As warm summertime weather comes around again here in Pennsylvania, residents are getting out to enjoy it while it lasts. Of course, motorcycle enthusiasts are hitting the roads and highways, whether it be on the commute to work, running errands around Doylestown or Levittown or just going for a leisurely ride. A recent fatal accident in the news, however, serves as a reminder that motorcycle accidents can prove deadly, and that victims and their families need to understand their rights when tragedy strikes.
The accident occurred several hours southeast of Bucks at around noon on a Sunday. A 66-year-old cyclist was biking down Route 20. Suddenly a truck pulled out of a hardware store parking lot directly in front of him. The motorcyclist was unable to avoid a collision with the truck. He was rushed to a trauma center but was pronounced dead less than an hour after the accident, reportedly of chest trauma.
There is a common misconception that if a driver is driving a vehicle, and another vehicle hits it, that the accident is not the first driver's fault. Allow our personal injury blog to disabuse readers of this notion. If, for example, a driver has the right of way and another vehicle cuts off that driver, violating the driver's right of way and making it impossible to avoid a collision, the second driver may be at fault for the accident.
This scenario is all too likely when the vehicle with the right of way is a motorcycle. Other drivers often fail to notice motorcycles at intersections and elsewhere on the road. If a car or truck pulls out in front of a motorcyclist, violating the cyclist's right of way, that car or truck driver could be said to have acted negligently. This is an important point because negligent drivers can be pursued for compensation when their actions cause injuries or death to another driver.
Motorcycle accidents, given a motorcyclist's exposure on a bike, are likely to result in particularly serious injuries like spinal cord injuries, neck injuries and even traumatic brain injuries that can require long-term rehabilitation and significant medical expenses. A legal professional can help motorcycle accident victims and their families protect their legal rights and discuss their options in seeking compensation.
Source: Erie TV News, "Fatal Motorcycle Accident in North East," Emily Welsh, July 7, 2013