Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating and economical way to travel or commute to and from work, and with the sunny, dry weather we enjoy year-round in Phoenix, motorcycle riders flock to our roadways by the hundreds, if not thousands. Unfortunately, if you have spent any significant amount of time on a motorcycle, you have probably noticed that other passenger vehicles, commercial trucks, and tractor-trailers don’t always safely share the road with motorcycles, and you may have even had a few close calls or been involved in an accident yourself. If you have suffered injuries in a Phoenix motorcycle accident involving a negligent or reckless driver, a defective bike part or unsafe road conditions, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other related damages. Consult our reputable Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC as soon as possible to explore your potential compensation options.
Hiring an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there are on average more than 3,000 motorcycle accidents in Arizona every year, and in 2017 alone, 161 people were killed and more than 2,000 were injured in Arizona motorcycle accidents. The problem is, many passenger car and truck drivers don’t understand that motorcycles are motor vehicles too, and fail to treat them as such when driving on Phoenix roadways, which is dangerous not just for the motorcycle rider, but for everyone on the road. The unfortunate truth is that motorcyclists have earned an unfair reputation for being reckless and irresponsible on the road, and many people are quick to assume that when a motorcycle accident occurs, the motorcyclist is at fault. Our personal injury attorneys are committed to protecting the rights and safety of motorcyclists in Phoenix and the surrounding areas and we will ensure that the negligent party is held accountable for your motorcycle accident injuries and damages.
Filing a motorcycle accident claim and pursuing adequate compensation for your losses and medical expenses can be a challenge, especially if you aren’t familiar with important legal issues like negligence, liability, and statutes of limitations. Time is of the essence when pursuing fair compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries, and when you hire our personal injury attorneys, we will work quickly to gather evidence pertaining to your claim and obtain witness statements before critical information about the accident is lost. If necessary, we will consult medical experts and/or accident reconstruction experts who specialize in motorcycle accidents, to demonstrate how the accident occurred and caused your injuries. It is our goal to provide victims of Phoenix motorcycle accidents with aggressive and compassionate legal representation and our legal team will go to great lengths to get you the compensation you and your loved ones deserve.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Compared to passenger vehicles, motorcycles are more difficult to maneuver and are more vulnerable to the dangers of negligent motorists and unsafe road conditions. And because motorcycles offer riders far less protection than passenger cars and trucks do their occupants, motorcyclists have a far greater risk of sustaining serious, potentially life-threatening injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that “Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists, are about 35 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash.” The NHTSA also reports that “Occupants of the smallest and/or lightest vehicles still have higher death rates as occupants of the largest and/or heaviest vehicles.” That is due in large part to the fact that passenger vehicles have seatbelts, airbags and crumple zones, while motorcycles do not. Additionally, motorcycle riders are not protected by a shell of steel, like motor vehicle occupants are, and they are typically thrown from their bike in an accident, which significantly increases their risk of injury. Some injuries commonly resulting from a Phoenix motorcycle accident include the following:
- Neck injury
- Back injury
- Head injury
- Severe burns
- Traumatic brain injury
- Loss of a limb
- Severe bruising
- Internal bleeding
- Damage to internal organs
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Road rash
- Wrongful death
These serious motorcycle accident injuries will require immediate medical treatment and/or ongoing medical care in the weeks, months or even years after the accident, which can result in costly medical bills and may interfere with your ability to work and care for yourself and your family. Some of the more severe injuries resulting from a Phoenix motorcycle accident can result in chronic pain or permanent disability, which can make the cost of treatment much higher than you might expect.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Phoenix
Compared to passenger vehicles and trucks, motorcycles have a very small profile and it can be difficult for other motorists to spot motorcyclists on the roadway. Some drivers also tend to follow too closely behind motorcycles or miscalculate their speed and either pull out in front of them or make an unexpected left turn in front of them, which forces motorcyclists to take evasive action and significantly increases the risk of a major motorcycle accident. Additionally, if road conditions are less than ideal or if a faulty motorcycle part fails, motorcycle riders are at an increased risk for accidents, injuries or death. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Phoenix include the following circumstances:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while distracted
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Driving recklessly
- Making an unsafe lane change
- Making a sudden stop
- Dangerous road conditions
- Following too closely behind a motorcycle
- Defective motorcycle or motorcycle parts
- Making a left turn in front of a motorcycle
- Failing to yield the right of way
Motorcycle riders in Phoenix are more likely to be injured or killed in traffic accidents than drivers of all other vehicles and when other motorists fail to give motorcycles adequate room on the road, fail to look for motorcycles when changing lanes or making sudden turns, or disrespect motorcycles in any other way, motorcycle riders are typically the ones who suffer the consequences.
Negligence in a Phoenix Motorcycle Accident
Proving negligence in a Phoenix motorcycle accident is the key to recovering the compensation you deserve for your injuries, which is why it is important to understand how the state of Arizona determines fault and liability in personal injury cases. While many states have laws in place that allow only one party involved in an accident to collect damages, Arizona follows the law of pure comparative negligence, which means a fault in a motorcycle accident is assigned based on each party’s individual percentage of negligence. In other words, under Arizona law, a person injured in a Phoenix motorcycle accident involving another party can recover damages from the accident, regardless of his or her own fault, so long as the other party is found at least partially at fault for the accident. For example, if you are riding a motorcycle and you run a red light and collide with another vehicle in the middle of an intersection, you may assume that you are at fault since your failure to follow the law led to the accident. However, if the other driver was distracted or speeding when the accident occurred, the court may find that person to be partially at fault for the accident, in which case you would be entitled to a percentage of the total damages in direct proportion to the other person’s contribution of fault.
Pursuing Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident
Your first priority following a Phoenix motorcycle accident should be to seek medical care, even if you don’t have any obvious physical injuries. Some motorcycle accident injuries are subtle or difficult to detect, and if you put off seeing a doctor, it may be more complicated down the road connecting the injury to the accident. Once you have your injuries on record, you can contact a Phoenix personal injury attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the person or party found at fault in the accident, in order to recover compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries and other damages. A Phoenix motorcycle accident claim can help you recover financial compensation for the following:
- Permanent disability
- Loss of a limb
- Property loss or damage
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Partial or total paralysis
- Cost of physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Wrongful death
If your motorcycle accident injuries occurred because of the negligence or carelessness of another motorist, motorcycle rider, cyclist or pedestrian, you may be able to hold that person liable for your injuries, medical expenses, and other damages. If, on the other hand, the motorcycle accident was caused by poor road conditions or design or another avoidable environmental factor, you may have grounds to file a claim against the public entity responsible for maintaining the roadway. If a defective bike or bike part contributed to the motorcycle crash, you may have a claim against the company that manufactured, distributed or sold the bike or bike part.
Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accident Claims
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Phoenix, you only have a certain amount of time during which you can bring forth a legal proceeding to pursue compensation from the person or party found liable for the accident. In the state of Arizona, there is a two-year statute of limitations for motorcycle accident injury claims, which means you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a civil claim to recover compensation for injuries, property damage, and other damages. In the case of a motorcycle accident fatality, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim begins on the date of the individual’s death.
How We Can Help
Motorcycles are not the same as passenger vehicles, nor should they be treated the same under the law. Motorcycles are unique not only in their maneuverability and responsiveness to roadway conditions but also in their stopping distance and the level of protection they provide during an accident, and a personal injury claim involving a Phoenix motorcycle accident should not be handled in the same way as a car accident claim, a bicycle accident claim, or any other type of claim. A motorcycle accident claim requires the expertise of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who clearly understands the laws concerning motorcycles and passenger vehicles on Phoenix roadways and who can help you pursue the damages you and your loved ones are entitled to.
Our personal injury attorneys are committed to helping victims of motorcycle accidents in Phoenix and throughout Arizona pursue financial compensation for their injuries and other damages, and our legal team will work hard to help you and your family recover the damages you deserve. We have experience handling all types of motorcycle accident cases in Phoenix and we are also familiar with the serious, life-changing injuries that can result from motorcycle crashes. We will protect your rights throughout the duration of your personal injury case and help you fight for the compensation you are entitled to.
Free Motorcycle Accident Consultation
In Phoenix, there is no “typical” motorcycle accident; all motorcycle collisions are different, but what is typical is the fact that a motorcycle accident tends to be a violent event. And because motorcycles provide riders with little to no protection in the event of a collision, motorcycle riders are much more susceptible to injuries from accidents than passenger vehicle occupants. Even if you are a veteran motorcyclist who takes riding seriously and practices every safe riding technique in the book, you still can’t control the actions of other motorists, and when motorcycles aren’t respected on the road, the consequences can be devastating. If you were injured in a Phoenix motorcycle accident, or if you lost a loved one because of the negligence of another motorist, a defective bike part or a poorly maintained roadway, you can seek compensation for your losses by filing a personal injury claim against the person or party found at fault for the accident. Contact our Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC today to find out if you have grounds to file a motorcycle accident claim.