Due to the lack of protection a motorcycle provides, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to serious injuries if they are in a crash. Taking proper safety precautions can make a world of difference in the outcome of these crashes.
If motorcyclists knew the importance of motorcycle helmets and wore them whenever they rode their motorcycle, it would decrease the risk of getting a brain injury by 67% and the risk of death by 37%, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). If you were in a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania – whether you were wearing a helmet or not—our team can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Injuries That Are Typically Associated with Motorcycle Accidents
Getting hurt in a motorcycle accident can turn your life upside down. You might spend weeks in the hospital, take a leave of absence off work, and deal with debilitating pain.
Wearing a motorcycle helmet can save your life and keep you from suffering severe injuries. Common injuries motorcyclists sustain in an accident are:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries, like whiplash
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractured or broken bones
- Internal bleeding
Some symptoms for these injuries, such as a TBI, might not fully develop until weeks after the motorcycle accident. So, even if you think you are fine at first, you should go to a doctor to make sure that you don’t have any underlying conditions.
If you experience dizziness, headaches, or difficulties with memory, seek medical assistance immediately, as you don’t want to wait until your condition has worsened, and there is little that can be done to reverse the injury. As Mayo Clinic explains, these signs could indicate that you sustained a brain injury.
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Pennsylvania Laws on Motorcycle Helmets
Motorcycle helmet laws vary throughout the United States, but Pennsylvania enforces strict laws on motorcycle helmets. Per Pennsylvania’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV):
- Motorcyclists who are below 21 years old are to wear a helmet, and
- Two years of experience with driving a motorcycle, or
- Passed a motorcycle safety course that Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) or Motorcycle Safety Foundation has approved
Wearing a helmet can also improve your vision and hearing while on the road. Even if you’re over 21 and met these regulations, you still may want to consider wearing a motorcycle helmet. In addition to complying with these requirements, you must also wear a helmet that meets the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and the state of Pennsylvania’s standards. It should contain:
- The “DOT” sticker
- The manufacturer
- The model
- Date it was made (month and year)
The DMV also requires motorcyclists to use protective eyewear on the road. The wind, insects, and road debris can impair your vision, making you more vulnerable to an accident.
Damages You May Be Able to Recover After a Motorcycle Accident
After suffering injuries in a motorcycle accident, hospital bills can add up, and taking a break from your job only adds more financial pressure, especially if you are the breadwinner in your household.
We can hold the other party accountable for damages, such as:
- Past and anticipated medical expenses: For hospitalizations, surgery, ongoing treatment, pain relievers, medical equipment, and imaging scans
- Repair or replacement costs: For your motorcycle or helmet if it was damaged or destroyed
- Past and future income loss: For the hourly pay, tips, vacation time, commission, business opportunities, and other benefits you couldn’t earn due to your injuries and treatment
- Pain and suffering: For the temporary or long-lasting pain and discomfort you must deal with
- Mental anguish: For the anxiety, depression, and other mental health difficulties the accident and injuries have caused you
- End-of-life expenses: For your loved one’s burial and memorial services, final medical bills, and other survivor benefits if they lost their lives to the motorcycle accident
After we have reviewed and evaluated all your damages, we will make a demand upon the other party’s insurance company. They may be hesitant to settle with you for a fair payout, depending on whether you were wearing a helmet.
In either scenario, a motorcycle accident lawyer with our team can build a case strategy that demonstrates that you were abiding by Pennsylvania’s motorcycle helmet laws. If we cannot come to an agreement with them, we file a lawsuit and argue your case in court.
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Learn More About the Importance of Motorcycle Helmets with Berger and Green Today
Adhering to the laws set by Pennsylvania not only protects your right to pursue financial recovery but also your health. In any case, you can still expect our personal injury attorneys to fight for you so that you can recover without any more added financial stress.
For a free consultation with one of our team members, give Berger and Green a call today at (412) 661-1400. We only receive a payment if you do.
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