Arizona is a great state for motorcycle enthusiasts. At the same time, motorcyclists face safety risks. The Arizona Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Foundation (AMSAF) reports that approximately 2,400 motorcyclists are injured, and 135 are killed in the state each year. Following a motorcycle crash, it is crucial that you know how to protect your interest. Here, our Phoenix personal injury lawyer explains what you need to do if you are the victim of a motorcycle accident in Arizona.
Five Steps to Take if You are Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident
Were you hurt in a motorcycle collision in Arizona? There are several steps you should take to protect your health and your rights. Here are five things to do if you are the victim of a crash:
- Seek Professional Medical Care: The first step after a motorcycle accident is to seek medical attention for any injuries you have sustained. This is important not only for your health but also for any potential legal claims you may have. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions and seek additional medical care if necessary.
- Report the Crash to the Police: The second step after a motorcycle accident is to contact the police and file a report. All injury crashes should be reported in accordance with Arizona law. Doing so will help to establish the facts of the accident and provide an official record of what happened.
- Document the Crash, Gather Evidence: Injured motorcyclists should also proactively document their accident, including gathering and preserving evidence of the accident. Among other things, this may include photos of the accident scene, copies of the police report, medical records, and witness statements.
- Notify Your Insurance Carrier: Contact your insurance company and inform them of the accident. Providing notice of a crash is important. That being said, you do not have to give a recorded statement or answer questions at this time. Simply notify your insurer that an accident happened.
- Consult With a Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Attorney: You are not alone in the claims process. An Arizona motorcycle accident injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and options under the law, and represent you in negotiations with the other party’s insurance company.
Motorcyclists Face a Heightened Injury Risk
As a motorcycle operator, you have limited built-in protection. Most motorcycle crashes are injury crashes. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cites data showing that more than 80% of motorcycle accidents result in injuries to the rider. Unfortunately, many of these injuries are severe. Some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries include the following:
- road rash;
- Broken or fractured bones;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Internal injuries (bleeding and organ damage);
- Amputations; and
- Spinal cord injuries.
Safety Tip: You can reduce your risk of a serious motorcycle accident by wearing a properly fitting helmet. While Arizona law only requires motorcycle helmets for minors—whereas eye protection is required for all riders—you should always wear a helmet. The data is clear: Motorcycle helmets prevent brain injuries and save lives.
An Overview of Motorcycle Accident Liability in Arizona
If you were the victim of a motorcycle accident in Phoenix, Maricopa County, or anywhere else in the surrounding region, you need to know your rights under state law. Here are some key points to understand about motorcycle accident liability in Arizona:
- Arizona is an At-Fault Motorcycle Accident State: Arizona is an “at-fault” motorcycle accident state, which means that the party who is determined to be responsible for causing the accident is also responsible for covering the resulting damages and injuries. For this reason, it is absolutely crucial that all motorcycle accidents are thoroughly investigated.
- Liability is Based on Comparative Negligence: In Arizona, motorcycle accident liability is determined based on a principle known as “comparative negligence.” Indeed, the state is a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction. Each party’s liability is based on their degree of fault in causing the accident. If you are found to be partially at fault for your own motorcycle accident injuries, your recovery will be reduced accordingly.
- The statute of Limitations is Two Years: You should not wait to take action after a motorcycle crash. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for motorcycle accident claims is two years. In effect, this means that individuals who have been injured in a motorcycle accident have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for damages. What happens if you wait too long to start the process? Your case may be dismissed without a hearing. Consult with a Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after a crash.
Recovering Compensation for a Motorcycle Crash
Were you the victim of a motorcycle accident in Phoenix? It is essential that you know what to do to secure the financial support you need to pay your bills and put the pieces back together. In Arizona, motorcycle accident victims have a right to pursue a settlement for both economic and intangible damages. However, insurance companies want to avoid paying out a full settlement. They have the incentive to resolve your claim for less. At The Law Office of Paul J. Dombeck, PLLC, our Phoenix, AZ, motorcycle accident lawyer fights tirelessly to help victims maximize their recovery. Through a motorcycle accident injury claim, you may be entitled to recover damages for:
- Repair or replacement of a motorcycle;
- Emergency medical treatment;
- Hospital bills and other health care costs;
- Ongoing and long-term rehabilitative care;
- Lost wages and loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering and mental distress;
- Permanent disability or disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death of a family member.
Contact Our Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorney Today
At The Law Office of Paul J. Dombeck, PLLC, our Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer fights aggressively to help victims secure compensation. If you or a loved one was hurt in a motorcycle crash, we are here as a legal resource. Contact us today to set up a free initial consultation with a personal injury attorney. From our Phoenix office, we handle motorcycle accident injury claims throughout Maricopa County, including in Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, and Gilbert.