In the year 2014, the Arizona Department of Transportation recorded 3,127 motorcycle accidents in the state, resulting in 2,655 injuries and 127 motorcyclist fatalities. While this is a decrease from the previous year, when 149 motorcycle accidents occurred, 127 lives lost in motorcycle crashes in the state is by no means an acceptable number.
Common Motorcyclist Injuries
Motorcyclists can sustain a wide array of injuries, some of which can change their lives forever. These injuries include:
- Head, scalp, and facial injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Spinal column and spinal cord injuries;
- Back injuries;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Road rash/road burn;
- Broken bones;
- Foot and lower extremity injuries; and
- Internal injuries, including internal bleeding.
While most broken bones and soft tissue injuries will health with time and medical interventions, other injury types are much more severe. For example, a traumatic brain injury can permanently impair a motorcyclist’s ability to live on his or her own; a spinal cord injury can render a motorcyclist paralyzed; and road rash and facial injuries can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement.
Will My Claim Be Affected If I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?
While the state of Arizona does not have a bicyclist helmet law, it does have a partial helmet law of motorcyclists. The law only applies to those who are under the age of 18, and requires that they wear a helmet at all times when riding upon a motorcycle, whether as a passenger or as the operator. Those who are 18 years of age and older are not required to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.
Motorcycle head injuries are one of the most common types of injuries sustained during a crash. If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your motorcycle crash and your head injuries could have been prevented had a helmet been worn, you may be found partially at fault for those head injuries (damages for other injuries that could not have been prevented by the use of a helmet will not be affected). If you are found to be partially at fault for your head injuries, your compensation amount will be reduced accordingly.
As a note, the same is true if you were doing anything else illegal at the time of your accident, or that a reasonable person would not have done in the same situation. For example, if you were lane-splitting, which is illegal in Phoenix, and this contributed to the accident, then your damages amount will be reduced.
Who Will Pay For My Injuries?
Motorcyclists in Arizona are required under state law to carry insurance. The amount that you must carry in order legally operate a motorcycle is $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident, and $10,000 property damage liability coverage. However, you are also welcome to purchase other insurance types, such as uninsured motorist coverage and medical payments coverage.
Depending upon fault for the accident, the insurance policy held by the other driver, and your own insurance, you may be able to have all of your injuries paid for through insurance. In addition to filing an insurance claim, you also have the right to file a lawsuit if you were not at fault for the accident.
Recover Compensation for the Harm You Have Suffered
The injuries incurred during a motorcycle accident can be tragic. To make sure that you have the money that you need to continuing living your life to the highest standard possible, make sure that you contact an experienced Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.