If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and are filing a personal injury claim for damages, be aware of the defenses that the defendant you’re suing might try to use. Also secure with an attorney who will help you address these defenses so you can recover the full amount of damages to which you’re entitled.
Violation of Motorcycle Regulations
One of the most common defenses in a motorcycle accident claim that a defendant might use is that you – the victim – were in violation motorcycle regulations at the time of the accident.
In Pennsylvania, regulations for motorcyclists include those listed below.
- Lane splitting is prohibited (PA Vehicle Code 3523)
- Motorcyclists cannot ride more than two abreast in the same lane (PA Vehicle Code 3523)
- Left and right mirrors are required (PA vehicle code 4534)
- Eye protection is required (PA Vehicle Code 3525)
- A helmet is required for some riders (PA Consolidated Statutes section 3525)
If any of the motorcycle regulations – or any others not listed above – are violated, the defendant may argue that because of your violation, you are partially (if not totally) at fault for the accident or your injuries.
Also keep in mind that while some riders may not be required to wear a helmet, not wearing one may still affect your claim if you suffered a neck or head injury. The defendant may argue that your failure to wear a helmet contributed to the severity of your injuries, and you are therefore partially liable.
Engaging in Reckless Behavior
Another defense that a defendant might use is that you were engaging in reckless behavior, or otherwise participating in illegal actions, at the time of the accident.
Some examples of illegal maneuvers motorcyclists perform.
- Speeding at the time of the accident
- Swerving between vehicles
- Riding while distracted or impaired
- Operating the motorcycle aggressively
If the defendant can prove you were acting recklessly at the time of the accident, the strength of your case may be seriously diminished, and you may recover only a portion of your damages or you may not be able to recover any damages. Damages are reduced proportionally by your percentage of fault, and if you are more than 50 percent liable, you may be barred from recovering damages.
How an Attorney Can Help You Build Your Case
If you’ve been in a serious motorcycle accident and want to file a claim for personal injury damages, do so with the assistance of an attorney. An attorney can help you address any common – or uncommon – defenses used by the defendant, and can help establish the extent of your damages.
Whether you need help collecting evidence such as police reports, photos, or information about the other driver, or building a winning case that can prove the other driver was at fault for you accident, the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC, can help. To get in touch with us today, call our offices now at 215-642-2335.