The freedom to ride enjoyed by Pennsylvania motorcyclists can come with a heavy price. Motorcyclists are well aware of the hazards of riding, but the dangers bear repeating for drivers who, all too often, fail to acknowledge riders’ rights. Driver right-of-way violations are responsible for 66 percent of accidents involving motorcycles and larger vehicles.
The risks of dying in an accident are approximately 26 times greater for motorcycle riders than people protected by the steel bodies of cars. Motorcyclists fare a little better when it comes to injuries. Riders are only five times more likely to be hurt in crashes than passenger car occupants.
Motorcyclists aren’t surrounded by air bags or restrained by seat belts. Many riders choose not to wear helmets. In Pennsylvania, bikers 21 and older with adequate riding experience are permitted to make that choice.
Bikes are smaller vehicles and, therefore, more difficult than other vehicles to see in traffic, but size does not diminish the rights for motorcycles and motorcyclists have to be on Pennsylvania roads. Many collisions occur because drivers don’t watch out for bikes and misjudge motorcycle speeds. These may be the reasons about 70 percent of all car accidents involving motorcycles occur at intersections.
When bike-car accidents take place, fault is a major factor in determining who pays for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. Pennsylvania uses a comparative fault theory to decide whether compensation for negligence is warranted. Accidents victims and wrongful death plaintiffs may be awarded damages as long as their percentage of fault does not exceed the defendant’s percentage.
In other words, a rider injured in a bike crash may be able to recover compensation, even if the biker was partially responsible for the accident. This is important information for motorcycle accident victims who hesitate to file claims due to partial fault. An MHK Attorney can review your case and make claim recommendations.