Suppose you or a family member suffers motorcycle accident injuries. In that case, MDK Law Group can help you determine whether you can pursue legal compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses associated with the crash. A collision with other vehicles can result in significant property damage and devastating long-term injuries for motorcycle riders. As drivers increasingly succumb to distractions, motorcycle accidents involving negligence are more common than ever before. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, contact the experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at MDK Law Group for a free consultation. We can help you recover from the financial loss as you recover from your physical injuries.
The Scope of the Problem: Motorcycle Accident Statistics and Causes
According to the most recent available data from the Arizona Department of Transportation, the state experienced 2,676 motorcycle crashes in 2019 alone. These incidents resulted in 2,235 injuries and 170 fatalities, an increase of nearly 20 deaths compared to 2018.
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration reported more than 5,000 nationwide motorcycle deaths in 2019. Some of the biggest contributing factors to the prevalence and severity of motorcycle accidents include:
- Lack of a proper motorcycle license, a factor in approximately 30% of fatal 2019 motorcycle accidents
- Failure to wear a motorcycle helmet, which can result in severe traumatic brain injury or death
- Operating a motor vehicle or motorcycle while intoxicated
- The small size and weight of motorcycles compared to other motor vehicles, which contributes to a lack of motorcycle visibility for other drivers
- The lack of protection between the rider and the road, including the lack of airbags and seat belts
- The decreased stability of two-wheeled motor vehicles compared with that of four-wheeled motor vehicles
- Excessive speed, which the NHTSA says is a factor in 32% of fatal motorcycle crashes
- Collision with a fixed object, which occurs in approximately 23% of fatal motorcycle crashes
- Lack of experience, which may reflect the 53% of auto accident fatalities that occur in riders ages 50 and older, who may return to riding after retirement without updated safety education and training
The NHTSA compared the rate of fatalities per mile driven and found out that motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to die in an auto accident than individuals in passenger cars. Motorcycle accidents cause 14% of all traffic deaths.
Motorcyclists are also more likely to suffer disabling health consequences such as chronic pain, disfigurement, scarring, post-concussion syndrome, traumatic brain injury, amputation, spinal cord injury, and paralysis.
Fault in an Arizona Motorcycle Accident
After a motorcycle accident, your insurance company will investigate the crash based on witness testimonies, photos, videos, and police reports. If you decide to file a Phoenix AZ accident claim in court, you must prove that the other driver’s negligence caused the accident. However, that does not mean you do not have an injury case if you shared some fault in the crash.
Negligence means that the driver had a duty to act or not act in a certain way but failed to live up to that duty. In the case of a motor vehicle accident, the responsible motorist neglected his or her duty to drive safely. The driver may have been speeding or using a smartphone behind the wheel. He or she might have failed to signal or made a turn without checking the intersection.
Arizona uses a pure comparative negligence law to settle personal injury claims. With this system, the court will reduce the plaintiff’s proposed damage award by his or her amount of fault. For example, if another driver ran a red light and hit your motorcycle, the judge could decide you share 20% of responsibility for the crash because your headlight was out. In this example, you would receive $80,000 instead of the proposed $100,000 in damages.
What Is the Average Payout for a Motorcycle Accident?
Insurance companies try to limit the possible payout as much as possible for accident victims, which is why it is so important to protect your legal interests when involved in this type of incident. A range of factors affects your personal injury settlement after a motorcycle accident, including the extent of your injuries and the lack of care displayed by the other driver. The court will review how much the motorcycle accident has affected life enjoyment, your activities, your work, your relationships, and other areas. Keeping careful records of these impacts can help you build a solid case for legal compensation.
Generally, personal injury awards for motorcyclists who pursue litigation range from several hundred thousand dollars to more than $1 million. Unlike in some states, Arizona does not limit non-monetary auto accident damages such as pain and suffering and loss of life enjoyment.
Compensation through the legal system tends to exceed available compensation through the other driver’s insurance company, which is limited by his or her policy coverage. Arizona drivers only have to carry $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 in property damage liability per accident. In addition, the Insurance Information Institute reports that nearly 12% of Arizona motorists do not have any insurance coverage.
Any settlement or financial award for your motorcycle accident should fully account for these damages:
- Both physical and emotional pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of the motorcycle accident injuries
- Lost wages since you have been out of work since the motorcycle accident
- Future projected lost or reduced wages if you cannot return to work permanently or will remain partially disabled by your injuries
- Past and current medical expenses related to the accident, including tests, treatments, medications, surgeries, rehabilitation, and travel to medical appointments
- Projected future medical expenses as estimated by your health care provider
- Repair or replacement of your motorcycle and other damaged property
- Legal expenses associated with the accident
- Quality of life lost because of the accident (no longer being able to participate in favorite sports and activities, for example)
Keeping a journal after the accident can support your case for compensation as you provide details about exactly how your injuries have affected your health and emotional well-being.
Sometimes, the best outcome for a motorcycle accident victim is a lump sum payment so he or she can catch up on medical bills and prepare to return to work. A structured settlement that provides payments from an annuity offers ongoing income in cases involving permanent disability and chronic medical issues resulting from the accident.
When Should You Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer After an Accident?
It makes sense to contact a motorcycle accident attorney for knowledgeable legal advice even after a minor auto accident that does not result in serious injuries. You have an obligation to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. You may want your motorcycle accident attorney to work with the insurance adjuster on your behalf after a serious personal injury.
If you decide to file a lawsuit after an Arizona motorcycle accident, you must bring your personal injury claim to court within two years of the accident. Working with an experienced law firm as soon as possible can help you build a case that covers the extent of your accident costs, from actual expenses such as medical bills to costs like pain and suffering that cannot be quantified.
Questions To Ask When Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Arizona
When evaluating possible Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys to assist with a personal injury claim after you are involved in an accident, ask these questions to find the right fit:
- Do you specialize in helping injured motorcyclists? Some general practice attorneys may not have experience with the factors involved in seeking fair compensation for motorcycle riders.
- How often do you settle cases? Going to trial can take longer, but it can also help you get the full compensation you deserve when you are seriously injured. Some attorneys avoid litigation, which is not always in your best interests.
- What type of compensation have you obtained for clients after motorcycle accidents? Your injury lawyer should have a strong record of obtaining damages that cover the scope of the client’s medical care and other costs.
- Who will work on my case? While most attorneys have a team to assist with cases, we pride ourselves on serving as the direct contact for motorcycle accident victims in Arizona. We get to know you and the particulars of your case.
- What is your fee structure? Most motorcycle accident attorneys collect a fee only if motorcycle accident cases are successful. If they take your motorcycle accident claim, you have a strong chance of financial recovery. Usually, the motorcycle crash attorney charges a percentage of the compensation in an accident case.
Get in Touch With Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
At MDK Law Group, we have a mission to hold drivers accountable for their actions behind the wheel after motor vehicle accidents in AZ. Unsafe driving actions that cause permanent injury or death for too many motorcycle riders. When you call us about your case, our motorcycle crash lawyers will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the accident and help you seek justice in court with impeccable experience, research, and strategy. To request your free consultation after a Phoenix motorcycle accident, contact the motorcycle injury lawyers at MDK Law Group online or call (623) CALL-MDK (225-5635).