that riders begin with a bike and engine that is right for their skill level. Riding the wrong bike or a bike you are not accustomed to or that is too big for you is also another leading cause of motorcycle accidents.

Pennsylvania Law and Motorcycle Accidents

Unlike motor vehicle laws that tend to be universal thought the states, different states have different types of motorcycle laws. For example, in some states riders can ride between lanes of traffic if it is safe to do so. It should be noted that Pennsylvania law grants motorcyclists the same right to use public roads and highways as drivers of traditional motor vehicles, but riders may not overtake and pass a vehicle when it is in the same lane occupied by that vehicle and they may not operate between lanes of traffic. Although these behaviors are permitted in some states and are especially tempting in high traffic conditions, they are illegal and dangerous to both riders and drivers in Philadelphia.

Motorcycle Accidents Due to Poor Maintenance

Another reason why motorcyclists have a high risk of accident is because of the dangerous maintenance woes of certain motorcycles. The following are among some of the most common maintenance concerns when it comes to riding, which can lead to motorcycle accidents:

  • Debris Accumulation: the accumulation of sand, dirt, and road debris on the interior of your motorcycle can cause the corrosion of certain essential components, which may cause your bike to break down on the road. Most motorcycle maintenance regimens include extensive cleaning of exposed components;
  • Poor Chain Lubrication: In order to prevent your bike’s chain from snapping or locking unexpectedly, you must ensure that your chains are constantly lubricated and free of debris. Sudden chain failure due to poor maintenance can cause major engine damage in the middle of a busy road, leading to a potentially fatal accident;
  • Fuel System Failure: Because many motorcycles still use carburetors, if a fuel hose is not regularly replaced and maintained, it could cause fuel to leak from the gas tank and the fuel system to fail. This might result in a sudden accident coupled with fire resulting from the exposed fuel.

While not all maintenance failures are the fault of the rider, it is important to do your best to maintain your bike in order to reduce your risk of a maintenance-related accident.

Preventing Motorcycle Injuries

While in Pennsylvania, wearing a motorcycle helmet is optional for those over the age of 21 who have met certain qualifications, using the right gear can help prevent not only traumatic brain injuries but minor injuries and burns as well. The following gear is recommended for all those riding a motorcycle and in all weather conditions:

  • Federally approved motorcycle helmet;
  • Leather or synthetic gloves;
  • A leather or motorcycle approved jacket;
  • All weather eyewear;
  • Long motorcycle pants, and
  • Thick boots that cover your ankles.

Overall, you are taking a risk when you choose a motorcycle over a traditional motor vehicle, as you are trading maneuverability for exposure; however, there are steps you can take to help keep you safe on the road and prevent personal injuries. Taking extra precautions, such as signing up for optional extra rider safety courses and knowing what you can and can’t handle in a bike, can help you enjoy riding even more and avoid liability for a motorcycle accident.

Contact a Philadelphia Motorcycle Attorney for Questions

If you have a question about liability or the cause of a motorcycle accident, it is important to contact a personal injury and motorcycle attorney in your area who understands Pennsylvania motorcycle law and regulations. Further, if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident because another driver did not “share the road,” remember that you have rights as a rider, and the The Levin Firm can help fight for those rights. We are your premier motorcycle lawyers in the greater Philadelphia area, so please call today at 215-825-5183 for a free, no-risk consultation.

December 29, 2017

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in PA

According to statistics published by the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles, about 858,000 licensed motorcyclists and 400,000 registered motorcycles call this state home. Given the large number of motorcyclists in Pennsylvania, both drivers and cyclists must work to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents, which can result in serious and permanent injuries or even death.

Pennsylvania Does Not Require All Motorcyclists to Wear Helmets

Pennsylvania law does not require all motorcyclists to wear helmets. A motorcyclist or passenger “must wear protective headgear unless he or she is over 21 years of age or older and has either two years of riding experience or has completed a motorcycle safety course approved by PennDOT or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.” Motorcyclists who meet both requirements can zoom around Philadelphia without wearing protective headgear.

Wearing helmets is intuitively safer. Helmets are designed to meet specific safety standards and they protect users from serious head injuries in the event of accidents. Serious head injuries, which can include concussions, fractures, and traumatic brain injuries, can result in victims suffering permanent complications and impairments.

Statistics published by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation show that, in 2016, 94 persons who were not wearing helmets died in motorcycle accidents. The same report also shows that 1,245 motorcyclists who were not wearing helmets suffered accident-related injuries.

While helmets may keep riders safer, protecting them from permanent injuries or death, the law doesn’t require everyone to wear one. Therefore, the law may entitle motorcyclists to compensation for damages suffered in accidents—even when they didn’t wear helmets.

Motorcycle Injuries May Be Serious and Permanent

While not all motorcycle accidents result in death, many do cause serious, life-threatening, and even permanent injuries, including:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (concussions and permanent brain damage)
  • Injuries to the spinal cord, perhaps resulting in paralysis
  • Broken bones

The number of motorcycles on Philadelphia’s roadways does increase the likelihood of an accident. In 2016, nearly 3,500 accidents involved a motorcycle. As more motorcycles make it onto the streets, that number may continue increasing.

Motorcyclists Are More Likely to Suffer Injuries

Motorcycles are sometimes referred to, in jest, as “death traps.” In accidents, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer injuries than other motorists. Motorcyclists do not have any protective enclosures like drivers and passengers in the bodies of automobiles.

Accidents can cause motorcyclists to strike the road or other objects, and they may do so at high speeds. The impacts can, and often do, cause serious traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or broken bones.

A motorcyclist takes a risk to ride a motorcycle, but does not give up the right to recover compensation in the event of an accident. A skilled attorney can help motorcyclists navigate the legal process.

Motorcyclists Are Responsible Drivers

Society unfairly stigmatizes motorcyclists as wild and irresponsible. Instead, most motorcyclists drive quite responsibly, and other parties tend to cause many of the accidents involving motorcycles. Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

Cars making left turns in front of motorcycles. Often, drivers fail to look carefully before making left turns. Failure to observe carefully can cause a driver to miss an oncoming motorcycle or misjudge its speed. As a result, drivers may collide with a motorcycle or force the motorcyclist to evade the turning car, causing the motorcyclist to strike another car or fixed object.

A car changing lanes into the motorcycle. Motorcycles are smaller than cars, so they are harder to see—an especially serious problem when cars change lanes.

This does, however, not excuse a driver’s inattentiveness. Drivers should always take care to see any motorcycles before switching lanes.

Rear-end collisions. Inattentive drivers can overtake motorcycles stopped at intersections or stoplights.

Motorcycle Safety Courses Are Available

Pennsylvania does what it can to improve motorcycle safety. One of the state’s efforts includes providing free motorcycle safety programs, available to riders of all experience levels throughout Pennsylvania. The state believes that it can reduce the number of motorcycle accidents through safety education.

Motorcyclists Can Recover Compensation

Motorcyclists can recover compensation for the following expenses and other costs associated with motorcycle accidents:

  • Damages for medical expenses help a victim recover the costs of current and future medical expenses for accident-related injuries. This can also include rehabilitation costs.
  • Pain and suffering damages, designed to compensate a victim’s non-monetary losses. Specifically, these damages provide compensation for both the physical and emotional pain that a victim may suffer as a result of the accident.
  • Lost wages—based on earning capacity—incurred during the period of recovery. Accident injuries may prevent a victim from returning to work, whether temporarily or permanently.

Contact a Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

As the victim of a motorcycle accident, you deserve to recover compensation for your injuries and accident-related expenses. After you recover from your injuries, seek experienced legal counsel to help recover compensation. The skilled motorcycle accident attorneys at The Levin Firm have experience handling these cases. We will review your case and create and implement a legal strategy designed to help you obtain the compensation to which Pennsylvania law entitles you. Schedule your free initial consultation today by calling our offices at (215) 825-5183 or contact us online.

August 17, 2017

Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorney Gabriel Levin Offers Motorcycle Safety Tips

Motorcycle Accident Attorney in PA

Millions of Americans love motorcycles and the fun and freedom they bring. Of course, motorcycles also come with some safety concerns, too. Helmets are not mandatory for most riders over twenty-one years of age in Pennsylvania, but there are plenty of common sense tips that can help keep you safe on your journeys.

Some Sobering Reminders:

Unfortunately, accidents happen. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2014, 4,586 motorcyclists died in crashes in the U.S. Forty-three percent of those died in single-vehicle crashed that year were alcohol-impaired.

On a more positive note, rider usage rates of Department of Transportation-compliant helmets continue to rise. In 2014, 60% of riders wore such helmets while in 2015, 64% did so.

Here are Some More Simple Suggestions That Could Greatly Reduce Your Chances of Serious Injury or Even Death:

Thankfully, there are many ways to make your riding as safe as possible. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOTY) website offers free brochures and safety classes, as well as some great safety tips like these:

  • Flash your brake light when you begin to slow down to a stop to get the attention of other drivers.
  • Be seen: wear bright colored clothing
  • Wear over the ankle foot protection, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, and full-fingered gloves.
  • Use lane positioning to be seen; ride in the part of a lane where you are most visible.
  • Avoid weaving between lanes.
  • Don’t ride when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Don’t let your friend drive impaired–intervene.
  • If you are a newer rider, work out your driving techniques in light traffic before going into heavy traffic.
  • Learn how to deal with different conditions, such as wet or icy roads, or even high winds.
  • In the spring, be extra aware of cautious of loose gravel build-up from road maintenance. You can report those conditions at 1-800-FIXROAD.

If you want to fully enjoy your motorcycle, why not take all of the reasonable precautions you can?

Talk to an Experienced Philadelphia Motorcycle Attorney Now.

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact a Philadelphia attorney who understands motorcycle safety and motorcycle accidents. Contact Gabriel Levin, Esq., today, at The Levin Firm. Call us at (215) 825-5183 so we can learn about your accident, and find out how we can help you.

July 6, 2017

Why Motorcycle Accidents Cause Serious Foot and Leg Injuries

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in PA

Unlike normal motorists, motorcyclists do not enjoy the luxury of being protected by an enclosure of steel. This vulnerability leaves them exposed to things like weather and virtually anything else that may come into contact with the rider.

Side Swipes and Weaving

Although it is not advised to do so, many motorcyclists tend to squeeze their way through rather narrow gaps in attempts to avoid traffic. Sometimes this type of maneuvering can result in a rider’s leg getting caught on a protruding obstruction, which can send a rider flying off of the motorcycle.

In other circumstances, a motorcyclist may be sideswiped by an oblivious motorist who is attempting to change lanes. This sudden collision can cause injury to the rider or even send the rider into another vehicle on the road, causing additional injury. Again, the rider is completely vulnerable to the impact.

Braking and Avoiding Collision

Motorcyclists arguably need to pay more attention to their surroundings than normal motorists. The risks of a high-speed collision are far too serious to be taken lightly. A motorcyclist who anticipates a collision may need to quickly maneuver their bike to avoid a collision. This quick maneuver can cause them to collide on the side into another vehicle or guardrail. In extreme circumstances, the rider may need to turn his or her bike sideways in an attempt to stop to avoid a collision. Motorcyclists turn their bikes sideways because it is a more efficient way of stopping. It also can damage the motorcycle and its tires, which is why motorcycle riders do not make use of this method of braking in every circumstance.

Staying Positive

There is no doubt that motorcycle injuries have the potential to be catastrophic. However, the majority of accidents that involve injuries to only the rider’s lower extremities (i.e. foot, leg, etc.) do not prove to be permanent. Injuries to the head or spinal cord can result in paralysis or other injuries that prevent a rider from ever being able to ride again.

Fractured toes, feet, ankles, or legs can all heal over time. Although breaking both of one’s legs will be viewed as an extremely serious injury, it is good to keep in mind that the individual may be able to get on the road again.

Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Philadelphia

Riding a motorcycle can be a risky endeavor. We always advise our clients to ensure that they wear the proper protective gear and that their motorcycles are properly maintained. The injuries that can result from a motorcycle accident can be catastrophic. It is essential that any rider pays careful attention to the road and to their surroundings in order to avoid potential injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a motorcycle, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of The Levin Firm today to discuss your potential claim. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Norristown, and Feasterville and we offer free initial consultations. Call us at 215-825-5183 today to discuss your potential lawsuit.

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

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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