Most motorcycle accidents result in devastating injuries due to the extreme vulnerability of motorcyclists, including major skin abrasions, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or even death. A rider’s injuries are almost always more severe than those that occupants of passenger vehicles sustain.
If you were involved in a catastrophic motorcycle accident, Cullan & Cullan can help you. As Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyers who have been fighting for the injured since 1990, we have a considerable amount of experience in this complicated and important field.
We are passionate about what we do, and we do not hesitate to assert our clients’ rights even in the face of large corporations and their teams of attorneys. We fight for fair results.
Common Causes of Arizona Motorcycle Accidents
Famous Route 66 cuts through Arizona, encouraging motorcyclists to visit from around the world. Arizona’s roadways are notorious for their loose rubble and dirt, presenting a hazard to the many motorcyclists who ride through the state.
Motorcycles are more prone to accidents than passenger vehicles due to their susceptibility to hazards and poor weather conditions. However, while riders face many dangers on the road, the greatest threat comes from other motorists.
Other motorists often cause motorcycle accidents by:
- Driving while fatigued/drowsy
- Driving while distracted
- Driving under the influence
- Making unsafe or poorly executed turns
- Failing to yield right-of-way
- Failing to obey traffic signals
- Making unsafe lane changes
Other motorists can easily fail to see a motorcyclist on the road, merging on top of the biker or cutting him or her off in traffic. Some drivers are impatient or irritated around motorcyclists and engage in reckless driving behaviors such as passing too closely.
Others don’t pay enough attention to avoid colliding with a motorcycle that “came out of nowhere.” Driver negligence is a major cause of motorcycle accidents—and something that is completely avoidable.
Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident in Phoenix
When a negligent or reckless driver causes a motorcycle crash, the injured victim or the family of a deceased victim can take the responsible party to court to recover damages, including medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and permanent disability.
Understanding the motorcycle laws in Arizona can help victims know their rights in a crash and file claims with confidence.
At Cullan & Cullan, we deal in legal rights. We know exactly what motorcyclists can and cannot do on Arizona’s roadways. We also have a firm understanding of what actions injured motorcyclists can take following a harmful collision. We’re happy to discuss your individual legal opportunities during a free consultation.
In the meantime, here’s an overview of general rights you might have after a motorcycle crash:
- The right to medical bill coverage. Regardless of fault, your insurance company must cover your initial medical expenses within the limits of your policy. Seek coverage through your insurer right away if you’re in the hospital after a crash.
- The right to rental car payment. Many accident victims require rental cars temporarily while their vehicles undergo repairs. Seek coverage for this expense through your own insurer or that of the at-fault driver.
- The right to file a lawsuit. Every accident victim has the right to file a lawsuit with the Phoenix civil courts if someone else’s negligence or unlawful act caused the crash. A lawsuit could result in compensation for all of your accident-related losses.
You also have the right to work with a motorcycle accident attorney in Phoenix to maximize your settlement or jury verdict after a motorcycle crash.
The law firm you use can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. Whether you need help negotiating an insurance settlement or assistance taking a defendant to court, the Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys at Cullan & Cullan can help.
Damages Available in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Most motorcycle accidents result in serious to catastrophic injuries and expensive property damage. You may have totaled your bike and/or stayed in the hospital following a motorcycle collision in Phoenix.
As the medical and other bills pile up, speak to an attorney about potential damage recovery. An at-fault party such as another driver, product manufacturer, employer, or the City of Phoenix may be responsible for reimbursing you for losses.
Recoverable damages in a motorcycle accident claim can include:
- Medical costs. Past, present, and future medical expenses relating to your accident. This encompasses ambulance fees, hospital stays, surgeries, tests and x-rays, prescription medications, doctor’s appointments, etc.
- Lost wages. If your crash put you out of work for days, weeks, or months, you have the legal right to compensation to replace lost income, including lost earning capacity and/or opportunities. This includes time you miss going to medical appointments.
- Property loss or damage. You could be eligible for payment for repairs to your motorcycle, or a check for the total value of the bike in the event of total destruction. If you lost other types of property in the crash, recovery damages can include these items as well.
- Pain and suffering. The Arizona court system allows motorcycle accident victims to seek recovery for non-economic damages such as physical pain, emotional suffering, and mental anguish. If a motorcycle crash left you emotionally scarred or traumatized, you could be eligible for this type of recovery.
You may also receive compensation for:
- Permanent injury/disability
- Household or vehicle modifications (ramps for wheelchairs, lifts, etc.)
- Rehabilitative costs (such as physical therapy)
- Scarring and/or disfigurement
- Loss of limbs
- Lost wage
- Loss of earning capacity
- Wrongful death damages if you lost a family member
What If I Wasn't Wearing a Helmet or Safety Gear?
Arizona law requires motorcyclists to have a certain set of skills and licensure. It also requires operators and passengers 17 and younger to wear a helmet; older drivers can ride helmet-free. The law does make it mandatory for motorcyclists to wear protective glasses, goggles, or a face shield unless a motorcycle comes equipped with a windshield.
Although the law requires this safety gear, failing to wear it doesn’t automatically throw out a personal injury case. If your Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer can prove that you would have sustained injury regardless of wearing safety glasses, you may still be eligible to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Seeking Compensation for Road Rash Injuries
Road rash is a term used to describe serious abrasions that a motorcyclist suffers when his or her skin comes into contact with the ground in a motorcycle accident.
Road rash injuries range in severity and may be so significant that the skin, muscle, nerves, and even bone in the affected area are catastrophically damaged. Scarring, disfigurement, and loss of function can result from road rash.
- Minor road rash: Minor scrapes, cuts, and reddening of the skin may occur, and treatment will typically be limited to cleaning and covering the wounds until they heal.
- Moderate road rash: The skin may be broken with this type of road rash, and medical treatment may be required, but a victim is likely to make a full recovery with little scarring.
- Severe road rash: These injuries involve damage to the skin and the tissue underneath, sometimes extending all the way down to the bone. Amputation may be required, or a victim may lose sensation and/or muscle control in the affected area.
Our firm is here to help road rash victims recover the compensation they need for their complete and ongoing medical care, physical therapy, reconstructive surgery, and more. We welcome you to call for a free, confidential consultation with one of our attorneys so you can find out what your case is worth and how we can help.
Learn More in a Free Consultation
Help from our Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys can significantly alter your future for the better. You could be looking at a six- or seven-figure recovery or more, depending on the circumstances and the severity of your losses.
If the collision left you permanently disabled, for example, the at-fault party may be liable for paying for a lifetime of medical costs and related damages.
Do not hesitate to call Cullan & Cullan. Our attorneys have medical degrees and advanced accident reconstruction training. We use our considerable academic and real-world experience to effectively investigate and negotiate or litigate motorcycle accident cases across Arizona. We are ready to see how we can help you and your family.
Call our firm at (602) 900-9483 for more information and insight that applies to your unique situation.