Victims of motorcycle accidents often ask what is involved in a motorcycle accident lawsuit in Pennsylvania. Every injury case is unique and the process varies depending on complexity of the case.
Motorcycle accident cases can be complex. Some motorcycle accident cases involve complex products liability claims, while others involve claims against property owners with defects on their property which contributed to the happening of the accident. For instance, a property owner with shrubbery or a sign that is known to obstruct sight of drivers on an adjacent roadway can face liability for a motorcycle accident. The complexity of the case is a major factor in the length of a case, legal issues which may arise, and type of evidence needed.
What is Involved in a Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
In a nutshell, here are the main aspects of a Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawsuit:
1. pre-litigation preparation,
2. discovery, and
Prior to filing suit, a motorcycle accident victim must first choose a lawyer. It is always advisable to choose a lawyer with experience handling motorcycle accident cases. Knowledge of details like how a motorcycle performs and rides and rules of the road are invaluable in prosecuting these kinds of cases, especially in products liability cases. In these cases, motorcycle product manufacturers usually defend the case by blaming the accident on the rider’s negligence. Having a lawyer who understands the ins and outs of motorcycle riding is very important.
Once engaged, the lawyer will investigate the case to determine liability of all parties as well as chances of success. Engineering analysis, accident reconstructions, and witness investigation are just some of the kinds of pre-litigation preparation which may be necessary.
The next step involves filing a lawsuit in a Pennsylvania court. In Philadelphia, that court is the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Trial Division, Civil Section. In some instances a case may be filed in federal court, depending on issues like diversity of citizenship of the parties or whether the case involves a federal issue or law. After a case is filed, the parties begin the discovery phase of the litigation process. This involves many things, such as:
- paperwork discovery (medical records, photos, etc.),
- additional investigation,
- surveillance, and
- expert witness discovery/depositions.
After parties have conducted discovery, the next step is resolving the case. How a case is resolved depends on many factors, such as strengths/weaknesses of the case and types of legal issues like causation or damages. However, most cases resolve short of trial. Pennsylvania courts will schedule a settlement conference in an effort to get the parties to settle. If settlement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will listen to the evidence, hear from the parties and render a verdict.
Related Legal Articles:
- Three Common Motorcycle Accident Scenarios
- Investigating Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Cases for Liability Beyond the Other Driver
- Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Law – Who Pays for Medical Bills?
For more information, contact our Pennsylvania and New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers at 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.
Published: July 6, 2012