As an experienced Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer I handle a large variety of cases. Aside from the satisfaction I get helping others, this keeps me interested after all these years.
Anytime a fellow rider has an accident of any kind on their bike, I would like to help. However, there are just some cases where riders don’t have a claim, so I cannot help.
Most cases I can’t help with don’t involve a responsible party.. basically, you must have someone to sue before you can collect anything.
Other times, there are jurisdictional issues, as I only handle motorcycle cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Examples of Motorcycle Accidents I Can’t Help You Resolve
I will present these real-life situations of claims in a Q & A format.
Case 1: “I was driving my bike and I hit a patch of gravel causing me to lose control. The insurance company is saying I’m at fault for hitting gravel.”
Case 2: “There was left over gravel from the snow season on the road. I sustained serious injury to my face and body. The police report states road grit as the reason for the accident.”
Answer: Many common conditions exist that are dangerous for motorcyclists, but riders are responsible for controlling their bikes in a variety of road surface conditions. The insurance company is correct.
Acts of God
“I was under the impression road hazards, such as deer, were considered acts of God and covered under comprehensive insurance. Am I wrong? Before I get pushy with my insurance company I want to be clear on my coverage, and standard coverage for an accident such as mine.”
Answer: Motorcycle accident lawyers don’t handle comprehensive damage claims involving acts of God. You need a lawyer when another person, company, or institution is responsible for your accident. Why? Because lawyers go after an at-fault party to collect reimbursement for your injuries or loss… wildlife and wind don’t have anything to go after.
Bad Luck Injury
“I was on my bike going into a turn when my bike went down. I was thrown off bike into a tree, taken by ambulance to the hospital for a spine injury. Police report says front radiator hose blew out and was on front tire and inside of my front fender.”
Answer: Even though you sustained an injury as a result of riding your motorcycle, there is no party to make a claim against in this case.
Poor Design, But No Injury
“Five weeks ago I bought a 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Nomad. A week ago I discovered that when you remove both hands from the handlebars the bike goes into “Death Wobble”. They have tried twice to fix it by tightening up the steering bearings and it did not solve the problem.
The salesman that sold me the bike said that all bikes do this if you take your hands off the bars.
I have contacted Kawasaki and filed a complaint with the National Highway Safety Board. They had another bike like the one I have at the dealer, and it too had “Death Wobble” . They are talking about replacing the steering bearings. If they do and the condition continues what can I do?”
Answer: I am glad that you discovered this flaw and are working to correct it before you sustained a serious injury. You have done the right thing so far.
Unless an accident occurs as a result of this condition, I cannot be of use to you. I handle injury cases caused by negligent design, but not cases to get a bike replaced before an accident. You may need to find a good product liability attorney.
I would advise you not to ride that bike until the issue is completely resolved.
“I went down on 283 Northbound Manheim Township in Lancaster County, PA. The cause was a front flat tire. The tire was less than a week old. Ambulance transport for two passengers to Lancaster General. Road rash and damage to the bike. The tire was mounted, and supposedly balanced, by a mechanic in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.”
Answer: You may be able to recover damages from equipment failure if a part or system assembly that failed had a design flaw. Almost all motorcycle tires follow a tried-and-true design. Tires can blow out for a variety of reasons, even a new one.
It can be difficult to win a case against a tire mechanic, because you have to prove he mounted the tire in such a way as to cause the blowout. Unless you are in an accident a few miles after the install or just a few minutes have gone by, you generally have a tough case.
No Health or Motorcycle Insurance
Rider 1: “I was involved in a Motorcycle accident where I was not at fault. I have no health insurance and no motorcycle insurance. Is there any way I can file a claim to pay for property damage and hospital bills?”
Rider 2: “I did not realize I had no medical insurance on my bike policy.”
Answer: If you, or the person responsible for your accident don’t have insurance, there is typically no money to pay your claim, even if we win.
However, even if you don’t have health/medical insurance, we can go after the at-fault (responsible) party to pay your medical bills, and any pain and suffering.
Please, everyone reading this, learn from these riders and get adequate motorcycle insurance before you hit the road.
“A deer hit me.”
Answer: We can’t sue a deer.
Inconvenienced by an Accident
“I was in an accident, but not seriously injured. However, in dealing with the accident my weekend was shot, I was in pain. My plans had to be changed. My wife had to come to Lancaster from Enola to pick me up – in all we had about 150 miles plus time dealing with the accident, hospital and the bike plus the time to look and go buy a replacement motorcycle.”
Answer: Nobody likes to be inconvenienced, but in most cases you cannot get reimbursed for your time when inconvenienced by an accident. However, if the other party was responsible, they can ultimately be made to pay your health insurance co.
The Accident Was Your Own Fault
“While out riding my 09′ Street Glide yesterday my motorcycle and I ended up in one of the rock and grass filled ditches on the side of Allentown Road.”
Answer: You can’t make a claim against yourself.
Breaking the Law
“A police officer rammed my husband’s bike with his SUV. The officer said my husband was fleeing the scene. He is now incarcerated for a probation violation. The police officer claims my husband came at him head on. My husband would like to pursue a case against the Mahoning Township P.D. in Mountour County.”
Answer: I don’t handle cases where a crime was involved. He needs to contact a Criminal Attorney.
Out of PA or NJ
“Can you work with me even if the accident was in another state?”
Answer: It depends on where it happened. Call me to discuss.
Bottom line, on most of these cases, they did not have another party to sue.
If you are unsure whether you have a case or not, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You are not expected to know whether you have a case, that is my job to advise you.
Call Lee Gaber, Esquire at 888-292-5352, 24/7 if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey.