Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents in Gilbert, Arizona, can be traumatic and have long-lasting consequences on a victim’s finances, as well as mental and physical health. Furthermore, negotiating with the other driver’s insurance company and navigating legal processes can be complex and overwhelming. A Gilbert motorcycle accident attorney from Luis P. Guerra, L.L.C., can assist you in getting the compensation that you deserve after a motorcycle collision.
The motorcycle accident attorney team at Luis P. Guerra, L.L.C., has been achieving positive outcomes in personal injury cases for years. A personal injury lawyer from our firm can work toward proving that you were not at fault for the accident and help you navigate complex legal procedures. With the help of our team, you’ll have a better chance of a compensation award that covers all expenses associated with your crash. This way, you can focus on moving forward with your life.
Understanding Motorcycle Crashes in Gilbert, Arizona
The Arizona Department of Transportation, or ADOT, reports that each year, there are over 2,500 motorcycle crashes in the state. An overwhelming percentage of motorcycle crashes in the state—roughly 80%—result in the injury of a party involved in the crash. 6% percent of all motorcycle crashes result in death.
It’s important to note that roughly one-third of motorcycle crashes occur at intersections and that roughly three-quarters of all accidents happen in urban areas. The most common cause of motorcycle crashes is drivers losing control of their motorbikes. Subsequent causes include collisions with other vehicles, as well as crashes caused by wildlife on the roads.
Unexpectedly, 80% of motorcycle crashes occur during the daytime when there is sufficient light and visibility. Furthermore, around 95% of motorcycle crashes in Arizona happen when it is dry, meaning that there is no precipitation. Around 90% of motorcycle crash victims are male, and 25 to 34-year-olds are most likely to be involved in crashes.
How Does Arizona Law Define Motorcycles?
In order to define an Arizona motorcycle crash, it’s important to understand what is considered a motorcycle in Arizona. According to the law, a motorcycle is a kind of vehicle that has a saddle or seat for the driver and is motor-powered. The maximum number of wheels that a motorcycle can have is three.
According to Arizona law, motorcycles can have a sidecar to transport other people. When registering a vehicle in the state, scooters and motorized bikes are considered to be motorcycles. However, electric bicycles, road bikes, mopeds, and certain other vehicles are not considered to be motorcycles.
Equipment Required for Operating a Motorcycle in Gilbert, AZ
Certain equipment must be used properly while operating a motorcycle; otherwise, the driver may be breaking the law. In order to operate a motorcycle on the roads in Gilbert, Arizona, a driver must have working blinkers, functioning headlamps, footrests, seats for each passenger, and proper rear-view mirrors with clear visibility.
Those operating the motorcycle must be wearing some kind of face shield, such as goggles or glasses. Face protection is necessary to keep particles or insects from going into the driver’s eyes and distracting them or obstructing their view of the road. It’s critical to note, however, that if there is a protective windshield, the motorcyclist is not required to wear eye protection.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents
The motorcycle crash lawyers at Luis P. Guerra, L.L.C., are experienced in dealing with a variety of motorcycle accidents. In Arizona, some common types of motorcycle accident cases include the following:
- Accidents involving car doors. This kind of motorcycle accident happens when drivers open their car doors suddenly, hitting motorcyclists.
- Accidents involving lane changes. This type of accident occurs when a car or vehicle is switching lanes and collides with a motorcycle.
- Left-turn accidents. When vehicles make a left-hand turn and collide with a motorcycle, this is known as a left-turn crash or accident.
- Rear-end accidents. Rear-end accidents happen when cars crash into the back of motorcycles. This typically happens when cars do not have enough time to stop at a red light or stop sign.
If you are facing injury as a result of a motorcycle accident you didn’t cause, you are likely entitled to some form of compensation. Regardless of your type of accident case, the legal team at Luis P. Guerra, L.L.C., can help you understand your rights and what you may be entitled to.
Common Motorcycle Accident Causes in Gilbert, AZ
Knowing the most common causes of motorcycle crashes may allow motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles to take precautions to avoid such accidents. Some of the most prevalent causes include:
- Driving while distracted. Performing other tasks, such as eating, speaking on the telephone, talking with passengers, looking at directions, or applying makeup, can cause drivers to lose sight of the road and their surroundings. This lack of awareness often leads to accidents.
- Driving under the influence. An impaired driver was involved in roughly a quarter of the most severe motorcycle crashes in the past five years. Impaired drivers include those whose blood alcohol content is over the legal driving limit or those who are under the influence of drugs such as marijuana or prescribed medications.
- Failure to yield. Oftentimes, when drivers are not aware of Arizona driving laws, they may not understand who has the right of way, leading to a collision with a motorcyclist. Reckless, distracted, or impaired driving could also cause a failure to yield.
- Changing lanes unsafely. Drivers may not use their blinkers or suddenly swerve into another lane without looking, which can result in a collision with another vehicle that was occupying the lane.
- Failure to spot the motorcyclist. Many motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers in other vehicles not being able to see the motorcycle adequately or not being aware of its presence at all.
- Road hazards or inclement weather: Drivers of motorcycles and cars should slow down during dangerous weather conditions, and failure to do so could lead to a crash. Additionally, hazards on the road, like potholes, could cause an accident. If a governmental entity in charge of road maintenance failed to fix or warn of hazards, they could be held liable for the accident and your damages.
While multiple causes can lead to motorcycle crashes in Gilbert, AZ, it’s important to keep in mind that there can also be multiple causes for one accident. Multiple parties could be held liable. During motorcycle crash cases, each cause must be proven with evidence so that liability can be determined.
What Injuries Result From AZ Motorcycle Crashes?
Crashes involving motorcycles tend to have a higher rate of injuries due to the lack of protection that is inherent to the design of the motorcycle. Therefore, not only can injuries be more frequent among motorcyclists involved in crashes, but they can also be more severe. Some common injuries that result from Arizona motorcycle crashes include:
- Severe bruises and lacerations. High-powered collisions or encounters with sharp objects can lead to serious cuts, bruises, or lacerations.
- Road rash. This type of injury can occur when the motorcyclist is thrown from their bike onto the road.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Such injuries occur when blunt force is applied to the head. Traumatic brain injuries can range from more minor injuries, such as a concussion, to those that are more severe and can impact cognitive function and memory.
- Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries can be particularly severe, as they can result in a loss of feeling or control over certain parts of the body, causing partial or complete paralysis.
- Limb amputation. An amputation of a limb can occur during a crash or be carried out in a hospital due to severe injuries.
- Internal bleeding or organ damage. Such injuries may not be immediately apparent after a motorcycle crash. Therefore, it is critical to seek medical attention after an accident, even if there are no visible signs of injury or harm.
- Broken bones or sprains. Some sprains or breaks can be severe and require multiple surgeries, as well as comprehensive rehabilitation.
If you or a loved one has suffered any of these personal injuries as a result of a motorcycle crash, it is critical to have access to adequate medical care, as well as time off from work to rest and recover.
Medical Compensation for Motorcycle Accidents
The healthcare costs associated with injuries that occur as the result of a motorcycle crash can be extremely high, ranging from thousands to millions of dollars. A Gilbert motorcycle accident attorney can help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to in order to cover your medical expenses.
Medical expenses that you may be entitled to coverage for include surgical procedures, hospital stays, prescription medications, ambulance rides, diagnostics and tests, medical devices, organ transplants, clinic or doctor visits, and mobility devices, such as wheelchairs and crutches.
When determining the amount of compensation you are entitled to for medical expenses, an experienced personal injury lawyer in Gilbert should be able to take into account both your previous and future expenses. These can include disability-related expenses, as well as physical therapy and rehabilitation sessions.
Compensation for Property Damage
In addition to compensation for medical-related expenses, motorcycle accident victims may also be entitled to compensation for any property damage they may have incurred. If your motorcycle was totaled or damaged during the accident, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer could work toward a compensation award that covers your repairs or the cost of a new motorbike.
You can either have property damage costs covered by the insurance company of the at-fault driver or, in some cases, a personal injury claim settlement. It’s important to note, though, that the amount of compensation that can be paid out through an insurance claim is limited by the policy of the at-fault driver.
The motorcycle accident attorneys at Luis P. Guerra, L.L.C., can assist you in thoroughly documenting the property damage that might have resulted from your accident. They can also advise you on whether or not pursuing a personal injury claim is feasible for your case.
Lost Wages Due to Missed Work
After facing injuries due to motorcycle accidents, it can be difficult for accident victims to go back to work. Such injuries can temporarily or permanently disable victims, causing them to miss days to months of their jobs or never return to work. During the time they are not working, they will likely not be compensated.
Fortunately, Arizona personal injury lawyers may help you recover any wages you might have lost due to the circumstances after your motorcycle accident. This can also include the time that you were not able to attend work because you were receiving treatment or attending healthcare visits for your injuries.
In order to be awarded compensation for lost wages, it is necessary to have thorough documentation, such as a note from a medical doctor linking the reasons for not attending work to the accident-caused injuries. Additionally, documentation stating the accident victim’s regular work hours and their normal pay rate must be provided.
Compensation for Lost Earning Capacity
Unfortunately, there are often cases in which motorcycle accident victims are not able to return to work due to long-term disabilities that result from accident injuries. There are also cases in which they might be able to return to their prior job but with a limited working capacity, meaning that they might only be able to complete certain tasks or that they can no longer complete certain tasks as efficiently as prior to the accident.
If you have suffered an Arizona motorcycle accident, and the subsequent injuries are affecting your long-term ability to earn a living, you might be eligible to receive compensation for lost earning capacity. Arizona accident lawyers can help you calculate the amount you are entitled to by taking into account factors such as your previous wages, skills, education, and work experience.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Motorcycle accident victims may be subject to significant physical pain and/or emotional suffering as a result of their injuries. The impact of the crash can cause mental disorders as well, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, as well as anxiety or depression.
A motorcycle accident attorney from Luis P. Guerra, L.L.C., can help you collect the documentation you need to receive compensation for your or your loved one’s pain and suffering. They can leverage their experience to adequately determine the monetary value of your particular pain and suffering case, ultimately helping you achieve an optimal settlement.
Should I Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Arizona?
Motorcyclists in Arizona and the United States are highly recommended to wear motorcycle helmets while on the roads. This is because over 60% of the motorcyclists who were killed in motorcycle accidents over the past ten years were not wearing a helmet. Therefore, if you are involved in a motorcycle accident, having a helmet on could protect you from severe brain injuries or even death.
However, it’s important to note that it is not against the law to not wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle in Arizona if you are over the age of 18. Riders can opt for a full-face helmet, which covers the chin, nose, mouth, head, and ears, or a three-quarters helmet, which covers the ears and head only.
What Motorcycle License Do I Need in Gilbert, Arizona?
A motorcyclist must have a Class M license in order to operate a moped or motorcycle on the roadways in Arizona. In the case that the driver already has another type of driver’s license, such as one for driving a car, the Class M license can support the existing license.
This means that drivers who already have a driver’s license in Arizona need to pass a medical and vision screening, as well as a written exam, in order to obtain the Class M license. If the driver does not have a license prior to obtaining the Class M license, they will have to go through a motorcycle safety course.
Can I Use the HOV Lane With My Motorcycle in Arizona?
In Arizona, there are hundreds of miles of high occupancy vehicle lanes, or HOV lanes. There are certain times in which the HOV lane can only be used by vehicles that have two or more occupants; however, these rules do not apply to motorcyclists. Motorcyclists in Arizona can ride in the HOV lane regardless of the time of the day and the number of occupants on the motorbike. Emergency vehicles, tow trucks, and buses are also allowed to ride in the HOV lane at any time of the day.
Gilbert, AZ, Motorcycle Accident Lawyers You Can Count On
Motorcycle accidents can be catastrophic, and it can take months or even years to recover from the damages. Therefore, it is critical to have the financial support you are entitled to in order to make repairs and recover your physical and mental well-being. The personal injury lawyer team at Luis P. Guerra, L.L.C., is here to assist you with optimizing your compensation so that you can get back to normal. Reach out to a lawyer from our team today to get started.