The good news is that during 2017, the total number of reportable traffic accidents in Pennsylvania was the twelfth lowest number since 1950. However, for the 1,137 families who lost a loved one in a traffic accident or the 80,612 people who were injured in traffic accidents, the fact that our state did not have as many reportable accidents as other years is of very little comfort.
When you are injured in a traffic accident, your entire life can be turned upside down. Even a so-called “minor” car accident can result in serious injuries that may require surgery, physical therapy, and weeks of lost income. Even for the fortunate individuals who are not seriously injured during a car crash, they must go through the process of filing an insurance claim so they can afford to make repairs to their vehicle.
Motorcyclists face many hazards on the road from poor weather conditions to dangerous road hazards. However, one of the most dangerous things a motorcyclist faces is another driver. Other drivers post a significant threat to riders because some individuals simply do not consider motorcyclists when they are driving. Therefore, other drivers can cause serious and life-altering accidents for motorcyclists. Are you guilty of these two mistakes that can increase the risk of a motorcycle accident when you are driving?
Mistake Number One: Not Allowing Sufficient Space
Motorcyclists need to adapt quickly to changing road conditions and traffic conditions. Even though the vehicle is small, it does not mean a motorcycle does not need the same space as any other vehicle. If you are driving too close to a motorcycle that needs to adjust to uneven surfaces, a pothole, crack in the pavement, or other dangerous condition, you can increase the risk of an accident for yourself and the motorcyclist.
Mistake Number Two: Failing to Keep a Close Lookout
One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is other drivers failing to yield the right of way or rear-ending a cyclist because the driver is distracted. Because of the small size of a motorcycle, some drivers misjudge the distance between their vehicle and the motorcycle or they simply do not notice the motorcycle because they are not paying enough attention to the road and driving. As a driver, it is your responsibility to always pay attention to the road, including looking for motorcycles.
Motorcyclists Suffer Traumatic Injuries
Because of the lack of protection offered by a motorcycle, a rider can suffer traumatic and life-threatening injuries. Common injuries a rider can suffer in a crash include traumatic brain injury (TBI), head injuries, broken bones, road rash, lacerations, spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, and amputations. Depending on the severity and type of injury, a rider may never fully recover from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.
Therefore, as a motorcyclist, you should take precautions to protect yourself when you are riding. While you cannot control road conditions or other motorists, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of severe injury.
- Always wear a motorcycle helmet! Regardless of the law, you need to protect your head in the event of a crash. Helmets can reduce the risk of brain injury and death in a motorcycle crash.
- Wear protective gear. In addition to a helmet, wear protective gloves, clothing, and shoes. The correct clothing can reduce the risk of road rash and other injuries.
- Always remain alert. Reduce distractions while riding. Being alert can give you the extra seconds you need to avoid a collision or crash.
- Never ride after drinking or when you are impaired by drugs, including prescription medications.
- When riding in poor weather conditions, slow down and take extra steps to avoid losing control of your motorcycle.
- Always obey all traffic laws and be extra cautious when riding in an unfamiliar area.
Call an Erie Motorcycle Accident Attorney for Help
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you need an aggressive attorney who understands the unique issues faced by motorcyclists, including the unfounded prejudices and misconceptions that can impact an accident claim. Contact The Travis Law Firm by calling (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Erie motorcycle accident attorneys.
If you are injured because of a traffic accident, dog bite, fall, defective product, medical malpractice, or other personal injury accident, Pennsylvania’s personal injury laws allow you to recover compensation from the party who caused your injury. However, you must prove that the person or party caused the injury to recover compensation for damages. Hiring an experienced Erie personal injury lawyer to conduct an investigation to identify the liable party and gather evidence to prove fault is crucial to recovering a fair and just amount for your injury claim.
Elements of Negligence
If you suffered an injury caused by another party’s negligence, you will need to prove the elements of negligence. You must have evidence to prove that:
- The party owed you a duty of care. For instance, a driver owes a duty of care to others to operate the vehicle safely and obey traffic laws. A property owner owes a duty of care to visitors to maintain the property to avoid injury. Doctors and medical providers owe a duty of care to their patients not to cause harm.
- There was a breach of the duty of care. A breach occurs when the party fails to act in a manner that is consistent with the way a reasonable person would act, such as a driver who drives the wrong way down the street or a property owner who fails to repair broken steps.
- The breach of duty caused your injury. There must be a causal relationship between the breach and your injury. For instance, you fell because the stairs were broken or the vehicle going the wrong way crashed into your vehicle.
- You suffered damages because of the breach of duty. Damages may include physical injuries, medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain, and suffering.
Using Evidence to Prove Negligence and Liability
To recover compensation for a personal injury claim, you must have evidence to prove the elements of negligence and the extent of your damages. The evidence required may vary depending on the type of case and the factors in your case. Evidence in a personal injury case may include:
- Police or accident report
- Medical records
- Documentation of missed work and evidence of income
- Evidence from the accident scene such as damage to the vehicles, skid marks, traffic signs, traffic signals, etc. for a car accident and hazardous condition for a slip and fall accident
- Eyewitness statements
- Product, packaging, and instructions for a defective product claim
- Expert witness testimony such as physicians, economists, and accident reconstructionists
Our legal team works diligently to uncover evidence that maximizes the chance of recovering full compensation for all damages. We work closely with your physician to determine your prognosis to include future damages in a demand for settlement or lawsuit.
Contact Our Erie Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Case Review
If you have been injured, you need to protect your legal rights. We have many years of experience representing accident victims and recovering fair compensation for personal injury claims. Contact The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to request a free legal consultation with our Erie injury lawyer.
Brain injuries are common in motor vehicle accidents. When a pedestrian, bicyclists, or occupant of a vehicle is involved in a traffic crash, the impact of the collision can cause the head to collide with another object. Even if a person does not strike his or her head in the accident, the force of the collision can cause the brain to slam into the skull. According to the Mayo Clinic, a violent jolt to the body can also cause a brain injury.
Mild brain injuries typically heal with time and rest. However, severe or traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can have long-term symptoms that impact the person’s ability to work or enjoy life. For some individuals, a TBI may result in seizures, cognitive problems, sensory disorders, or infections. In some cases, accident victims may develop dementia or diseases years or decades after an injury. A recent study has linked TBI to dementia and other diseases.
Many drivers in Pennsylvania, including Erie, Edinboro, and Warren, understand the dangers of sharing our roads with large commercial vehicles. Even though we need the commercial trucking industry to transport goods throughout the country efficiently and cost-effectively, sharing the roads with these massive vehicles can be deadly.
Thousands of people are injured and killed in large truck accidents each year. In about three-fourths of the truck accidents, the victims are passengers of other vehicles. Accident victims in commercial truck crashes often suffer extensive injuries, including life-threatening conditions. The damages caused by a large truck accident can be substantial. It is important to consult with an Erie truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your right to hold the party responsible for the crash liable for your damages.
When you are injured in an accident, you may not know what steps to take to protect your legal right to receive compensation for your injuries. Hiring an Erie personal injury attorney can help relieve the stress and anxiety that many accident victims experience after a traumatic event. An attorney can deal directly with the insurance company for the other party to file an injury claim while the client focuses all of his or her energy on recovering from the accident.
Call our Erie personal injury law firm to schedule a free consultation with an attorney to learn more about how we can help you receive money for your accident.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or other personal injury accident, one of the first steps you should take is to see a doctor. Regardless of whether you believe you are seriously injured, it is in your best interest to be checked by a physician after an accident.
The symptoms of some accident injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI), whiplash, and back injuries, may not be noticeable for hours or days after an accident. However, early diagnosis and treatment of accident injuries can improve your chances of recovery and reduce the risk of complications. Therefore, seeking medical treatment after an accidental injury is a prudent step for your health and your accident claim.
Motor vehicles are safer today than they have ever been; however, people are still seriously injured in car crashes each day in the United States. Each year, thousands of people die in car accidents, and millions more suffer injuries. While the use of seatbelts, airbags, and other safety devices can reduce the risk of death and injury in a car crash, these devices cannot prevent all injuries. Understanding what happens during a car crash can explain some of the reasons why we are injured even though the knowledge cannot prevent the injury.
As personal injury attorneys, we see the devastation that can be caused by a distracted driver. Therefore, we want to call attention Distracted Driver Awareness. For the safety of your family and everyone on the road, please consider joining millions of other drivers who have taken the “It Can Wait” Pledge. Visit AT&T’s website for more information and to pledge that you will not drive while distracted.
Distracted Driving Kills and Injures Thousands Each Year
The NHTSA reports that 3,477 lives were lost in 2015 in accidents involving distracted drivers. It is estimated that 391,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents that year. At any given time during daylight hours, there are about 660,000 drivers using a cell phone while they are operating a motor vehicle. In Pennsylvania during 2015, PennDOT states 66 people died in accidents involving distracted drivers.
With so many drivers continuing to use cell phones or giving in to other distractions while driving, the potential for accidents continues to be a concern in Erie and throughout Pennsylvania.
For many families, summer is the time when everyone piles into the family car for a summer road trip. Before you leave home for your family vacation or a romantic weekend, it is important that you take time to ensure that your vehicle is ready for a road trip. Preparation and planning can prevent the headache of dealing with a roadside breakdown or worse yet a car crash.
Safety Tips for Summer Driving
- Check for Recalls
Before leaving home, check the NHTSA website for recalls. You do not want a recall to place your family in danger.
- Schedule Vehicle Maintenance
As part of the planning for your trip, you need to schedule a maintenance appointment for your vehicle. Tire rotations, tune-ups, checking fluids, battery checks, and other routine maintenance can help avoid roadside breakdowns and other problems. In addition, have your mechanic check crucial vehicle systems, including air condition, tires, cooling system, belts, hoses, wiper blades, and lights.