Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Mesa
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If you have sustained injuries in a motorcycle collision and are searching for a Mesa motorcycle accident lawyer to handle your claim, you should know what to look for in a qualified and competent attorney. In addition to a lawyer’s experience, credentials, and results, you should also consider the types of firsthand experience the attorney has with motorcycles.
Our Experience With Motorcycles
In addition to experience with handling motorcycle accident cases, several members of the Lamber Goodnow injury law team are avid motorcyclists. We know the feeling of freedom you can experience while riding on the open road. As attorneys, we also understand how devastating it can be when you suffer serious injuries or lose a loved one in a motorcycle crash. Our direct experience as motorcyclists and attorneys helps us to craft highly successful legal arguments on behalf of our clients and their families.
Our team of attorneys and motorcycle accident lawyers at our co-counsel firms are dedicated to protecting the rights and safety of motorcyclists. We fight for justice when our clients are seriously injured or lose their loved ones in motorcycle wrecks, striving to recover maximum financial compensation on their behalf through litigation.
We hold negligent drivers accountable and prevent them from getting away with deflecting blame when they are at fault. We are experienced, dedicated motorcycle accident lawyers who represent accident victims in Mesa, the Valley, and throughout the state and Southwest. We strive to hold negligent parties accountable for their wrongful actions while recovering damages for our clients.
Types of Compensation in a Motorcycle Accident Case
Since every motorcycle accident involves a unique set of circumstances and facts, there isn’t a single value that can be placed on motorcycle accident cases in general. Instead, the value of your claim will depend on facts that are specific to what happened, your injuries, and other factors. However, if your collision was caused by another motorist or entity, you might be entitled to recover compensation for both your economic and non-economic losses.
Compensatory damages are divided into special and general damages. Special damages refer to monetary amounts that are meant to reimburse you for your out-of-pocket or pecuniary expenses and might include the following types of damages:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
- Past lost wages
- Reduction in your future ability to earn an income
- Damage to your motorcycle and other property
General damages are compensatory amounts that are meant to compensate you for your non-economic losses and thus are more difficult to value. Some of the types of general damages that might be recoverable in your motorcycle accident claim include the following:
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma/psychological distress
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
Punitive damages might be recoverable in a case in which the defendant’s conduct was willful, wanton, or grossly negligent. These types of damages are payable on top of your compensatory damages and are meant to punish the defendant rather than compensate you for your losses. However, they are only available in rare cases.
How We Fight for Motorcyclists
Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Mesa gather evidence as quickly as possible before it can be lost. We work to interview witnesses to get their statements before their memories falter. In any accident case, time is critical. It is especially important in motorcycle accident cases. We also partner with experts when necessary, including accident reconstruction experts, engineering experts, and medical experts to help us fully understand all of the factors involved and present them to insurance companies to convince them of the importance of fully and fairly settling our clients’ claims.
Some of the scenarios involved in the motorcycle accident cases we handle include the following:
- Other motorists suddenly changing lanes and wrecking into motorcyclists
- Motorists suddenly turning left across the path of motorcyclists
- Motorists cutting corners too close and losing control
- Following motorcycles too closely
- Sudden stops
- Motorists failing to obey traffic control devices
- Poorly maintained loads creating dangerous conditions
- Defective motorcycle parts causing accidents
Our attorneys carefully analyze the facts of every case we handle and do whatever it takes to recover full compensation for our clients.
Arizona Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, 2,373 motorcycle crashes occurred in 2020. Out of these collisions, 163 were fatal and 1,855 involved serious injuries. Only 355 or 15% of the motorcycle collisions that occurred in the state that year involved property damage only. By contrast, out of 129,744 car accidents that occurred during that year, almost 70% or 90,346 involved property damage only.
This difference shows that motorcyclists are much likelier to suffer serious injuries or be killed when they are involved in accidents as compared to the occupants of motor vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that motorcyclists are 29 times likelier to die in motorcycle collisions per mile traveled than the occupants of other types of vehicles.
People who have been injured in Arizona motorcycle accidents caused by someone else might be entitled to file personal injury lawsuits against the responsible parties. When a motorcycle accident lawsuit goes to trial, the jury or judge will determine whether the defendant was legally responsible. Most motorcycle accident cases do not go to court, however. Instead, the parties reach settlement agreements before a lawsuit is filed.
Important Arizona Laws
There are several important laws that you should know about motorcycle accidents. In many cases, the victims of motorcycle accidents are unable to speak to a motorcycle accident attorney Mesa right after their collisions because of the severity of their injuries. However, it is still important to understand the statute of limitations, which is a law that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit.
Under A.R.S. § 12-542, the statute of limitations in Arizona for personal injury claims, including those involving motorcycle collisions, is two years from the date of the accident and injury. In a motorcycle wreck that resulted in a fatality, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the victim’s death. It is important to understand the statute of limitations because if you don’t file your lawsuit on time, you will be barred from pursuing compensation through the legal system.
Another statute that is important is A.R.S. § 12-2505. Under this law, Arizona has adopted a system of pure comparative negligence, which means that every party involved in an accident is responsible for their degree of negligence. How this translates is that even if you were partially at fault, you won’t be barred from recovering compensation for your motorcycle wreck and injuries. However, your award will be reduced by the percentage of fault the jury attributes to you.
Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements in Arizona
Under A.R.S. § 28-4009, all motorists must carry auto insurance with at least the following minimum liability coverages:
- $25,000 bodily injury or death for one person
- $50,000 bodily injury or death for two or more people
- $15,000 property damage coverage
In serious accidents, these coverage amounts might not be enough to cover the victim’s losses.
At the time you are issued an insurance policy, your insurance company must provide you with the option of purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage (UM/UIM) under A.R.S. § 20-259.01. It is a good idea to purchase this additional coverage to protect you if you are involved in a motorcycle crash with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. If that occurs, you can file a claim with your insurer to recover compensation for your losses up to the policy limits.
Health Insurance Liens and Motorcycle Accidents
Under A.R.S. §§ 33-931 – 33-936, hospitals and other healthcare providers can file healthcare liens against the person who is admitted for motor vehicle accidents. In many cases, these liens are filed automatically without the hospital checking the victim’s health insurance coverage.
Healthcare liens are meant to give medical providers a method of recovering compensation for the medical care they have provided and are placed against the victims’ personal injury claims. Healthcare liens can’t be used to seize anything other than a portion of your claim if it is successful. However, the lien can only secure the customary charges for the provider and can’t be above that amount. In most cases, an experienced Mesa motorcycle accident attorney at Lamber Goodnow can negotiate these liens or have them waived by showing that the lien was not recorded properly, errors were made in calculating the lien’s amount, or showing that the treatment was not related to the accident or was unnecessary.
Health insurance companies might also seek reimbursement for the money they have paid for their insureds. However, Arizona is an anti-subrogation state, so the insurance company might not be allowed to step into your lawsuit and act on your behalf. If your insurance company is claiming that you will be required to reimburse it, talk to a Mesa motorcycle accident lawyer to find out about your rights.
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FAQs: Motorcycle Accidents
It can be overwhelming to be involved in a motorcycle collision. If you were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident or lost your loved one, you might have many questions about your case and how to proceed. The Mesa motorcycle accident attorneys at Lamber Goodnow regularly receive numerous questions about motorcycle accidents. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions we receive.
Q: Is the Motorcyclist Usually at Fault for a Motorcycle Crash?
A: Many people have the mistaken idea that motorcyclists are usually at fault for causing their accidents. People tend to perceive motorcyclists as risk-takers. However, a major study that looked at the causes of motorcycle crashes called the Hurt Report found that the opposite is true. While the study was conducted during the late 1970s, it is the most comprehensive and largest study that has been conducted about the causes of motorcycle crashes. The study found that motorists were at fault in 66% of the accidents that were analyzed in the study. It is important to understand this study. Because people and jurors have misconceptions about motorcyclists, you will need to present strong evidence showing that the motorist caused your accident to overcome the potential bias.
Q: Are Motorcycle Helmets Required in Arizona?
A: Under A.R.S. § 28-964, all motorcyclists and their passengers who are under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets. However, adults are not required to do so. While you might not be required to wear a helmet, you should still do so whenever you ride. The National Safety Council reports that motorcycle helmets are 37% effective in preventing fatalities and 41% effective in preventing injuries serious enough to require transport to the emergency department in motorcycle accidents.
Q: Who Is at Fault in a Left-Turn Collision with an Oncoming Motorcycle?
A: In most cases, a driver who turns left onto a highway in front of an oncoming motorcyclist will be at fault for causing a crash. However, if the motorcyclist was speeding at the time of the collision, the motorcyclist might also share a percentage of the fault. In that type of situation, Arizona’s comparative negligence laws will come into play.
Q: Are Other Types of Safety Gear Required Besides Helmets in Arizona?
A: While Arizona only requires people who are under the age of 18 to wear helmets while riding on motorcycles, there are mandated types of safety gear that are required of all motorcyclists in the state. You are required to wear protective goggles or have a clear face shield when you are operating your bike unless it has a windshield. Even though the law doesn’t mandate other types of safety gear, you should still wear it. Look for certified motorcycle boots, protective Kevlar or leather pants, motorcycle gloves, and a motorcycle jacket. You should also carry rain gear with you in case you run into weather while you are riding. Safety gear can help to keep you from being seriously injured if you are in an accident.
Q: What Should I Do if I Don’t Think I’m Injured?
A: Even if you don’t believe that you have been injured in a motorcycle wreck, you should still seek immediate medical attention. Many people are in shock and also experience a rush of adrenaline during the immediate aftermath of a crash. The combination of adrenaline and shock can mask pain and other injury symptoms. Some types of serious injuries also have delayed symptoms. For example, you might have internal injuries that are not immediately apparent. If you don’t seek immediate medical attention, hidden injuries could worsen. Getting a prompt diagnosis and treatment can both facilitate your recovery and help you with your motorcycle accident claim. When you get immediate medical care, it helps to show a link between your injuries and the accident. If you don’t see a doctor immediately, the insurance company might try to blame your injuries on an intervening incident.
"My wife and I had occasion to use Mr. Lamber and his staff for a legal matter. The entire staff was wonderful. They kept us informed of every step and communicated quickly and effectively as things changed or progressed. We would highly recommend Mr. Lamber and his staff to anyone needing legal advice or assistance. They had a very high level of integrity and professionalism. It's too bad there are only 5 stars for their rating. They are excellent."
"I just got rear-ended today, but I'm thankful I found this firm. They take care of you in general, and if you don't make enough to cover your costs, they back you up 100%. Stephanie Ramos gave excellent and kind customer service by getting me in motion with the whole process. Attorney Donn Coolidge gave me the rundown of the situation very clearly, and I'm looking forward to working with him. I fully recommend this firm!"
Jonathan Carrillo Lopez
2394 E Camelback Rd #600
Phoenix, AZ 85016