Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Arizona can be a beautiful landscape for motorcyclists, but it can also be dangerous. In 2016, 3,115 motorcycle accidents occurred in the state of Arizona, leading to over 2,600 injuries and leaving 145 people dead. The motorcycle accident lawyers at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. can help if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in Phoenix, Arizona. Our attorneys may be able to help you fight for just compensation for your injuries.
- Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents
- Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Arizona
- Most Dangerous Places to Bike in Arizona
- Arizona Motorcycle Laws
- Motorcycle Insurance in Arizona
- What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
- Motorcycle Accident FAQs
- Motorcycle Resources
Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents
There are over 166,000 registered motorcycles in Arizona. With that many bikes on the road, collisions are a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’. Knowing the most common types of Arizona motorcycle accidents might be able to help you avoid one in the future. It can also help you ascertain liability for your damages if it’s already too late to prevent a crash. Our lawyers have represented auto accident clients since 1957. In our years of experience, we’ve come to easily recognize the most frequent reasons for motorcycle accidents, such as human error. We also know the most common types of crashes, including:
- Collisions with other motor vehicles. The number one “first harmful event” in Arizona motorcycle accidents in 2016 was “collision with motor vehicle in transport,” with 1,783 such crashes. Other drivers may not see motorcycles on the roadway, resulting in a high risk of collisions.
- Left-hand turn accidents. One of the most common motorcycle accident types is left-hand turn collisions at intersections. Vehicles making left-hand turns might not watch carefully enough for oncoming motorcyclists or misjudge the speed or distance. A driver turning on top of a motorcyclist could result in a serious T-bone or head-on collision.
- Collision with fixed object. Motorcyclists may collide with fixed objects such as guardrails or buildings if the roadway lead to loss of motorcycle control. Loose gravel or a pothole, for example, could result in losing control and colliding with fixed objects in the roadway. Wet roads contributed to at least 84 Arizona motorcycle accidents in 2016.
Our firm can hire a team of investigators to look into your Phoenix motorcycle accident. An investigation could determine the primary cause of the accident, any contributing factors, the manner of the collision, the parties involved, and many other facts. Our firm will then work hard to secure you compensation from the at-fault party or parties. We’ll build a strong case, represent you during settlement or judgment negotiations, and more.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Arizona
The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) investigated 814 motorcycle collisions in 2015; 41 of these collisions were fatal. In 2016, the DPS investigated 792 collisions, with 32 of the accidents ending in fatal results. Seventeen of those accidents involved another vehicle.
The top causes of motorcycle accidents are improper speed and failure to remain within the proper lane and yield right of way. Other accidents can occur when motorists are not alert enough and do not recognize when motorcyclists are on the road. Approximately 40% of motorcycle collisions occur when another vehicle turns left in front of a motorcycle.
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a motorcycle accident, the motorcycle lawyers of Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., can help you determine fault and explore your legal options for recourse. Contact us today.
Most Dangerous Places to Bike in Arizona
While the number of motorcycle-related deaths and accidents has decreased over the years, Phoenix is one of the most dangerous cities for cyclists in the United States. In 2009, 25 cyclists died in accidents and more than 1,000 suffered injuries while driving on busy streets. This danger area extends to Mesa and Scottsdale as well.
In 2016, Maricopa County had the highest number of motorcycle crashes, with almost 98,000 accidents; 453 of these crashes resulted in death, while over 40,000 people suffered injuries. Pima County had the second highest number of accidents, with over 11,000 accidents, which led to 98 deaths and 6.645 injuries.
Driving in any urban area is highly risky for motorcyclists, due to the high concentration of traffic. For Arizona, most accidents occur in urban areas. In 2016, the highest at-risk day for accidents in urban areas was Friday, with most fatal accidents occurring on Saturdays.
Arizona Motorcycle Laws
In addition to regular traffic laws, Arizona has specific laws for motorcycles. These include:
- Motorists must allow motorcyclists to use a lane.
- A motorcyclist must not pass another vehicle in the same lane of traffic.
- A motorcyclist shall not split traffic lanes.
- Motorcyclists will not ride with more than two passengers in traffic. The motorcycle must have proper seating and footrests for these passengers.
- Anyone younger than 18 years old must wear a helmet while on a motorcycle.
- All motorcyclists must wear eye protection unless their motorcycle has a transparent windshield.
- All motorcycles must have rearview mirrors, secure seats, footrests, and headlamps.
- All motorcyclists must have a Class M endorsement to operate a motorcycle in Arizona.
Motorcycle Insurance in Arizona
Arizona law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance, regardless of the type of vehicle. This includes motorcyclists. The state required minimum coverage for a motorcycle includes:
- $15,000 bodily injury coverage for accidents involving one person
- $30,000 bodily injury coverage for accidents involving two or more people
- $10,000 property damage coverage for each accident
The possession of liability insurance does not affect the law that anyone on a motorcycle under the age of 18 must wear a helmet. It also does not affect the law requiring eye protection through protective glasses or a windshield.
There is no requirement for drivers to purchase underinsured or uninsured liability coverage. However, this additional coverage can be helpful when the at-fault party in an accident does not have the correct amount of insurance to cover all costs and damages.
If you have suffered damage in a motorcycle accident and the other party has insufficient insurance, consult with the motorcycle accident attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., to help learn your best course of action.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists almost always suffer more serious injuries than passenger vehicle occupants in collisions. Broken bones, head and brain injuries, spine injuries, lacerations, road rash, and contusions are all common types of motorcyclist injuries. With or without a helmet, you could suffer a life-changing head or neck injury. Your injuries could follow you for life. You need an attorney to help you fight for fair compensation if you’ve suffered any of these major injuries in a motorcycle accident. Otherwise, an insurance company could take advantage of you.
The state of Arizona currently does not impose any caps on damages you could receive for personal injuries or wrongful death. This means the amount of your compensation award is largely up to the arbitration skills of your attorney. Call a Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after a motorcycle crash in Arizona. The sooner you speak to an attorney, the better your odds are of compiling a strong personal injury claim. Waiting to hire an attorney could damage your case if you say the wrong thing to an insurance company or miss an important deadline.
Other priorities that should be at the forefront of your mind after a motorcycle accident include going to the hospital, documenting your damages, and filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Contact our Phoenix firm for a more comprehensive breakdown of what to do following a motorcycle accident. We’ll give you free counsel during your first lawyer meeting.
Motorcycle Accident FAQs
When Should I Contact a Lawyer?
The state of Arizona imposes certain time limits for filing a lawsuit, called the statute of limitations. This time limit varies depending on the type of action a plaintiff seeks. The statute of limitations for a motorcycle accident is two years from the date in which the accident occurred. Failure to file a claim within this limit could lead to a case dismissal, even if another party clearly committed negligence.
For this reason, we recommend contacting our law firm as soon as possible following a motorcycle accident. This will give us plenty of time to identify the parties responsible and demand fair compensation on your behalf for injuries, pain, and intangible losses.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Motorcycle Accident?
Arizona law permits victims of motorcycle accidents to claim two main types of damages following an accident: economic and general.
Economic damages provide compensation for the material losses associated with an accident. Examples include medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation and therapy, and the expected costs of future medical expenses related to the accident. These expenses may also include property damage, such as the cost of motorcycle repair or replacement.
General damages, on the other hand, provide monetary reimbursement for intangible losses. These might include physical pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and any loss in life quality you might suffer as the result of the accident.
In some cases, you may also be able to pursue punitive damages following a motorcycle accident. These apply to instances of gross negligence and reckless misconduct. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine if gross negligence occurred and demand punitive damages from the defendant.
What Road Hazards Are Unique to Arizona?
Arizona can be a wonderful place to enjoy hitting the open road. We have unrivaled scenery, and motorcyclists come from all over the country to take in all we have to offer. While riding a motorcycle in Arizona can be a rewarding pastime, it also has unique hazards. Here are some of the most common:
- Monsoon season. Many people, particularly out-of-towners, don’t realize that Arizona has a monsoon season. Torrential rainfall can occur in a matter of moments, catching motorists off guard. This can lead to decreased visibility and the potential for hydroplaning, both of which can prove disastrous to motorcyclists. Additionally, monsoon season also brings the risk of dust storms, which can have similar detrimental effects.
- Road debris. Though not unique to Arizona, windstorms can create scattered debris such as branches and rocks. Though these may only pose an inconvenience to a passing motorist, it can be catastrophic to someone riding a motorcycle.
- Small animals. Arizona is home to abundant wildlife, which may cross the road at inconvenient times. Without the added protection that cars provide, even a collision with a small animal could lead to serious injuries.
What Are the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Arizona?
A motorcycle accident may occur in virtually any scenario, but some are more common than others. For example, motorcyclists are more likely to experience serious injuries from hitting a pothole or road debris than a passing car. Some of the most common causes of accident include:
- Cut-off collisions. These most commonly occur when a car fails to check a blind spot, colliding into the motorcyclist from the front.
- Car door opening in traffic. In town, motorcyclists should use extra caution and ride closely to the middle of the lane. A car door opening in traffic may only lead to property damage for a passing vehicle but could seriously injure someone on a motorcycle.
- Highway accidents. Simply, motorists do not always keep a close eye out for motorcyclists on highways. These high-speed collisions can lead to permanently disabling or catastrophic injuries.
For further information on motorcycle laws, accidents, and safety, look through the following resources:
- American Motorcyclist Association
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
- Motorcycle Safety Foundation
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Motorcycle Accident FAQ
- How to Get Your Arizona Motorcycle License
- Little Known Facts About Motorcycle Accidents
- Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts
Becoming properly informed about motorcycle safety is one of the first steps to preventing accidents.