Hutzler Law is proud to be one of the top-rated motorcycle accident law firm in Phoenix. Jason Hutzler, the leading attorney, is a former insurance adjustor and has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of accident victims.
Do I Need a Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for My Claim?
Unfortunately, motorcyclists are much more likely to become injured or die in accidents than drivers of other motor vehicles, including cars and trucks. Injured motorcyclists often face bias when seeking medical or legal help after becoming injured due to their transportation choice and negative stereotypes against motorcycle riders.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, the legal team at Hutzler Law, PLLC understands the difficult road to recovery that you face. Let our experienced Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys explain the process of seeking compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injuries and the type of services we can provide to assist you with your claim.
How Can Riders Get The Compensation They Deserve After a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the U.S. travel to Arizona to take in the scenic desert landscape and the open roads, particularly in the winter or spring when the weather is mild. Additionally, commuters in Phoenix often rely on motorcycles as a less expensive and more agile method of getting to and from work.
Table of Contents
- About Hutzler Law, PLLC
- The Hazards That Motorcyclists Face
- Seeking Compensation After a Phoenix Motorcycle Accident
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? We Can Help
Schedule a Free Case Consultation with a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Have you been involved in a motorcycle accident? Speak with the Hutzler Law team today for a no-cost consultation and know your rights! You may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, more than 2,300 motorcycle crashes occur yearly on the state’s roadways, with more than three-quarters of those accidents in urban areas. These accidents result in the deaths of more than 150 riders or their passengers and caused close to 2,000 injuries
Motorcyclists deal with several hazards when riding on Phoenix’s busy streets. Their vehicles feature a slimmer profile and fewer lights, making them difficult for other drivers to see. Additionally, they have less stability than four-wheel vehicles and lack additional protective features, such as seat belts, airbags, and steel frames.
However, some of the most significant risks facing motorcyclists result from the drivers of cars and trucks on the roadway. Here is a look at some risky driving actions that can result in a motorcycle accident.
Motorcycle Accidents Involving Left-Turning Drivers
Left-turning drivers are one of the biggest hazards motorcyclists face when riding in urban areas, particularly in intersections with no green arrow for left turns. The turning driver must ensure the travel lane goes straight through the intersection and is clear before crossing it to complete their turn. RideApart explains that a motorcycle crash can occur when the driver fails to notice an oncoming motorcycle and turns in its path.
In south Phoenix, left-turning drivers have been a source of concern to residents living in the area of the intersection of Seventh and Southern Avenue. The intersection only features a green arrow for eastbound travelers turning northbound. However, the three directional left turn lanes only have a flashing yellow arrow, confusing drivers. Residents say the road is too busy to allow drivers a sufficient gap in traffic to make the turn, causing them to sit through several lights and many drivers to simply ignore the light altogether.
There were 141 collisions at the intersection in four years, and other intersections along Southern Avenue have green arrows for left turns and fewer crashes.
Accidents with Alcohol-Impaired Drivers
Phoenix’s bustling nightlife is a source of pride for the owners of their establishments and a place for residents to meet with friends, unwind, and even watch the Suns, the Cardinals, the Diamondbacks, and the Coyotes play. Thirty-four percent of fatal motorcycle accidents feature a rider or a driver with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood.
Alcohol impairs several skills needed for safe driving and safe riding, including tracking moving targets and completing multiple tasks simultaneously, reduced coordination and concentration, short-term memory loss, difficulty maintaining a travel lane and making good driving or riding decisions.
Motorcycle Accidents with Distracted Drivers
Distracted drivers are a significant cause of all types of traffic accidents, including motorcycle accidents.
Three distractions can impair a driver’s ability to operate their motor vehicle safely:
- Manual distractions prevent drivers from adequately positioning their hands on the steering wheel, such as eating, drinking, or smoking.
- Visual distractions prevent the driver from watching the roadway, such as attending to children or pets in the back seat, looking for something dropped on the vehicle floor, or staring at people or cars on the roadway.
- Cognitive distractions prevent the driver from focusing on driving safely, such as daydreaming or thinking about work.
One driving distraction that has caused increasing concern for state lawmakers and traffic safety experts is texting and other cell phone use, as it poses all three types of driving distractions. When it takes a driver traveling at highway speeds to read or reply to a text, they will have traveled the length of a football field one-handed while not watching the roadway or thinking about driving.
Arizona is one of many states that passed hands-free driving laws prohibiting drivers from using handheld devices while driving.
Motorcycle Accidents Related to Blind Spots
Every vehicle has a blind spot, which is an area—generally around the rear sides of a passenger car—that the driver cannot see through their rear- or side-view mirrors. Instead, they must look over their shoulder to ensure the area is clear before merging onto the roadway or changing lanes.
Failing to check the blind spot is a common cause of accidents involving commercial trucks, which have significant blind spots on all sides of the vehicle. Because of their more petite frame, motorcycles can often slip into the blind spot of a car or truck unnoticed, leaving riders at risk of injury or death if the driver attempts to change lanes.
Crashes Involving Inattentional Blindness
“I didn’t even see them.”
It’s one of the most common statements at an accident scene where a car collided with a motorcycle. While distraction, fatigue, and even alcohol impairment can cause a driver to be unaware of a motorcyclist in proximity to them, as can failing to check the vehicle’s blind spots before changing lanes, there is another reason why this statement can be true: Inattentional blindness.
Inattentional blindness is not a medical condition but rather the way the brain processes chaotic situations such as intersections along Southern Avenue. The brain focuses on the most significant hazards in the area—such as a commercial truck or that Dodge Ram threading traffic and running red lights—while failing to notice smaller objects such as motorcycles, bicycles, or pedestrians.
While inattentional blindness is common, it remains the responsibility of a vehicle’s driver to wait for a safe gap in traffic before entering an intersection.
Dooring occurs when an occupant of a motor vehicle opens the door into the path of an approaching motorcyclist. The rider then must choose between colliding with the door or swerving into an adjacent travel lane at the risk of having an accident with another vehicle in that lane.
Liability in Motorcycle Accidents
As in any motor vehicle accident, identifying any and all at-fault parties is essential to recovering compensation in motorcycle accident cases. Often, these individuals will be only you and the other driver. However, sometimes motorcycle accidents happen due to the negligence of entities such as manufacturers, as in the case of a faulty motorcycle part.
It’s important to note that Arizona is an at-fault state that uses comparative negligence to award damages in a personal injury claim. If you are found to be partially at fault for a motorcycle accident, you may still be able to recover damages from the other party.
It’s crucial to have a lawyer experienced in motorcycle accident claims on your side in this situation. Your personal injury lawyer can ensure that your damages are thoroughly accounted for and will see to it that your share of fault, if any, is determined fairly after a comprehensive analysis of the evidence.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Arizona
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration states that around 8.4 million motorcycles were registered legally on the roads of the United States in 2018. There were also about 88,000 riders that were injured in motorcycle accidents, and about 4,700 of them were fatally wounded. Sadly, the death toll of motorcycle crashes never indeed decreases significantly the way our community wants it to.
Below is a list of 2018 Arizona Motorcycle statistics:
- In Arizona alone, there were 210,427 registered motorcycles.
- In 2018, there were 2,806 reported accidents involving a motorcycle, and 159 were fatal. This number is down from the 165 fatalities reported in 2017.
- Alcohol-related accidents resulted in 152 crashes and 40 fatalities.
- More than 60% of crashes happened during the Day.
- Of the 2,806 accidents, only 1,395 motorcycle operators wore helmets.
- Only 19 states require all motorcyclists to wear helmets. Arizona is not one of them.
Sadly, the chances of individuals on a motorcycle are 35 times greater than the risk of death in a passenger vehicle. This reason alone should be enough for drivers to take the time and look in their mirrors before changing lanes or making a left turn. Just by doing this one simple thing, you could easily save the life of a biker.
Why Deaths by Motorcyclists are More Common than Passenger Vehicles
For starters, no steel roll cages or frames are around the bikers to protect them in a collision. Passenger vehicles have this protection which is why their injuries are less severe in an accident than a motorcycle. Motorcycles also lack seatbelts and airbags, significantly protecting drivers in passenger vehicles. It is also essential to understand that keeping two wheels stable and under control is much more complicated than a vehicle with four wheels.
These reasons show how much easier it is to die on a motorcycle than in a passenger vehicle. Although injuries and death cannot always be prevented, it is essential to remember that you can decrease the chances of an accident by checking all your mirrors before turning. For bikers, you can help reduce the severity of your injuries by wearing all the proper gear on your bike.
At Hutzler Law, we discovered a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. They recently reported that over half of all motorcycle accidents involved other passenger vehicles. Most bikers are thrown from their bike the moment they collide with another vehicle, stationary object, or even the ground. This means that their injuries occur during the first initial impact that causes them to launch in the air and then again the moment they stop on a solid surface.
These facts should help give bikers the incentive to wear the proper gear while riding their motorcycle. Even if the initial impact does not cause life-threatening or severe injuries, the second impact of hitting a solid surface can be the one that causes fatal injuries. Wearing a helmet and even skid pads under your jacket will significantly reduce the severity of your injuries.
6 Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Because of the fact that bikers have little to no protection from injuries in an accident, they tend to suffer catastrophic injuries. Even though wearing biking gear can help reduce the severity of injuries, it will not altogether prevent them. Some injuries may be fatal, and others can cause paralysis or amputation.
Some injuries that are common in motorcycle accidents are:
- Scrapes, cuts, and road rash
- Fractures in the hip, foot, and leg
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Amputation of limbs
- Fatal injuries of many types
Injuries in the lower part of the body, including broken bones, are the most common injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. Out of all the injuries, head trauma and spinal cord injuries are the most severe and painful. With a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injuries, paralysis can occur, possibly resulting in death or loss of all motor skills.
Even if these injuries do not result in death, they can alter the outcome of the victim’s life and their close relatives. Hospitals only care for patients for so long before the patient is sent home to be cared for by family members and traveling nurses. To avoid more severe injuries, you must wear the proper riding gear to protect your body from harm.
What Can Happen When Not Wearing Protective Gear
It is always essential for bikers to understand that death does not discriminate. Motorcycle accidents can and will happen if drivers of passenger vehicles take their eyes off the road for even a second when a motorcycle is near their car. Although most bikers have worn helmets and sustained fatal injuries, it is crucial to understand that, in many cases, a helmet saved the lives of many bikers.
Not wearing a helmet leaves your skull and brain open to a wide variety of fatal injuries. By taking the time to put on a helmet, you can avoid potential damages that may result in death or life-altering injuries.
In 2016, 41% of fatal motorcycle crashes happened to bikers not wearing a helmet for added protection. In the same year, helmets saved 1,859 lives in potentially fatal crashes. Just taking the time to strap on a helmet before you take off for an afternoon bike ride can save your life if you were to be involved in an accident.
Common Injuries in Phoenix Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident injuries vary from mild to severe. However, even if you did not sustain life-threatening injuries, you are still entitled to full and fair compensation. In addition to the damage to vehicles and personal belongings, motorcycle accident victims commonly experience the following injuries during a crash:
- Road rash and burns
- Lacerations and cuts
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
In addition to the serious injuries that a motorcycle crash can cause, accident victims are often left with emotional distress, trauma, and the financial burden caused by medical bills and lost wages. More severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, can leave victims and their families with challenges and expenses for years to come. The total sum of your losses is something that an insurance payout can rarely, if ever, offer to accident victims. The best motorcycle accident lawyers are aware of the difficulties that claimants face when attempting to reach a fair settlement through their insurance policies.
Our lawyers will work to assess the complete scope of your damages and incorporate them into your Phoenix motorcycle accident claim to ensure that the impact of your injuries is thoroughly compensated.
How a Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You Seek Compenstion
Motorcyclists who were injured by a negligent driver in Phoenix can seek compensation for the economic costs of the accident and injury, such as current and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and non-economic impacts such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. The personal injury claims process initially involves filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance policy.
Upon receiving the claim, the insurance provider will assign a claims adjuster to evaluate the accident and determine how much compensation to pay the claimant. The adjuster’s options for responding to the claim include accepting it, denying it, or offering an out-of-court settlement for less than the stated value of the claim.
If the insurance provider fails to compensate the claim, you can file a lawsuit to recover compensation. Our lawyers are adept at handling all kinds of motorcycle accident injury claims and fighting to protect your interests when insurance companies fail to provide for their policyholders.
Why You Need a Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you’ll surely need time to recover from your injuries, attend to personal matters, and receive support from your loved ones. We understand that liaising with insurance companies and fighting for your legal rights to compensation can seem daunting tasks in the wake of a motorcycle crash. Our lawyers are here to provide you with the resources you need to take on these challenges and ensure that your rights to maximum compensation are exercised.
Your Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney can assist you in the following ways:
- Provide you legal counsel and insight into your options for recourse
- Assess your damages and losses
- Negotiate toward a fair settlement
- Acquire evidence and witness testimonies to help support your claim
- Refute denials from your insurance company
- If necessary, litigate for you in a personal injury lawsuit
Your journey toward recovery starts when you make a call to Hutzler Law, PLLC, and speak to one of our Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyers about how our team can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions of Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
How much is my motorcycle accident claim worth?
The total settlement value of your motorcycle accident case will be dependent on several factors. These include the extent of your injuries and other losses, the degree of negligence involved, and the policy limits of your insurance company as well as the other party’s. A team of knowledgeable Phoenix motorcycle crash lawyers will be able to evaluate your case and help you know what to expect as your claim progresses. Your attorney will also work with you to agree upon a settlement and make every effort to ensure that you receive maximum compensation.
How long do I have to file a motorcycle accident claim in Phoenix?
In most cases, motorcycle accident injury claimants have two years to file their claim as a personal injury lawsuit in court. While most personal injury claims settle out of court, if you file your claim too late, you cannot seek compensation for your injuries.
Without the threat of legal action, most insurance companies will not entertain settlement discussions either because there is no longer a legal recourse if they fail to compensate the claim.
What if I can’t afford a motorcycle accident lawyer to help me with my claim?
Luckily, the billing method that most personal injury attorneys use is in place to ensure anyone who needs legal assistance with their claim has access to it. The contingent fee billing method allows you to withhold payment for your legal team’s services unless you recover compensation.
Instead, you pay a percentage of your award after your case resolves. During your free case evaluation, be sure to ask us about the contingent fee so we can explain it in greater detail for you.
Can I still seek compensation if I wasn’t wearing a helmet when the accident occurred?
In Arizona, only riders under 18 must wear a helmet when riding, and choosing not to wear a helmet does not diminish other drivers’ duty of care to you. In any case, if someone else’s negligence injured you, you may seek compensation for your monetary and psychological costs.
Can I seek compensation for a family member who was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident?
Arizona law allows surviving members of a victim’s family to pursue compensation for a fatal motorcycle accident. If you are the spouse, child, legal guardian, or parent of a motorcycle accident victim who succumbed to catastrophic injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you should speak to the motorcycle accident lawyers at Hutzler Law, PLLC, to learn about your options to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? We Can Help
From start to finish, the legal team at Hutzler Law, PLLC treats each case as if it is going to trial, carefully investigating the case details to identify all liable parties and all available insurance policies that can provide compensation.
We will fight for you to receive the highest compensation, whether through a settlement negotiation or in the courtroom. We understand the type of judgments many motorcyclists encounter when seeking help after being injured due to someone else’s negligence, and we want you to know that we will fight alongside you for the justice you deserve.
We are here to assist injured motorcycle riders, their passengers, and even loved ones of motorcyclists who died due to injuries sustained in an accident through the wrongful death claims process. Let our Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer help you understand the claims process and learn more about the services we can provide to assist you with your claim.
About Hutzler Law, PLLC
Proudly serving all of Arizona, Hutzler Law, PLLC, treats every case as though it will go to court. We build strong cases for personal injury claims of all kinds, relying on our team’s breadth of knowledge and experience to aggressively pursue success in the name of justice.
Accident attorneys Jason Hutzler and Omer Gurion know how to handle negotiations with large insurance companies, so you don’t have to fight alone. We’ll work closely with you every step so you can make informed decisions once your offers start coming back. Call us for your free case evaluation.
Contact us at (602) 730-4530 for your free case evaluation.
Hutzler Law, PLLC – Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
4323 N 12th St, Suite 101,
Phoenix, AZ 85014