It's 9:45 in the morning and registration for the poker run ends at 10. You're running around the house trying to find your bandana to keep your hair from becoming a tangled mess. Your boyfriend rolls into the driveway on his Harley Ultra Classic and is beeping the horn. You're going to be late and both of you are stressed. He's going a little too fast, passed the street, hit gravel and dumped the bike when attempting a U-turn. You're hurt. What should you do?
Your first thoughts regarding your legal course of action may include confusion. You really care for this guy or might even love him, but you want to be compensated for your injuries and be able to return to your daily life and work. You may be afraid of creating "bad blood" between the two of you if you tell him you want to talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer. You wonder what will happen if you file a lawsuit to be compensated for your personal injuries and whether you have legal recourse as the passenger and not the driver of the motorcycle. The good news is that as a passenger of a motorcycle, you do have legal protections and can be compensated for your motorcycle-related injuries.
Western PA and South FL Motorcycle Accidents
An injured motorcycle passenger is able to seek insurance funds if they are injured in a motorcycle accident. Contrary to what you may think as a passenger, you are not receiving funds from the driver of the motorcycle if you receive an insurance settlement or if you file a lawsuit for your injuries. Therefore, no "bad blood" between yourself and your riding buddy.
Motorcycle passengers injured in an accident can be compensated in the following ways:
- First, often an injured passenger will be entitled to first party insurance benefits that can assist them recover lost wages and help them pay their bills, including medical bills associated with care for injuries sustained.
- Second, an injured passenger is also potentially entitled to money settlements from insurance companies to compensate for losses in excess of what is received as part of first party insurance benefits.
Another concern with injured motorcycle passengers filing a lawsuit against the driver is how this may affect the driver's insurance premiums. The accident itself may cause an increase in the driver's insurance premium, but this would be the case regardless of whether the injured passenger brought a claim or not - assuming that the accident was the driver's fault.
Other Pennsylvania Laws Related to Motorcycle Passengers
In addition to the laws related to passenger rights in an accident, there are other Pennsylvania laws related to motorcycle passengers and safety precautions. A motorcycle must be equipped to carry passengers, including having footrests and handholds for the passenger to use. If the driver of a motorcycle is 21 years old or older and has been licensed to operate a motorcycle for not less than two full calendar years or has completed a motorcycle safety course approved by PennDot or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, that driver is exempt from wearing a helmet when riding in Pennsylvania. As such, a passenger riding with a person exempt from the helmet requirement does not have to wear a helmet if that passenger is over the age of 21.
"Ride Safe" with the PA & FL Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
I was a passenger who was injured in a motorcycle crash while riding with my then boyfriend. Over 20 years have passed and while we're not dating anymore, he is one of my best friends. Our relationship survived the crash and insurance settlement and yours can too!
Call me, Lisa Vari, the Biker Chick Lawyer at 1-844-BIKER-CHICK (1-844-245-3724) or send me an e-mail and let me help you get the money you deserve while preserving your relationship with your favorite biker dude.
Are you a biker with a legal problem? Contact me, Lisa Marie Vari, for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION on your Pennsylvania or Florida legal problem. If your problem is in another state, contact me anyway and I'll put you in touch with a lawyer in your state who can help you.
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