Motorcycle riding is dangerous. No one can deny that. This is why when a motorcycle accident occurs, the natural inclination is to blame the motorcycle rider. Of course, there are several mistakes a motorcycle rider can make that will end up causing an accident, like riding while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or speeding. However, there are many times when a motorcycle accident, whether it’s a car-motorcycle accident or a truck-motorcycle accident, is 100% caused by the other driver.
The thing that makes motorcycle riding so fun also makes it dangerous – exposure to the elements. In most motorcycle accident cases, exposure to the elements also means exposure to cars, trucks, etc. A motorcycle rider’s body may come into direct contact with a car, truck, bus, etc., or a motorcycle rider may be thrown from their motorcycle. The resulting injuries are often catastrophic, if not fatal.
Liability in a Car-Motorcycle Accident in PA – A Hypothetical Case Study
In many motorcycle accident situations, liability will be clear. Someone ran a red light, blew through a stop sign, or entered an intersection when it was unsafe to do so. However, there will be times when liability is complex, especially when the actions of multiple parties come together and cause the accident. The following is a hypothetical motorcycle accident scenario involving multiple parties.
A motorcycle rider is out riding on a clear day and approaches an intersection near a business plaza, say in Philadelphia. A driver of a car is stopped at the intersection, intending to turn left, across the path of the motorcycle. The driver stops and looks both ways, but because of the business plaza’s overgrown shrubs, the driver cannot get a clear view and inches out, just a little too far and a little too fast. The motorcycle rider has no time to react. The rider’s bike collides with the front driver’s side of the car, and the rider is thrown from his bike, suffering severe head injuries.
Because the laws of Pennsylvania don’t allow the injured rider to recover medical benefits from his motorcycle insurance carrier, and due to the severity of the injuries, the rider must file a claim against the driver. Read more about recovering medical bills after a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania.
During discovery the driver indicates that he could not see the road clearly due to the overgrown shrubs. The motorcycle rider’s lawyer then adds the business plaza as a defendant for failing to maintain the shrubs. During the lawsuit, it is discovered that in the two years before the accident there were several accidents due to the overgrown shrubs. Local police had instructed the business to cut the shrubs back. The business did nothing to rectify the problem. The case goes to trial and the jury finds that the driver was 60% negligent and the business was 40% negligent in causing the accident. This sounds like a rare situation, but it is much more common than most folks realize.
In Pennsylvania, property owners are required to act reasonably to protect others from foreseeable harm – which includes car, truck or motorcycle accidents that occur due to poor visibility caused by overgrown shrubs. This is why in Pennsylvania, commercial and residential homeowners can be held liable for failing to properly maintain shrubs, trees, etc.
- What to Expect in a Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
- Three Common Motorcycle Accident Scenarios
- Investigating Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Cases for Liability Beyond the Other Driver
Pennsylvania Car-Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
The lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman represent those injured in car and motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you’d like a NO-COST review by our Pennsylvania and New Jersey car-motorcycle accident lawyers, call 215.925.4451. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation.
The lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman handle cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:
- PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia
- NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities
*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is important to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.