ARIZONA MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
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In 2019, there were 2,676 motorcycle accidents in Arizona. With fewer structural safety measures than other vehicles on the road, motorcycle riders are more likely to be seriously injured in a crash. This can leave riders with significant injuries, medical bills, and motorcycle repair costs.
The attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience representing motorcycle accident victims seek the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free attorney consultation with our Arizona motorcycle accident injury lawyers.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
As a smaller vehicle on the road, motorcyclists are often less visible to drivers. In 2019, 170 motorcyclists were killed in Arizona and 2,235 were injured. While there are many factors that contribute to a crash, drivers can make several mistakes that seriously injure motorcyclists. These include:
Speeding can affect a driver’s reaction time, ability to brake, and effectively dodge obstacles. Even when drivers aren’t technically going over the speed limit, they may still be driving too fast for the conditions, which reduces drivers’ reaction times and means that when motorcyclists are hit, it is at a higher impact that can cause more severe injuries.
Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs are more likely to kill a motorcycle rider. Impaired driving may result in weaving across lanes, quickly accelerating or decelerating, swerving, tailgating, or driving without headlights at night. In 2019, alcohol was a contributing factor in 132 crashes.
When a driver checks their phone or takes their eyes off the road, then they are not focused on the vehicles around them. It only takes a few distracted seconds for a driver to seriously injure or kill a motorcyclist.
Read More: Distracted Driving Lawyers
In 2019, 32% of motorcycle crashes occurred when a vehicle was rear-ended. When drivers are not paying attention and fail to give motorcyclists the space needed to operate on the road, rear-end collisions can occur and injure motorcyclists.
Improper Lane Changes and Sideswiping
When drivers fail to check their blind spots or fail to signal when they are changing lanes, motorcyclists will have little time or space to avoid an oncoming car. In 2019, about 17% of accidents occurred when a vehicle side-swept a motorcycle, which can cause a motorcycle operator to lose control and crash.
Common Motorcycle Injuries
A motorcycle accident can result in a variety of injuries for a rider. While some injuries may be temporary, others may cause a permanent disability. Some of the most common injuries that motorcyclists face include:
While motorcyclists should always wear a helmet to help reduce the impact of a crash, in severe crashes, this may not be enough to prevent traumatic brain injuries. Depending on the severity of the accident, a brain injury may require extensive hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation. Even with these measures, a severe head injury may result in a lifelong disability.
Read More: Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
Chest injuries can include broken ribs or punctured lungs, which make it difficult and painful to breathe. Other internal organs may also be damaged and cause internal bleeding.
A damaged or broken spine can have severe effects, including lifelong paralysis and the use of a wheelchair. The continued expense of specialists, loss of income, and pain and suffering that goes along with a spinal cord injury can be lifelong.
A broken bone may require x-rays, surgeries, and casts. Injured motorcyclists frequently break their legs. This may mean that crash victims need to stay off of their feet and take time off of work while recovering.
There are varying degrees of severity of road rash, but it occurs when the skin meets the road and is scraped and cut up. Depending on how deep the scrapes are, nerves and tissues can be damaged and require skin graft surgery, all of which can put motorcyclists at an increased risk for infections.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
After a motorcycle accident, there are a number of steps you should take to protect your health and document what happened to help ensure that you can seek damages for your injuries. These include:
Seeking Medical Attention
If you do not receive medical care at the scene of the accident, be sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible to determine if you need medical treatment. Even after you leave the hospital or doctor’s office, be sure to watch for any additional signs or symptoms of injuries that can occur in the days following an accident.
Documenting Your Damage
Be sure to take photos of your injuries and damage to your bike. If possible, take photos of the location of the accident and gather any witnesses’ contact information. These may be used later to demonstrate the extent of your injuries and how the accident occurred. If a police officer responded to your accident, they will have filled out an accident report, and you should call the police department to ask for a copy.
Notify Your Insurance Company
After you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, your insurance company needs to be notified. However, it is best to call an experienced motorcycle injury attorney first to help you navigate the process for several reasons. Although it may be tempting to settle the accident with an insurance company right away, insurance companies operate to pay as little as possible and may not offer an amount that is insufficient to cover your expenses and does not reflect the true the value of your case.
When you talk to an insurance agent a day or two after an accident, you may not know the full extent of your injuries. Insurance agents may also record your phone call when speaking with you, hoping to find evidence that an accident was your fault. Insurance agents are trained to use leading questions, which may result in an answer that doesn’t tell the full story. These recordings can be used in court to hurt your chances of recovering money from the other party.
Document Your Expenses
Hospital costs, missed work, and bike repairs can quickly add up and make a motorcycle accident very expensive. It’s important that you keep track of all receipts and paperwork related to your accident. This could include:
- Hospital and doctor bills
- Rehabilitation bills
- Documented time taken off from work due to any injuries
- Receipts for the repair or replacement of your motorcycle
What Types of Damages Can I Recover After a Motorcycle Accident?
After an accident, you may be left with several financial burdens including medical bills, lost wages, and motorcycle repairs. You may be able to receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include property damage to your motorcycle, lost income, and medical expenses related to your injury. If you have a serious injury that requires ongoing rehabilitation and treatment, you may also be able to recover future medical expenses. Non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. An Arizona motorcycle accident injury lawyer may be able help you recover both economic and non-economic damages to compensate you for your losses.
What If I Am Partially Responsible for Causing the Accident?
Even if you believe you may be partially at fault for causing the accident, you may still be entitled to recover money. In Arizona, the state follows a pure comparative fault rule, meaning that parties can share responsibility for the accident and pay accordingly. For example, if you were found to be 20% responsible for causing the accident and the other driver was 80% responsible, you would still be able to recover some of the money. However, any money you received would be reduced proportionately by 20%.
Under a pure comparative fault rule, even if you are found to be 90% at fault in a motorcycle accident, you may still be able to recover damages. Determining fault and recovery can be complicated, but a motorcycle accident attorney may help navigate the process for you.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
To file a lawsuit for injuries that you received in a motorcycle accident, you’ll need to be aware of the time limits, or statutes of limitations, that are in place. In Arizona, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim for your injuries.
Even though you have two years to file a lawsuit, it is best to contact an Arizona motorcycle accident injury attorney as soon as possible to help ensure that you are able to seek the money you deserve because witnesses can be hard to find, memories may fade, and critical evidence may no longer be available.
Contact a Lawyer Who Handles Motorcycle Accident Cases
A motorcycle accident can leave you feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and wondering what to do next. Our Arizona attorneys are here to help guide you through this difficult time and want you to receive the compensation needed to put you on the road back to financial, emotional, and physical healing.
We believe an accident victim should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.