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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, October 03, 2023

College 101: Unsure, Uninjured, and Underinsured

My roommate suffered a collision with another car while riding a motorcycle over the holidays. He was joyriding back home in Pennsylvania when another driver blew past a stop light at a major intersection, cutting him off unexpectedly. My roommate slammed on the brakes but still sideswiped the other driver headlong. The force of the impact threw him from the motorcycle and he ended up bruised, but no bones were broken or limbs maimed.

The bike itself sustained reasonable damage. The worst part is that the other driver brushed the whole thing off because my roommate seemed alright. My roommate got the driver’s name and number but forgot to write down the license plate, too. Apparently, the name and phone number were fake. We’re both thinking the worst. How can my roommate find this person and get compensated for the motorcycle damage?

One is likely to assume that if your roommate now seeks this other driver for compensation that it’s because he didn’t already have his own collision and comprehensive car insurance, which is a major risk for scenarios exactly like these. It’s important to remember that while vehicle collisions and related fatalities have steadily declined in recent years, they can still happen to anyone. You need to be prepared.

Motorcyclists are obviously at a greater disadvantage than traditional motorists when it comes to surviving collisions both major and minor. Your roommate is extremely fortunate to have walked away from the accident. If wearing a helmet wasn’t a contributing factor, then he’d be remiss not to invest in one now. Securing payment from this other driver for the motorcycle repairs, however, could prove difficult and lengthy without an official police report.

That isn’t to say the pursuit is impossible, only to say that other options might be necessary. The reality is that most people will be involved in not one but multiple collisions throughout their lifetime. Most of them won’t result in serious personal injury but costly repairs are quite often the norm for those without adequate insurance coverage. And while it isn’t necessarily ideal, being involved in an accidental car crash ranks high on the list of situations ripe for legal aid.

Your roommate shouldn’t commit to anything too quickly, though. Conducting his due diligence is essential to a favorable outcome. Have him review advice from industry professionals in addition to what's been written by experts at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The decision won’t be easy to make. He could decide after all that it’s simpler to incur the cost of repairing the motorcycle himself rather than pursue this unknown driver.

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of practicing lawyers in Pennsylvania. He might consider exploring legal services in Montrose, PA. Another alternative that’s relatively close to New York and Philadelphia is to consider a reputable personal injury attorney in Stroudsburg, PA. It’s also possible to tap into the referral services offered by the state bar association. No matter what his eventual course of action, the most important tips are the one presented earliest.

“I look my best when I take my helmet off after a long motorcycle ride. I have a glow and a bit of helmet hair.” -- Eric Bana

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