A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You
When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable, thanks to the size difference between passenger cars and motorcycles. Motorcycle accidents can lead to serious injuries or fatalities for the motorcycle rider.
After a motorcycle accident, you may be left wondering what to do next. You may be in pain, with a damaged motorcycle, trying to pick up the pieces and get your life back on track. You likely have a long list of things to do: receive medical treatment, get your bike repaired, speak with your insurance company, and file a personal injury claim.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed following an accident. A personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claims process and avoid common pitfalls that accident victims face.
The Advocates are a law firm of experienced personal injury lawyers serving Phoenix, Tucson, Scottsdale, and the rest of Arizona. We are prepared to help you receive fair compensation for the damages incurred in your accident.
What Can The Advocates Do For My Case?
The Advocates’ legal team has been representing clients in motorcycle accident cases for nearly 30 years. In addition to legal representation, we take pride in providing attentive, compassionate care in all aspects of your recovery. The Advocates are ready to help you:
- Access the medical care you need
- Find a high-quality body shop for your motorcycle
- Communicate with your employer regarding your accident
- Understand any bills or paperwork that come your way
Why You Need an Accident Attorney
Negotiating a settlement is a complex process. When trying to get a settlement offer for the damages from your accident, you will be met with opposition from the at-fault party’s insurance company. They may try to claim that your injuries were not a result of the accident or try to deny liability altogether.
A motorcycle accident lawyer can negotiate with the insurance provider for you and help you avoid mistakes that could end up costing you.
Some common damages that are sought after motorcycle accidents include:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses (in the case of wrongful death)
The Advocates are accomplished Arizona motorcycle accident attorneys and are ready to take on your personal injury case. We will provide you with a case evaluation to help you understand what losses you can be compensated for. Every case is different, and we’ve seen it all.
The Advocates’ Motorcycle Accident Claims Process
After your accident, it can take months or years to receive a settlement offer. There are several reasons for this. Each step in the claims process will vary in length depending on the circumstances of your case.
Once you have hired an attorney, they will begin by gathering evidence and information about your accident. This can include police reports, eyewitness statements, photo and video footage of the scene of the accident, and more. Depending on when your accident happened and how well you documented it, gathering the necessary evidence may take a while.
You also must finish treatment for your injuries before you can file a claim. This is because your settlement will include reimbursement for your medical expenses. In order to know the total sum of your damages, medical treatment must be finished before filing.
Once your treatment has been completed and evidence has been compiled, your attorney will send the other party a demand letter, outlining the damages you are seeking. At this point, negotiations will begin. Usually, your case can be settled during negotiations and will not need to go to court. However, if the other party will not offer an acceptable settlement, your case will go to litigation, where your Advocate will represent you in court.
Arizona Motorcycle Injury Statistics
Motorcycle accidents happen less frequently than other types of car accidents, due to the fact that there are fewer motorcycles than passenger vehicles on the road at any given time. However, motorcycle accidents are far more deadly than other auto accidents. As the number of motorcycles on the road increases, it is becoming more and more important that everyone is aware of the causes and consequences of motorcycle crashes. Below are some statistics relating to motorcycle accidents and injuries in the state of Arizona.
What are common motorcycle accident injuries?
In most motorcycle collisions, the motorcyclist is at a higher risk of injury than the motorist inside the car. Some common injuries related to motorcycle crashes include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Strains, sprains, and bruising
It’s important that motorcyclists wear appropriate safety equipment to lessen the risk of severe injuries.
When do motorcycle crashes occur most often?
The large majority of motorcycle accidents are collisions with other motor vehicles. There are also a significant number of crashes where irresponsible riding causes a motorcycle to roll over or crash into a non-moving object.
Around 75% of motorcycle accidents in Arizona occur in urban areas. Most crashes happen in locations that are not intersections.
Nearly 95% of Arizona motorcycle collisions occur in dry conditions, due to the fact that the state does not receive a lot of precipitation. However, all motorists should take extra care when driving in the rain, as visibility and traction can be reduced.
Close to 80% of motorcycle crashes occur during daylight hours. On weekdays, motorcycle accidents often happen between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. On weekends, they are more likely to occur between 3:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
Men represent 86% of motorcycle accident victims, and the age group most likely to be involved in a motorcycle crash are bikers between 25-34 years old.
What are common causes of motorcycle accidents?
It’s always crucial to be aware of your surroundings on the road, but some situations are more dangerous than others. Some common causes of motorcycle collisions are:
- Improper lane changes
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Failure to yield the right-of-way, particularly during left turns
Motorcycles can be much harder to see than passenger vehicles, which can lead motorists to cut motorcyclists off without knowing. In fact, nearly two-thirds of motorcycle accidents are caused by a driver not noticing a motorcycle. It is important that drivers always check their blind spots, because a motorcycle can be easily missed.
How many motorcycle accidents occur in Arizona each year?
According to ADOT, there are more than 2,500 motorcycle crashes in the state of Arizona every year. This is slightly more than 2% of all auto accidents annually.
However, motorcycle accidents are far more likely to lead to serious injuries or fatalities than other types of crashes. Each year, around 78% of motorcycle collisions result in injury, and nearly 6% are fatal accidents. Drivers and passengers in cars and trucks are better protected than motorcyclists, so bikers are more likely to be hurt or killed in these accidents.
Arizona Motorcycle Laws
In order to safely ride on Arizona roadways, it’s critical that bikers understand the rules they must uphold. Below are some of the laws specific to motorcycles in Arizona.
Do motorcyclists have to wear a helmet?
Anyone younger than 18 must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle in Arizona. It is not mandatory for riders or drivers older than 18 to wear a helmet. However, motorcycle riders who are not wearing a helmet at the time of a crash are far more likely to be seriously injured or killed than those who are wearing a helmet.
There are two acceptable kinds of helmets for bikers to choose from. A three-quarters helmet is an open-face helmet that covers your head and ears, but leaves your mouth and nose exposed. A full-face helmet covers your mouth and chin as well. This type of helmet offers more protection than a three-quarters helmet, as the chin is a particularly vulnerable spot in the event of a crash.
Regardless of the law, it is a good idea to wear a helmet whenever you are riding a motorcycle. Helmets have been proven to save lives and prevent traumatic brain injuries.
Can motorcycles pull up between cars at red lights?
In March 2022, Arizona passed a law legalizing lane filtering, or the practice of motorcyclists sharing a lane with cars and trucks at stoplights to reduce traffic congestion. However, lane filtering is only allowed in certain circumstances.
Riders may ride between two lanes at no faster than 15 miles per hour, as long as the other vehicles on the road are stopped. Lane filtering is only allowed on roads with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour or less. It is also only allowed at stoplights– motorcyclists may not ride between lanes at non-intersection locations.
The law is not set to go into effect until July or August 2022. Until then, lane filtering is still illegal.
Can motorcycles use the HOV lane?
There are more than 175 miles of HOV lanes (also known as high-occupancy vehicle lanes) in the Phoenix metro area. On weekdays from 6:00 am to 9:00 am, as well as 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, the HOV lane is reserved for vehicles carrying two or more people. However, motorcycles may ride in the lane at any time, regardless of the number of passengers. This is also true of buses, emergency vehicles, and tow trucks.
Any vehicle that violates the HOV lane laws may be subject to fines of $400 or more.
What equipment is required on a motorcycle?
In order to ride on Arizona roadways, motorcycles must be equipped with working headlamps, blinkers, and rearview mirrors. Both driver and passenger must have a seat and footrests.
Motorcyclists are required to wear goggles, glasses, or a face shield. This is to protect the driver’s eyes from bugs or other debris. Not only is being hit in the eye painful, it presents a major safety hazard, since it can limit the driver’s ability to see. However, if a motorcycle is equipped with a protective windshield, the driver does not need to wear eye protection.
Do motorcyclists need a special license?
To drive a motorcycle or moped in Arizona, a rider must have a class M license. If a motorcycle rider already has another license (such as a license to operate a car), the class M license can be added as an endorsement to the already existing driver’s license.
If you are already a licensed driver in Arizona, the only requirements to obtain a class M license are to pass a written exam and pass a medical and vision screening. For an unlicensed driver to obtain a class M license, a motorcycle safety course must be completed first.
Do motorcycles have the same rights and responsibilities as cars?
Motorcycles must follow the same laws as all other motor vehicles. This means that motorcycle riders must follow all traffic signs and signals the same way that any other motorist would. Bikers must also indicate their intention to turn or change lanes with turn signals, and must yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles and pedestrians (when applicable).
Motorcycles are also afforded the same rights as cars and trucks. This means that they have the right to use an entire lane. For all intents and purposes, a motorcycle is the same as any other vehicle on the road and must be treated as such.