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Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Have You Been Injured in a Motorcycle Crash in Phoenix?

Arizona’s open highways and national park destinations encourage road trips of all kinds.While exploring Arizona by motorcycle can be exhilarating, it unfortunately comes with extra dangers and significant risk. Motorcyclist are extremely vulnerable to serious injuries as motorcycles lack many of the basic safety features of other vehicles; no airbags, no seat belts and the lack of a crumple zone. If you have been a victim of a motorcycle accident in the Phoenix area, recovering from your injuries can be a long and difficult process. When filing a claim, it’s unwise to deal with insurance by yourself. A specialized Phoenix personal injury lawyer at Knapp & Roberts law firm has years of experience handling cases such as these, and will fight on your behalf for fair compensation.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury after a Phoenix motorcycle accident, a qualified motorcycle accident attorney on our team can help ease the burden during the recovery. If the crash was caused by another driver’s negligence, you deserve justice and compensation. Don’t go at it alone, call the Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyers of Knapp & Roberts for a free consultation; our dedicated team will fight to make sure you are compensated fairly.

Arizona Motorcycle Laws

In general, motorcyclists in Arizona have the same rights and duties of care as other motor vehicle drivers. There are, however, state statutes specifically regarding motorcycling. Understanding the Arizona’s motorcycle laws can help keep you out of legal trouble, as well as help you know when you could be liable for an accident. A few basic Arizona motorcycle laws are as follows:

  • All motorcyclists in Arizona require class “M” licenses, acquired only after taking special motorcycle tests. You have to be at least 16 years old for a class M license.
  • As an adult motorcyclist, the law does not require that you wear a protective helmet. Only operators or passengers under the age of 18 must wear helmets.
  • Motorcycles must have seats, footrests, and at least one rearview mirror. Passengers are only allowed on motorcycles with seats for extra people.
  • Motorcycles can use entire lanes. No driver may infringe upon a motorcycle’s right to a whole lane. Two motorcyclists may ride abreast in a single lane if desired.
  • Motorcyclists may not lane-split in Arizona. Lane-splitting refers to cutting between lanes of traffic. As of February 2018, lane-splitting is still illegal in Arizona, although SB 1007 could change that in the future.

After a motorcycle crash, police will question whether the other driver, the motorcyclist, or a third party broke a roadway law that caused or contributed to the accident. Breaking a roadway rule is an act of negligence that could lead to liability for damages. The best way to stay predictable on the road and avoid liability for a crash is to obey all of the state’s motorcycle laws. Breaking a law, however, might not mean you’re entirely at fault – talk to our Phoenix motorcycle crash attorneys about comparative negligence rules in Arizona.

Note that in most cases a defendant could not hold your lack of helmet wearing against you during a motorcycle injury claim. Since Arizona law does not mandate that you wear a helmet, the defendant could not use this as proof of your own comparative fault for your head or brain injuries. This would only be a viable strategy if you broke a law by failing to wear a helmet.

Arizona Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney

According to the most recent data, there are approximately 192,000 registered motorcycles in the state of Arizona. The neighboring state of California has nearly 800,000, so it is likely that a large volume of out of state motorcycle riders travel through the Grand Canyon State every year. There were 3,189 accidents involving a motorcycle in Arizona in 2014, fewer than two percent of all motor vehicle crashes in the state. However, the rate at which those accidents were injurious or fatal was exponentially greater compared to all other vehicles. The 127 motorcycle related fatalities accounted for nearly 30 percent of total motor vehicle fatalities  At the same time, nearly 80 percent of Arizona motorcycle accidents involved injuries (2,530); while fewer than 33 percent of passenger car crashes resulted in injuries.

Common Causes of Phoenix Motorcycle Accidents

The nature of motorcycles makes them more vulnerable to certain hazards and roadway conditions compared to other types of vehicles. Motorcyclists might not be able to prevent accidents when they encounter things such as potholes, loose gravel, bad weather, or negligent drivers. As is the case in all types of car accidents, the number one cause of motorcycle accidents is human error. Other drivers failing to watch for motorcycles, refusing to yield the right-of-way, making unsafe lane changes, speeding, driving under the influence, or making sudden stops can all cause serious or fatal motorcycle accidents.

When a roadway defect causes a motorcyclist to lose control of the vehicle and crash, the motorcyclist might not be at fault. It could be the city’s fault for failing to maintain safe roadways. If the entity in charge of roadway maintenance knew or reasonably should have known of the defect, yet failed to order repairs, it could be liable for subsequent single-vehicle motorcycle accidents. Crumbling pavement, debris in the road, and malfunctioning or hidden traffic signals can all lead to government fault for a crash.

Defective bike parts can also cause motorcycle accidents. If a motorcycle contains a defective or dangerous vehicle part, it can make it impossible to safely operate the motorcycle. This can result in an operator losing control and crashing the vehicle. Defective parts in other vehicles could also cause drivers to crash into motorcycles. In these cases, injured parties might have grounds to sue the part manufacturer and/or distributor for allowing the defective part to hit the market.

Most Common Types of Phoenix Motorcycle Crashes

Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die and five times more likely to be injured in a crash than are passenger car occupants.  The danger is clear, but what type of collisions are motorcyclists most often involved in? Here are a few common motorcycle accidents

  • Head-on collisions
  • Vehicle left turn In front of motorcyclist
  • Sideswiped by vehicle making unsafe lane change
  • Lane splitting accidents
  • Collisions with fixed objects
  • Road hazards and slippery surfaces

Along with these collision types and scenarios, two factors are over represented in motorcycle accidents: Speeding and Alcohol use.  Whether on the part of the vehicle driver or the motorcyclist, a Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer knows that avoiding the dangerous behaviors of using excessive speed and drinking and driving can make the roads safer for everyone.

Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents

The most common injuries sustained by motorcyclists are to their feet and legs, accounting for more than 30 percent of all non-fatal injuries.  Just behind, however, are injuries to the head and neck area – at 22 percent.  These injuries can include:

Arizona Motorcycle Helmet Law

If you are a motorcycle rider in Arizona who is over the age of 18, then you do not have to wear a helmet while riding. Proponents of this legislation deem it as freedom of choice, but the data spells out just how unsafe it is to be riding without a helmet.

Everyone knows how much more vulnerable you are on a motorcycle compared to a passenger vehicle; on two wheels, one pothole or improperly taken turn can spell disaster. The susceptibility to head injuries, especially when not wearing a helmet, is the most significant danger. Research shows that wearing a helmet is 37 percent effective for preventing fatal head injuries. In Arizona alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates the 38 fatalities were prevented by helmet use and another 32 could have prevented if 100 percent of the riders wore a helmet.

 

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.