Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Arizona
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With more than 160,000 registered motorcycles, Arizona boasts plenty of motorcyclists. It is easy to see why: Arizona offers scenic landscapes in every corner of the state. Whether you are looking to embark on a picturesque ride or have found yourself in a motorcycle accident, it is important to familiarize yourself with the motorcycle laws in Arizona.
Start by learning how the motorcycle helmet laws in Arizona affect a motorcycle accident case. Next, consider relevant issues, such as the legal concept of fault. Finally, be aware of the ways in which a motorcycle accident injury attorney can help you recover legally.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Arizona motorcycle accident, a lawyer near you might be able to help. Call (800) 863-5312 to speak with the Zinda Law Group attorneys. Our skilled motorcycle accident injury attorneys can give you a free case evaluation.
motorcycle helmet laws in arizona
The ruling Arizona law regarding motorcycle helmets is ARS 28-964, and it is straightforward. Anyone over the age of 18 does not need to wear a helmet. However, the law states a few specifications.
The population of motorcycle drivers and passengers in Arizona that must wear a helmet is limited to those who are under the age of 18. The operator must wear some type of transparent face shield such as protective glasses or goggles. The statute also lists requirements for the physical structure of the motorcycle, including a rearview mirror, a seat and footrests for the operator, and a seat and footrests for the passenger (if there is a passenger).
arizona’s motorcycle laws affect How lawyers litigate MOTORCYCLE accidents in arizona
There is a chance that your injuries are both more extensive and expensive as a result of you not wearing a helmet. However, since helmets are not legally required, it is less likely that the adverse party in a suit can claim that you were at fault for the accident and liable for your injuries because you did not wear a helmet.
This of course does not mean that you might not be partially or even entirely at fault for the accident. Depending on the circumstances of your particular accident, you may still have to accept all or some of the financial burden for your injuries as well as the injuries of the other parties involved.
The legal concept of fault for a motor vehicle accident
The negligence of each of the parties involved in the accident determines whether the party was at fault for the accident. The law of comparative negligence applies when each party is at least somewhat at fault.
If both drivers acted with some degree of negligence, then a jury finds a percentage of fault attributable to each driver. Then, each driver is responsible for his or her assigned percentage of the damages. For example, if a jury determines that you are 30% at fault for the accident and that the other driver is 70% at fault, then you can seek recovery for 70% of your total damages.
This is distinct from the law of contributory negligence, which some states still use. Under that law, you may not recover for your injuries if you were at all negligent, even if the other driver was clearly much more negligent. Fortunately, Arizona is a comparative negligence state.
How you could be partially at fault
It might be helpful for you to have an idea about what kinds of circumstances increase your percentage of fault. Know that even if you think you were mostly at fault for the accident, you can still recover for some percentage of the damages since Arizona is a comparative negligence state.
If you were on a motorcycle and the other driver was in a car, it is likely that your injuries are greater than the other driver’s. You may still decide to pursue your claim based on this alone.
Types of Accidents that Affect the Percentage of Fault
It can be helpful to have a motorcycle accident injury lawyer if you find yourself in any of the following types of accidents. An experienced lawyer who has seen how courts distribute the fault in various situations will have an estimate of how much fault you might take.
- Speeding increases the seriousness of your injuries if you are in a crash, and your reaction time slows in comparison to your speed.
- Running a red light is illegal in every state.
- Drunk driving kills about 28 people a day, and the national blood alcohol concentration (BAC) standard is .08%.
- Reckless driving includes such actions as racing other vehicles, passing vehicles over a double-yellow center line, or passing a stopped school bus.
- Distracted driving includes anything that takes the driver’s attention away from driving, such as texting or talking on the phone.
- Driving at night can be dangerous because of the reduced visibility. If your headlights are in poor condition, you might take a higher percentage of fault for the accident.
Arizona’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases
You should file your claim sooner rather than later to meet Arizona’s statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the amount of time that you have to file your claim, and that time starts ticking from the day of the accident.
In Arizona, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. This means that from the day of your motorcycle accident, you have two years to file your claim. If you have any questions about the statute of limitations or whether you can still file your claim, consider discussing the matter with qualified motorcycle accident injury lawyer.
What to do if you have been in a motorcycle accident
Now that you are familiar with some of the legal issues you will face in your case, you should know some of the mechanics of how to proceed with your case from the moment you are in an accident. There are some things you must do in order to preserve the key facts of your case.
First, you should call the police to report the accident as soon as you can; the investigation officer will come and collect the necessary information from you and the other drivers involved. You should also keep a personal record of the accident for yourself, including the names and contact information of the other drivers as well as the names and contact information of any available witnesses who saw the accident. A few days after the accident, you will be able to request a copy of the accident report online.
Take pictures of the scene of the accident if you are able. Seek medical attention as needed and keep track of all of your medical expenses and your missed wages from time off of work. Finally, you might consider hiring an attorney to help you with your case.
How a motorcycle accident injury attorney can help
Tackling the legal system alone can be challenging, especially if you suspect you were partially at fault. The other drivers involved might file against you first and you might feel overwhelmed by all the meticulous procedural rules and deadlines. Hiring a personal injury lawyer for the accident can make you confident that the other party and the insurance companies involved treat you fairly.
There are multiple stages of litigation through which an attorney can help you have the best chance of receiving the maximum compensation possible for your case. You might need help filing your claim and negotiating a settlement.
Filing a Claim
As we discussed above, Arizona law allows you to potentially recover your damages, even if you were partially at fault. A rough determination of fault can help you decide whether to even file a claim. If your lawyer advises you to file a claim, you will want to make sure you are within the statute of limitations for Arizona.
Negotiating a Settlement
To negotiate a settlement, you will have to communicate with the other party’s lawyers and the insurance companies in order to get the best settlement amount possible. Often, insurance companies will ask you questions that they know will weaken your case when you answer them. An experienced attorney knows that insurance companies do this to avoid paying out as little as possible; they will also know how to use the strengths of your case while downplaying the weaknesses.
call our motorcycle accident lawyers in arizona
If you have been wondering, “Where can I find an Arizona motorcycle accident lawyer near me?” look no further. Our skilled lawyers in Arizona are as near as Tucson and Phoenix, and they want to hear about your experience to see how they can help you. Give our Zinda Law Group attorneys a call at (800) 863-5312 and schedule your free consultation.
Our experienced attorneys are ready to fight for your rights, even if it means we have to pay out of our own pocket. We have a No Win, No Fee Guarantee so that you will not pay us unless we win your case for you.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.