Filing a Drunk Driver Lawsuit in 2024 Against a Drunk Motorcycle Rider in Pennsylvania
Motorcycle accidents can be traumatic. It can leave victims and their loved ones feeling helpless and miserable for months and years following the accident. A motorcycle incident is even more devastating when the incident is caused by a person impaired by alcohol. If you or your loved one suffered an injury in a drunk driving incident, filing a drunk driver lawsuit is a wise decision.
Drunk driving is a serious and intentional offense. Hence, a person who chooses to drink and then drive when he shouldn’t is reckless and should ultimately be liable to the victims and their families.
- About 32 people in the U.S. die every day due to drunk driving crashes.
- 11,645 people died in alcohol-impaired driving in 2020, which is 14% more than in 2019.
- 298 people died of alcohol-impaired driving in 2019 in Pennsylvania
- 26% of persons fatally injured in a car crash were due to alcohol impairment in 2021
- 8.1% of the total drunk driving crashes, or 284, were drunk driving motorcycle accidents in 2021
It’s also important to know that based on 2020 statistics, motorcyclists had the highest percentage of drinking drivers compared to drivers of other vehicles in 2020
Can a driver refuse to be tested for his BAC?
The answer is both yes and no. Under the implied consent law, motor vehicle drivers are deemed to have given their consent to the Pennsylvania police to test their blood-alcohol content (BAC) level. If they refuse to get tested, their license will automatically be suspended for six to eighteen months.
However, the police may only require testing if there is reasonable ground to believe that the driver is operating the car under the influence. Nevertheless, in the case of a motorcycle crash, it goes without saying that the driver should subject himself to a chemical test.
What is the legal limit in PA?
Not everyone who drinks alcohol can be liable under a civil drunk driver lawsuit. A DUI will be given only to drivers who are found to have at least 0.8% BAC. The legal limit is lower if the person is a commercial driver, at .04%.
If the driver is under 21 years old and intoxicated, the underage driver automatically receives a DUI.
Who is liable for the injuries and damages suffered in a drunk driver motorcycle accident?
Generally, the drunk driver responsible for the crash is liable for your injuries and damages. However, the bar or establishment that irresponsibly served liquor to the driver may also be held liable for negligence if it is proven that they sold alcohol to a visibly intoxicated consumer. This is known as dram shop laws. Slurred speech, swaying while walking, and staggering are visible signs of intoxication.
What if the intoxicated motorcycle driver drank at your house? Will you get liable? Pennsylvania laws do not hold civilly liable social hosts that serve alcohol to adult drivers. However, if the drunk motorcycle rider who caused the injury is a minor, then the victim may file a drunk driver lawsuit against the host.
Penalty for drunk driver in PA
The penalty for drunk driving ranges from revocation of driver’s license and probation to jail time of up to 18 months. A fine of at least $10,000 is also imposed on the driver.
What can you recover when you file a claim for drunk driver
Drunk driver claims in Pennsylvania enable victims of motorcycle drunk driving accidents to claim compensation for the injuries and damages the victim suffered.
The following may be recovered in the award for compensatory damages or during motorcycle drunk driving motorcycle accident settlement:
- Past and future medical expenses.
- Past and future lost income.
- Cost of damage to your property, if any.
- Mental and physical pain and suffering.
- Loss of quality of life.
Medical records, police reports, receipts, pictures, and videos are all essential documentary evidence that can help you get maximum compensation for what you have gone through.
Note also that loss of consortium may be recovered if the victim becomes paralyzed.
Statute of limitations when filing a personal injury lawsuit
To be entitled to motorcycle accident drunk driver lawsuit compensation, the victim who suffered a personal injury must file his claim within two years from the time of the crash.
However, this deadline can be delayed in certain circumstances, such as the following:
- When the person who caused the injury has been at large outside Pennsylvania for at least four months.
- When the person who caused the injury conceals himself within the state of PA and uses a false name.
- When the victim is under 18 years old. In this case, the victim can file a drunk driving lawsuit when he turns 18.
Make sure to speak with trusted motorcycle accident drunk driving attorneys nearest you who can examine the facts of your case and determine your eligibility to file the claim.
Steps to take following a motorcycle accident due to drunk driver
If you were injured in a motorcycle crash due to drunk driving, follow these steps, so you get a higher chance of proving and winning your drunk driver claim.
What you do immediately after a drunk driving motorcycle accident is crucial. The victim may be in pain, confused, stressed, and in shock, which is very common. Nevertheless, it’s important to call 911 immediately so they can document what happened and contact the police on your behalf.
Once the police come over, let them know that you suspect that the negligent driver is likely intoxicated. This will give them a reasonable ground to require the driver to take a chemical test. Then, allow them to gather as much information as needed regarding the incident. This will be helpful when you file a civil lawsuit against the drunk driver.
Be observant, and ensure that the negligent driver or his company does not attempt to hide any evidence, such as bottles of alcohol in his bag.
Regardless of how frantic everyone is after the crash, it’s a must to get medical help as soon as possible. The medical report is crucial when you want to negotiate a drunk driving motorcycle settlement.
Get the personal information of the motorcycle rider who caused the crash that resulted in injuries and damages. This includes his name, address, and mobile number. However, since you are dealing with an intoxicated driver, it might be safer to get these details from the police.
Other crucial information to get includes:
- The plate number, make, and model of the drunk driver’s motorcycle.
- Pictures of the scene.
- The exact location of the place of the accident.
- Observations you have about the driver’s behavior.
- Any statement from the driver.
It is equally critical for you to track your recovery, including the treatments that you have to pay for. Use a journal to track your day-to-day activities better. This will be helpful when you present and prove your claims in court.
To file your motorcycle accident drunk driving lawsuit in PA, you will need the help of an experienced lawyer in personal injury laws. A drunk driver lawyer will study your case, determine if you are still within the statute of limitations, gather evidence on your behalf, negotiate for more reasonable compensation, and prove your claims before the judge or jury.
Speak with a drunk driver attorney at Ethen Ostroff Law
We understand how a personal injury can significantly impact the victim’s physical and mental health. This is why we ensure that our services are readily available for motor vehicle accidents, including those caused by drunk driving.
Ethen Ostroff Law has access to some of the most professional and successful drunk driving attorneys in Philadelphia. Call us today at 610-510-8883 for a free consultation. We don’t charge a cent until we get you the compensation you deserve.