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MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT Lawyer

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Should I See a Doctor After My Motorcycle Accident?

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Should I See a Doctor After My Motorcycle Accident?

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Phoenix MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT Lawyer

CLAIMING A MOTORCYCLE PERSONAL INJURY

Motorcycle accidents happen frequently due to the vulnerability of motorcycles themselves. Motorcycle riders are at greater risk because of their comparatively smaller size and the limited visibility of motorcycles in general.

75% of motorcycle accidents involve a passenger, whereas the other 25% involve a single rider. 60% of motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle, which is oftentimes a car. As a victim of these types of accidents, it is crucial for you to secure your rights and call our motorcycle accident lawyers today.

Motorcycle accidents occur far too frequently in Arizona. According to data from the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 3,115 motorcycle crashes reported within the state in 2016. Many of those crashes occurred in the Phoenix metro area. When motorcycle collisions do happen, the consequences can be devastating. While motorcycles were involved in less than two percent of all highway accidents on Arizona, motorcycles were involved more than ten percent of all fatal accidents in the state. At Cluff Injury Lawyers, our Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys understand the unique challenges that bikers face. We help motorcycle accident victims recover the full compensation that they deserve. 

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT Lawyer - FAQ

(click the question to see the answer)

One very common motorcycle accident that we see is a motorcyclist being cut off by another vehicle that doesn’t see the motorcyclist. In that case, the vehicle who cuts off the motorcyclist is obviously at fault.

One of the concerns we have when we hear this type of question is that there may be some sort of a underlying belief that the motorcyclists had it coming or they’re asking for it because they are in a dangerous position and they’re hard to see and they’re a perceived nuisance on the roadways and those biases that exist out there.

To be clear, motorcyclists have every right to be on that road that any other license vehicle has to be on the road. They don’t have a higher duty than the drivers of cars or trucks. They have the same duties to be reasonable in the way they exercise their vehicles that up the other users of the roadways and half. That said, there are certain types of collisions that more frequently involve motorcyclists than other types of vehicles or other types of drivers. And the reason for That has to do with the lesser visibility that motorcycles, and motorcyclists have on the roadway.

If you have a situation, let’s say on a freeway, where you have a vehicle that makes a sudden lane change, and cuts off then actually runs into the motorcycle, when that happens, a calamitous collision, that that can be a killer, occurs.

When there’s a side impact with a motorcycle, it is very likely to throw the motorcyclist off of the motorcycle. And at that point in time traveling at high speeds, there is likely to be a very serious injury.

It is not a defense for the driver of the vehicle, say, well, it’s hard to see motorcycles. We all know that there are motorcycles on the roadway. Therefore, we have a duty to check to make sure that when we’re making a lane change, we’re not cutting into a motorcycle, we know they’re less visible, we need to check more carefully.

There is no statute in Arizona, that requires people on motorcycles to wear helmets. People who have reached the age of majority are not statutorily required to wear helmets.  In Arizona, minors are required to wear helmets, but adults are not.

Do you have to wear a helmet? You’re not required by statute to wear a helmet. If you are injured by the negligence of another person, as a motorcyclist, and you are not wearing a helmet, you have a valid case, you can still bring that case the fact that you are not wearing a helmet does not prevent you from bringing your case. However, the defendant in your case is very likely to argue that your damages would have been less had you been wearing a helmet.

It is a very similar argument that gets made to when a person suffers injuries that is not wearing a seat belt. The defendant in those case in those cases are used are “Hey, you failed to do what you should have done in advance to minimize or mitigate the damages here.” Therefore, what could have been a very simple matter is now this catastrophic injury, and that’s really your fault. And so that is an argument that’s a defense that’s going to be made in the case.

Now, it’s not a defense that that we can’t attack that we can deal with, but we’d rather not have to. It would be so much better, both in terms of the strength of the case, but really even more importantly, in terms of your health, if you just wear a helmet.

 We highly recommend wearing a helmet. It’s just better to do so. If you haven’t worn a helmet, and you’ve been injured by the negligence of another person. It’s not like all is lost. We still have a valid case and these arguments about how the presence or absence of a helmet would have changed things, as you can imagine, can get very complicated.

Oftentimes, there will be experts on both sides of the case taking completely opposite positions. The defense will have an expert a doctor who might say “Oh, if the defendant would have been wearing a helmet here, there would have been no injury at all. And then the expert on the other side of the case will very likely have a much different opinion saying “The helmet probably wouldn’t have made any difference here.” In virtually every case, you’re going to have a disagreement among the expert witnesses in the case.

So, we confront those defenses when we have to, but we’d prefer just to avoid that defense altogether. By having our clients wear helmets.

Left turns are, unique. Because when you have a left turner, and you have a collision that was this that occurs as someone is trying to execute a left turn, we know that the person who made that left turn turned left in front of oncoming traffic, they executed a turn that they could not safely execute.

Now the person who is oncoming may have been speeding, that person may have run a red light, that person may have been texting as they were coming through that intersection. All of those things may be true, and all of those things would put fault on the person on the non-left turning vehicle. Yet, even with all of that, we still have a left turner, who made a left turn that was unsafe. They turned left in front of oncoming traffic.

The answer is yes, you need to. It’s serious. You may be a really tough guy, but you still need to get into a doctor after you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, even if you think you’re okay.

Because you might not be okay. And if it turns out that you’ve got an injury, the more time that goes by between your accident and when you get in for medical care that will be used against you in the most deliberate way possible. The defense will never let that go.

So yes, you need to get into a doctor, and you need to get in right away. We’d prefer you go into the emergency room or urgent care, or even your family doctor. Get in and get examined. It’s important for your health and your case.

Yes, they can. In fact, they’re in a much better position to recover compensation than the motorcycle driver because the accident is almost never the passenger that is at fault.

In most cases, even where there’s a dispute as to fault, the dispute is going to be between the motorcycle driver and the driver of the other vehicle or other vehicles. It’s not going to be a dispute as to the passenger’s fault usually.

So, the passenger has usually no fault on them and they have multiple potential targets of their claim could be the motorcycle driver, could be the driver of another vehicle, or other vehicles. There are all kinds of situations such as a municipality that improperly designed a roadway, that could be our defendant in the case.

But the thing that makes the position of the motorcycle passenger stronger than the position of the motorcyclist himself or herself, is the fact that the motorcycle passenger is not going to have any fault and the motorcycle passenger has additional potential targets for their claim.

So yes, you need to get into a doctor, and you need to get in right away. We’d prefer you go into the emergency room or urgent care, or even your family doctor. Get in and get examined. It’s important for your health and your case.

There are a lot of personal injury attorneys who would tell you, you should never ever try to negotiate with the insurance company yourself. And if you were to live by that policy, you would be fine. That’s a good safe policy to live by.

However, there are cases where it makes sense for the person that’s been in an accident to settle the case themselves without getting an attorney. But it’s fairly limited circumstances. the main situation where we think that that would be okay is if you are absolutely certain that you are not injured, you do not have any injuries, you are fine. If you are certain of that, then there is often an opportunity to negotiate so that the insurance company has everything wrapped up puts a bow on this claim or potential claim.

They’ll pay you some money that they might pay you $1,000 or $1,500 dollars or something like that, just to go away so that they know that there’s not going to be a claim coming. And we think that’s fine. If you settle your case, under those circumstances, you get a little bit of money out of it in exchange for your release of the claim. But you have to be certain that you are not injured at all because that really is it, you will not have an opportunity to reopen your claim if you later discover that you were injured.

So, again, if you are 100% positive you are not injured then the answer to the question is yes, there are some limited circumstances in which we think it’s okay for you to settle your own case.

If you are injured, even just a little bit, you should get an attorney if you can. You may not be able to find an attorney if you don’t have very substantial injuries that will be willing to take your case. But if you can find an attorney, a personal injury attorney that’s willing to take your case, you are going to be much better off than you otherwise would be if you were trying to handle it on your own.

You don’t know what you don’t know. There are all kinds of little things that will destroy your case, you will have no idea that you are making mistakes that are going to destroy your case. Your attorney will though, assuming your attorney knows but he or she is doing, is experienced, and has the proper training and education and everything else.

There are a lot of a lot of well qualified personal injury attorneys out there. And if you can find a good personal injury attorney to take your case, you are going to be much, much better off than if you were trying to do it on your own.

It really is very similar to if you were trying to do surgery on your own. It’s really okay to do surgery on your own, if you consider clipping your fingernails and toenails surgery. If you are doing that, we think that’s okay. Anything beyond that? We think you ought to have a surgeon do it. And the same thing goes with your case. If you’re not injured, then fine, go ahead and do that on your own. If there’s anything that strikes you as being potentially a lingering problem, you’re going to be much better off having an attorney advise you and represent you in the case.

MOTORCYCLE INJURIES

HOW TO GET COMPENSATED IN A MOTORCYCLE INJURY

Types of Motorcycle Accidents

  • Head on Collision
  • Loss of Control
  • Hydroplaning
  • Ejection of a Passenger
  • Collision with Another Vehicle
  • Collision with Stationary Objects

Expenses After a Motorcycle Accident

  • Medical Expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost Wages
  • Vehicle Replacement Costs
  • Pain and Suffering

You did not choose to be seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, but you do have a choice in how to respond. Don’t let yourself become a victim all over again.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcyclists are in a vulnerable position. For this reason, motorcycle accidents have the potential to result in especially severe injuries. At Cluff Injury Lawyers, our Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyers have experience handling cases involving a wide range of different motorcycle accident injuries. Some of the most common examples include:

  • Road rash;
  • Biker’s arm;
  • Broken bones;
  • Torn ligaments;
  • Muscle damages;
  • Whiplash;
  • Back pain;
  • Internal injuries;
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
  • Psychological trauma;
  • Disfigurement;
  • Loss of limb;
  • Spinal cord injuries; and
  • Fatalities.

How to Prove Liability in Arizona

Motorcycle accident injury claims are generally brought under the appropriate state law. In Arizona, these claims must be brought under the state’s pure comparative fault legal standard (A.R.S. § 12-2505). In order to hold another party legally responsible for your motorcycle crash, you and your Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer will be required to prove that the accident occurred because of their negligence. While bike manufacturers and other parties can be held liable for accidents, most motorcycle accident injury claims are brought against another driver. Unfortunately, inattentive and careless drivers too often cause accidents with motorcycles. Some of the most notable examples of driver negligence include:

  • Speeding;
  • Running a red light;
  • Failure to yield;
  • Unsafe lane change;
  • Distracted driving, including texting; and
  • Intoxicated driving, including drunk and drugged driving.

Injured Motorcyclists Deserve Fair Compensation

If you can prove that another party is legally liable for your accident, then your claim will move forward to the issue of damages. Under Arizona law, injured motorcyclists have a right to recover compensation equal to the value of their losses. Sadly, in practice, a full and fair financial recovery can be difficult to achieve. Insurance companies put a lot of resources into the effort of limiting the value of personal injury settlements. Our Phoenix motorcycle crash lawyers can help. We will fight to get you every dollar you rightfully deserve. You may be able to recover for:

  • Emergency medical costs;
  • Hospital bills;
  • Medical equipment;
  • Medication;
  • Long-term care;
  • Lost current and future wages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental distress;
  • Disfigurement; and
  • The wrongful death of a family member.

Let Our Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Help You

Our legal team can help. At Cluff Injury Lawyers, our Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyers are committed to fighting for the rights and interests of injured victims. If you or a family member was hurt in a motorcycle crash, please contact our law firm today for a free legal consultation. With offices in Downtown Phoenix and North Phoenix, we represent motorcycle accident victims throughout Maricopa County.

Your Personal INjury Team

TOUGH ADVOCATES WHO GET RESULTS FOR OUR CLIENTS

Brigham Cluff
Attorney

Client Reviews

A Few Words From Our Clients

I would highly recommend Brig for legal representation. He represented us in a case that seemed like David vs. Goliath. It was very paperwork and motion intensive, and Brig handled everything very professionally and was always on task. He was fantastic representing us in the courtroom and was very prepared. He always responded to us quickly and professionally, made good arguments, and we would absolutely use him again in the future.

RACHAEL E.
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