Gibbons Legal Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that when it comes to your livelihood, no concern is too small to require an answer. That’s why we have taken it upon ourselves to not only answer common injury and injury claim questions, but also answer the questions you may not have thought of. Don’t allow an unanswered question to affect your entire future.
Many people are understandably confused when trying to deal with insurance claims after car accidents. This is because Pennsylvania insurance rules are confusing and complex. Pennsylvania is one of the few states that use an insurance system called “choice no fault” rules, which means drivers have the choice of opting in or out of no-fault rules. However, the no-fault rules only apply to personal injury claims and not property damage claims, which means at-fault drivers are financially responsible for the cars they total.
How Does the “Choice No-Fault” System Affect Me?
Therefore, this means that if you have no-fault insurance coverage, you need to make sure you also have collision coverage for your own vehicle so that the damages to your car would be covered. If you have opted out of no-fault insurance in favor of full tort coverage, you can make a claim against the other driver’s car insurance to pay for your totaled vehicle.
Unfortunately, insurance companies often delay paying claims or deny responsibility. This can cause an uphill battle for you, which is why many drivers turn their property damage claims over to their own insurance companies and let the insurance company deal with the defendant’s insurance company.
If you chose to make a property damage claim with your own insurance company, your policy would need to include collision and comprehensive insurance coverage. Having this type of coverage will ensure you will be paid for the damage to your vehicle even if it is totaled. While you will have to pay the deductible to your own insurance company for making this type of claim, you should get the deductible reimbursed from the other driver’s insurance company.
When getting compensation for a totaled car, it is important to note that insurance companies will attempt to offer blue book value, which sometimes isn’t a fair value. Insurers are supposed to offer fair market value for totaled cars, which is why it is essential that you do your research on your car’s value in order to know if the insurance company is presenting you with a reasonable offer. For example, you can look online and even contact a dealer to find out what they would pay for the type of car you had before it was totaled.
At Gibbons Legal, P.C., We Can Help Even the Playing Field
Sometimes property damage claims can be simple and straight forward; however, other times insurers use dirty tricks and tactics to get out of paying what they should. In this event, an accident attorney can help sort things out and deal with the insurance company on your behalf to get you the compensation you need and deserve. At Gibbons Legal, P.C., we will evaluate your claim at no cost to you. Feel free to start an online chat with us today for a free consultation.
Need a lawyer? Of course not. You can definitely handle your claim on your own (I even wrote a book teaching people how to do this; it’s with my publisher now), but should you handle your claim on your own? You don’t need a mechanic to change your transmission, but wouldn’t you feel safer with a mechanic? Is the other driver (or insurance company) saying you’re at fault for causing the accident? You may need an accident reconstructionist to prove how the accident really happened. Not a whole lot of damage to your car, so the insurance company is saying you couldn’t possibly be hurt? You may need a biomechanical engineer or human factors expert to prove how your body reacted to the accident, and a board certified medical doctor (neurosurgeon, neurologist, orthopedic surgeon, pain management specialist, etc.) to prove how your injuries, pain, and suffering were actually caused by the accident. Out of work? You may need a vocational expert to determine what types of jobs you’ll be physically and mentally able to work in the future, and a licensed economist to establish your past and future lost income. Will you know what types of experts you need, and how to find them? Will you have the money to pay for these experts upfront (very expensive, and they don’t work on a contingency fee)? Again, you don’t need a lawyer, but you’re likely much, much better off with one.
Well, you’re in luck! I don’t charge retainer fees for car accident cases, and I don’t charge by the hour, either. I charge a contingency fee, which means my getting paid is contingent on getting you paid. Basically, we partner up on your claim, and I pay 100% of the costs upfront. When I win, I get percentage of the money I win for you, and you reimburse my expenses. If we lose, I eat the loss, and you owe me absolutely nothing! You’ll never have to reach into your own pocket to pay me, and I’ll have plenty of incentive to get you as much money as possible.
Ever heard of the Miranda Warnings? Yes, they’re for criminal cases, but the message is just as applicable to car accident cases. “You ave the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” So why would you speak to the insurance company without first knowing your rights, and, more importantly, when you can have a trained lawyer speak to them for you? In every car accident case I handle, the other driver’s insurance company asks to speak with my client. And I always tell them I have no problem with that . . . as long as they’ll let me speak with their client. Guess how many insurance companies have taken me up on my offer? Zero. Nada. None. And if they don’t want me speaking with their client, it’s pretty clear they have bad intentions for speaking with you.
Sort of. “Reasonable” towing and storage fees are included in the property damage claim, which is why it’s so important to open claim as soon as possible. By opening the claim, you put the onus on the insurance company to get out there and inspect your car, or even have it towed to one of their own facilities without the storage fees until they can inspect it. Wait too long, and you may be on the hook to cover it yourself — your car, your responsibility.
Unfortunately, you’re on the hook for this. Hopefully your insurance agent told you about gap coverage when he sold you the insurance. Gap coverage would pay the difference. If you owe more than your car is worth.
Great question. Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state, which means you’re own insurance company will pay the first $5,000 in medical bills. This is called first-party medical coverage, and it’s required by law, so it’s illegal for your insurance company to raise your rates or cancel your insurance. After the $5,000 is exhausted, your health insurance will kick in. Don’t have health insurance, or have a high deductible and copays? Unfortunately, those bills are you’re responsibility. But, most doctors will wait to be paid until your case is over so you can pay them out of the money you get from the lawsuit.
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as easy as I’d like it to be. Bottom line is you’re responsible for all your bills. But how are you going to pay for them if you can’t work? Only seems fair that the other driver pay since you can’t work because he caused the accident, right? Not the case, unfortunately. These bills are in your name, so they’re your responsibility. You can’t work because of the accident, so the other driver is responsible for paying your lost income. But when does he have to pay it? That’s long been debated. I always argue it’s payable at the moment you lose the income, but insurance carriers want to pay it at the end of your case because that works best with their delay, deny, defend tactic — delay paying as long as possible so you become hopelessly desperate and take what ever settlement offer they throw your way. So, what do you do? Well, first thing you should do is check your own insurance policy to see if you have income loss benefits. If so, you’re in luck as your insurance company will pay up to your coverage limit while you’re out of work. Do you have a short-term disability policy? That’ll usually pay for 90 days of lost income. How ‘bout long-term disability? That’ll usually pay for the lost income after the first 90 days.
Absolutely. Damage to your car is only one of many factors to be considered. How were you positioned within the car when you were hit (a biomechanical engineer or board certified medical expert can explain why this is so important)? At what angle was your car when it was hit? How much damage was done to the other car (some cars absurd impact better than others)? Did you have any pre-existing conditions or injuries that were aggravated when you had the accident? Bottom line is property damage is important only because it’s a visualization to help us understand how serious an accident was, but its just that . . . a visualization.
Absolutely. After the accident, you were in shock. Your blood was pumping, and so was the adrenaline. Hours later, or when you woke up the next day, the adrenaline was back to normal, and your body knew it was “out of order.” This is totally normal; I see it every day. Didn’t feel pain for a few weeks after the accident? Well, that’s a little different. Sure, it’ happens, but it’s very rare, and really depends on the injury. I see it often with brain injuries, but not so often with physical injuries.
When you buy auto insurance, you have to pick full tort or limited tort coverage. Both have a significant affect on your right to get paid for your pain and suffering. With limited tort coverage, you seriously limit your right to get paid for your pain and suffering — you have to die in a car accident, suffer serious, permanent scarring, or suffer a serious injury (which the law only vaguely defines). With full tort, on the other hand, you keep your unrestricted right to get paid for your pain and suffering. Don’t risk it. CHOOSE FULL TORT!
This is an awesome question. So awesome, in fact, that I wrote an entire book on it (with my publisher now). The short answer is that you need full tort (unrestricted right to get paid for your pain and suffering), comprehensive (pays for damage to your car, even if not caused by a car accident), gap (will pay off your car loan if you owe more for your car than it’s worth), uninsured motorist (will pay for your injuries caused by a driver who didn’t have insurance), underinsured motorist (will pay for your injuries when the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance to fully compensate you), and stacking (multiplies your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage by the number of cars you have, giving you extra coverage of each). Protect yourself, and get as much coverage as you can.
Yes, and they’re completely ridiculous. There are a number of computer programs insurance companies use to input accident and injury data, and the program then computes a “settlement range.” These ranges are complete nonsense, but insurance companies follow them nonetheless. I don’t follow these formulas, and don’t think any self respecting attorney should. Injuries affect people different ways, and I represent people, not mathematical equations.
My friend got a ton of money for his accident, and I’m much more hurt than he was. I should get a whole lot more money than him, right?
Uhhhh, no. Every accident is different. Every person is different. And every case is different. Here’s a quick (stupid) example. Johnny is a teacher, and breaks his index finger in a car accident. He has to wear a splint for 2 weeks, but that’s it. The broken finger is a little annoying and inconvenient, but it doesn’t affect his work, household chores, raising his kids, exercise, etc. Timmy is a concert pianist, and he, too, breaks his index finger in a car accident. He, too, has to wear a splint for 2 weeks, and he can’t play piano while he’s wearing the splint. So, Timmy is fired from the orchestra and replaced by someone else. Timmy’s finger heals in 2 weeks, after which he can play piano again. But, there are no job openings for pianists now, so he has to wait another 4 weeks until one opens up. Ultimately, Timmy was out of work for 6 weeks because of that silly broken finger, and couldn’t do what he loves most in the world (play the piano) for 2 weeks. Johnny, on the other hand, was a little annoyed and inconvenienced. Are Johnny and Timmy’s cases worth the same amount of money because they each broke an index finger? (Hint: The answer is no.).
1 million dollars, I say with my best Dr. Evil impersonation. No. Not really. Truth is, every case is different. And any lawyer who tells you what your case is “worth” now, just days, weeks, or even months after your accident should have their license taken away. How old are you? What gender are you? What are your specific injuries? What types of treatment do you need to cure you? Can you be cured? What are the long-term effects of your injuries? How much longer are you expected to live? Where did your accident happen? Are there any restrictions on lawsuit winnings (known as tort reform)? How much insurance does the other driver have? How much insurance do you have? Is anyone else responsible to pay you? Do you have to reimburse anyone out of your case (this is called subrogation)? I can go on and on and on about why lawyers can’t tell you what your case is worth at the early stages of a claim.
Only if you want to. You’re hiring me, so you’re my boss. When it’s time to talk turkey, I’ll give you my thoughts and advice, but you make the decision to settle or go to court.
Only settlements for lost income are table. So, if there’s no specific designation for lost income in your settlement (such a designation is very rare), you won’t have to pay taxes.
I won’t sugarcoat it. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you’re screwed . . . possibly. There are all kinds of different coverages to protect you from uninsured drivers, but they’re all optional, and they all cost extra, so not everyone buys them. Collision coverage will pay for your property damage (will also pay for your property damage if you cause an accident), but not for your injuries. Uninsured motorist coverage will pay for your injuries, but not for your property damage. Rental reimbursement coverage, extraordinary medical benefits coverage, funeral expense coverage, lost income coverage, etc. will all protect you in the event you’re in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, or caused by someone who simply doesn’t have enough insurance to cover everything you’re due.
Absolutely. You car, your responsibility.
Every year, millions of people slip, trip, and fall due to a wide range of reasons. Sometimes these incidents are minor and can be laughed off (usually by your friends and family), while other times they can cause painful, serious, and expensive injuries. In fact, injuries that result from falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits, responsible for nearly nine million per year according to the National Safety Council.
However, although the injury risk is substantial, many of these slip and fall incidents are not investigated because reports aren’t properly filed. If a report isn’t filed at the time of injury, victims can’t prove liability and are forced to pay for expensive treatment costs on their own, instead of the persons responsible being held accountable for injury care.
How can you prevent this from happening to you?
Simple: Demand an incident report and fill it out completely.
Properly Completing an Incident Report
Businesses should have proper incident reports readily available for accidents; after all, they are liable not only for customers who fall, but employees as well. However, some owners and managers will try to lessen the importance of your accident by claiming that you needn’t bother filling out a report. Another tactic they may use is telling you that they’ll “investigate” the issue and the only info they need is your name and phone number.
Don’t be fooled! Incident reports need to be filed in order to provide documented proof and accounts of the accident. In addition to helping you if you decide to pursue a claim, this documentation can also be used by OSHA, the Health Department, and store safety inspectors. Therefore, when a manager tells you that you don’t need to complete an incident report or tries to convince you that the only info he needs is your personal information, make sure you insist on filling out a proper report.
Incident reports should always include the following information:
- Date and time of the accident
- Personal information (name, age, address, phone, etc.)
- Location of the incident
- Description of the incident
- Weather conditions, if outdoors
- Walking surface conditions (wet, muddy, cracked sidewalk, etc.)
- Description of condition at scene
- Lighting conditions
- Were photographs taken?
- Were there caution signs posted?
- Type and condition of shoes or footwear
- Witness statements
- Description of injury
- Treatment given, if any
The Report Is Filed…Now What?
It is extremely important to realize that even if you don’t exhibit immediate signs of injury, sore muscles, bruises, and complications can arise from a slip and fall that can cause serious long-term problems. In addition, if a sprained ankle due to a fall causes you to fall again and seriously hurt yourself, the person liable for the initial incident could be considered responsible for later injuries. However, if you didn’t fill out a report or document the incident, proving your case could be difficult. This is why it’s imperative to make sure you accurately and completely fill out an incident report whenever and wherever you experience a slip and fall accident.
When your report is filed with the store manager, police, or other official, make sure you obtain a copy as well for your files. Once you have been looked over by your doctor and you have received the medical treatment required for your injuries, bring your copy of the report to our slip and fall accident attorneys in Philadelphia to discuss your legal options.
You shouldn’t have to pay for medical expenses when someone else’s neglect or incompetence caused you pain. Contact us today to see how we can help you get the compensation you deserve to get the treatment and care you need. The consultation is free, but the advice, guidance, and support we’ll give you could save you thousands. Call us at (215) 569-1455 to set up an appointment or visit our office today!
When a person is injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, there are laws in place that allow the injured victim to file a civil lawsuit. Various types of claims can be brought, such as a personal injury lawsuit. Furthermore, every state has set their own time limits for how long a person has to file a lawsuit for damages, which are known as the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for personal injury cases gives the injured person two years to file a lawsuit. This means that a person who was injured by someone else’s wrongdoing has two years from the date of injury to file a claim in court. For example, if a person was injured in a slip and fall accident or car accident, that person has two years from the incident date to file a claim. If the time limits expire before a lawsuit has been filed, the injured person can no longer file a claim for damages.
What Are Some Exceptions to the Statue of Limitations Rule in Pennsylvania?
There are some exceptions to this rule in Pennsylvania. One exception is known as the “discovery rule,” which provides an injured person with an extended time period for filing a claim. For example, if a person didn’t know that he or she was injured on the day of the accident, but found out days later, the statute of limitations would begin to run at the time the person knew about the injury or should have known about the injury. However, this rule only applies in limited cases.
The other exception applies to minors. For the purpose of this law, minors are children who are under 18 and who have not been emancipated. Pennsylvania law extends the time a minor has to bring a personal injury lawsuit. The statute of limitations does not start until the minor reaches the age of 18. At that point in time, the person has two years from his or her 18th birthday to file a lawsuit in court, which means the person has until the age of 20 to file a personal injury suit.
We Can Help You Learn More About Your Rights
Because the statute of limitations can change and are critical to a case, it is important that anyone injured by someone else’s conduct talk with an attorney as soon as possible and not wait to file a lawsuit. If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in a free consultation, please contact us today at 215-569-1455 or start a live chat with us by clicking on the button located at the bottom of the screen.
Is using a turn lane as a passing lane illegal? If I was in an accident as a result of someone trying to pass me in a turn lane, whose fault is it?
It should be common sense that turn lanes are to be used only when turning or merging into traffic. Even then, merging use is limited to 200 feet. However, some people believe that the “extra” lane can and should be taken advantage of as a passing lane. Instead of getting into the lane with the intent to turn, these people use the lane to bypass traffic and get closer to an intersection, and then push their way back into the straight lane traffic ahead of those who didn’t utilize the “extra lane.” Not only is this belief wrong and inconsiderate, it’s also highly illegal and extremely dangerous.
So, the next time you feel the need to temporarily use a turn lane to pass traffic, remember that your decision can have grave results.
Turn Lane Abuse Consequences
The Federal Highway Administration isn’t blind to these self-entitled lane abusers or the harm they potentially cause. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on lane change collisions, passing in a turn lane is one of the seven most frequent lane-change collision scenarios. These maneuvers account for nearly 9 percent of all lane change accidents, injuring roughly 40,000 people a year. As a result, the NHTSA takes lane abuse extremely seriously.
Therefore, those who abuse shoulder lanes put themselves at risk for a variety of consequences—both legal and physical. Their actions cause the following risks and outcomes:
- Traffic obstruction. Many turn lanes (especially in urban areas) can double as both left and right turn lanes if they are near multiple stores or driveways. Therefore, if you ride the turn lane, you could be preventing other vehicles from being able to use their lane to turn, or you could wind up smashing head-on into another vehicle.
- Emergency vehicle delays. Turn lanes are also a common lane that emergency vehicles use to bypass traffic. If you are riding the turn lane without the ability or inclination to turn, you could be preventing an emergency vehicle from getting through.
- Collision injuries. When you improperly use the turn lane, you can confuse other motorists and cause them to assume that you’re turning. They may accidentally collide into you, purposefully deny you access to the lane you want to merge into (increasing road rage and collision risks), or decrease their visibility which in turn increases the risk for an accident.
- Citations and criminal prosecution. When you obstruct traffic, prevent ambulances or police from properly using the turn lane, or are caught riding the lane to avoid traffic, you can be ticketed. If your actions fatally delay emergency vehicles from treating a patient, you can even be jailed.
Remember: safety should always trump getting home five minutes sooner. Keep that in mind the next time you feel the need to pass in a turn lane.
Traffic Abuse Injuries: Where to Turn When You Need Help
No matter how hard you try to protect your family and follow the rules of the road, it only takes one person’s selfish or stupid mistake to put your family in jeopardy. If you’ve recently been injured by someone who improperly used a turn lane, you could be entitled to compensation.
We know how frustrating and complicated car accident claims can be, especially when so many things can make or break your case, but we can help you get the justice you need. Don’t let a reckless driver ruin the rest of your life. Get the justice you deserve while making sure he remembers to never carelessly put another’s life in danger.
Call us now for a free consultation, and let our experience and knowledge work for you. We’ll make sure you get the best compensation and relief available for you and your family.
No matter where you are or what happened, after you suffer a painful injury the only thing you want to do is focus on recovering. Unfortunately, responsibilities outside of your injury can get in the way of that focus—especially if the “when and where” of your accident deals with work.
When you’re injured on the job, you’re not only forced to deal with the pain and aftermath of the accident, but you must also deal with the ramifications of your job. Will your boss believe the injury was an accident? Will he understand that you’ll need time off to recover? Will he honor your worker’s compensation claim? Will his insurance pay for your medical bills?
Workplace Injuries Covered by Workers’ Comp
According to the latest statistics taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over three million workers were seriously injured as a direct result of workplace accidents in 2013. On average, these injuries resulted in victims missing at least eight days of work (almost half a month’s wages), in addition to racking up medical bills for treatment costs. Although not all injuries are created equal, and some are more physically and financially tasking than others, all injuries sustained at work deserve proper attention and compensation.
Common workplace injuries include:
- Minor or superficial injuries: Cuts, sprains, pinched nerves, bruises, and muscle strains
- Slip and fall injuries: Broken bones, neck injuries, head or spinal cord damage
- Overexertion: Exhaustion and muscle fatigue can cause poor judgment, which can result in a host of injuries from minor to severe. In some situations, the results can even be fatal: driver fatigue can lead to car accidents, an overworked doctor could mistreat a patient, etc.
- Repetitive motion injuries: When the same actions are performed over and over again, tremendous strain is put on muscles, tendons, and joints causing pain, muscle deterioration, arthritis, tendonitis, and pinched nerves
- Injuries sustained by equipment: Vehicles, machinery, and dangerous equipment malfunctions can lead to cuts, bruises, broken bones, crushed limbs, blunt force trauma, and amputations
- Psychological trauma: The stress of work can lead to psychological breaks (work pressure becomes too overwhelming) and depression, while physical injuries can lead to anxiety disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Recovery and Help
In order to combat workplace injury risks, OSHA—the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration—has issued many workplace safety regulations, with the hope that employers will take employee safety more seriously. Unfortunately, most employers care more about making money than they do about following rules. Therefore, employee care only goes as far as the money they make. If an employee can no longer work because of his injury, why should an employer pay him for not working?
It’s this kind of mentality that not only frustrates OSHA, but enrages us—and with our experience and knowledge of Pennsylvania workers’ comp laws and legal rulings, that isn’t a smart thing for your employer to do.
If you feel that your employer is taking advantage of you and your injuries, call us today at (215) 569-1455 for a free consultation. We’ll fight to make sure your employer is held accountable while getting you the justice and benefits you deserve. Call now to secure your financial future.
Any type of animal attack can be extremely scary and could potentially cause harm. However, canine attacks are especially vicious due to the fact that they are unexpected.
If you’re walking through the woods and see a bear, you know it is a wild animal and could be dangerous. However, if you’re walking in your own neighborhood and see a dog in a yard, you wouldn’t think twice about going near him or walking by him. Dogs are domesticated. They’re loyal and affectionate. Heck, they’re man’s best friend. You don’t expect them to attack, so you don’t take precautions to protect yourself. Children especially have problems identifying when and when not to approach a dog, because all they see is an adorable fluffy puppy.
Unfortunately, this assumption that all dogs are friendly to strangers and have the misdemeanor of Lassie leads to horrific attacks and brutal injuries. So, the next time you see a strange dog, before approaching it or allowing your child to pet it, remember the injury risks and make sure you gauge the dog’s temperament. Otherwise, you and your child could suffer severe injuries.
Common Canine Catastrophes: Severe Injuries and Permanent Damage
A dog’s jaw strength can exert up to 600 pounds of pressure in a single chomp. Now, if you add that amount of force to a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth specially designed to rip apart flesh, you have a recipe for disaster. In addition to essentially having pressurized knives at their disposal, dogs can also use their powerful bodies, nails, and necks to whip you around, crush you, and cut you—all while introducing bacteria into the freshly made open wounds. As a result, even a small attack can have catastrophic effects.
Beyond simple cuts and bruises, the most common types of severe dog bite injuries include:
- Muscle and nerve damage, including punctures, lacerations and severing of muscles, nerves, and tendons
- Eye injuries. When attacking, many larger breed dogs will lunge and jump toward your face—the most exposed area of your body—possibly causing punctures and scraps to your eyes and cheeks.
- Cellulitis. This is a skin infection from bacteria within the dog’s mouth
- Other infections. Open wounds can quickly become infected, especially if bacteria from the dog’s nails are left within the wounds.
- Broken bones. The force of a bite could potentially snap a bone in half, while vigorous shaking can cause bones to dislodge. Dislocated joints are extremely common when small children are attacked.
- Blood loss. If not treated immediately, punctures in veins or arteries could cause rapid blood loss.
- Rabies. When a dog is infected by rabies, a single bite is enough to transmit the disease to a human.
The Right to Compensation for Dog Attack Injuries
Dogs attack and injure a person or animal when they feel threatened or provoked. No matter the reason for the attack, if you or a loved one suffers any type of injury, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Even if the wounds are small, make sure a doctor properly cleans, examines, and cares for them to prevent further injury and help reduce your risk for scarring.
After your injuries have been well treated, the next step you need to take is to ensure your rights are being upheld. To do this, you need to contact an experienced Philadelphia dog bite attorney (Link to Dog Bites and Attacks PRACTICE AREA page). We can not only help you learn more about your legal options, but we can help you get the treatment compensation and damages you and your injuries deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and the circumstances of your injuries, and see how we can help you with your recovery.
Should I be wearing particular safety gear when riding my motorcycle? What safety equipment can help me protect against injuries?
If you ride, have ever ridden, or know someone who has ridden a motorcycle, you probably have heard the phrase “donor cycle.” This term, which is widely used throughout emergency rooms, sadly refers to the dangerous and often fatal outcomes of riding a motorcycle: if you ride a motorcycle, the joke goes, you’ll most likely wind up as an organ donor.
It’s a bitter joke with a serious kernel of truth: a tragic number of severe injuries and fatalities have been caused by motorcycle accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to suffer from impact force and drag injuries than car passengers during a collision. This statistic, in conjunction with the fact that nearly 200,000 traffic accidents a year involve motorcycles, make your odds of suffering a horrifying injury higher than you may realize.
Now that you know the risks, do you know how to protect yourself from injury?
Motorcycle Safety Fashion: Protective Equipment to Wear While Riding
In order to protect the nine million registered motorcyclists in the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration feels that proper protection should be taken seriously by all who ride—even if state law doesn’t demand it. This is why they strongly encourage motorcycle drivers and passengers to strongly consider wearing the following articles of clothing and safety equipment every time they take their bikes out on the road:
- Helmets. Helmets are the most essential piece of safety equipment a biker can have. Although they are not required in all 50 states, including Pennsylvania (as long as you’re older than 21 and have a motorcycle license), wearing a helmet can drastically decrease your otherwise high risk for painful facial abrasions and catastrophic head, brain, and neck injuries.
- Durable outerwear. Leather, ballistic nylon, or tear-resistant jackets and pants, and other types of rip-resistant clothing can act as a second layer of skin and protect your body from scrapes and abrasions. Instead of sustaining painfully severe road rash, your clothing will take the majority of the damage.
- Safety goggles or eye protection. If your helmet doesn’t already have facial protection, proper eyewear is highly recommended to help prevent potential blinding from debris scraping your eyes. In addition to protecting your retinas, goggles can help keep dust, sunlight, and wind from impairing your vision and causing a severe accident.
- Heavy-duty gloves. Gloves can provide extra grip on your bike’s handlebars (especially useful for “ape hangers”), which will decrease your chance of accidentally letting go or slipping, while also serving to protect your hands from being scraped, cut, and mangled as you instinctively push them out in front of you to brace against a fall.
- Boots or durable footwear. Heavy boots will protect your feet and ankles from scrapes and road rash injuries, while also helping to provide better traction when you put your foot down.
No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you must always be conscious of your own personal safety. If this means being the only person in your motorcycle group wearing a helmet and a full protective suit—so be it. Although you may seem uncool now, they’ll certainly envy you when you visit them in the hospital.
Protecting Your Future When Precautions Fail
Taking proper precautions and wearing proper safety gear can significantly lower your risk of serious injury if you suffer a collision. However, depending on the severity of an accident, a helmet and a few layers of leather may protect you from fatal wounds but may not be enough to keep you 100% out of harm’s way. Fortunately, surviving is enough to give you options to fight back.
After suffering through a motorcycle accident, you shouldn’t have to also suffer long-term physical and financial consequences because someone else wasn’t paying attention. You deserve support, guidance, and a trustworthy hand to help you get back on track. Contact us today to see how we’ll not only give you the support you need, but also fight to make sure you get the injury compensation you deserve.
Your future may be a little off-balance right now, but we can help make sure it doesn’t veer off course. Call today for a free consultation and see for yourself how we can get your future back on course.