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Motorcycle accidents can be fatal for riders without helmets

Motorcyclists in Pennsylvania who are older than 21 years of age and have at least two years of riding experience may ride without helmets. Also, those who have successfully completed approved motorcycle safety courses need not wear helmets while riding. However, not wearing helmets may lead to fatal injuries for riders who are involved in motorcycle accidents.

On a recent Friday evening in the Lehigh Valley, a motorcycle crash killed one rider and caused severe injuries to another -- neither of whom wore helmets. According to a report by the police, the accident occurred when a 22-year-old minivan driver allegedly made a left turn from a lane in which no turns are allowed. The intersection at which the crash occurred is in South Whitehall Township, and it is controlled by traffic signals.

The illegal turn of the minivan put it directly in the path of the motorcycle. Both the 42-year-old man who was operating the bike along with his 35-year-old passenger were rushed to a nearby hospital. The rider succumbed to the blunt force trauma he suffered to his head and torso about an hour after he was admitted to the hospital. It was reported that the passenger remained hospitalized four days later.

As in other motorcycle accidents, the driver of the passenger vehicle may be held liable for medical and end-of-life expenses along with the emotional losses sustained by the surviving family members of the deceased motorcyclist. They may pursue recovery by filing a wrongful death lawsuit in a Pennsylvania civil court. Similarly, the injured passenger may file a personal injury claim. The success of these claims will depend on the ability of the plaintiffs to establish negligence on the part of the minivan driver.

Source:, "Minivan's illegal turn cited in fatal motorcycle crash probe", Kurt Bresswein, May 31, 2016

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