For motorcycle vs. commercial vehicle accidents
It is certainly the case that any accident involving a second vehicle is complex in and of itself.
When an accident involves a commercial vehicle such as a tractor trailer, a delivery truck, or a construction vehicle, your claim can get downright complicated. Motorcycle injury statistics indicate that dozens of bikers are involved in this type of accident every year.
The main challenge regarding these types of claims is that you will most likely be fighting a well-financed commercial insurance company. They will be protecting the company that owns the commercial vehicle and its driver even more tenaciously than in a standard motorcycle accident claim.
My job as a PA motorcycle accident attorney is to fight for the rights of the rider of the motorcycle.
Injury Statistics Confirm Common Sense
Motorcycle injury statistics show that motorcyclists are more than 35 times more likely to be fatally injured in a crash than other motorists or passengers.
Truck drivers – the commercial vehicle operators most likely to be involved in an accident – account for approximately 6.5% of fatalities in multi-vehicle crashes. These numbers confirm the common sense conclusion regarding who is most at risk in commercial vehicle vs. motorcycle accidents: the biker.
While this conclusion holds in almost any accident involving a commercial vehicle and a bike, the results are most dramatic when looking at motorcycle vs. big rig accidents.
The huge weight differential and the lack of protection a motorcycle provides are the culprits here, as are the conditions that often lead to truck accidents, including loss of control due to a tire blowout or similar event, shifting cargo, driving too fast for conditions, improper truck handling during turns and while crossing intersections, and – increasingly common – driver fatigue.
Companies that run commercial vehicles are required to carry certain minimum amounts of liability, bodily injury and property damage insurance.
Because injuries and property damage in commercial vehicle accidents tend to be more severe than in other types of accidents, these limits are correspondingly higher, and insurance companies have an incentive to fight harder against a payout.
In accidents involving commercial vehicles, more than one party may be liable.
There may be more than one appropriate defendant when attempting to obtain damages resulting from an accident involving a motorcycle and a commercial vehicle.
The driver, the vehicle owner, the owner of the trucking line in the cases of big rig accidents, the owner and/or distributor of the cargo, those responsible for maintaining the vehicle, the entities responsible for road maintenance where the accident occurred – even the company expecting the delivery are all potentially liable.
Given the sheer number of potentially liable parties, collecting all the facts and information you need to obtain the maximum available insurance coverage to which you are entitled (in addition to expenses not explicitly covered by insurance) can be complicated and overwhelming.
The pertinent information may include but is not limited to:
- The driver’s background (including traffic violations)
- How long it had been since his or her last rest period
- Vehicle safety inspection records
- Evidence from the accident scene such as skid marks, vehicle damage, photos, and witness testimony
An experienced motorcycle accident settlements lawyer, with a strong understanding of motorcycle injury statistics, as well as federal, state, and municipal statutes and law, can help you gather the necessary facts to pinpoint the cause of the accident and present them persuasively.
As always, we urge you not to make any statements to insurance company representatives until you have spoken with Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorney Lee Gaber. Call 1-888-292-5352 (1-888-cycle-law) for a free consultation in PA or NJ.