Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Discuss How to Win a Case When the Rider Was Not Wearing a Helmet
“Research suggests that motorcyclists are involved in fatal crashes 28 times more often than other motorists.”
However, motorcycles do not offer all the safety features of other passenger vehicles. Cars and trucks, for example, enclose the driver inside a resilient frame, whereas motorcycles do not offer this protection. Because of the lack of protection, motorcycle crashes in Phoenix, AZ, often result in severe consequences for the rider.
In fact, some research suggests that motorcyclists are involved in fatal crashes 28 times more often than other motorists. Personal injuries from motorcycle collisions are even more likely.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to seek legal representation. You may have the right to seek compensation for the costs associated with your accident and injuries. This is true whether the driver or passenger(s) of the motorcycle were wearing a helmet or not.
When you have been in a collision, contact motorcycle accident lawyers in Phoenix, AZ, at Goodnow McKay. They can fight to protect your rights and secure financial recovery in your case.
Maricopa County Motorcycle Laws
Like all other drivers, motorcyclists are required to adhere to Arizona’s traffic laws. Additionally, Arizona has passed specific statutes that apply only to motorcycle riders.
Under Arizona state law, motorcyclists must:
- Obtain a Class M license
- Wear protective goggles even if the motorcycle has a windshield
- Drive a motorcycle with a seat, footrests, and rearview mirror
- Drive a motorcycle with a manufacturer’s muffler or noise silencer
- Drive a motorcycle with one or two headlamps
Arizona has also passed statutes requiring certain riders to wear protective helmets. Only those persons under the age of 18 must wear a helmet while operating or riding on a motorcycle.
Recently, Arizona lawmakers proposed further regulations on motorcycle helmet use. One proposed statute would require all motorcyclists to wear a helmet unless they paid an optional fee, but this proposed legislation has not become law.
As of now, only riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a motorcycle helmet. That being so, if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, whether or not you were wearing a helmet will only be relevant if you are 18 years old or younger.
If you are a motorcyclist under 18 years of age and were not wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, it may be difficult to recover financial compensation. In cases like this, you will be found in violation of traffic laws. However, it’s still worth it to speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss the unique circumstances of your case.
Compensation for Motorcycle Wrecks in Phoenix, AZ
Most people do not have much experience with the domain of personal injury law. Often, injured motorcyclists will not pursue an injury claim because they are not aware of the damages they are owed.
Do not miss out on the financial recovery that is rightfully yours. If you have been injured, consult with accomplished Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you to recover compensation to cover the costs of your accident.
Injury victims in Arizona have the right to seek both economic and non-economic damages in motorcycle accident cases. Economic damages are those losses from an accident that can be easily translated into monetary amounts.
Some examples of economic damages include:
- Property damage, such as damage to your vehicle
- Medical bills and expenses
- Lost income from missed work
- The loss of long-term earning potential
- Miscellaneous out-of-pocket costs, such as necessary travel
Non-economic damages are those that cannot be easily quantified in monetary terms. For instance, how much are you owed if your motorcycle accident injury prevents you from picking up your child? What is the price of being unable to sit comfortably?
These losses do not come with a price tag, but they present very real challenges and difficulties for injury victims and are often more “costly” to victims than economic damages.
“Non-economic damages are those that cannot be easily quantified in monetary terms. For instance, how much are you owed if your motorcycle accident injury prevents you from picking up your child?”
Non-economic damages may compensate for:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and trauma, such as panic, anxiety, and stress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of reputation or standing
- Permanent or temporary disfigurement
- Loss of consortium/companionship typically invoked in wrongful death cases
There are no damage caps for most personal injury cases in the state of Arizona. It is crucial to speak with Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys if you have been involved in a collision.
Helmet Use in Motorcycle Accidents in Phoenix, AZ
As stated above, statistics show that motorcycle accidents are very dangerous for everyone involved. While it is not a legal requirement for motorcyclists over 18 years of age to wear a helmet, it is still the best choice to ensure personal safety.
Wearing a helmet reduces the chances of severe injury or death during a motorcycle accident. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, only 4.6% of motorcycle accident injuries are fatal when the driver uses a helmet. The fatality rate is nearly double that for accidents in which the driver is not wearing a helmet.
Helmet use protects motorcycle passengers, as well. Motorcycle accidents result in passenger fatalities only 1% of the time when helmets are used. Without helmet use, 16% of motorcycle passengers involved in an accident are killed.
“Only 4.6% of motorcycle accident injuries are fatal when the driver uses a helmet. The fatality rate is nearly double that for accidents in which the driver is not wearing a helmet.”
Sadly, motorcycle accident fatalities in Arizona are increasing. In 2017, over 160 motorcyclists were killed as a result of collisions. Motorcycle accident injuries are even more common. In that same year, more than 2,200 motorcyclists were injured in crashes.
When a motorcyclist is injured because of another party’s negligence, they deserve compensation. This is true regardless of helmet use.
Contact Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Goodnow McKay
While using a helmet is the best way to protect yourself when operating a motorcycle, it will usually not affect your ability to seek compensation in the case of an accident. Only motorcyclists who are under 18 years of age are legally required to wear a helmet in Phoenix, AZ. The surest way to win a motorcycle accident case is to speak with an accomplished personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Here at Goodnow Mckay, we have offices in both Phoenix and Prescott. Our law firm practices only personal injury law, and we have extensive experience in Arizona motorcycle accident cases. Contact us today for a free consultation to review your case.