Motorcyclists face a higher risk of injury than motor vehicle drivers. With fewer safety protections and low visibility, motorcyclists are often unnoticed by rushed drivers and often sustain more significant injuries as a result of a collision.
If you were riding a motorcycle and were injured due to another person’s negligence, a Johnstown motorcycle accident lawyer may be able to assist in filing a lawsuit and pursuing the compensation you deserve. With help from a dedicated Johnstown personal injury lawyer, you may be able to recover financial damages for all your injuries and losses.
Pennsylvania Helmet Laws
While wearing a helmet may reduce your chances of sustaining an injury in a motorcycle accident, Pennsylvania state law establishes only limited helmet requirements. 75 Pa. C.S. §3525(d) exempts a motorcyclist from wearing a helmet if he or she is older than 21 years of age and has been licensed to operate a motorcycle for at least two calendar years, or if he or she has completed a motorcycle rider safety course.
Failing to wear protective headgear is a protected choice in Pennsylvania. If an injury occurred in a motorcycle accident, a qualified Johnstown motorcycle accident attorney could still help a victim hold the negligent driver accountable even if he or she was not wearing a helmet.
Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents
All drivers owe a duty of care to not drive in a manner that could potentially hurt another motorist. If a driver caused a motorcycle accident by driving recklessly or in a negligent manner, anyone injured as a result could hold the driver accountable by proving:
- The defendant owed a duty of care
- The defendant breached this duty
- This breach was the direct—or proximate—cause of the injury or accident
- There were compensable injuries and/or damages sustained
If the plaintiff was partially responsible for the accident, 42 Pa. C.S. 7102 allows for his or her damages to be reduced by the percentage of fault the plaintiff is found to bear. For example, if a motorcyclist was found to be 30 percent responsible for an accident, he or she could recover for 70 percent of his or her total damages. An accomplished personal injury lawyer could help with establishing negligence and recovering damages.
Potential Damages in Injury Claims
Due to the open road nature of a motorcycle, it is not unusual for injuries sustained in a motorcycle wreck to be particularly serious compared to those associated with commuter car wrecks. In addition to physical and emotional pain, a victim could suffer significant financial burdens from medical procedures and lost wages.
If a lawsuit based on negligence is successful, a plaintiff may be able to receive several different types of compensation. This can include reimbursement for:
- Loss of income and future earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Damage to property
- Future medical costs
- Other costs associated with the accident
Additional non-economic compensation may be available for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional trauma
Non-economic compensation is difficult to quantify and can vary widely based on the severity of the injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. A skilled motorbike crash lawyer in Johnstown could study a victim’s case and determine how much he or she could potentially recover in non-economic damages.
In some cases, a judge may award additional punitive damages as a means of punishing the defendant for their actions. These damages may be available when the liable party acted in an egregious or reckless manner.
Call a Johnstown Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, you could be facing serious physical and emotional pain, as well as new financial burdens. If your injuries are due to another person’s negligence, you have the right to hold them accountable for their actions. Contact us at Marcus & Mack and schedule your first consultation with a Johnstown motorcycle accident lawyer today.