As motorcycles have become an increasingly popular way to travel in Arizona, the number of accidents continues to rise. While motorcyclists enjoy the exhilaration of the open desert roads, bikers are exposed to the elements and do not have the protective structure of other vehicles. When collisions with cars, trucks, or fixed objects such as utility poles occur, the consequences can be catastrophic.
The Blischak Law Firm has extensive experience representing motorcycle accident victims in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, and throughout the state of Arizona. Although these cases pose a number of challenges, particularly due to the public’s bias against motorcyclists, we have the skills and resources that are essential for achieving successful outcomes. We aggressively fight for the rights of injured motorcyclists and help our clients obtain meaningful compensation.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries
Motorcycle accidents are caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Inexperienced riders
- Lane splitting
At the same time, accidents can be caused by the reckless or negligent actions of other motor vehicle drivers such as failure to see the motorcyclist, distracted driving, unsafe lane changes, unsafe passing, failure to yield at intersections, reckless driving and DUI. In Arizona, all drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe manner and avoid causing injuries to others. A driver who breaches this duty can be held liable for a motorcycle accident that leads to personal injuries.
In addition, pot holes, gravel, oil spills, and other foreign objects on the road can cause a motorcycle accident. If a road defect or foreign substance is the fault, it is possible to file a claim against a city, county, or the state, however, you must do so within 180 days of the accident. Finally, accidents can also be caused by mechanical defects in the motorcycle, in which case a product liability lawsuit can be brought against the manufacturer or distributor.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
In many of these accidents, the front of the motorcycle collides with another vehicle or obstacle, often leading to all types of injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Facial fractures and disfigurement
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
In order to avoid or minimize the risk of injuries, all motorcycle riders should wear protective gear such as helmets, leather jackets, heavy pants, boots and gloves.
Not only do injured bikers suffer severe physical and emotional pain, they also will face expensive medical bills, lost wages and property damage. Some may be left paralyzed, unable to walk or ride again, while motorcycle fatalities leave behind grieving loved ones.
Arizona Motorcycle Safety Laws
There are a number of state laws in place that are designed to protect motorcyclists and reduce the risk of accidents. First, a motorcycle license or endorsement is required for all riders. There a different classes of licenses, but you must be at least 16 years of age to be eligible. The state also offers and encourages all riders to complete education courses.
Currently, only riders and passengers under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets, and there are no restrictions on helmet speakers. However, protective eyewear, either goggles or a helmet shield, is mandatory for all riders and passengers – unless the motorcycle has a windscreen.
In addition, a motorcycle must be equipped with sideview mirrors, and a passenger seat and footrest are required for both the rider and a passenger. There is no age restriction for motorcycle passengers, however. A motorcycle must have a day runner headlight (modulating headlights are permitted) and also be fitted with an unmodified muffler that complies with maximum allowable sound levels. Finally, all riders must have liability insurance coverage with minimums of $15,000 per person, $30,000 for those involved in an accident and $10,000 for property damage.
Is lane splitting legal in Arizona?
Lane splitting, the controversial practice of riding a motorcycle between lanes or rows of slow moving or stopped traffic, is illegal in Arizona. However, two motorcycles are permitted to ride side by side, provided that both riders consent.
Motorcycle Accident Attorney
At the Blischak Law Firm, we know that determining who is at fault in a motorcycle accident can be difficult. Often times, there are no witnesses except the parties involved, and the public generally has an unfavorable view of bikers. By collaborating with a respect network of accident reconstruction specialists and forensic experts, we will work diligently to hold the other party accountable.
A motorcycle accident is a terrifying experience, and many victims are left with debilitating injuries that require lifelong care. Even a minor accident can lead to serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and result in significant medical expenses. Injured bikers may be unable to work, and some may never be able to ride their motorcycles again.
We have a proven track record of helping motorcycle accident victims obtain meaning compensation for lost wages, medical costs, pain and suffering, and property damage. If a loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, we can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. We believe that motorcyclists should not suffer needlessly because of the reckless or negligent actions of other drivers. Call our office today (602) 252-1984 or fill out a contact form for a free consultation.
The Law Office of John W. Blischak serves clients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, and throughout the state of Arizona.