With its desert climate, low annual rainfall, and reduced humidity, Phoenix is one of the best places in the country to ride a motorcycle all year long. Many motorcyclists describe getting onto a bike for the first time as a liberating experience, and Phoenix is a magnet for those who like to get around on two wheels. Whether you are looking for a reliable method of transportation or a hobby that lets you get outside, a motorcycle might be the choice for you.
Unfortunately for bikers, these rides are not always safe. Motorcycles are the most dangerous form of transportation a person could use, and it is not because bikers are reckless or dangerous people. It is because drivers do not watch for motorcyclists in the same way they watch for other vehicles, and they do not always respect them while they are out on the road.
Indeed, riding a bike is one of the riskiest activities a person can undertake. With minimal protection in the event of a crash, motorcyclists can suffer horrific injuries requiring surgery and other expensive care. If someone else caused your crash, you can file a claim against them to recover monetary compensation.
Our Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer can help you claim the full settlement you are entitled to. For help following an accident, reach out to a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney at Karnas Law Firm today.
Most Common Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles are vulnerable to wrecks in all sorts of places, such as side streets, major highways, and even parking lots. However, we see some common accidents which send bikers tumbling:
- Open-door accidents. Someone sitting in a parked car might open a door without first checking to see if someone is coming from behind. Some motorcyclists ride close to the shoulder, and they can ride straight into the opened door.
- Head-on collisions. Many motorists slide into oncoming traffic because of fatigue, intoxication, or distraction. Someone checking a text message, for example, can easily drift over the center line. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable in a head-on collision.
- Left-turn accidents. A driver might wait to make a left-hand turn after all traffic has come through an intersection. What the driver doesn’t see is a motorcyclist bringing up the rear. The motorist then drives right into the biker.
- Rear-end collisions. Bikers stopped at intersections are vulnerable to getting rear-ended by someone who is distracted or driving too fast. Some motorcyclists “lane split,” but that’s not legal in Arizona.
- Lane change accidents. A motorist changing lanes on the freeway might not see a biker coming up behind and pull directly in front of them.
If you were hurt in an accident, contact an experienced Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney to review your case. You might have important rights to compensation for your injuries.
Painful Motorcycle Accident Injuries
You may sustain a number of different types of injuries during a motorcycle accident. Still, there is no such thing as a minor motorcycle accident injury. With little protection when you are on your bike, your body is fully exposed to the impact of a vehicle striking you. The impact is so great, it causes many injuries which may include broken bones, head injuries, and burns. Some of the most serious injuries sustained during motorcycle accidents include:
Many riders suffer direct blows to the body in a collision and are thrown from the bike. They can collide with fire hydrants, trees, or other vehicles. Some skid along the road. Motorcycle accidents leave behind scars and painful injuries, such as:
- Nerve damage
- Road rash/abrasions
- Medically necessary limb amputations
- Internal injuries
- Chest injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Permanent brain damage
- Brain hemorrhage
- Back injury
- Spinal column injury
Few people can walk away from a Phoenix motorcycle accident completely unscathed. Instead, many must ride in the back of an ambulance to the hospital for life-saving treatment. Roughly 160 people died in 2020 in motorcycle accidents, and even non-fatal injuries carry complications. For example, a hip fracture can lead to excessive bleeding and bone death. Skin abrasions might become infected.
How to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim
The personal injury process starts when you file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. A Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer may also send a demand letter outlining the amount of damages you are pursuing. Once the insurance company has received your claim or demand letter, they will then negotiate with your attorney until a settlement amount is reached. When multiple parties are accused of being at fault, the insurance companies will also negotiate with each other.
The insurance company representing the at-fault party may contact you even before you file a claim. They will likely offer a settlement in the hopes that you will accept it. If you do, you cannot file another claim in the future. The settlement the insurer offers will likely not be enough to fully cover the cost of your injuries. It is usually best to speak to a lawyer before speaking to the insurance company, to make sure any settlement offer is fair and that your rights are protected.
If you cannot reach a fair settlement agreement with the insurance company, your case may go to trial. This is very rare in personal injury cases, but it is sometimes necessary to ensure accident victims receive the full compensation they are entitled to.
Comparative Fault in Motorcycle Accident Cases
There are times when more than one party is at fault for a motorcycle accident. For example, you may have sped through an intersection while on your bike just as a driver was turning left. You may be found 20 percent at fault because you were traveling over the speed limit, but the driver may be found 80 percent at fault for failing to make sure the way was clear before turning.
Under Arizona’s comparative fault law, you can still claim financial compensation even if you were partly to blame for the crash. However, any damages you are awarded will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. So, if you were awarded $50,000 in damages, and you're found to be 20% at fault for the accident, the compensation would be reduced by 20%, so you would receive $40,000 in total.
The Process for Receiving Compensation
After an accident, many injured motorcyclists reach out to us with a simple question, “How do I receive compensation?” The good news is Arizona law allows injured victims to sue the person responsible for the accident. Although fault might be shared, you can sue anyone who is at least a little bit responsible.
Most claims begin with filing paperwork with the driver’s insurance company. They will analyze the case and decide whether their insured is at fault. They will also review and accept or reject any proposed settlement.
Negotiation isn’t a straight line. There are many twists and turns, and few insurers pay fair compensation immediately. Instead, we need to go back and forth, sometimes for months.
If a settlement is out of reach, you might need to file a lawsuit in court. A jury will decide who is responsible for the accident and the value of your injuries.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
Anyone injured in a motorcycle accident can seek compensation to cover financial and non-financial damages, such as:
- Medical bills and rehabilitation costs
- Lost income or wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium
If you have permanent disabilities, you probably qualify for more compensation than those who can fully heal in a matter of weeks. But it’s hard to say how much your claim might be worth. Schedule a consultation with a lawyer to carefully review your situation.
Why Work with a Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
A motorcycle accident will cause serious injuries that can cost thousands, and sometimes even tens and hundreds of thousands, of dollars to treat. You need sound legal counsel from an experienced attorney to claim the full compensation you deserve.
The insurance company is not on your side and does not want to pay you the full and fair compensation you need. In addition to offering a low initial settlement, the insurer may also ask you to provide a recorded statement or sign a medical release, which will allow them to comb through your medical records looking for pre-existing conditions to blame for your injuries. A lawyer will not allow them to get away with these tactics and will ensure your rights are always protected.
A motorcycle accident lawyer will also know the laws and procedural rules you must follow. For example, the statute of limitations, or the amount of time you have to file your claim is only two years from the date of the crash. A lawyer will make sure your claim is filed on time and that you have taken all the necessary steps before filing. One of the most important steps to take before you file your claim is to get a full understanding of your injuries and the impact they will have on you in the future. This is the only way to make sure you pursue the full monetary compensation you justly deserve.
How Our Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Bolster Your Case
Our legal team can immediately help anyone hurt in a motorcycle accident. Karnas Law Firm has distinguished itself by assisting accident victims for decades to get the compensation they deserve.
One of our attorneys can immediately help your case with the following services:
- Evidence collection. You are probably too injured to gather evidence yourself following a crash. Let us identify what evidence is helpful and develop a plan for collecting it.
- Documentation of injuries. Our clients benefit from our experience collecting medical records and working with experts to fully understand your injuries.
- Analysis of the value of your claim. It is important not to settle for too little. We have decades of experience identifying how much injuries are worth to insurance companies and juries. We won’t stop until we secure a fair amount.
- Negotiation. We know the negotiation tricks insurers use and can effectively counter them. This gives us an advantage in the negotiation room.
- Mediation. We have experience working with mediators and trying to find an agreement so we can avoid trials.
- Litigation. When mediation fails, we can present your case to a judge and jury in a clear manner which shows why you deserve compensation.
The best part is Karnas Law offers its services on a contingency fee basis. This means we’ll never charge for attorney’s fees until and unless we win your case. This means that contacting us is risk-free.
Your Wellbeing is Our Top Concern
After a crash, you need someone on your side working to protect your rights. At Karnas Law Firm, PLLC, our Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyers will accurately value your claim and negotiate aggressively with the insurance company for the full and fair damages you need to cover your losses. Call us now at (602) 402-5207 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys and to learn more about your legal options.
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