Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Lawyer – Claim Your Benefits
As any motorcyclist can tell you, riding a motorcycle is exhilarating. It’s an experience like no other, allowing you to fly down the highway and enjoy the freedom of the road, with the world rushing by you. Unfortunately, riding a bike can also be very risky because the rider isn’t shielded from environmental elements the way a person in a passenger vehicle is. Motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet in most states and are encouraged to suit up and wear protective clothing, both of which can help to minimize the risk of a serious injury.
Regardless of how careful a motorcyclist is, they still run a very high risk of injury because of the negligence of another. If you have been in a serious motorcycle accident, then a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve to cover the cost of medical expenses, damaged property, lost wages at work, and pain and suffering.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was due to the negligence of another, the state of Arizona protects your right to seek compensation for damages. However, defending your case can be challenging. Speaking to a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney who can defend your right to fair compensation and represent your case in court can significantly increase your chances of receiving a large award.
Your Right to Compensation in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents can result in severe injuries and permanent disabilities. This can include the loss of a limb, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, if your accident was caused by the negligence of another driver on the road, you have the right to receive financial compensation. A skilled attorney with the right experience can help you handle insurance companies and hold all parties responsible.
Important Steps to Follow After a Motorcycle Accident
After an accident, you have a couple of options for securing compensation for your injuries, damaged property, and other losses, a personal injury lawsuit or a personal injury claim.
You can file an insurance claim with your insurance provider and/or the other driver’s insurance company. This will initiate an investigation that will be handled by a claims adjuster. Once the investigation is completed, negotiations will begin, until the claims adjuster offers you a fair settlement to compensate for your property damages, financial losses, and injuries. If you accept the settlement you will usually have to sign a release that states, you agree to give up your right to sue the driver in court.
A claim is often the first course of action after an accident. If the settlement negotiations process breaks down and it looks like the insurance company is refusing to offer you adequate compensation, then you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit.
A lawsuit is a civil legal action in which the injured party makes a demand for money damages that takes into account the severity of the injuries and the losses suffered as a direct result of the accident. Many lawsuits are settled before they reach trial, but some may go to trial, where a judge or jury decides the amount of money the accident victim is entitled to receive.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
In many cases, injuries sustained from a motorcycle accident can be catastrophic. Any part of the body can be injured in a motorcycle crash. According to the NHTSA, there were 4,985 motorcyclists killed in 2018. Most incapacitating and fatal injuries are sustained when the motorcyclist is hit in the front of the bike. Below are some of the most common injuries a motorcycle rider can suffer in a collision.
According to the NHTSA, out of 104,472 motorcycle accident victims, 21% of riders who did not wear a helmet, and 15% of those who did, suffered from traumatic brain injuries. TBIs accounted for 54% of 104,472 motorcyclists who died from severe injuries.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury can result in paralysis. This type of severe injury can cause a permanent disability.
Injuries to the Lower Extremity
This type of injury is the most commonly sustained injury in motorcycle accidents. Bone fractures are more common than mild soft tissue injuries.
Internal bleeding and/or damage to internal organs can be caused by penetration trauma or blunt-force trauma.
In an upright position, a motorcyclist is not stable, which causes them to fall over in an accident. A crash can happen in a split second. When the bike falls, the rider’s leg may get trapped underneath it. Arms and wrists can become fractured if the rider puts their hands out to brace for impact.
When a motorcyclist hits the road during a crash, road rash can occur. These skin abrasions can range from mild to serious and can require prompt medical attention. In some cases, permanent scarring can occur.
Proving Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident
To receive damages from a lawsuit, a lawyer must prove that the at-fault driver was negligent. This is done by gathering evidence, including photos of the accident, medical records, hiring accident reconstruction specialists, obtaining the police report, and speaking with eyewitnesses.
Arizona is a comparative negligence state. Comparative negligence can hold both parties accountable for the accident. For example, in Arizona, splitting lanes is illegal. If the accident was caused due to the driver speeding and the motorcyclist splitting lanes, then the judge or jury will determine what percentage of the accident the motorcyclist is responsible for. That percentage will be taken out of the motorcyclist’s reward.
In many cases, the at-fault driver will deny they were negligent, instead, they’ll argue that the motorcyclist was totally at-fault. This is why it’s so crucial to hire an aggressive and experienced motorcycle accident attorney to handle your case.
Securing compensation for injuries and other harms that you suffered is the ultimate goal of a lawsuit. In Arizona, you can receive compensation for the following types of damages:
If you succeed in your lawsuit and the other party has been found at-fault, you can receive full compensation for the cost of past and future medical treatment that’s needed as a result of the injuries you sustained in the motorcycle accident. This will include emergency room treatment, copays, medication, physical therapy, doctor’s appointments, medical supplies, and the cost of ongoing treatment.
Pain and Suffering
If your injuries were severe and caused emotional suffering and extreme pain, you may be entitled to compensation. An attorney can help you determine whether or not you should pursue compensation for pain and suffering in your lawsuit.
Many accident victims will take time off work to recover from serious injuries. Unfortunately, some motorcyclists will be left permanently disabled, while others can anticipate a recovery that takes several weeks or months. If you lost wages, or your ability to work has been impacted as the result of an accident, then you can receive compensation for lost wages.
If your motorcycle and/or other personal property was damaged in the accident, you can receive compensation for the bike’s and your other property’s fair market value.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The motorcyclist is often the person with the most serious injuries, since their body is in the open and they do not have anything protecting it. A motorcycle accident can happen for a number of reasons. Below, you’ll find a list of the most common types.
Vehicle Making a Left-Hand Turn
For a motorcyclist, the most dangerous situation occurs when a car is making a left-hand turn. This type of collision accounts for 42% of all vehicle and motorcycle accidents. Typically, the car turning runs into the motorcycle, when the motorcycle is:
- Trying to overtake the car
- Going straight through an intersection
- Passing the car
Typically, a car that hits another car while they’re making a left-hand turn will be found at fault for the collision. If the motorcyclist was in the wrong lane or if they were speeding, then the motorcyclist may be found partially at fault for the accident. This means the motorcyclist will receive less compensation from the driver for damages and injuries caused by the collision.
When a motorcyclist splits lanes, they drive between a couple of lanes of slowly moving or stopped cars. Lane splitting is illegal in the state of Arizona and a common cause of accidents due to a number of factors, such as:
- Vehicles don’t anticipate that a motorcycle will be passing them in stopped or slowed traffic
- The smaller space the motorcyclist has to maneuver
- The close proximity of the bike to vehicles
If an accident occurs when a motorcyclist is splitting lanes, then the motorcyclist can be found at-fault since splitting lanes is illegal in this state.
Speeding & Intoxication
Half of the accidents that involve a single motorcycle are caused by intoxication or by speeding. These factors play a huge role in accidents among vehicles as well. However, because a motorcycle doesn’t provide much protection, an accident that involves alcohol or speeding is much more likely to result in serious injury or death.
How to Stay Safe After an Accident
- Immediately after an accident, you may be in shock. Adrenaline will be coursing through your body. It’s important to try to remain calm and stay safe until help arrives. Check yourself for injuries. If you are seriously injured, you must wait for help to arrive.
- If you are able to walk, head for the side of the road, out of harm’s way. If you still have your phone and it works, call 911.
- Even if you feel okay after the accident, you must still seek medical attention. Serious injuries are not always apparent immediately following an accident. In some cases, it can take several hours before you start to feel pain. Of course, motorcycle accidents are often more serious because of the potential for internal bleeding or organ damage from the blunt force of the crash and the impact to the rider’s midsection.
- Avoid removing your helmet or other safety gear. Your spine and neck must remain protected. Wait for the first responders to arrive.
- Try to remain calm. Avoid doing anything that can put you at risk of injury.
- Assess the accident scene. If you’re able to walk, try to gather as much evidence as you can.
- This can include taking photos of the scene of the accident and writing down the license plate number of the vehicle that hit you. Photos are the best way to accurately document the accident.
- Get the driver’s contact information and insurance information.
- Speak to any witnesses and get their contact information.
- Avoid leaving the scene of the accident before speaking to the police. You need to tell the police your side of the story and have it documented.
The Aftermath of an Accident
- Once you have been released from the hospital after the accident, you may be contacted by the driver’s insurance company. However, it’s important that you avoid answering any of their questions. A claims adjuster is trained to try and trick you and get you to say something that can hurt your case.
- At this time, you should also avoid making any repairs to your motorcycle until the damages have been documented properly. Keep a detailed record of damages so you can present this information to your lawyer.
- Contact a phoenix motorcycle accident attorney to schedule a consultation. If you’re not able to speak to a lawyer right away, refrain from signing anything or admitting fault until you do.
What Not to Do After A Motorcycle Accident
- Avoid signing anything. Signing something can cost you your case or can significantly endanger your chances of recovering money for your injuries and other damages. Always consult an attorney before you sign anything.
- An insurance company will want to record you, but they will use this recording against you later during negotiations or if your case goes to trial. If they ask if they can record you, say no.
- With this type of accident, evidence can quickly disappear, which will make it harder to prove your case. Don’t put off contacting an attorney. An attorney will work quickly to gather all the evidence available.
Why You Need A Personal Injury Lawyer
Without legal representation you could lose your case. The legal process can be very complex to navigate alone. Failing to file the proper paperwork or missing a deadline can cost you. On top of all this, insurance companies will have teams of aggressive lawyers pressuring you to settle quickly and for less than what you deserve. You need a lawyer who is willing to stand up for you, whether they’re negotiating with claims adjusters or the defendant’s attorney in court.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Consultation
You need to bring along all the documentation you have of the accident. This can include medical records, the contact information for the driver and any witnesses, the make and model of the vehicle that hit you, a list of damages and estimates that can support the cost, and any other solid evidence you have, such as images of the scene of the accident and photos of your damaged bike.
The lawyer will want to hear your side of the story and go over the facts, to determine whether or not you have a case. If the attorney decides to take your case, then will begin working quickly.
- They will begin by sending an investigator to the accident scene.
- They can determine the cause of the accident
- They will gather and document evidence
- They will take over communication with insurance companies and the defendant’s attorney
Your lawyer will also be available to answer any questions you may have concerning the progress of your case, delays, or setbacks. They will also help you navigate the legal process and will ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm
A motorcyclist understands the risks involved when they ride and share the road with commercial trucks and other motorists. A motorcycle offers much less protection than an SUV or car, which makes an accident a greater threat to the motorcycle rider.
The Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyers at the Ferguson Law Group understand the level of support you need following a serious accident and will help you get your life back on track.
Contact the lawyers at the Ferguson Law group today. It’s important to have a lawyer by your side if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident. In a multi-vehicle collision, the blame is often placed on the rider because of the increased risk that comes with riding a bike. Insurance companies are often reluctant to side with the rider and will try to place partial or full blame on the motorcyclist. At the Ferguson Law Group, we will stand up for you and work tirelessly to ensure the negligent party or parties are held responsible for the accident. Schedule a consultation today to learn how we can help you win the settlement or award you deserve.
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