Scottsdale Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Many residents of Scottsdale, Arizona love to ride on motorcycles. Riding on a motorcycle allows people to experience a sense of freedom and adventure while also being a much more economical mode of transportation than driving cars. However, motorcycle riding also carries a much greater risk of injury or death when accidents happen. While passenger car occupants are protected from the forces released in accidents by their airbags, seatbelts, and the steel cab surrounding them, motorcycle riders do not have these forms of protection and instead absorb the physical forces from wrecks with their bodies.
People who are seriously injured in motorcycle crashes caused by others are entitled to file claims against the negligent parties. A Scottsdale motorcycle accident lawyer at Lamber Goodnow can review your potential claim and help you understand the legal remedies you might pursue. When you have been injured in this type of collision, finding a motorcycle accident lawyer in Scottsdale who has the right types of experience, record, and knowledge about motorcycles helps to increase your chances of recovering full compensation for your economic and non-economic losses.
Importance of Experience With and Knowledge of Motorcycles
When you are searching for a Scottsdale motorcycle accident attorney, you should look for someone who has substantial experience with handling motorcycle accident lawsuits and riding on motorcycles. Having a lawyer who understands what it is like to ride on motorcycles and the particular risks motorcycle riders encounter can help to build a strong case.
Some of the lawyers at Lamber Goodnow are motorcycle enthusiasts who have a keen understanding of motorcycles and what happens in the aftermath of collisions. We understand the emotional and financial devastation accident victims go through following their motorcycle collisions, and our experience enables us to craft highly successful legal claims on behalf of our clients. Both our attorneys and those at our co-counsel firms are dedicated to pursuing justice for the victims of motorcycle accidents and will work to recover the maximum possible compensation for you.
We believe in holding negligent motorists accountable for their actions while recovering the compensation our clients deserve. We represent motorcycle wreck victims and the families of those who are killed in Scottsdale, Phoenix, throughout the State of Arizona, and across the Southwest. Call Lamber Goodnow today to learn more about how we might be able to help you.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to data reported by the National Safety Council (NSC), motorcycle collision fatalities increased by 11% from 2019 to 2020. In 2020 in the U.S., 5,579 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents for a fatality rate of 31.64 per 1 million vehicle miles traveled. Another 82,500 motorcycles suffered nonfatal injuries for an injury rate of 468 per 1 million vehicle miles traveled. A majority of fatal motorcycle accidents or 61.6% occurred in urban vs. rural areas.
Data from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) for 2020 demonstrates similar dangers. In Arizona, 2,373 motorcycle crashes were reported with 1,855 resulting in nonfatal injuries and 163 resulting in fatalities. Just 15% of the collisions reported in Arizona did not result in injuries or fatalities. As a comparison, 129,744 car accidents were reported in Arizona during that year, and 70% of those only resulted in property damage with no reported injuries or deaths.
As these statistics show, motorcyclists are much likelier to suffer injuries or die in accidents than passenger vehicle occupants. In 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that motorcyclists were 29 times likelier to die in traffic accidents per vehicle mile traveled than other motorists.
Motorcyclists who are seriously injured in collisions in Arizona because of the negligent actions of others have a right to file claims for compensation against the responsible parties. By filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit, you might be able to recover full compensation for your losses and hold the negligent motorist who caused your accident and injuries accountable.
Types of Compensation in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
The value of a motorcycle accident case will depend on multiple factors, including the severity of the victim’s injuries, the other motorist’s degree of negligence, whether the victim shared some fault, and others. Since each case is unique, there isn’t a specific amount an attorney can quote you for the value of your claim. Instead, a motorcycle accident lawyer in Scottsdale will carefully analyze your case to calculate a range of values within which you might anticipate a fair settlement to fall. If your motorcycle wreck was caused by someone else, however, you might be entitled to recover compensation for all of your losses.
Motorcycle collision lawsuits typically involve claims for compensatory damages. These are monetary awards that are designed to compensate accident victims for their pecuniary or economic losses and also for their non-economic losses and are referred to as special and general damages.
Special damages are designed to compensate accident victims for their out-of-pocket losses and include the following types:
- Past and future medical costs
- Past and future income losses
- Property damage
- Funeral and burial expenses in wrongful death cases
- Lost inheritance rights in wrongful death cases
- Loss of the value of the contributions the deceased victim would have made over their lifespan if they had survived in wrongful death cases
General damages are designed to compensate victims for their more intangible losses and include the following types:
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma/mental anguish
- Loss of consortium or guidance in wrongful death cases
In some cases, another damages type might also be available. These are called punitive damages because they are meant to punish the defendant instead of compensating the victim. However, punitive damages are only awarded in cases in which the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent, wanton, or willful. This means that they aren’t awarded in every case. Your Scottsdale motorcycle accident lawyer at Lamber Goodnow can help you understand whether punitive damages might be available in your case.
How the Scottsdale Lamber Goodnow Attorneys Handle Motorcycle Collision Claims
The Scottsdale motorcycle accident lawyers at Lamber Goodnow begin working immediately when they receive a new case. With motorcycle collisions, time is often of the essence. Critical evidence can quickly be lost with passing time, so our lawyers work hard from the start to gather and preserve evidence before it can be lost. We work with accident reconstruction experts and investigators to interview witnesses, preserve the accident scene, gather evidence, and help us build the strongest possible liability claims for our clients.
Our attorneys send preservation letters to defendants to prevent them from spoliating evidence that could help our clients. By working hard from the beginning to prepare our cases, we are frequently able to secure fair settlement offers for our clients. Insurance companies know our attorneys’ records and are often unwilling to risk losing at trial to us.
Our Scottsdale motorcycle accident lawyers handle all of the following types of collisions:
- Sudden lane change motorcycle collisions
- Left-turning motorist accidents
- Motorcycle collisions caused by drivers cutting corners too closely
- Tailgating motorcycle accidents
- Motorcycle collisions caused by sudden stops
- Motorists running stoplights and stop signs
- Defective motorcycle or car part accidents
- Defective road conditions resulting from poor maintenance or design
When you meet with us, we will conduct a thorough analysis and give you an honest assessment of the legal merits of your case.
Insurance and Motorcycle Accidents
Arizona follows a fault-based system for auto accident claims, including those involving motorcycles. This means that when you are injured in an accident because of the negligence of a motorist, you will file your claim with the other motorist’s insurance company to recover compensation.
Problems can arise when a driver is either uninsured or underinsured. While all drivers in Arizona are required to carry auto insurance with minimum liability coverage of $25,000/$50,000/$15,000 under ARS § 28-4009, some motorists still drive in the state without carrying the minimum liability auto insurance.
Even if a motorist has the required minimum liability insurance, motorcycle collisions can cause severe injuries that require months or years of recovery. Because of the severity of your injuries, an at-fault party’s insurance policy limits might not be enough to cover your losses.
Because of the problems of uninsured and underinsured motorists in Arizona, the state requires insurance companies to offer uninsured/underinsured motorists (UM/UIM) coverage at the time you purchase a policy under ARS § 20-259.01. While you are not required to purchase this additional coverage, you should consider doing so. How UM/UIM works is that you can file a claim with your policy when you suffer losses in an accident with an uninsured driver or an underinsured driver with inadequate policy limits. Your UM/UIM coverage will then pay you for your losses or the difference between your losses and the underinsured motorist’s policy up to your policy limits.
FAQs: Scottsdale Motorcycle Accidents
The attorneys at Lamber Goodnow often field questions about motorcycle accidents from victims and their families. Here are a few of the questions we frequently are asked to help you understand your potential claim.
Q: When Should I Hire a Scottsdale Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
A: Some people think they should try to file claims following motorcycle collisions on their own and only later turn to an attorney if they run into trouble with their claims. In reality, you should retain a lawyer in your motorcycle collision case immediately after your accident. When you do so, your attorney can deal with the insurance company for you while you work on recovering from your injuries. Retaining a lawyer early also gives your attorney more time to investigate and prepare your case and preserve crucial evidence that could be lost.
Another factor in when to get help from a lawyer is Arizona’s statutes of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death cases, which are found in ARS § 12-542. Under this law, you must file an injury lawsuit within two years of your accident or a wrongful death claim within two years of your loved one’s death. While two years might sound like a long time, it can go by quickly when you are dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle wreck. Meeting with a lawyer right after your accident can help to preserve your rights to pursue damages for your losses.
Q: What if I Was Partially at Fault for My Motorcycle Accide
A: Arizona has a comparative fault statute found at ARS § 12-2505. Under this law, you won’t be barred from recovering damages if you were partially at fault for causing your motorcycle wreck, but the total available damages will be reduced by your percentage of negligence. For example, if you were found to be 15% at fault, your net verdict would be 85% of the gross award. While it is technically possible for you to recover damages even when you were 99% at fault, filing a lawsuit when you are primarily at fault might not make financial sense. A lawyer can help you determine liability and whether your claim is viable.
Q: Do I Have the Right to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A: Historically, the common law didn’t recognize the rights of surviving family members to pursue legal remedies against a negligent actor when their loved one died. However, the Arizona Legislature rectified this issue by enacting the state’s wrongful death statute. This law, which is found at ARS § 12-612, limits the parties who can file wrongful death claims to those with the following relationships with the victims:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving child or children
- Surviving parent, parents, or legal guardian
If none of these parties exist, the estate’s executor or personal representative can file a wrongful death claim for the benefit of the decedent’s heirs or will beneficiaries.
Q: Will the Fact That I Wasn't Wearing A Helmet Affect My Case?
A: In Arizona, motorcyclists who are 18 or older are not required to wear helmets while riding under ARS § 28-964. If you are an adult, it isn’t illegal for you to ride without a helmet. However, the insurance company might try to argue that your injuries would not have been as severe as they are if you had chosen to wear a helmet. This type of argument might be more effective if you suffered head injuries. In any case, however, you should always wear a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet whenever you ride to protect yourself from suffering serious injuries.
Get Help From a Scottsdale Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you were involved in a catastrophic motorcycle wreck and have been left with serious injuries, you should reach out to the experienced attorneys at Lamber Goodnow in Scottsdale. We offer free consultations and do not charge attorney’s fees unless we recover compensation for our clients. Contact us today for a free case evaluation to learn more.