While there is nothing like soaring on a motorcycle, even the safest and most cautious rider can get into an accident. According to a 2013 report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured and 26 times more likely to suffer a fatality in an accident.
If you are a rider and find yourself victimized in an accident, Cantor Crane wants you to be aware of your rights and what steps you should take to legally protect yourself.
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Why We Ride
For a lot of people, climbing on a hog and hitting the road is as natural as going to sleep and waking up. The average rider is passionate about it. While the majority of the populace simply have images of riding a motorcycle as cool or rebellious, the fact is there are many practical reasons for riding, most of them eco-friendly, including:
- Motorcycles use a lot less material than even the smallest car. That means their construction has less environmental impact.
- Due to their profile being narrower than four-wheeled vehicles, motorcycles are putting less stress on our infrastructures.
- Unless it is illegal, a motorcycle can split lanes in congested traffic. Idle traffic spits greenhouse gases by continuously moving, motorcycles contribute less.
- Motorcycles get better gas mileage than other vehicles. That means less gas consumption for comparable travel and less energy required to pump fossil fuel in the first place.
We think riding a motorcycle is a great way to travel. Unfortunately, motorists in traditional vehicles will forget bikers are offered the same rights as anyone else using a vehicle. Motorists can forget who has right of way or not notice the smaller motorcycle. This has resulted in many accidents, injuries and worse.
Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident
Once you have gotten into any type of vehicular accident — car, motorcycle, bicycle — a claim has to be filed with the adverse insurance company. The insurance company is responsible for establishing responsibility and for ensuring payment of accident related expenses. This can include, but is not limited to, medical expenses, physical therapy and lost wages. Victims and their families may also be entitled to compensation if the accident now prevents them from performing certain basic tasks or there has been damage to their standard of living due to resultant injuries.
- You are legally entitled to be reimbursed for any income lost due to the accident.
- You are legally entitled to professional care if you are incapable of caring for yourself as a result of accident-related injury.
- If you are not responsible for the accident and your vehicle is out of commission because of the accident, you are entitled to a rental vehicle until your vehicle has been repaired or replaced.
- Commercial vehicles — semi-trucks, delivery trucks, ice cream trucks — are expected to take greater responsibility on the road.
- Injured parties may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering in the short- and long-term. This can vary policy-to-policy and state-to-state. The exception is the state of Arizona. There are no limits on compensation one can receive for pain and suffering in Arizona.
- Even injury resulting from a non-motorized vehicle accident, like a bicycle, that is the other person’s fault, can lead to pain and suffering compensation.
If your motorcycle is damaged or destroyed in an accident, it will be determined whether the vehicle is eligible for repair or deemed a total loss. In the interim, victims will be entitled to rental vehicles to be paid for by the responsible party’s insurance company.
Special vehicles like semis and commercial vehicles are enlisted with greater responsibility on the roadways due to their sheer size, driving technique and potential to cause greater damage. Cantor Crane has found on average these drivers are frequently responsible for the injuries, damages and worse that has been caused by improper driving.
As no one is allowed to operate a motorized vehicle without insurance, if it is discovered the individual responsible for the accident does not possess insurance, criminal and civil charges can be brought against them to obtain any compensation.
Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Phoenix
If you or someone you know is injured during a motorcycle accident and the other party is responsible, that driver is liable for present and future pain and suffering that directly results from said accident.
If you or someone you know is injured as a result of a third party’s negligence, regardless of whether or not another vehicle was involved, you are still entitled to be legally being compensated for your pain, suffering and losses.
Know your rights and all your legal options. If you would like to learn more about what to do after an accident involving a car or motorcycle, it is time to speak with one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys. Please contact our office by calling us at (602) 254-2701 or filling out our Online Contact Form. The initial consultation is free.