Brother and Sister Killed in Motorcycle Accident
Arizona police have identified a brother and sister, Fabian and Victoria Avizu as the two people that were killed in a motorcycle accident on Sunday night.
Brother and Sister Killed in Motorcycle Accident
Fabian, 26, was operating the motorcycle and his 16-year-old sister, Victoria Arvizu was a passenger when they crashed along an especially sharp curve. It’s unclear what caused Fabian to lose control of the motorcycle. At this point, excessive speed has been ruled out as a factor in the crash.
“Initial findings show no sign of impairment, but that will be confirmed with … the blood test results,” said Lisa Kutis, a Goodyear police spokeswoman.
According to police, Fabian Arvizu was pronounced dead at the scene, and Victoria Arvizu was taken to a hospital, where she died of her injuries.
Both were wearing helmets at the time.
Motorcycle accidents are common occurrences on streets and highways across the nation. In 2016 there were 3,104 accidents involving motorcycles in Arizona.
What Can Happen During Motorcycle Accident
There are numerous things that can cause motorcycle accidents: driver inexperience, bad weather conditions, loss of visibility, and carelessness are just a few. There are also numerous things that can happen as a result of a motorcycle accident, including:
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Destroyed motorcycle
- Loss of limbs
- Bruising and internal bleeding
- Loss of license
- Jail time
Arizona Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim can be made following an intentional or unintentional act that causes an injury that results in death. Reasons for this act may include negligence, either recklessness or deliberate, or the malicious behavior others. Common wrongful death claim reasons are car and motorcycle accidents, transportation accidents, medical malpractice, and accidents associated with the workplace. Arizona has specific legislation that addresses wrongful death claims filed in the state’s civil court system. These laws clearly define “wrongful death” and who has a legal right to file a wrongful death suit, in addition to the forms of compensation that are available for those seeking to press wrongful death charges.
Damages in an Arizona wrongful death claim are awarded in monetary for. Specific damages are based in part on who is pursuing the claim in court. For example, the spouse or child of a deceased person may seek damages for loss of care and companionship, while the estate of the deceased person may not seek damages for that particular type of loss.
Before you file your wrongful death lawsuit or motorcycle accident lawsuit, there are a number of things to consider.
Considerations When Filing a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
Clarifying Cause. Before you file your motorcycle accident lawsuit you will need to clarify the specific of the accident and how it occurred. Was it a one-vehicle accident in which the driver simply lost control of the motorcycle? In this instance it is likely that there would be no viable legal action, unless the accident occurred as a result of a defect in the bike that was not discovered prior to the accident. Examples of this could be a faulty mechanism in the bike that the manufacturer was not aware of. A recent example of manufacturer error can be seen in the fault ignition switches in cars manufactured by General Motors. If you feel that there was a mechanical error that contributed to your accident you should immediately contact an attorney that can investigate the accident and determine if the fault was driver error or mechanical error.
Perhaps this was a two-vehicle accident? If the crash was caused by another vehicle and occurred because of negligent conduct such as speeding, the presence of alcohol, or the failure to yield to the right-of-way, then you might want to consider taking legal action. A lawyer will be able to investigate the situation and determine if you have a case.
Clarifying Damages – For a legal action to be considered valid there will need to be some form of damage that has occurred. That means that if you say you were hit by a car while riding your bike, but there is no physical damage (to the vehicles involved or people involved) and there are no witnesses to help determine the accident occurred, you will have a very difficult (if not impossible) time proving there was an accident. That’s why this is crucial to see a doctor immediately following and accident and to also maintain an accident journal following an accident. Often times injuries are not obvious following an accident but appear later.
Potential Damages in a Motorcycle Accident
These are valid reasons you might consider filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit:
- Any and all motorcycle repairs and/or replacement
- Any and all medical bills that are received as a result of the accident
- Any and all physical rehabilitation costs that are incurred as a result of the accident
- Lost income due to time spent recovering from the accident
- Pain and suffering
These damages could all be rightfully pursued and recovered in a civil law setting.
Do Helmets Cause Accidents?
While it’s obvious to most that motorcycle helmets save lives, there are a number of those that contend that helmets actually cause accidents.
According to statistics from the the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets are about 29 percent effective in preventing motorcycle crash fatalities. This means that on average, motorcyclists who wear helmets have a 29% better chance of crash survival than motorcyclists not wearing helmets.
While this statistic is staggering and obvious to most, there are still those that oppose helmet laws, suggesting that helmets increase accidents because helmets obstruct a rider’s view of surrounding traffic and also block a helmet-wearer’s ability to hear traffic sounds. A recent NHTSA study took these claims on head first to determine if they were even well-founded.
NHTSA Sponsored Study
An NHTSA sponsored study looked at 2 things: a motorcyclists’ ability to “visually detect the presence of vehicles in adjacent lanes before changing lanes,” and “to detect traffic sounds when operating at normal highway speeds.”
Results of NHTSA Sponsored Study
This study concluded helmets did not interfere with a rider’s ability to see traffic. This is because many riders compensate for any vision loss by turning their heads more to see their surroundings. The study also showed that while there is a difference in the hearing threshold when a cyclist rode at 30 and 50 mph, this same difference occurred whether the rider was wearing a helmet or not. The NHTSA study concluded that wearing a helmet does not interfere with a biker’s ability to see or hear their surroundings, thus proving that since a rider’s crash survival increases by 29% when a helmet is worn, it makes sense to always wear your helmet, as instructed by motorcycle helmet laws.
If the NHTSA study isn’t enough to prove that motorcyclists should be wearing helmets, a recent study found a link between rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and helmet laws. In states that require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet, rather than just younger riders, there were lower rates of TBIs.
TBIs and Helmet Laws
“Universal helmet laws reduce traumatic brain injury among children and adolescents,” said Kathryn Anderson, MD, from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson. “And, unfortunately, there is a trend toward repealing these laws.” According to Anderson, “Although fatalities involving passenger vehicles are decreasing, fatalities involving motorcycle riders are increasing.”
Researchers including Anderson, looked at the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database that documents 20% of all admissions and discharges in American hospitals. Of that group, researchers identified 587 motorcycle riders (either passengers or drivers) that were younger than 21 years and had been hospitalized with a TBI resulting from a motorcycle accident. They compared that data to state laws. These laws include: if a helmet was required for all riders, or just those under 21 or 18.
The study found the incidence of TBI was significantly lower in the states requiring all riders wear helmets (rather than just helmets for younger riders). Young riders were 2.5 times less likely to incur a TBI in motorcycle accidents where helmets were required for all riders.
Enforcing Helmet Law
That’s good evidence to suggest all riders should wear a helmet at all times. Additionally, it’s also easier for laws to be enforced.
“It’s easier to enforce if you have a universal law,” said Christopher Newton, MD, from the University of California Benioff Children’s Hospital. “It’s pretty hard for law enforcement to see the difference between a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old. That’s a primary issue.”
Arizona Helmet Laws
In Arizona it is not required that you wear a helmet if you are 18 years or older. Still, in cases where a motorcyclist is injured during an accident and they are not wearing a helmet, the person that caused the accident might be able to claim the motorcyclist was negligent because of not wearing a helmet. There are a lot of specifics that need to be addressed in a motorcycle accident. That’s why it’s advised that you work with a personal injury attorney following your motorcycle accident.
Working with a Personal Injury Attorney
The attorneys at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC have experience handling personal injury cases such as motorcycle accidents. After contacting an attorney they will investigate the specifics of the crash. The more information you can provide to them, the better. That means specifics of the crash, any witness information, any medical bills or time spent in hospital, and the specifics of your injuries. They will build a case for you based on these specifics and then defend you should the case go to trial. You’ll want to work with experienced personal injury attorneys like the ones at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC.
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