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​Coming to an Arizona Road Near You: Motorcyclists Can Soon Legally Filter Lanes

Arizona has always had motorcycle-friendly laws on the books. The state is naturally a great place to ride a bike, especially as you get outside the Phoenix Metro area. The long straightaway desert roads are welcoming for motorcyclists who want to enjoy a nice ride. The state already does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets (although they certainly should, to protect their heads from impact with the pavement. Now, the state has changed its motorcycle laws to improve biker safety and allow bikers to move forward in stopped traffic.

Motorcyclists May Filter Lanes

​Coming to an Arizona Road Near You Motorcyclists Can Soon Legally Filter LanesRecently signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey, a new law allows motorcyclists to filter lanes under certain circumstances. While lawmakers intend for the law to make it even easier for motorcyclists, it does not do what people might think at first glance.

Many people have the image of bikers splitting lanes on highways when traffic flows freely. Unfortunately, this happens on occasion, and it is extremely dangerous. That is not what the new law does. It is more limited than that, and it improves biker safety.

SB 1273 does allow for some types of lane splitting. The legislature first introduced the bill in January 2022, and it was immediately on the fast track to passage. The bill’s final version overwhelmingly passed the Arizona Senate and House with bipartisan support. The bill was signed into law by Governor Ducey right after the House passed it, and it will become effective 90 days after the current legislative session concludes.

The New Law Does Not Permit All Types of Lane Splitting

Keep in mind that lane filtering is not the same thing as lane splitting. The latter is when motorcyclists travel between two lanes at high speed. That was and is illegal, even after lawmakers passed the new bill. The new law makes this abundantly clear. The only time that any motorcyclist is allowed to split lanes is when they are a peace officer performing their official duties.

Before the Arizona legislature passed SB 1273, the law governing how motorcyclists used lanes was Arizona Revised Statutes 28-903. That law remains in effect with the new amendments. SB 1273 represented the latest step in a process to change the law that spanned more than a decade. The motorcycle safety lobby has been hard at work, and its efforts finally paid off for bikers.

Arizona is the latest state to pass a law allowing for lane filtering. Montana and Utah have also passed a similar statute. Other Eastern states have considered the same type of law, but they have not passed the legislation. However, Arizona laws are far less permissive than those in California. The neighboring state allows full lane splitting, even in moving traffic. In practice, lane splitting has proven dangerous and can lead to serious motorcycle accidents.

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The Law Follows a Decade-Long Push and Improves Motorcycle Safety

A motorcycle safety group pushed for this new law. Their main concern was bikers’ visibility. The law will technically allow motorcyclists to inch between vehicles when traffic is waiting at a traffic light. The intent is that bikers not get sandwiched between cars at a stoplight and get run over from behind when they cannot accelerate because of the car in front of them.

Nonetheless, bikers will still face some dangers if they filter lanes when the light turns green and other drivers behind them accelerate. As you will see below, motorcyclists cannot filter lanes at more than 15 miles per hour, so other drivers can accelerate far faster.

The Law Before the New Change for Lane Filtering

The prior law stated:

  • Motorcyclists are allowed the full use of a lane, and nobody can operate a vehicle in a manner that deprives a motorcyclist of that right (prohibiting illegal lane changes and crowding a biker out of their lane)
  • Motorcyclists cannot overtake and pass a vehicle in the same lane – they must make lane changes as any other driver does
  • Bikers were forbidden to operate their motorcycles between the lanes of traffic or adjacent rows of vehicles. (This is the section that was amended by the new law, as explained below.)
  • Two motorcyclists may not operate two abreast in the same lane at the same time.

Motorcycles Can Get Trapped Between Cars in Slower Traffic

The bill’s sponsors worried about the vulnerability of motorcyclists in slower traffic. Drivers have a natural difficulty seeing motorcyclists, as they are not on the same eye level as the driver. This trouble leads to instances when bikers are in rear-end accidents, forcing motorcyclists from their bikes and throwing them to the road.

Motorcyclists can also get trapped and sandwiched between cars when the rear driver does not see them. Accordingly, the Legislature passed this bill to improve biker safety.

The new law applies when there are two or more lanes of traffic on a roadway going in the same direction. If there is one lane, there are not two lanes for a biker to filter. In general, the bill clarifies that the general prohibitions of 28-903 remain unless the circumstances of the new law apply.

The Limits on When SB 1273 Applies

To be clear, SB 1273 applies only when a driver stops their vehicle in traffic.

The law allows motorcyclists to pass a car by going in between the lanes when the following circumstances apply:

  • The speed limit of the roadway is 45 miles per hour or less
  • The motorcyclist is not traveling more than 15 miles per hour

The speed limit provisions of the bill mean that lane filtering will occur mostly on city streets and other thoroughfares. Since the speed limit on the highway is greater than 45 miles per hour, motorcyclists will not be allowed to use this maneuver on highways such as I-10.

Bikers will not be allowed to slice through traffic at full speed. If they do so, they will still receive a ticket, as they have in the past, since the practice remains illegal. If bikers cross the state line from California to Arizona, the law will change for them.

It may take some time before motorists acclimate to the new law. At this point, most drivers do not know about the new statute. They may still think that it is illegal to go between traffic at all, and they may be surprised when bikers execute this newly-legal maneuver. In the meantime, motorcyclists should be sensible when lane filtering, especially knowing that drivers may not be expecting it.

Just because it is legal does not mean that lane filtering is the safest thing to do in every situation. Motorcyclists should continue to use their best judgment and do whatever is necessary to stay safe.

Liability May Be Unclear When a Motorcyclist Is Injured While Lane Filtering

The new law calls liability into question when a motorist hits a lane-filtering cyclist. One state representative expressed this concern at a hearing discussing the bill.

A lobbyist for the motorcycle safety group ABATE responded that it was still up to the motorcyclist to execute this maneuver safely. In other words, if the biker was not following the letter of the law when lane filtering, they will not be protected by personal injury law if a driver hits them.

For example, suppose a driver was inching up at an intersection when traffic stopped at a light. In that case, the driver may have an issue recovering financial compensation because they were acting unsafely.

The usual negligence rules will still apply to any lawsuit that a motorcyclist filed if they were struck by a driver when lane filtering. An injured biker will still need to prove that a driver acted unreasonably under the circumstances.

If the motorcyclist follows the law, they may still be entitled to financial compensation if a driver hits them after not seeing them. At the same time, a motorcyclist can still be legally responsible if they caused an accident when not following the law, including having to pay for the damage that other drivers suffered.

Motorcyclists Can Receive Money Even if They Partly Caused an Accident

Motorcyclists still cannot recover financial compensation if they were injured while lane splitting because that practice is still illegal. When an injured claimant is the full cause of their injuries, they do not have the legal ability to sue someone else. If they do, they will be unable to pursue financial compensation.

Arizona law also allows an injured motorcyclist to receive some money, even when they partially cause their injuries. Arizona’s comparative negligence law is very favorable for personal injury victims. They can still get a check, so long as they are not 100 percent to blame for their injuries. However, the size of their settlement check or jury award will reduce the amount that they were at fault for their accident.

Insurance Companies Still Work Against Injured Motorcyclists

One particular problem that bikers face is that insurance companies hold a negative perception of them. These companies like to portray motorcyclists as risk-takers solely because they get on a bike, and the public thinks that motorcycles are dangerous.

Of course, this perception is in the insurance company’s self-interest because they do not want to pay injured motorcyclists what they legally deserve. The insurance company will use any trick they can to save themselves money.

The determination of fault is crucial in any motorcycle accident. In situations such as the above the new law, the motorcyclist is still required to use due care when lane filtering.

You can expect that the insurance company will attempt to argue that the biker was partly or solely to blame for their accident to get out of paying for the damages that the policyholder caused. In some cases, we have known insurance companies to deny claims that are close calls, leaving you no other option but to sue.

An Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney Will Work for Your Financial Interests

Therefore, you need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to fight for you when someone else is trying to point the finger at you. An insurance company is much more likely to take advantage of an injured biker who an attorney does not represent.

When they see a tough and determined lawyer at the other side of the table, they are less likely to try to take liberties with your legal rights. If the insurance company seems to be taking things too far, your attorney will take your case to court and let the jury decide who was at fault for the accident.

In addition, your attorney will also be instrumental in fighting for you to obtain top dollar for your motorcycle accident injuries. A typical motorcycle accident claim can be worth far more than other crashes. The rules for damages are still the same, but motorcycle accident injuries are far more severe because the biker has less to protect them in the event of a crash. Thus, you must receive a large enough settlement check to cover your damages.

The last thing that you want is to run out of money in the future when you are still dealing with the effects of the accident. Again, the insurance company will be difficult, even if they concede full liability for the accident. You will need to negotiate a suitable settlement with the help of an experienced attorney.

Motorcycle accident injuries are serious. Besides not being in a physical condition to handle your case, you will also lack the legal expertise to deal with an insurance company and handle matters on your own. If you try, you will cost yourself money that you will need in the future. Do not risk your future by failing to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer.

​What Is the Safest Way to Pass a Motorcycle?

Drivers must safely share the road with motorcyclists. Just because one is driving a larger vehicle does not mean that they have greater rights on the road. These rules extend to situations in which drivers are passing motorcyclists.

Drivers must be careful and conscious when getting around motorcycles on the road, considering the danger for bikers. If they do not use reasonable care, drivers can cause serious injury and be legally responsible for all the damages that they cause.

Motorcyclists Have a Legal Right to Their Lane

​What Is the Safest Way to Pass a MotorcycleThe law gives motorcyclists important rights on the road. The state wants to protect your safety as a motorcyclist, and it respects your right to use the road. The critical part of the law is that a motorcyclist has the right to the unimpeded use of a lane in traffic. A driver cannot do anything to force the biker from their lane. If a motorcyclist is already in the lane, they can remain in it.

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Passing a Motorcycle Is a Risky Maneuver for Them

However, cars may want to pass a motorcyclist for whatever reason. Even though bikers travel at the same speed as everyone else, a motorist may perceive that the biker will be slower and want to get around them. The execution of a lane change upsets the status quo, putting bikers at risk. Passing a motorcycle is not illegal, but it is against the law if the driver does it carelessly or recklessly.

Drivers Are Often Speeding When Trying to Pass

Passing motorcyclists calls several principal risks and causes of motorcycle accidents into play. First, drivers will speed up to make the pass. Then, they may take risks to get around the motorcycle. Motorists can either endanger the biker or the cars around them on the road when they leave their lane to pass a bike. They will have to leave the lane because it is illegal to pass a biker in the same lane.

Drivers may unintentionally attempt to pass a motorcycle because they do not see the bike in their blind spot when trying to change lanes. Motorcycles are not always on eye level with a car, and a motorist must make a special effort to see the bike. Anytime a driver changes lanes or tries to pass another vehicle, they must exercise particular care.

Motorists Must Act Reasonably When Trying to Pass Motorcyclists

Drivers do not always exercise the due care expected of them in the circumstances. Both motorcyclists and drivers owe a duty of care to each other, just by being in the same general area of the road. Motorists have a legal obligation to act reasonably under the circumstances, just like the average driver. However, they do not always see motorcyclists properly, even when trying to pass them.

The biggest obstacle to safe passage is reckless driving. The motorist may be in a hurry to pass or is driving recklessly. Accordingly, they may be thinking more of getting where they want to go more quickly than the motorcyclist’s safety. The driver can be speeding when they try to make the pass or not have perfect control of their car. They may also misjudge the distance between them and the motorcyclist because bikers are not always easy to see and judge on the road.

How Drivers Can Safely Pass Motorcycles

Accordingly, here are some common-sense road tips for drivers to use when passing motorcyclists. Even if drivers follow these best practices, they can still be liable if they injure a motorcyclist when passing because of the biker’s legal right to their lane.

Drivers Should Understand the Dangers that Motorcycles Face

The first thing that drivers must do when passing a motorcyclist is use care, and plenty of it. Many motorists fail to appreciate and anticipate that riding a motorcycle is far more complicated than driving a car.

Motorcyclists have their unique set of dangers, many of them coming from the bikes being in very close proximity to the road. Motorcyclists are far more likely to be injured by poor road conditions, such as potholes. If a car cuts off some of the motorcycle’s room to maneuver, they can force the motorcyclist into a riskier situation.

Signal to Ensure that the Motorcyclists Knows What Is Happening

The driver must let the motorcyclist know their intentions. The motorcyclist can be startled by a sudden move from the driver. Perhaps the most important instrument that a driver has is their turn signal to let the motorcyclist know what the driver is doing.

The biker can then slightly slow down or do something on their part to make the lane change safer (even though it is the driver’s legal obligation to exercise due care on their own).

Leave Space Between the Car and the Motorcycle

Next, the driver must leave plenty of room between them and the motorcycle. Getting too close to a motorcycle can cause the biker to lose control. The motorcyclist can be thrown from their bike to the pavement in that event. Any contact with the motorcycle may be enough to cause a severe accident because gravity will cause the bike to tip over. Drivers should always leave at least a few car lengths between them and the motorcycle.

Do Not Speed When Passing

When passing a motorcycle, drivers should still maintain a reasonable rate of speed. If they have to go far above the speed limit to pass the bike, they should not do it. If drivers are speeding, there is a far greater chance that they will either lose control of their car or make a mistake that puts them too close to the motorcycle.

Only Pass in the Left Lane

Drivers should pass motorcycles in the left lane. Using the right lane to pass increases the risks for motorcyclists. If the driver can only use the right lane to make the pass, they should not do it. Instead, they should wait until they have a left lane to use. In turn, the motorcyclist should not linger in the left lane at a slower rate of speed.

Do Not Split Lanes

Finally, drivers should never split lanes when trying to pass a motorcycle. It is illegal for motorcyclists to split lanes in traffic (even with a recent law change, it still forbids it). Drivers should not leave their lane until they know that they can safely complete the pass. They cannot travel between lanes until they can safely pass.

Drivers Should Only Pass Under Certain Circumstances

The hope is that the motorcyclist sees the driver trying to pass them and cooperates by allowing the driver to pass. Nonetheless, it is up to the driver to ensure safe passing.

Drivers need the following to pass a motorcycle:

  • Adequate visibility to ensure a safe pass
  • Enough room to get around the motorcycle
  • Proper weather conditions to allow them to accelerate and change lanes
  • Two lanes where the car can pass the bike in the left lane

Motorists Are Legally Responsible When They Injure Bikers When Passing

The driver is the one who will be liable for any accident that occurs when they are changing lanes or trying to pass another vehicle. Rules of liability usually state that the car that has already established itself in traffic is the one who has the right to be where they are.

If someone else hits them, the vehicle that has not established itself in traffic will be liable for the accident. When a motorist begins to pass another car, they are the ones who have not established themselves in traffic. In a lane change, the driver changing lanes has the legal obligation to exercise due care.

When in doubt, the driver should not try to pass a motorcyclist unless they are certain that they can do it safely. It is always better for the driver to protect the motorcyclist and themselves by taking fewer chances. Suppose the driver takes a few extra minutes to reach their destination. In that case, it is far better than risking a severe accident that will injure a motorcyclist and lead to sizable legal liability.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcyclists can suffer the severe injuries if they fall from their bike in a lane change accident:

  • Road rash from falling against the pavement and skidding along the road
  • Crush injuries if their bike lands on top of them
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Severe lacerations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries and organ damage

These injuries can be severe and leave a motorcyclist facing difficulties for the rest of their lives, all because a driver was either not patient or careful when changing lanes.

The Insurance Company May Try to Blame the Motorcyclist

Never underestimate the ability of the insurance company to try to blame the accident victim, even when the facts and law are clearly on the motorcyclist’s side. It is a frequently used tactic and one that can complicate life for an accident victim who needs the money. Even if a driver has left their lane and begun to execute the pass, an insurance company can still argue that the motorcyclist shares the blame.

Insurance companies take full advantage of the fact that motorcyclists are perceived as risky merely because they ride a bike. They will always try to use that to their advantage when the motorcyclist attempts to file a claim.

You Must Still Prove Liability in the Crash

Do not take it for granted that you will have to prove what happened in your accident. Even if you knew what occurred, you must have the evidence and proof that shows that the driver was responsible for your accident. Many steps must be followed between the accident and proving liability. You must still gather the evidence necessary to demonstrate liability, even when the driver tried to pass during the accident.

However, it is not easy for injured motorcyclists to prove their cases. There is little that they can do at the accident scene, and their activities are limited in the days and months after the crash. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney knows what to do to help you compile the facts and evidence necessary to be in a position to receive financial compensation.

What if the Insurance Company Blames You?

Many people think that riding a motorcycle is inherently reckless, which is not true. However, insurance companies regularly try to blame crashes on the motorcyclist’s conduct – not the other driver’s negligence.

These companies try to save money at the expense of injured motorcyclists by assigning them some – or all – of the fault for the accident. Never accept blame for an accident you did not cause. Your lawyer can determine how to best challenge such assertions by insurance adjusters to ensure they do not reduce your compensation for this reason.

Injured Motorcyclists Need Legal Help When Filing a Claim or Lawsuit

Every injured motorcyclist needs a lawyer to look after their legal interests and fight for them when necessary. While you can pursue your case independently, it is seldom a good idea. The insurance companies practice methods to pay accident victims as little as possible. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will recognize these tactics and know the best way to proceed on the victim’s behalf.

Motorcycle accident damages are usually more significant than those in car accidents because of the severity of the traumatic injuries. Insurance companies take these claims seriously because they require more extensive checks to settle, and there is an even greater chance that they may use some of their usual tricks to reduce the amount of money they will need to pay.

An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will work to protect their client’s legal rights and fight for them to receive every dollar that they deserve in damages.

​Who Pays for Medical Bills in Motorcycle Accidents if I Am Hit by a Car?

Medical Bills After a Motorcycle Accident

Medical bills are among the largest parts of your motorcycle accident damages. These accidents, on average, will cause more serious injuries than car crashes. Any time an accident victim must go to the hospital after an accident, they see large bills. When they suffer severe injuries, that bill can multiply many times. When the bills mount, people worry about their finances and who must pay all of these charges. If one thing is certain, medical care is not cheap. Read on to learn more about how to get your medical expenses covered, from the motorcycle injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C.

The Legal Obligation to Pay Bills Depends on Fault

The short answer is that payment of your medical bills depends on who was responsible for your motorcycle accident. If a car hits your motorcycle, presumably, you can hold the driver of that vehicle responsible. However, that is not always the case. Even if another driver struck you, you must still prove that the driver did something wrong. The legal test is whether they were negligent.

How to Prove that Someone Else Was at Fault

There are four parts to the negligence test. The burden of proof is on you to prove every one of these elements.

Here is what you need to show to receive financial compensation:

  • Duty of care – You must prove that someone else owed a duty to you to act reasonably. In general, any driver on the road owes a duty of care to others around them at the time.
  • Breach of duty – This is perhaps the most important part of the negligence test because it involves showing what the other driver did and why it fell below the expected level of conduct. A driver breaches their duty of care when they act in a way that is considered unreasonable for the average driver. Examples of unreasonable conduct include speeding, distracted driving, and illegal turns.
  • Injury – If you suffered any losses, whether physical or financial harm, you sustained an injury for legal purposes.
  • Causation – The driver must have been the proximate cause of your injuries, meaning that you would not have suffered injuries but for their actions behind the wheel.

You Are Responsible Before You Reach a Settlement

As your injuries are undergoing treatment, and before you receive any compensation, you and your health insurance company will be responsible for paying for your medical care and costs. These costs can be draining and stressful for injured motorcyclists and their families when the prospect of financial compensation is uncertain.

Even though your health insurance company pays for your costs now, it does not mean that they do not expect to get reimbursement in the future. If your claim or lawsuit is successful, you will receive compensation for medical expenses. To the extent that your health insurance company has paid for your medical costs to date, they will have the legal right to reimbursement for what they have spent.

Health Insurance Companies Can Get Compensation for What They Pay

Health insurance companies can put a lien on your settlement or jury award. They have the legal right to receive repayment for what they spent on your injuries thus far. The same is true whether a private health insurance company or the federal government paid the costs through Medicaid or Medicare.

Insurance companies will include this requirement as a term in your insurance policy. Otherwise, you get a windfall if you receive compensation for medical bills that someone else paid.

There are some protections that personal injury victims will have from subrogation liens. Many states will apply some form of the “made whole doctrine.” This doctrine enforces insurance companies’ right to receive payment but makes it subject to principles of equity. For example, if there was a limited pool from which the injured plaintiff can recover, courts may not allow the insurance companies to get paid first.

However, insurance contracts can write out the doctrine. A newer Illinois law reduces the amount that the health insurance company can recover from their lien by the amount of fault that the plaintiff bears in an accident. These are complex legal issues that a lawyer should address.

Doctors and Hospitals Can Also Get Reimbursed

Hospitals are often very aggressive about getting paid. They do not want to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and end up holding the bag. They will often require patients to sign a lien letter that lets them receive their cut first from your settlement.

In addition, doctors also have the right to be reimbursed for unpaid medical bills before you receive your money. While waiting for your settlement or jury award, you may need to negotiate with physicians over medical bills. Some doctors will allow you to pay the bill when you receive a settlement or work out a payment plan with you.

An attorney can also help you communicate with the doctor and negotiate the bill while your case is pending. If the medical service does not fall under health insurance coverage, your lawyer can convince the doctor to grant you a self-paying discount, as some medical providers often do.

Your Personal Injury Protection Can Pay for Your Medical Bills

Some drivers have personal injury protection on their car insurance policies. This coverage helps you pay medical bills in any motorcycle accident. Your auto insurance policy may be the one that pays for your medical bills. If your medical bills exceed the amount of your coverage, then your health insurance may pick up the bills as the secondary payer.

Your motorcycle insurance also has the right to receive reimbursement for the amounts it paid for your medical care if you can prove that the car that hit you was at fault for the accident. If you do not prove fault, your personal injury protection must still pay your bills to your coverage limits.

Make Sure to Get Enough Money to Pay Your Costs

car accident lawyer in chicago illinoisYou always need to negotiate an adequate settlement that pays you fully for your injuries. Too many claimants take whatever is put in front of them by the insurance company. Then, they find that they have the money to pay for their medical costs but little else.

When injured motorcyclists cannot work, they will need money for far more than their medical costs. They will also need to receive payment for their lost wages because that is how they will keep a roof over their head. A motorcycle accident settlement is how someone can take care of their family if they cannot work.

You will also need to recover money for your future medical costs. Your health insurance company will not have to pay these expenses when someone else is responsible for your accident. If your injuries stretch far into the future, you may have trouble putting a value on your claim. Many people struggle to figure out what they may need ten years into the future and how much it may cost.

Understand How Medical Costs May Increase in the Future

One major variable affecting your motorcycle accident claim is how costs will behave in the future. Medical cost inflation is often hard to gauge, and it is something that you must consider when you expect to incur high costs in the future.

If you expect to need significant medical care in the future, you should study how much things may cost, especially because medical care can get more expensive faster than other things. An experienced attorney will work with expert witnesses to value the costs of your care.

Understand Your Own Personal Medical Prognosis

In addition, you will need to know much care you may need in the future. In many cases, injured motorcyclists may wait to file a claim until they reach the point of maximum medical improvement. At that point, they have recovered to the fullest extent possible.

However, it may take some time to reach that point when you are dealing with:

If you file your claim too quickly, you may not have the true medical picture. You may not know how serious your injuries are and can settle based on unrealistic assumptions about your health.

Your Health Insurance Can Still Cover Your Bills

Even if the accident was your fault, you are not left to pay all your medical bills on your own. You can still rely on your health insurance company to pay your medical bills. However, you must go through the entire process of dealing with an insurance company, and it is not easy.

Your health insurance company may try to deny you coverage to save money. No matter the type of insurance company, they all operate similarly. Your health insurance company can also leave you with bills because they have refused to cover treatment.

In addition, if the accident is your fault, you may be responsible for co-payments for medical care and prescriptions. These add up quickly, especially when you have no money coming in because of your injury. The good news is that federal law now prevents health insurance companies from putting lifetime limits on coverage.

Given the severity of motorcycle accident injuries, claimants often reach these limits. An insurance company cannot drop your coverage because you cost them a lot of money, nor can they deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

It Is Critical to Prove Fault in an Accident

Nevertheless, you can see the importance of proving that the driver was responsible for the accident. There is a stark difference in financial outcomes when someone else must pay for your damages versus when you may have some cost obligations. Even your share of medical bills can be bankrupting when there is nobody else to contribute to the costs.

Hiring an attorney gives you a stronger voice when determining and claiming liability. Without someone to speak up for you, an insurance company may find it easier to blame the motorcycle rider. They already have a negative perception of motorcyclists, and they know the costs they face if they concede that their driver was responsible. Even if they manage to partially blame you for the accident, they can still reduce the amount of money they pay you.

Fight for Top Dollar for Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Gary Annes Lawyer
Gary Annes, Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer

As you can see, there are reasons why you need to maximize your financial compensation after you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident. Bikers often suffer severe injuries in crashes that may impact them for the rest of their lives.

You only have one chance to negotiate a settlement or be compensated for your motorcycle accident injuries. If you do not secure enough money now, you will not get it in the future because you will have to sign a release when you agree to a settlement.

The insurance company wants you to be in the dark about how much your claim is worth. They want you to jump at the first possible offer and sign your name on the dotted line because it saves them money. The speed bump in place that keeps the insurance company from rolling right over you is an experienced lawyer.

Your motorcycle accident attorney will study your claim and determine the right dollar value you need to seek in settlement negotiations. Your lawyer will look to both the present and the future to see how much money you may need. Then, they will negotiate on your behalf or file a lawsuit to see to it that you get that money.

Knowing who covers medical bills from a motorcycle crash can confound anyone, but the right attorney can cut through the confusion and recover the compensation you need to pay your bills.

Should I Get a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident?

When Should I Hire A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

NOW! The first legal decision you face after a motorcycle accident is whether to hire an attorney. This question should have a definite answer to it – an experienced attorney is crucial to your case. Without one, you are vulnerable and exposed to games that the insurance company may play, resulting in less money. There is no risk to you in hiring a motorcycle accident attorney. In fact, not hiring an attorney is extremely risky.

Motorcyclists Can Suffer Severe Injuries in a Crash

There is a reason why motorcycle accident compensation tends to be higher than what you will receive in other personal injury cases. Motorcycle accident victims tend to suffer more severe injuries than people in car crashes. Motorcycle accident victims can be injured far worse than others because there is nothing to protect them from impact.

As a result, they may suffer:

If you or a loved one received injuries in an accident, you might not be in the physical and cognitive state necessary to handle your own case. You must begin the legal process shortly after your motorcycle accident because many things can happen in the initial days after the accident, whether you are ready to deal with them or not. This limited period can be when you are incapacitated or in the hospital.

9 Reasons why You Should Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Typically the hurdles with hiring a lawyer is “I can’t afford an attorney” these 9 reasons might showcase how much you stand to gain from hiring an experienced lawyer. In most cases you can actually expect to get more compensation by hiring a lawyer.

1. A Lawyer Will Quickly Begin to Investigate Your Accident

One of the first essential functions of a lawyer is a quick and thorough investigation of your accident injuries. When you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, there is little that you can do at the scene to begin to gather the proof necessary to win your case.

The chances are that you are not in the physical shape to take pictures of the scene of the accident or interview witnesses who saw the accident. More likely, you are waiting for medical help and then receiving emergency medical treatment,

Still, much of the necessary evidence can be lost in the days after the accident if you do not try to retrieve and collect it. However, you are likely not in the condition to do this. If your family member or friend attempts to begin assembling proof, they may not even know what they are looking for to gather.

2. Attorneys Work for You When You Cannot Work on Things Yourself

Thus, the primary reason to hire a lawyer is for them to start working on your case at a critical time when you are unable. Without quickly hiring a lawyer, you may not even succeed in proving liability at all, meaning you will not receive any financial compensation. The insurance company already has a negative stigma against motorcyclists that it takes advantage of for its financial gain.

You will lack the physical ability to handle your case, but the average person also does not know the legal process well enough to represent themselves effectively. When trying to get money for your motorcycle accident injuries, you often deal with an insurance company. Most likely, this is a large company that has built a deep infrastructure over decades, or even centuries, of doing business.

3. Negotiating With Insurance Companies

The insurance company’s expertise begins with its adjuster, trained to look after the company’s financial interests and not yours. The adjuster works with actuaries and insurance defense firms that fight for the insurance company. The insurance company has formulas and models and every built-in advantage possible. If you try to face them yourself, you are up against a company with far more expertise than you. In all likelihood, you will not reach a positive result in your case.

The insurance company may do one of several things:

  • Deny your claim entirely because they blame you for the motorcycle accident
  • Reduce the amount that you can recover because they are partially blaming you
  • Make you a low settlement offer that does not even come close to fairly compensating you for your injuries

The average accident victim does not have a good track record when they try to handle their own claim. Many accept a quick settlement offer, grateful that the insurance company offers them a few crumbs. They may never even know that they settled their case for far too little because they never knew the value of their claim in the first place. This situation will not be a case of ignorance being bliss. Instead, a lack of knowledge will be costly.

4. Knowing the Value of Your Claim Is Crucial

A personal injury attorney has the experience and knowledge to put a dollar value on your claim. They will look closely at your damages and advise you what they think your case is worth. On your own, you may not even understand the concept of pain and suffering, let alone know how to value it. A lawyer knows the full extent of what can count toward your damages, and they will hold the insurance company accountable when they fail to offer you what you deserve.

Many people do not even know that they have the legal ability to negotiate with an insurance company. It takes a particular skill and confidence to say no to a low settlement offer and explain to the insurance company why they are underpaying you and what they need to do. Attorneys can go back and forth with the insurance company through many offers and counteroffers to get you what you deserve.

5. An Attorney Gives You a Voice and Some Power

You are not powerless when dealing with the insurance company. After all, the legal rights in any motorcycle accident claim are yours. The insurance company is an intermediary. Their policyholder is legally responsible, and they have assumed an obligation to pay for the damages because of their contract with the responsible driver. While an insurance company is in the position of evaluating your claim and negotiating a settlement, they do not take the role of a jury.

In any motorcycle accident claim, your power comes from your legal rights. Your lawyer knows your rights and how to protect them by standing up to the insurance company when they use their usual tactics. It is one thing to have legal rights. It is another thing to know when someone is trying to take them from you and stop them.

6. Let’s You Focus On Your Recovery

The claims process can be difficult and stressful for anyone, even when they have help. Imagine how difficult everything can be when you are standing on your own without the support of someone who does this every day.

It is difficult enough to deal with your health and the changes brought about by your accident without dealing with your legal process. When the insurance company tries to push you around, it can upset you. You have enough on your plate at this time without feeling powerless and put upon by an insurance company.

7. An Attorney Helps You Get and Stay Organized

An experienced attorney will handle all the details of your claim or lawsuit. Of course, they will keep you informed along the way and let you know what they are doing. The decisions are yours to make after you get advice from your lawyer. Without an attorney, you may not even know what decisions you need to make, let alone make the correct ones.

Every personal injury case has strict legal deadlines. If your case is in court, you have a deadline to file the lawsuit in the first place, followed by deadlines for the various phases and filings for the case. These are hard to keep track of in the first place without even having to worry about submitting a quality legal product that can persuade the court.

8. You Need Someone Who Can Take Your Case to Court if Necessary

If you do not have a motorcycle accident lawyer, filing a lawsuit is unrealistic. You will likely struggle if you go up against an insurance defense lawyer who sees many cases like yours. When you have an experienced attorney, the insurance company will need to take you seriously when you threaten to sue them. If the attorney has a reputation to back that threat up, you may find that the settlement offer suddenly rises.

The difference in how insurance companies treat represented and unrepresented claimants is like night and day. Hiring an aggressive and experienced lawyer makes insurance companies take you seriously. Suddenly, you go from being an easy mark to someone with whom they cannot take too many liberties. As difficult as insurance companies can be, they also do not like litigation because they do not like going in front of a jury, and litigation costs them additional money.

9. Trying to Save Money in a Motorcycle Accident Case Is a Bad Idea

Some people think they can save money and keep more compensation when they do not hire an attorney. Law is not like other areas where you may not get away with a DIY approach. A house may sell itself in the real estate market, but you can price the home right and get more compensation if you hire an agent. In the legal field, there is even more need for an attorney. Otherwise, someone who has a motorcycle accident lawyer will have an advantage over you.

When dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars or more (your motorcycle accident claim can be that large), $100,000 is far more than a rounding error. It represents money that you will need because you will have significant medical bills in the future and may not ever work again. Without a lawyer, you can get taken advantage of even worse than that. The difference between what you deserve and what you might get can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Get in Touch With a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Near You

Gary Annes Lawyer
Gary Annes, Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

In a sense, hiring an attorney can pay for itself. Studies show that claimants who hire attorneys do better for themselves than those who represent themselves, even after paying an attorney their share of the financial recovery. These studies do not even account for the lost cases by self-represented accident victims that an experienced attorney will win.

Do not let fear of a large legal bill get in the way of getting the legal help that you critically need. A motorcycle accident lawyer works for you on a contingency basis. You do not need to fork over a large sum of money when you hire them. You do not need to give them anything – not a retainer or hourly fee.

Hiring an attorney is not entirely free. After all, they need compensation for the time and effort in your case. However, they only get paid if you do. If you receive a settlement check or jury award, your attorney will receive a part of it. If you do not get a check for some reason, your attorney does not get one either.

The issue is not about whether you can afford an attorney in a motorcycle accident case. The problem is more about whether you can afford to be without one. Not having a lawyer will jeopardize your entire case and financial future, and this is not something you want to risk.

Once you decide that you need a lawyer for a motorcycle accident case, never wait to begin the process. Your insurance claim requires hours of preparation, and the sooner you seek the right legal help, the sooner you might receive a check for your losses. Like a doctor helps your physical injuries, your lawyer helps your legal and financial injuries, and this is something you want to happen sooner rather than later.

Why Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

Do You Need A Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident?

YES, The aftermath of a motorcycle accident teems with confusion and blame in the air. Obtaining justice and compensation through a motorcycle claim can be difficult without the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer. The reason is that many insurance companies are unwilling to pay for claims. They will try to diminish the severity of the injuries and the accident overall, often offering a low settlement amount.

When an insurance company sees that a motorcyclist represents themselves, they will take advantage of their limited knowledge and resources. The insurance company believes that you do not have the experience necessary to defend your case adequately since you are not a lawyer.

You will need to call a motorcycle accident lawyer to protect your rights after an accident. While you may be unsure of the proper steps and how the claim process works, a lawyer is well aware and knows exactly what to do in these cases.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can:

  • Obtain police reports
  • Communicate and negotiate with insurance companies
  • Gather evidence
  • Speak to witnesses and get their statements
  • Consult with medical and technical experts
  • Reconstruct the accident
  • Pull the other party’s driving record
  • Identify factors that a defective product may have caused
  • Go to trial on your behalf

Many accident victims fear that hiring a lawyer will not make any difference in their claim. The reality is that a lawyer can make the difference between a winning case and paying for the damages on your own.

Causes of Motorcycle accidents

Motorcycle Accident LawyersA Motorcycle accident can happen for several reasons, usually when you least expect it. The primary cause of these accidents is negligence.

Another driver may be negligent in their actions, causing a motorcycle accident by:

  • Following too closely: This is a dangerous traffic infraction that often leads to catastrophe. If a car travels behind a motorcycle, they don’t have enough time to stop if the bike stops due to a hazard on the road. This sudden stop can cause the car to collide with the motorcycle. In some cases, the vehicle will run over the motorcycle and driver because the car was following so closely.
  • Speeding: Whether it be a motorcycle accident or other motor vehicle accident, speeding is one of the leading causes.
  • Improper left turns: When a car makes a left-hand turn, this can lead to a severe motorcycle accident. They can easily hit a motorcycle if they are not paying attention to their surroundings.
  • Not understanding motorcycle brakes: Since motorcycles have very different systems than cars and other motor vehicles, drivers must pay attention. Since there are different lights on motorcycles, a driver may be confused when a bike uses a down throttle and does not trigger any lights. This misunderstanding can cause a driver to slam into a motorcycle if not paying attention to their actions.
  • Cutting off a motorcycle: If a driver cuts off a motorcycle, this act can cause the motorcycle to slam directly into the vehicle. The rider can be thrown on top of the car and even underneath the vehicle.
  • Not yielding right of way: Many motor vehicle drivers do not respect motorcycles on the road. They do not believe they have the same rights as cars, but they do. Motorcycles have the right of way in certain areas. When a driver ignores these right of way laws, it can cause a motorcyclist to swerve or react in another fashion that causes an accident.
  • Ignoring motorcycle entry or switching lanes: A motorcyclist will need to switch lanes and merge just like any other vehicle. An accident may occur if other vehicles ignore the motorcycle during the action.
  • Intoxicated driving: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol heavily impairs judgment and response times. A drunk driver cannot always stop or react in time to avoid crashing into a motorcycle.

The truth is that an accident can happen for many reasons, and motorcycle riders must stay vigilant at all times. Even if you are alert, you cannot predict how another driver will behave or react around you. You will need a lawyer to defend you against insurance companies and others after a motorcycle accident.

Types of Motorcycle Accidents

A motorcycle accident can happen in a variety of ways. While it is essential to know how they happen, it is also important to know the different kinds of accidents you may be involved in. Some of the most common are head-on collisions and side collisions. You may also be struck by objects or find hazards on the road.

How does compensation work in motorcycle cases?

There are numerous types of compensation you may be entitled to after a motorcycle accident.

When a lawyer begins building a demand package, the damages will include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Disability for permanent impairment
  • Loss of consortium

The unique factors of your case will influence the amount you obtain. You deserve total compensation for any losses you sustained in the accident. You will need to call a lawyer to calculate your damages.

Injuries From a Motorcycle Accident

A sad reality for motorcycle drivers is that being involved in an accident can lead to catastrophic injuries and even death. These accidents are truly life-changing for those involved.

The most common motorcycle injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injury: These injuries are extremely difficult for victims because it often leads to decreased cognitive ability. This disability can last a lifetime, even with adequate treatment.
  • Road rash: Many people feel this injury doesn’t sound like anything to be concerned with. However, this injury can lead to other complications like infection, nerve damage, and damage to the tendons.
  • Spinal cord damage: Any damage to the spinal cord can be permanently debilitating. The spine controls your body, and if it is damaged, you may lose the use of areas of your body. You can have varying degrees of paralysis, changing the entire course of your life.
  • Fractured or broken bones: A broken bone can cause a victim to undergo months of physical therapy and require surgery. You may have a broken arm or leg after an accident. You may also have broken other bones.
  • Amputations: Motorcycle accidents can often crush a limb. These injuries may require an amputation. You will never get your limbs back and need to modify your home, lifestyle, and means of transportation. Prosthetics can help, but they are expensive, and you may need to replace them several times during your life.
  • Death: The worst possible outcome from a motorcycle accident is death. You never expect that your loved one will pass away from an accident. This loss will stay with you for the rest of your life, and you need to hold the negligent party responsible for your loved one’s death.

Injuries are often catastrophic because the motorcycle does not have as much protection as other vehicles on the road. When a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle collide, the bike will absorb most of the impact, leading to severe injury. It will be critical to have a motorcycle accident lawyer on your side to obtain compensation for these injuries and other damages.

5 Ways a Lawyer Can Help After an Injury Accident?

While you may feel apprehensive about hiring a lawyer, it can significantly increase your compensation.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can:

  1. Protect your rights: Motorcycle riders often have a bad reputation for acting recklessly on the road. Insurance companies will use this biased opinion to deny claims and lower settlement amounts. You will need to have a lawyer on your side who acts as your champion and protects your rights. A lawyer may be crucial to getting you back to your pre-injury life. Insurance companies will try to move fast to find a reason to deny a claim, and they will often do this by requesting accident victims to make a recorded statement. A motorcycle accident lawyer will ensure that when you make a statement, the provided information is not incriminating to the victim and will not result in claim denial. When an insurance company knows they legitimately cannot deny a claim, they will try to find the slightest comment or detail to diminish the extent of your injuries and losses and offer a lower settlement. However, having a lawyer can deter insurance companies from employing these tactics. If they insist on a low settlement, a lawyer can work to prove that the accident in question did cause your injuries.
  2. Level the playing field: Insurance companies have a team of attorneys on their side to deny or lower claims. These parties are only interested in settling claims for the lowest amount possible. After an accident, you’ll be concerned with healing and will often be unable to fight against insurance companies. Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer can level the playing field. Instead of insurance companies with their team of lawyers going against you, they will have an experienced lawyer fighting back just as hard. You may not be familiar with all of the laws that apply to these cases but a lawyer will be.
  3. Prove your damages: The main component of a motorcycle accident claim damages. Insurance companies will try to pull one over on you by having you sign forms immediately following an accident. Among them is a release of information form, which allows the insurance company to build a case where you do not win. They will request medical records dating back 20-plus years and say that this accident can not possibly cause your ailments. When you have a lawyer on your team, you will not be allowed to sign any documents that lead to an insurance company diminishing your claim. We will work to obtain medical records and consult with experts to determine your recovery process and the estimated losses you may experience.
  4. Identify the at-fault party: A lawyer can help your claim by identifying the at-fault party. You may believe that it is obvious who is to blame for the accident, but other factors may need consideration. Depending on which state you live in, liability and fault can be complex topics. There may be underlying issues such as defective parts that may lead to a product liability case. Your lawyer can determine the actual at-fault party or parties through a thorough investigation and name them in a claim.
  5. Provide expert witnesses: One of the most significant advantages of securing a lawyer when injured in a motorcycle accident is that they have experience working with expert witnesses. Expert witnesses are doctors, engineers, and other professionals who can testify on your behalf to prove your case.

There are many ways that a motorcycle accident lawyer can protect you and file a successful claim on your behalf. Do not hesitate to call a lawyer after an accident.

Call a Lawyer After Injuries From a Motorcycle Accident

Gary Annes Lawyer
Gary Annes, Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer

A few concerns arise during a motorcycle accident claim, especially concerning compensation. To determine appropriate compensation, the court or insurance company must consider various factors to come to a fair settlement. Each case is unique and should be treated as such, especially when determining the amount of compensation you deserve.

When you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident, you will need to enlist the help of a lawyer to guide you through the legal process and protect your rights. After an accident, you may feel angry, frustrated, and scared. The future can feel unknown, and you may not have a compass to guide you. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will serve as your compass through this storm.

Start protecting your rights and interests as soon as possible following your injury. The right attorney is ready to begin on your case when you are.

 

How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take?

Motorcycle Accident Case Timeline

Typically, the first questions that we hear from prospective clients after they suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident are whether they can get compensation for their injuries and how much money they can get. After that, many people are concerned with how long their case will take. Clients can decide whether they file a claim against the responsible driver’s insurance or file a lawsuit in court. One consideration that influences people’s thinking about a lawsuit is how long it will take.

It isn’t easy to give you an exact estimate of how long your case will take. There are many factors outside your control. First, you cannot control whether the insurance company or defendant will be reasonable in settlement negotiations or how motivated they will be to settle in the first place.

Second, you also cannot control the court’s docket and schedule. A backlogged court may delay your case. Third, a court may place different deadlines on the various phases of your case and may rule on motions at different speeds. Read on to get a better understanding of the overall claim process from our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers. If you have specific questions about your potential case, get answers by contacting an experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyer.

The Lawsuit Process Does Not Move Quickly

We can say with the most certainty that if you file a lawsuit in court for your motorcycle accident case, it will take at least a year if your case goes to trial. Courts have busy dockets. Even if the court could hear your case sooner rather than later, there are numerous steps to go through before you can reach trial that will take time. Therefore, if you decide to file a lawsuit, you should be patient and know that it may be a while until your case ends.

To understand how long your lawsuit may take, you should know the various stages of a lawsuit. When you see what happens in court, you will get a handle on the timing. Of course, lawsuits can take different amounts of time depending on the complexity of your case and the court’s docket. Courts across the country have reported some delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

How a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits Begins

Motorcycle Accident Timeline Your lawsuit will begin when your attorney drafts a complaint and serves it on the defendant. Before your attorney can file the case in court, they will need to conduct a full investigation of your accident. While you will still need to prove your claims in court, your complaint will also need to have enough potential facts to survive a motion to dismiss the trial. If you rush to file a complaint, you risk that your case will not go on.

Once you file a complaint, the defendant gets 30 days to file their answer to your complaint. They will respond to your alleged facts, either denying them or giving their side of the story. The defendant may request an extension to file the answer if they need more time.

The Parties Get to File Motions with the Court

Defendants often file a motion with the court to dismiss the case after filing their answer. They may try to find something procedurally wrong (such as missing the statute of limitations or the fact that the court lacks jurisdiction) or argue that your lawsuit fails to state a claim. You will get a chance to file your response to the motion. Then, the court will consider the motion and issue its ruling on it. This part of the litigation process will take months.

Courts do not often grant a motion to dismiss. If the court has jurisdiction over the case, they will err on giving you the ability to have your day in court. Assuming that the judge denies a motion to dismiss your lawsuit, your case will proceed to the discovery phase of the trial.

What Happens in Discovery

Here, the plaintiff and defendant will ask for and exchange information in their possession that they can use as evidence at trial.

You may obtain the following evidence in discovery:

  • Requests for admission
  • Interrogatories – you can send a series of questions to which the other party needs to respond.
  • Requests for documents – you can ask for any records or physical evidence in the hands of the other parties.
  • Depositions – your attorney will have the ability to question people who may have relevant evidence for up to seven hours, including the driver responsible for the accident. You may also need to sit through a deposition if you are physically able, although this all depends on your health.

Discovery is the most involved and detailed part of your lawsuit. It is not an exaggeration to say that cases are won and lost during the discovery phase. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will take the time to pursue all possible sources of evidence. You can expect that there will be some disputes between the two sides that will require the judge to issue a ruling. Nonetheless, courts will allow a set amount of time for discovery in your case.

After discovery, each side will have time to review the evidence they obtained and prepare for trial. One thing that each side may do after discovery is to file a motion for summary judgment. This motion asks the court to rule on the law based on facts not in dispute between the two parties. It can take a judge months to review the motions and issue a detailed decision on a motion for summary judgment. If the judge grants the motion to either side, it counts as a verdict, and the trial is over.

If you received a large amount of evidence, it might take some time for your attorney to prepare adequately. The court has already set a trial date, and you have a limited amount of time to get ready for your case. This part of the process is always a busy time, as your motorcycle accident lawyer must be thoroughly prepared to go in front of a jury.

Most Cases Settle Before They Go to Trial

Many motorcycle accident lawsuits will not go to a jury trial. The insurance company knows that motorcycle accident cases are worth more than many other personal injury cases due to the damages. If the defendant is found liable, it can result in a significant jury award. An insurance company often does not want to face the jury unless it knows that it has a powerful case. Otherwise, they may pay out far more in a jury award than if the case had settled.

There are two phases of the case where an insurance company may be more likely to try to settle:

  • If they file a motion to dismiss the case and the judge rules against them
  • After the close of discovery, when they realize that you have a strong case in proving liability

The Insurance Company May Get More Motivated to Settle

Many defendants do not get very serious about a settlement until after discovery closes. Before then, they may not have as much motivation to settle the case. Even if they make a settlement offer before this point, it is likely to be for less than they can ultimately pay. The settlement process is a negotiation, and they may still try to wait you out to see whether you will take a smaller offer. Settlement offers may get progressively better as the legal process advances and you get closer to trial.

After discovery, the two parties may opt for some alternative dispute resolution if they think that they can settle. Many cases will involve mediation, where a third-party neutral can help the two parties talk through the issues and narrow the gaps in their position.

If you do not reach a settlement agreement with the other side, your case will eventually go to trial. Ironically, the hearing will probably be the quickest part of your case. If you have opted for a jury trial, your attorney and the defense will select a jury. Then, each side will receive a certain amount of time to make their case to the jury. Once each side has made a closing argument, the jury will deliberate. If you requested a bench trial, the judge will issue a decision.

Even Winning Your Case May Not Be the End of It

Even if you win your case, it may still not be the end. The defendant may appeal a jury verdict if they lose their case. The judge can reconsider the jury verdict and decide whether to leave it undisturbed or reduce it. Then, the defendant can appeal the verdict to a higher court.

While lawsuits take time from start to finish, you should still keep all your options open when trying to negotiate a settlement of your claim. If the insurance company does not make a reasonable offer that fairly pays you for your damages, you may have to file a lawsuit. You should not rush a lousy settlement because a lawsuit will take too much time. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will advise you of all your legal options, and one of them may be to take your case to a jury when the insurance company either denies your claim or will not pay you what you legally deserve.

Take Enough Time to Maximize Your Compensation

Take the time to get the highest possible compensation in your motorcycle accident lawsuit. You only have one chance to obtain financial compensation for your injuries, as you cannot have two trials. If you do not get enough money, you may face financial difficulties in the future when your money runs out.

We understand that it is difficult to be patient when you are behind the financial eight-ball, but it is a must in a truck accident lawsuit. It does not seem that time is on your side, but if your motorcycle injury lawyer can develop your case, it will be the defendant who is scrambling to settle when the full scope of their liability becomes apparent to them.

Why You Need to Get a Lawyer and Get Started

Dave Abels Lawyer
Dave Abels, Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

The key is to begin the legal process as soon as you can. While your attorney should not rush filing the lawsuit, they can at least get started faster when you hire them soon after your accident. The one part of the timing that you can control is when you retain an attorney. You may not want to deal with the legal process after your accident, and maybe you cannot even do so. If you cannot speak with a lawyer, your family should hire one.

Hire a lawyer right after the accident because:

  • A  motorcycle accident lawyer will get right to work gathering the evidence and obtaining it before it is lost.
  • The insurance company may be trying to pressure you after the accident, get a statement from you, or coerce you into signing a quick settlement that shortchanges you.
  • Your lawyer can do the legwork on your case early, so you can file the claim in plenty of time before worrying about the statute of limitations.
  • Having an experienced lawyer on your side gives you some peace of mind, knowing that you have someone in your corner when the process seems skewed against you.
  • You do not need to write a check to hire an attorney and only need to pay the lawyer if you win your case

There is little risk to you in getting the legal help you need. The main risk is that an insurance company will take advantage of you during the legal process and cost you the money that you need.

While the injury process is not always fast, starting your case and getting the ball rolling is only beneficial to you and your family. The longer you wait to get started, the longer you will wait to deposit your settlement or award funds into your account and begin paying unpaid bills. Starting a case can ease some of your financial stress after a motorcycle accident.

 

Phoenix Motorcycle Laws

Motorcycle riders have the same rights and obligations as other users of the road in Phoenix and other parts of Arizona. Still, motorcyclists need to take extra precautions when riding a bike due to the increased risk of injury and death. Statistically speaking, motorcycle riders are one of the most vulnerable road users.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a staggering 80 percent of motorcycle accidents lead to injuries or deaths. Only 20 percent of automobile accidents result in bodily injuries or fatalities.

The increased risk of bodily injury and death and the countless dangers motorcyclists face when riding a bike make it even more critical to understand Arizona’s motorcycle laws.

Not understanding or recklessly disobeying traffic laws results in too many collisions. In a recent year, the Arizona Department of Transportation counted over 2,300 motorcycle accident injuries.

What Are Motorcycle Laws in Phoenix, Arizona?

In addition to learning how to ride a motorcycle safely, a motorcyclist should also understand laws that apply to motorcycles in their respective state. Understanding the motorcycle laws in Phoenix, Arizona, can reduce the risk of accidents.

If you own a bike in Arizona, here are some of the key motorcycle laws from Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) that you need to understand to keep you safe on the road:

  • A.R.S. § 28-903. The statute prohibits motorcycle riders from lane splitting, the practice of riding a bike between rows of vehicles in slow-moving or stopped traffic. In other words, motorcyclists must share the road with other vehicles as any driver of a passenger vehicle does. The statute also makes it illegal for motorcycles to pass a vehicle without leaving the vehicle’s lane. While it is legal for two motorcyclists to share a single lane side-by-side, the statute prohibits doing so for three or more bikes.
  • A.R.S. § 28-964. The statute sets forth the requirements for mandatory safety equipment for motorcycle riders in Arizona. Under the law, motorcyclists of all ages must wear protective goggles, glasses, or transparent face shields to protect the eyes from the dust, insects, and other debris on the road. The requirement is mandatory unless the motorcycle has a protective windshield. The statute also requires motorcycles to be equipped with rear-view mirrors as well as the seat and footrests for the rider. Helmet use is mandatory for all motorcyclists under the age of 18.
  • A.R.S. § 28-955. The law puts restrictions on the noise produced by the engine and exhaust system of a motorcycle. Motorcyclists in Arizona are not allowed to modify their bikes to make their engines or exhaust systems too loud for reasonable people.
  • A.R.S. § 28-892. This statute requires motorcycles to have at least one seat for the operator. However, a motorcyclist can ride with a passenger as long as the motorcycle has a dedicated seat for that passenger.
  • A.R.S. § 28-924. Under this Arizona law, all motorcycles operated on public roads must have at least one but no more than two headlamps that provide adequate illumination.
  • A.R.S. § 28-3101. The statute requires anyone operating a motorcycle on public roads in Arizona to obtain a Class M license.

You need to understand all motorcycle laws in Arizona to ensure your safety and the safety of others and comply with all applicable laws.

What Are Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in Arizona?

Arizona law requires all motorcycle riders to purchase and carry liability insurance.

The minimum requirements for liability insurance for motorcycles are:

  • $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage
  • $10,000 in property damage coverage

Unfortunately, many motorists in Arizona disregard the mandatory insurance law, which may make the process of seeking compensation more complicated. According to the Insurance Information Institute, nearly 12 percent of motorists in Arizona are uninsured. When an uninsured or underinsured motorist injures a motorcycle rider, they can protect themselves by purchasing uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) insurance coverage.

Even if the other party involved in the accident has adequate insurance coverage in compliance with Arizona laws, obtaining fair compensation for your injuries and losses can be challenging. Insurance companies are for-profit organizations that do not profit from paying out injury claims, which is why they may attempt to undervalue or deny your claim. Consider hiring a Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer to help you deal with the insurance company and protect your best interests.

Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents in Phoenix, AZ

Failure to follow traffic and motorcycle laws in Phoenix or elsewhere in Arizona increases the risk of a preventable motorcycle accident.

Some of the most common accidents involving motorcycles include:

  • Left-hand turn accidents. These accidents occur when a motorcycle goes through an intersection and a driver who fails to keep a proper lookout collides and hits the bike when performing a left-hand turn.
  • Rear-end collisions. Arizona laws require all motorists, including motorcyclists, to keep a safe following distance by leaving an adequate amount of space between their vehicle (or bike) and the vehicle in front of them. Failure to maintain a safe distance may result in a rear-end accident.
  • Lane-splitting accidents. While Arizona laws make lane-splitting illegal, many motorcyclists split lanes in violation of the law, endangering themselves and others on the road.
  • Dooring accidents. Many motorcycle accidents occur when a driver or another vehicle occupant opens a door without looking and ends up hitting a motorcyclist.
  • Lane-change accidents. Arizona’s traffic laws require all drivers and motorcycle riders to use turn signals before changing lanes or turning onto another roadway. Failure to signal one’s intention to change lanes or turn can result in a road accident.
  • Speeding accidents. Under Arizona law, speed limits apply to all motorists, including motorcycle riders. Unfortunately, many motorists fail to obey speed limits and end up causing accidents due to speeding.
  • Impaired driving or riding. The driving under the influence (DUI) laws in Arizona apply to vehicle drivers and motorcycle riders. According to the official website of the Arizona Department of Transportation, the state prohibits operating automobiles and motorcycles with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 percent or higher.

If you or your loved one was involved in a motorcycle accident, you might be entitled to compensation if you can prove that the collision was the result of someone else’s fault. Consider contacting a Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer to help you prove negligence on the part of another party involved in the collision and assist you with seeking compensation for your losses and damages.

Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Laws in Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix Motorcycle Laws, Dave Abels
Dave Abels, Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

What are the requirements for obtaining a motorcycle license in Arizona?

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT), anyone over the age of 18 can obtain a motorcycle license, while minors between the ages of 16 and 18 can apply for a learner’s permit. A motorcycle license does not expire until the holder reaches the age of 65. Arizona law requires motorcyclists to update their photos and eye test every 12 years.

People who want to apply for a motorcycle license in Arizona must fill out the Driver License Application.

In Arizona, individuals need a Class M license to legally operate a motorcycle on public roads.

Drivers who already have a valid license in Arizona must take the following steps to get a motorcycle endorsement:

  • Pass a written test
  • Pass medical screening

One of the requirements for obtaining a motorcycle license in Arizona is completing an MVD-approved motorcycle driver safety program. MVD stands for the Motor Vehicle Division, which is a division of the Department of Transportation. For minors, the requirement is to show a certified form completed and signed by a guardian.

How to register a motorcycle in Arizona?

All motorcycles in Arizona must:

  • Have a valid motorcycle insurance policy; and
  • Be registered with the MVD within 15 days of the purchase date.

Proof of insurance is a requirement when registering a motorcycle in Arizona, while registration is required to obtain a license plate for the motorcycle. Arizona makes it illegal to operate a motorcycle without a valid license plate and registration.

Most dealerships obtain a license plate and registration on behalf of individuals who purchase motorcycles from them. However, those who purchase motorcycles from private sellers must take the necessary steps to register the motorcycle on their own.

Do motorcyclists in Arizona have the same rights as other motorists?

Motorcyclists must follow the same traffic laws as other motorists in Arizona. Motorcycle riders are entitled to the full use of a lane, which means drivers in Phoenix and other parts of the state are not permitted to pass a motorcycle using the same lane.

Since motorcyclists in Arizona have the same rights as other motorists, they must:

  • Obey all traffic signals and road signs
  • Follow posted speed limits
  • Yield the right of way to pedestrians when required by the law
  • Yield the right of way to emergency vehicles when required by the law
  • Indicate their intention to change lanes or turn
  • Stay at the scene of the accident when a collision occurs

While motorcyclists have the same rights and obligations as other motorists in Arizona, the law also grants them an additional right. Motorcycle riders are permitted to use the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane, regardless of how many passengers the rider is transporting.

Are motorcyclists in Arizona required to wear a helmet?

Arizona law does not require adult motorcycle riders or passengers to wear helmets. However, wearing a helmet is mandatory for operators and passengers under the age of 18. While helmet use is not mandatory for adult motorcyclists in Arizona, it does not mean that you should not wear one for your safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helmets reduce the risk of head trauma by 69 percent and reduce the risk of death in motorcycle accidents by 37 percent.

Is lane-splitting legal or illegal in Arizona?

Arizona law prohibits lane-splitting, or riding between rows of slowed or stopped traffic. Motorcycles can only share the same lane with other motorcycles as long as the number of motorcycles that ride side-by-side does not exceed two.

Even though lane-splitting is not legal in Arizona, many riders pass vehicles using the same lane, especially on congested Phoenix roads during rush hour. If you were in a lane-splitting accident, contact a Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer to help you determine fault and explore your options for compensation.

Are motorcyclists in Arizona required to wear protective equipment?

Yes, wearing a helmet is required for motorcycle riders and passengers under the age of 18. Adults, however, are not required to wear protective headgear. Motorcyclists and passengers of all ages must wear protective glasses, goggles, or a face shield. This is a mandatory requirement that applies to motorcycles not equipped with a protective windshield.

Other types of protective equipment, including a jacket, pants, boots, gloves, and others, are not mandatory under Arizona motorcycle laws. However, wearing as much protective equipment as possible can minimize the risk of serious injuries and death.

Can motorcyclists in Arizona ride with passengers?

Yes, motorcyclists can ride with passengers as long as the motorcycle has a dedicated seat and footrests for the passenger. If the passenger is younger than 18 years old, the passenger must wear a helmet.

How long do you have to file a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident in Arizona?

In Arizona, the time limit to bring a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident – or any other accident, for that matter – is called the statute of limitations. Under A.R.S. § 12-542, victims injured in any type of traffic accident have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit and recover damages. Failure to bring a lawsuit before the deadline passes can result in the loss of the right to sue the negligent party.


Abels & Annes
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575

Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Millions of Americans enjoy riding motorcycles. However, motorcyclists are susceptible to the many dangers of the road, which makes riders more vulnerable to serious accidents. Due to the lack of protection and disparity in vehicle sizes, motorcycle riders can suffer catastrophic and life-changing injuries when involved in an accident.

Because motorcycles have only two wheels, they are less stable than four-wheeled passenger cars, not to mention that their size makes them less visible to other motorists on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 80 percent of all road accidents involving motorcycles result in bodily injuries or deaths, while only 20 percent of car crashes result in injuries or deaths.

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, you might want to contact a skilled lawyer to help you pursue compensation for your losses and damages. A Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer can help you understand your legal options and fight for the compensation you deserve.

What Are the Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?

A study by NHTSA revealed that motorcyclists are almost 30 times more likely than occupants of passenger cars to suffer fatal injuries in the event of a traffic accident. Motorcycle riders and their passengers are also prone to serious and debilitating injuries when accidents occur.

While injuries sustained by motorcycle accident victims vary from one crash to another, some of the most common ones include:

  • Lower-extremity injuries. According to NHTSA, injuries to the legs and feet are the most common type of injury suffered by motorcycle riders in accidents. In particular, motorcyclists are prone to bone fractures in the legs. The extreme risk of lower-extremity injuries is because the legs and feet are often the first body part that hits the ground when an accident throws a motorcyclist off the bike. Lower-extremity injuries tend to be more serious when the rider is not wearing protective equipment for the legs.
  • Neck injuries. The force of impact in a motorcycle accident can cause the muscles and ligaments in the neck to tear or otherwise get damaged. One of the most common types of neck injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents is whiplash. In the worst-case scenario, the motorcyclist may end up with a broken neck.
  • Traumatic brain injuries. Motorcycle riders and passengers are at risk of suffering traumatic brain injuries, also known as TBIs, especially when they do not wear a helmet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helmets reduce the risk of motorcycle accident-related death by 37 percent. While helmets can reduce the risk of head trauma, they cannot prevent all types of TBIs. Severe head injuries are often associated with long-term consequences, including dizziness, memory problems, behavioral changes, mood swings, balance problems, and others.
  • Broken bones. Human bone may not withstand the sheer force of the collision, especially when bones come under too much pressure in a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle riders and passengers often experience broken bones and bone fractures. As a result of a collision, a motorcyclist can break a bone in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. Broken bones often require prompt medical attention, surgery, and physical therapy. Recovering from a broken bone can be a painful and long-lasting healing process.
  • Spinal cord injuries. Some of the most common and dangerous motorcycle injuries are spinal cord injuries. The spine transmits signals from the brain to the body. Any disruption of these signals can result in partial or complete paralysis. Any spinal cord injury can drastically change the victim’s life and result in temporary or permanent disability. The injured party may never fully recover.
  • Road rash. Road rash is often the first noticeable injury in a motorcycle accident. This type of injury occurs when a motorcyclist slides across the pavement after being thrown from the bike. Road rash, which is an abrasion, can leave permanent scars because all layers of the skin are damaged. Protective gear, such as gloves, boots, pants, and a jacket, can reduce the severity of road rash.
  • Femur fractures. The femur is the longest bone in the body. Femur fractures are some of the most painful injuries, which can affect various aspects of the victim’s life. The injury may require surgery and years of rehabilitation.
  • Chest injuries. Motorcycle accidents can affect the chest area. Any injury to the chest can be life-threatening because it can cause damage to the heart and other vital organs. Some of the most common chest injuries associated with motorcycle accidents are lacerated lungs, collapsed lungs, injury to the thorax, fractured ribs or sternum, and lung contusion.
  • Sprains or strains. The force of impact in a motorcycle accident can cause severe strains and sprains as a result of damage to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Depending on their severity, sprains or strains may require surgery and physical therapy.
  • Internal injuries and bleeding. Direct trauma in a motorcycle accident may cause internal bleeding. A victim of a motorcycle collision may also experience internal organ damage as a result of being hit by other vehicles or being thrown from the bike. Vital organs that get injured more often than others include the liver, lungs, kidneys, and spleen. If left undiagnosed and untreated, internal organ damage can be a life-threatening injury.
  • Lacerations and bruises. Motorcycle accidents are also commonly associated with bruises and lacerations. While these injuries may be less severe than others, they may result in long-term complications and/or permanent scarring. In addition, bruising may be a sign of a serious underlying injury.
  • Pelvic injuries. The pelvis is a commonly injured area in a motorcyclist’s body. However, people often overlook pelvic injuries. Motorcycle riders have no protection around their hips, which is why injuries to the pelvis and hips may occur.
  • Biker’s arm. When an unexpected event throws a motorcycle rider from the bike, their first instinct is to extend their arms in an attempt to protect their head and lessen the impact. Doing so can result in broken arms or a condition known as a “biker’s arm.” This type of injury is associated with permanent nerve damage.
  • Disfigurement. Motorcyclists may suffer disfigurement any time they land on their face or experience severe burns or lacerations when a collision occurs. Wearing a helmet can protect a rider from facial injuries.
  • Loss of a limb. When a motorcyclist’s body comes into contact with another vehicle or object, they are at risk of suffering the loss of a limb. The physical and emotional trauma associated with losing a limb can be overwhelming, which is why a victim should determine the full and long-lasting impact of the injury before accepting a settlement.
  • Skull fractures. Motorcyclists who do not wear a helmet while riding are likely to suffer skull fractures when their head hits another vehicle, object, or pavement. Skull fractures may require surgery to prevent permanent damage to the brain and other complications. A victim who suffered a skull fracture may experience long-lasting neurological problems.

Each year, motorcycle accidents result in more than 5,000 fatalities, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). The statistics are disturbing because motorcycles account for only three percent of all registered vehicles in the United States, while motorcyclists represent 14 percent of traffic deaths, according to NHTSA.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Motorcycle Accident Injuries

What are the long-term consequences of motorcycle accident injuries?

Due to the traumatic nature of motorcycle accidents, victims may suffer long-term impairments and complications. Depending on the type and severity of the motorcycle accident injury, a rider may be left temporarily or permanently disabled. Severe impairments may make the victims unable to care for themselves, requiring help to bathe, use the bathroom, dress, or feed themselves.

Head injuries from a violent blow to the head in a motorcycle accident can result in behavioral changes, memory problems, speech problems, and many others. The physical, emotional, cognitive, and financial hardships can take a toll on the motorcycle accident victim’s life. That is why it is imperative to fight for compensation for all the losses and damages. Consider contacting a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney to examine your case and determine a value settlement amount for your injury.

What are the emotional injuries after a motorcycle accident?

Aside from physical injuries, a victim of a motorcycle accident may also experience emotional injuries, which can include but are not limited to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and others.

When seeking compensation for emotional injuries after a motorcycle accident, recoverable damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering. Victims of a motorcycle accident may be entitled to pain and suffering damages when they suffer permanent scarring, disfigurement, amputation, or any emotional hardships as a result of the accident and/or injury.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life. If the motorcycle accident has reduced your quality of life, you can be entitled to what is known as the “loss of enjoyment of life” damages.
  • Emotional distress. The purpose of this type of non-economic damage is to compensate victims for the emotional and psychological impacts of their injury on their daily life.

Unlike economic damages, which have a fixed dollar value assigned to them, calculating compensation for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering and emotional distress, can be tricky. That is why you might want to seek the legal counsel of a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney to help you determine fair compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.

What types of damages can you recover after a motorcycle accident?

Each motorcycle accident case is unique, which is why recoverable damages vary greatly from one victim to another.

However, if the accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, you can demand compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Disability
  • Property damage
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

The value of your motorcycle accident case depends on the severity of your injuries, the impact of the injuries on your life and work, whether you suffered emotional distress or pain and suffering, among many other factors.

Why should you seek medical attention after a motorcycle accident?

We cannot overstate the importance of seeking immediate medical attention after a motorcycle accident. Delaying medical care or waiting too long to visit a doctor can negatively affect your health and jeopardize your legal claim. If you do not seek medical attention immediately after the accident, you can have a hard time proving that your injury was the result of that accident.

Insurance companies use various tactics to undervalue and deny personal injury claims after motorcycle accidents. Disputing the cause of the injury may be one of them when the victim fails to receive prompt medical care. It is equally important to follow the prescribed treatment plan to avoid potential problems during the insurance claims process.

What evidence do you need to prove fault after a motorcycle accident?

Gathering evidence is one of the essential steps you can take to recover damages after a motorcycle accident. You will use the evidence you collect to prove fault and determine the extent of your damages and losses.

Some of the evidence that you may need to support your motorcycle accident case includes:

  • The police report
  • Photos from the scene of the motorcycle accident
  • Witness testimony
  • Surveillance or traffic camera footage

Your Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer can help you gather the necessary types of evidence and handle other legal aspects of the claims process, allowing you to focus on your medical treatment.

How can a Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer help?

Suffering motorcycle accident injuries can cause physical, emotional, and financial hardships and result in long-lasting consequences. A victim may be left temporarily or permanently disabled, which may make it difficult to pay for the treatment. An experienced lawyer on your side will work tirelessly to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

A Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer will help you collect all available evidence in your case and determine fair compensation for your injuries and losses.Millions of Americans enjoy riding motorcycles. However, motorcyclists are susceptible to the many dangers of the road, which makes riders more vulnerable to serious accidents. Due to the lack of protection and disparity in vehicle sizes, motorcycle riders can suffer catastrophic and life-changing injuries when involved in an accident.

Because motorcycles have only two wheels, they are less stable than four-wheeled passenger cars, not to mention that their size makes them less visible to other motorists on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 80 percent of all road accidents involving motorcycles result in bodily injuries or deaths, while only 20 percent of car crashes result in injuries or deaths.

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, you might want to contact a skilled lawyer to help you pursue compensation for your losses and damages. A Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer can help you understand your legal options and fight for the compensation you deserve.

What Are the Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?

A study by NHTSA revealed that motorcyclists are almost 30 times more likely than occupants of passenger cars to suffer fatal injuries in the event of a traffic accident. Motorcycle riders and their passengers are also prone to serious and debilitating injuries when accidents occur.

While injuries sustained by motorcycle accident victims vary from one crash to another, some of the most common ones include:

  • Lower-extremity injuries. According to NHTSA, injuries to the legs and feet are the most common type of injury suffered by motorcycle riders in accidents. In particular, motorcyclists are prone to bone fractures in the legs. The extreme risk of lower-extremity injuries is because the legs and feet are often the first body part that hits the ground when an accident throws a motorcyclist off the bike. Lower-extremity injuries tend to be more serious when the rider is not wearing protective equipment for the legs.
  • Neck injuries. The force of impact in a motorcycle accident can cause the muscles and ligaments in the neck to tear or otherwise get damaged. One of the most common types of neck injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents is whiplash. In the worst-case scenario, the motorcyclist may end up with a broken neck.
  • Traumatic brain injuries. Motorcycle riders and passengers are at risk of suffering traumatic brain injuries, also known as TBIs, especially when they do not wear a helmet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helmets reduce the risk of motorcycle accident-related death by 37 percent. While helmets can reduce the risk of head trauma, they cannot prevent all types of TBIs. Severe head injuries are often associated with long-term consequences, including dizziness, memory problems, behavioral changes, mood swings, balance problems, and others.
  • Broken bones. Human bone may not withstand the sheer force of the collision, especially when bones come under too much pressure in a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle riders and passengers often experience broken bones and bone fractures. As a result of a collision, a motorcyclist can break a bone in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. Broken bones often require prompt medical attention, surgery, and physical therapy. Recovering from a broken bone can be a painful and long-lasting healing process.
  • Spinal cord injuries. Some of the most common and dangerous motorcycle injuries are spinal cord injuries. The spine transmits signals from the brain to the body. Any disruption of these signals can result in partial or complete paralysis. Any spinal cord injury can drastically change the victim’s life and result in temporary or permanent disability. The injured party may never fully recover.
  • Road rash. Road rash is often the first noticeable injury in a motorcycle accident. This type of injury occurs when a motorcyclist slides across the pavement after being thrown from the bike. Road rash, which is an abrasion, can leave permanent scars because all layers of the skin are damaged. Protective gear, such as gloves, boots, pants, and a jacket, can reduce the severity of road rash.
  • Femur fractures. The femur is the longest bone in the body. Femur fractures are some of the most painful injuries, which can affect various aspects of the victim’s life. The injury may require surgery and years of rehabilitation.
  • Chest injuries. Motorcycle accidents can affect the chest area. Any injury to the chest can be life-threatening because it can cause damage to the heart and other vital organs. Some of the most common chest injuries associated with motorcycle accidents are lacerated lungs, collapsed lungs, injury to the thorax, fractured ribs or sternum, and lung contusion.
  • Sprains or strains. The force of impact in a motorcycle accident can cause severe strains and sprains as a result of damage to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Depending on their severity, sprains or strains may require surgery and physical therapy.
  • Internal injuries and bleeding. Direct trauma in a motorcycle accident may cause internal bleeding. A victim of a motorcycle collision may also experience internal organ damage as a result of being hit by other vehicles or being thrown from the bike. Vital organs that get injured more often than others include the liver, lungs, kidneys, and spleen. If left undiagnosed and untreated, internal organ damage can be a life-threatening injury.
  • Lacerations and bruises. Motorcycle accidents are also commonly associated with bruises and lacerations. While these injuries may be less severe than others, they may result in long-term complications and/or permanent scarring. In addition, bruising may be a sign of a serious underlying injury.
  • Pelvic injuries. The pelvis is a commonly injured area in a motorcyclist’s body. However, people often overlook pelvic injuries. Motorcycle riders have no protection around their hips, which is why injuries to the pelvis and hips may occur.
  • Biker’s arm. When an unexpected event throws a motorcycle rider from the bike, their first instinct is to extend their arms in an attempt to protect their head and lessen the impact. Doing so can result in broken arms or a condition known as a “biker’s arm.” This type of injury is associated with permanent nerve damage.
  • Disfigurement. Motorcyclists may suffer disfigurement any time they land on their face or experience severe burns or lacerations when a collision occurs. Wearing a helmet can protect a rider from facial injuries.
  • Loss of a limb. When a motorcyclist’s body comes into contact with another vehicle or object, they are at risk of suffering the loss of a limb. The physical and emotional trauma associated with losing a limb can be overwhelming, which is why a victim should determine the full and long-lasting impact of the injury before accepting a settlement.
  • Skull fractures. Motorcyclists who do not wear a helmet while riding are likely to suffer skull fractures when their head hits another vehicle, object, or pavement. Skull fractures may require surgery to prevent permanent damage to the brain and other complications. A victim who suffered a skull fracture may experience long-lasting neurological problems.

Each year, motorcycle accidents result in more than 5,000 fatalities, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). The statistics are disturbing because motorcycles account for only three percent of all registered vehicles in the United States, while motorcyclists represent 14 percent of traffic deaths, according to NHTSA.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Motorcycle Accident Injuries

What are the long-term consequences of motorcycle accident injuries?

Due to the traumatic nature of motorcycle accidents, victims may suffer long-term impairments and complications. Depending on the type and severity of the motorcycle accident injury, a rider may be left temporarily or permanently disabled. Severe impairments may make the victims unable to care for themselves, requiring help to bathe, use the bathroom, dress, or feed themselves.

Head injuries from a violent blow to the head in a motorcycle accident can result in behavioral changes, memory problems, speech problems, and many others. The physical, emotional, cognitive, and financial hardships can take a toll on the motorcycle accident victim’s life. That is why it is imperative to fight for compensation for all the losses and damages. Consider contacting a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney to examine your case and determine a value settlement amount for your injury.

What are the emotional injuries after a motorcycle accident?

Aside from physical injuries, a victim of a motorcycle accident may also experience emotional injuries, which can include but are not limited to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and others.

When seeking compensation for emotional injuries after a motorcycle accident, recoverable damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering. Victims of a motorcycle accident may be entitled to pain and suffering damages when they suffer permanent scarring, disfigurement, amputation, or any emotional hardships as a result of the accident and/or injury.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life. If the motorcycle accident has reduced your quality of life, you can be entitled to what is known as the “loss of enjoyment of life” damages.
  • Emotional distress. The purpose of this type of non-economic damage is to compensate victims for the emotional and psychological impacts of their injury on their daily life.

Unlike economic damages, which have a fixed dollar value assigned to them, calculating compensation for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering and emotional distress, can be tricky. That is why you might want to seek the legal counsel of a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney to help you determine fair compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.

What types of damages can you recover after a motorcycle accident?

Each motorcycle accident case is unique, which is why recoverable damages vary greatly from one victim to another.

However, if the accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, you can demand compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Disability
  • Property damage
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

The value of your motorcycle accident case depends on the severity of your injuries, the impact of the injuries on your life and work, whether you suffered emotional distress or pain and suffering, among many other factors.

Why should you seek medical attention after a motorcycle accident?

We cannot overstate the importance of seeking immediate medical attention after a motorcycle accident. Delaying medical care or waiting too long to visit a doctor can negatively affect your health and jeopardize your legal claim. If you do not seek medical attention immediately after the accident, you can have a hard time proving that your injury was the result of that accident.

Insurance companies use various tactics to undervalue and deny personal injury claims after motorcycle accidents. Disputing the cause of the injury may be one of them when the victim fails to receive prompt medical care. It is equally important to follow the prescribed treatment plan to avoid potential problems during the insurance claims process.

What evidence do you need to prove fault after a motorcycle accident?

Gathering evidence is one of the essential steps you can take to recover damages after a motorcycle accident. You will use the evidence you collect to prove fault and determine the extent of your damages and losses.

Some of the evidence that you may need to support your motorcycle accident case includes:

  • The police report
  • Photos from the scene of the motorcycle accident
  • Witness testimony
  • Surveillance or traffic camera footage

Your Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer can help you gather the necessary types of evidence and handle other legal aspects of the claims process, allowing you to focus on your medical treatment.

How can a Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer help?

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, Dave Abels
Dave Abels, Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Suffering motorcycle accident injuries can cause physical, emotional, and financial hardships and result in long-lasting consequences. A victim may be left temporarily or permanently disabled, which may make it difficult to pay for the treatment. An experienced lawyer on your side will work tirelessly to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

A Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer will help you collect all available evidence in your case and determine fair compensation for your injuries and losses.


Abels & Annes
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575

Phoenix Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Many people in Phoenix and across Arizona love riding motorcycles. Riding a motorcycle is exciting, but potentially dangerous.

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are too common in Phoenix. In fact, Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, sees more motorcycle accidents than all other counties in Arizona combined, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

A motorcycle accident can happen out of nowhere, causing severe injuries or deaths. Because the motorcyclist lacks the protection of an enclosed vehicle, such as airbags and seatbelts, to name a few, motorcycle riders are more vulnerable to injuries and fatalities than vehicle occupants.

There are dozens of factors that can lead to a motorcycle accident, including driver error and negligence on the part of the motorcyclist. If you or your loved one was involved in a motorcycle collision, consider speaking with a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney to help you determine what caused the crash and who can be held responsible for it.

Common Types of Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents

According to one study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a staggering 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents result in injuries or fatalities. By contrast, only 20 percent of car accidents involve injuries or deaths.

Another study by NHTSA showed that lower-extremity injuries, and bone fractures in the legs, in particular, are the most common type of injury among motorcyclists involved in road accidents.

However, motorcycle riders may also suffer:

  • Chest injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Concussion
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Paralysis
  • Road rash
  • Severe burns
  • Broken ribs
  • Loss of a limb
  • Internal organ damage
  • Lacerations
  • Disfigurement

In the worst-case scenario, motorcyclists suffer fatal injuries and die at the scene of the crash or in the hospital. While motorcycles account for only three percent of registered vehicles in the country, motorcycle riders account for 14 percent of traffic fatalities, according to NHTSA. The disturbing statistics show how dangerous and deadly motorcycle crashes can be.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

The vast majority of motorcycle accidents occur due to negligence on the part of the motorcyclist or driver. However, the causes of road accidents involving motorcycles vary from one case to another. Speak with a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney to investigate your collision and determine how the accident occurred and who is at fault for causing it.

Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Left-hand turns. Many collisions involving cars and motorcycles occur when a driver is trying to make a left-hand turn. The turning motorist must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic and must check their rear- and side-view mirrors to ensure that it is safe to perform the maneuver. When a driver fails to keep a proper lookout before turning left across traffic, they may not notice a motorcyclist.
  • Speeding. Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions is one of the most common causes of all road accidents, including motorcycle collisions. When a driver or motorcyclist is traveling at a high rate of speed, they are less likely to react in time to avoid a collision, not to mention that high speeds contribute to severe and life-threatening injuries.
  • Inexperience. According to NHTSA, of all the motorcyclists involved in fatal motorcycle accidents in a recent year, 30 percent did not have a valid motorcycle license. Lack of experience and not knowing traffic laws can end up causing a motorcycle accident. An inexperienced motorcyclist may not understand how to operate the motorcycle properly, who has the right of way at intersections, and how to respond to various situations on the road. Inexperienced car drivers are also more likely to be involved in an accident than motorists with years of driving experience.
  • Lane splitting. Lane splitting is illegal in most states, including Arizona. Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-903, motorcyclists are not permitted to split a lane with other vehicles. In other words, Arizona law prohibits motorcycle riders from riding between rows of slowed or stopped traffic. However, when a motorcyclist disregards the law and splits lanes, an accident is bound to happen.
  • Wrong-way driving. Driving against the flow of traffic as indicated by road signs can result in one of the deadliest types of car accidents. Wrong-way driving commonly results in head-on collisions, which may throw a motorcyclist off the bike, causing debilitating injuries or death.
  • Failing to keep a safe following distance. Many drivers fail to provide adequate space between their vehicles and a motorcycle in front of them. This practice is known as tailgating. When drivers fail to keep a safe following distance, they may not react in time to avoid a collision if the motorcyclist comes to an abrupt stop. The same dangers exist when motorcyclists tailgate other vehicles on the road.
  • Unsafe lane changes. A driver or motorcyclist who needs to change lanes must indicate their intention to change lanes and check their surroundings to determine that performing the maneuver is safe. Failure to take these precautions may result in a motorcycle accident caused by an unsafe lane change.
  • Sudden stop. When a motorcyclist or car driver needs to come to an abrupt stop for any reason (e.g., an animal or pedestrian runs into their path), the sudden stop can result in a chain-reaction accident involving multiple vehicles. To prevent collisions caused by sudden stops, motorists must always maintain a safe distance.
  • Loss of control. Unlike passenger vehicles, which have four vehicles to keep them stable, motorcycles generally have only two wheels. While this makes bikes more maneuverable than cars, the lack of stability may cause the rider to lose control of the motorcycle, resulting in a collision with a fixed object or another vehicle on the road. The loss of control can occur due to various factors, including but not limited to adverse weather conditions, lack of experience, or defective or improperly maintained motorcycle parts.
  • Counter steering. Many motorcycle riders use the counter-steering technique when making a turn. The technique refers to turning the handlebars and pointing the front wheel opposite where the biker needs to go. As a result, the motorcyclist can compensate for the lack of the bike’s stability. However, other drivers on the road may not be ready for such maneuvers.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. About 34 percent of motorcyclist deaths involve alcohol impairment, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Alcohol or drug impairment can decrease reaction time and impair vision and judgment.
  • Improper road maintenance. Since motorcyclists are less stable than four-wheeled vehicles, they are more prone to accidents when roads are poorly maintained. Poor road conditions such as potholes, cracked pavement, and other conditions may cause the rider to lose control of the bike or throw the motorcycle off the bike. In addition, faulty traffic signals or improperly maintained road signs may contribute to a motorcycle accident.
  • Motorcycle or automobile defects. When cars/motorcycles or their parts are defective, accidents are likely to happen. When motorcycle collisions occur because of defects, manufacturers can be held responsible for the resulting injuries, deaths, and property damage.
  • Dooring. Many motorcycle accidents happen when car drivers or passengers open the door of the parked vehicle and end up hitting a moving motorcyclist. Vehicle occupants can prevent dooring accidents by keeping a proper lookout.
  • Distracted driving. A person texting while driving and other forms of distraction behind the wheel can result in devastating motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists are less visible than other vehicles, which is why drivers need to pay closer attention to the road to avoid collisions—driving while distracted can lead to manual, visual, and/or cognitive distractions, which increase the likelihood of accidents.
  • Bad weather conditions. Motorcyclists are more likely to be involved in traffic accidents when riding in adverse weather conditions for several reasons. First of all, bad weather can make it even more difficult to control the bike. Motorcyclists are more likely to lose control of the bike on slippery or wet pavement. Second of all, rain, snow, and fog can reduce the ability of drivers to see a motorcyclist.
  • Road rage. Another common cause of motorcycle accidents is road rage. Some drivers engage in aggressive driving or experience other forms of road rage when sharing the road with motorcyclists. However, road rage can put the driver and others on the road, including the motorcyclist, at risk of accidents.

Often, determining what caused a motorcycle accident requires a thorough investigation. In some cases, an accident victim may need to retain accident reconstruction experts to help them establish fault. Consider contacting a Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer to investigate your collision, determine its cause, and identify liable parties.

Who Is Responsible for Causing a Motorcycle Accident?

According to NHTSA, motorcycle riders are nearly 30 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to suffer fatal injuries in a road accident. In many motorcycle accidents, it may not be immediately clear who caused the collision and who can be held liable for the resulting damages and losses.

To establish fault for the motorcycle accident, insurance companies and courts will consider the actions of all parties involved to determine who can be held responsible.

Depending on the circumstances of the collision, potentially at-fault parties may include:

  • The car driver. When car drivers fail to exercise due care and end up hitting a motorcyclist or causing him/her to crash into other vehicles or fixed objects, the driver can be at fault for the negligent conduct.
  • The motorcyclist. Sometimes, motorcyclists are also at-fault for causing the collision. Motorcycle riders must obey all traffic laws and exercise due care at all times.
  • Car/motorcycle manufacturer. If the motorcycle accident was the result of defects in the car or motorcycle, the manufacturer of the vehicle can be liable for the accident.
  • Government entities. Government agencies must maintain safe roads. This means repairing faulty traffic lights and eliminating dangerous road conditions, such as potholes.
  • Employers. When a commercial truck hits a motorcyclist, the rider may bring a lawsuit against the truck driver’s employer under the legal theory of vicarious liability.

In some cases, there may be other at-fault parties. Consider speaking with a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney to investigate what caused your accident and determine who can be held responsible for your injuries and losses.

How Can a Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help?

Motorcycle Accidents Lawyer, Dave Abels
Dave Abels, Motorcycle Accidents Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been in a motorcycle accident, consider hiring a Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer to handle the legal aspects of your claim and ensure that you receive fair compensation for all your losses and damages.

An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can:

  • Investigate your accident to identify the factors that caused or contributed to the collision
  • Explain your legal rights and options throughout the case
  • Gather evidence proving the other party’s fault
  • Take care of the paperwork and prepare your legal case
  • Communicate with insurance companies on your behalf
  • Evaluate your case to determine what settlement amount will fairly compensate you for your losses and damages
  • Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance adjuster
  • File a lawsuit and represent you in court if you can’t settle out of court

A motorcycle accident can result in physical, emotional, and financial hardships. In addition to medical expenses and the loss of income, you may have to deal with emotional injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and emotional distress, among others.

A skilled Phoenix motorcycle attorney will understand what you are going through and will represent your best interests to help you seek the compensation to which you are entitled. When an experienced attorney handles your case, you can focus on your medical treatment and physical recovery.


Abels & Annes
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Illinois and the Surrounding States

Whether you’re riding down Lake Shore Drive or a quiet country road outside the city, for many people, nothing can compare to driving a motorcycle on a nice day. Other vehicles just don’t provide that wind in-your-face connection with the road that a bike so easily can. If you have already had a dangerous encounter while on a motorcycle that left you with severe injuries learn what an experienced Chicago motorcycle accident attorney.

When it comes to riders on the road, few states have more motorcyclists than Illinois: In fact, only five states have more registered motorcycles than the Prairie State.

But while Illinois has more bikes registered in the state, Illinois’s neighbors, Indiana and Wisconsin, both have more bikes per capita. In fact, all three states rank high in ownership and ridership.

However, that’s where the similarities stop. When it comes to the law, all three states have different rules and regulations. If you plan on riding between the three states, it’s a good idea to know the laws and make sure you comply in each state you pass through.

Riding a Motorcycle in Illinois

Each state has its own rules when it comes to riding a motorcycle. However, one common theme that exists among most states—they require riders to wear a helmet while riding their motorcycles.

Three states in the United States have no laws that mandate helmet use while riding a motorcycle. Illinois is one of those three states.

While Illinois has passed no law regarding helmets, the Illinois Department of Transportation strongly recommends a helmet for all riders. Additionally, all riders must wear protective eyewear anytime they are on their bikes.

So where does Illinois stand when it comes to motorcycle safety? According to one report—about the middle of the road. A report conducted by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association found that 14.3 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities in one year involved a motorcyclist. Comparatively, Nevada had the largest percentage of fatalities with 22.6 percent of fatalities being a biker. On the other end of the spectrum, Alaska had the lowest percent of motorcycle fatalities, with just 7.1 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities involving a motorcyclist.

What You Need to Know When You Travel to or From Neighboring States

Gary Annes Lawyer
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, Gary Annes

While Illinois does not have any helmet laws, this is not the case for Indiana or Wisconsin. Both states mandate helmet use. However, neither state requires universal helmet use. In both Indiana and Wisconsin, all drivers 17 and younger must wear helmets. Wisconsin goes a step further and requires anyone operating under a learner’s permit to wear a helmet as well. Additionally, any passengers riding with a driver who has an instruction permit must wear a helmet, even if they are older than 17. For all other riders, helmet use is optional.

Both states have similar safety stats as Illinois in regards to fatality rates. In 2016, 12.3 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities in Indiana involved a motorcyclist. In Wisconsin, the number was slightly higher at 14 percent.

Do Helmets Actually Work?

In a word, yes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, helmets are about 37 percent successful in preventing motorcycle rider fatalities. For passengers, effectiveness increases to 41 percent. Furthermore, when you look at the percent of known unhelmeted motorcyclists killed in 2017, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin all had some of the highest rates in the country.

While helmet use is optional for many riders in all three states, most safety experts agree that regular helmet use can help prevent serious injury or death. In addition to helmets, strong evidence supports the use of other protective equipment.

This includes:

  • Eye protection, including glasses, goggles, and face shields.
  • Protective clothing, including pants, jackets, and boots.
  • Protective gloves

Aside from safety equipment, all riders should take extra precautions to stay safe on the road. Safety tips include:

  • Do not perform stunts on public roads. Only experienced riders who know what they are doing should perform stunts—and they should do so away from other drivers and riders.
  • Don’t speed. Speeding makes it harder to control your bike and increases the risk of an accident.
  • Don’t weave in between traffic. Stay in your lane. Do not attempt to drive in between two vehicles.
  • Be seen. Wear bright or reflective clothing so other drivers can see you in low light or poor visibility.
  • Don’t drink and ride: According to the NHTSA, 28 percent of motorcycle riders killed in 2017 were drunk.

Learn more about general motorcycle safety from our motorcycle accident attorney resources, where we also discuss some of the most common motorcycle accident myths.

Helmet Use and Your Rights in a Motorcycle Accident Case

Your choice to wear a helmet—or not, in accordance with the law—does not absolve other drivers of the responsibility to see and respect motorcycles. Those drivers cannot tailgate motorcycles, must drive the speed limit, must drive sober, and otherwise obey the rules of the road. If they don’t, they remain liable for any injuries they cause—whether you wore a helmet or not.

Know Your Rights

Whether or not you wear a helmet every time you ride is your choice, at least in Illinois. After an accident, helmet use should play no role in your right to a fair and just recovery. However, this does not mean the insurance company will not try to make the process more difficult. If you were in an accident, you have rights. After an accident, surround yourself with people you trust and who will support you through your recovery.

If you have questions after an accident or need help with your claim, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney for more information about your legal rights.


Abels & Annes
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575