Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
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 motorcycle 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 accident lawyer can help you claim the full settlement you are entitled to. Motorcycle riders, for help following an accident, reach out to our Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney at Karnas Law Firm today.
What to Do As Motorcycle Riders After An Accident in Phoenix
Even a safe, attentive, and highly skilled motorcyclist could still end up in a serious crash. According to data from the Arizona Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Foundation, there are approximately 3,000 motorcycle accidents reported in the state each year. Around 80 percent of all motorcycle collisions result in an injury to the rider. If you were involved in a motorcycle crash in Maricopa County, it is crucial that you know what to do next. Among other things, you should:
- Stop Your Motorcycle: It is important to stop your motorcycle as soon as it is safe to do so after an accident. This is necessary for your own safety, as well as for the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. It is also the law in Arizona. Make sure you exchange information (name, driver’s license number, license plate, etc) with everyone involved in the crash.
- Contact the Police: After stopping your motorcycle, the next thing you should do is contact the police. Law enforcement can help to secure the scene of the accident and ensure that everyone is safe. Further, they can help to investigate the accident and determine who was at fault. Third, they can create an accident report that will be useful for your insurance company and for any potential legal claims.
- Seek Medical Care (Emergency Needs First): If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible. This is especially true if you have any serious injuries, such as broken bones, lacerations, or internal injuries. In these cases, it is important to get emergency medical care as soon as possible. Even if your injuries are not serious, it is still a good idea to get checked out by a doctor to make sure you are okay. You need to see a doctor to be eligible to bring a personal injury claim.
- Document the Motorcycle Crash: Arizona uses a fault-based insurance system. Whoever is found to be responsible for a motorcycle accident in Phoenix can be held liable for the resulting damages, including property losses and personal injuries. Documenting a motorcycle accident is key to bringing a successful claim. Some things to document include the names and contact information of any witnesses, the location of the accident, and the damage to your motorcycle. If possible, take pictures or video of the scene of the accident.
- Speak to a Lawyer Before an Insurance Adjuster: The big insurance companies are not on your side. Sadly, many motorcyclists face challenges for insurers. Before speaking to the adjuster, it is a good idea to speak to a lawyer who can help you to understand your rights and to protect yourself. An experienced Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney will help you effectively navigate the claims process so that you can maximize your compensation.
Most Common Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists are vulnerable to wrecks in all sorts of places, such as side streets, major highways, and even parking lots. However, we see some common motorcycle accident cases which send bikers tumbling over their handlebars:
- 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.
Distracted driving accidents. Distracted drivers can pose a serious threat to the safety of motorcyclists. A distracted driver must be held legally liable for an accident.
Intoxicated drivers: Drunk drivers and drugged drivers may contribute to motorcycle accidents. Arizona has strict laws against intoxicated driving.
If you were hurt in an accident like these motorcycle accident victims, contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer 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.
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 motorcycle crash 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. If you have sustained a serious injury due to a motorcycle accident, call our personal injury law firm to file your personal injury claim.
Motorcycle Safety Tip: Always wear a helmet when you ride. While only riders younger than 18 are required to wear a helmet in Arizona, the simple truth is that motorcycle helmets prevent brain injuries and save lives. Protect yourself by wearing a DOT-approved helmet.
What to Know About Motorcycle Accident Liability in Arizona
Arizona is an at-fault motorcycle accident state. For this reason, it is imperative that all motorcycle crashes are thoroughly investigated to determine exactly what happened and why it happened. The at-fault party—and their insurer—can be held liable through a motorcycle accident claim. An injured motorcyclist may have a claim against a negligent driver, a careless trucking company, or even a motorcycle manufacturer. At Karnas Law Firm, PLLC, our Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyers are standing by, ready to conduct a comprehensive investigation of your crash
How to File Motorcycle Accident Claims
The motorcycle accident claim 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 Attorney?
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 experienced motorcycle accident attorneys 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.
Motorcycle Accident Claims in Phoenix, Arizona: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Motorcycle Accident in Arizona?
You must file your motorcycle accident injury claim before the statute of limitations runs out. Under Arizona law (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 12-542), motorcycle accident injury cases are controlled by a two year statute of limitations. You do not want to fall behind the insurance company. Do not delay in getting started with the claims process: Call a Phoenix motorcycle accident injury lawyer right away.
Do I Have to See a Doctor to File a Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim?
Yes. It is necessary to see a doctor in order to file a motorcycle accident injury claim. This is because the medical evidence provided by a doctor can help to establish the extent and severity of your injuries, which is important for determining the amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive. Make sure you see a doctor and get the proper follow-up care after a motorcycle crash.
What Type of Settlement Can I Expect in My Motorcycle Accident Case?
It depends on a number of different factors. Among other things, your settlement amount for a motorcycle accident in Arizona will depend on your ability to prove liability and the extent of your damages. Do not agree to settle a motorcycle accident claim for less than you deserve. Make sure the settlement properly accounts for the full value of your damages, including motorcycle repairs, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Will My Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim Go to Court?
While you should always be prepared for the possibility of litigation in a motorcycle accident injury case, the reality is that only a relatively small share of personal injury claims go to court. Still, an insurer will only offer a fair settlement if they believe that they can be held liable through a trial. Preparing a strong case is essential.
Your Wellbeing is Our Top Concern: Schedule a Free Motorcycle Accident Consultation
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. From our Phoenix office, we handle motorcycle accident injury claims in Maricopa County and throughout the region.
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