Motorcycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions

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The following are frequently asked questions (FAQ) answered by Arizona motorcycle accident lawyers and attorneys.

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What should I do after a motorcycle accident?

At the scene, if you are physically able to do so, take photos of the bike, the other vehicles involved in the crash and the location. Get the name, address, phone and insurance information of the other driver, and take a picture of their license plate and VIN number. Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses.

Most importantly, after a motorcycle accident, get the medical attention you need. When you talk to your doctors, make sure you tell them about all of your injuries. Don’t leave anything out.

Next, talk to an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. It is important to get a lawyer on board quickly in case evidence needs to be preserved before it is destroyed or spoiled, witnesses need to be located and deadlines need to be met. The faster you hire a lawyer, the sooner they can get started. Do not give a statement any insurance companies until you first talk to a motorcycle accident attorney.
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How long do I have to file my case?

The legal deadline to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit is known as a statute of limitations. This deadline varies from state to state. Generally speaking, if the accident occurred in Arizona, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. In certain situations — for example, if you have a claim against a governmental entity — the statute of limitations is much shorter. This is one reason why it is very important to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after an crash.
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My bike is totaled. Can I keep it?

Generally, if a motorcycle is totaled, the insurance company pays the value of the bike at the time of the accident in exchange for the bike. This is different if the bike just needs repairs, in which case the insurance company typically pays for the repairs and you keep the bike.
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Should I hire a lawyer for my motorcycle accident case?

Yes. Insurance companies typically don’t treat unrepresented persons seriously. You are much more likely to get a better result if you hire an legal counsel to help you with your case. If you needed surgery, would you try to operate on yourself, or would you hire someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in performing surgeries? A bike accident attorney is knowledgeable and experienced in motorcycle accident cases. They are familiar with motorcycle laws, how to prepare and present your case, how to file a lawsuit and how to deal with insurance company tactics.

Remember that insurance companies are looking out for their own interest and not yours. Their goal is to settle your case for as little money as possible. Your lawyer’s goal is the opposite: to settle your case for as much money as possible.

In addition, when you hire an attorney to represent you, you can focus on your physical recovery while your advocate takes care of your legal recovery.
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I received a ticket. Does that mean I can’t make a claim for my injuries?

Not necessarily. Just because you received a ticket doesn’t mean you can’t recover. Traffic citations typically aren’t admissible in a personal injury trial. A police officer may think you were at fault and write you a ticket, but the jury might conclude differently.

Also, Arizona law follows what’s known as “comparative negligence”, which means more than one person can be at fault in an accident. So, even if you were at fault, the other driver may also be at fault. In that case, the amount of damages you can recover from the other driver is reduced based on your “comparative negligence”.
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What is comparative negligence?

Some states, including Arizona, apply the legal rule of comparative negligence. This means that more than one party may be at fault for causing an accident. If you are injured in an accident and you were partially at fault, this reduces the amount of damages you can recover from other negligent parties. Using an example to illustrate, if the other driver was 85% at fault and you were 15% at fault, you can recover 85% of your losses from the other driver.
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How is a motorcycle accident lawyer different than other lawyers?

A motorbike injury attorney is knowledgeable and experienced in motorcycle accident cases and lawsuits. Based on their knowledge and experience, they should be more likely to get a better result for you than a lawyer that is not familiar with these types of cases. Just like you should go to a foot doctor and not a kidney doctor if you injure your foot, you should hire a motorcycle accident lawyer if you are in a motorcycle accident.
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A driver ran me off the road but didn’t hit me. Are they responsible?

Yes, if the other driver was negligent. A driver may not hit you but still be at fault for a crash. For example, they might cut you off or swerve too close to you.
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I was run off the road by an unidentified car. Can I recover from my insurance company?

This is known as a single bike accident, and the unidentified car is known as a “phantom vehicle”. If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your insurance policy, you can make a claim with your insurance company. Additional proof may be required if the car did not hit you (as opposed to a hit-and-run accident), and a lawyer can help with this.
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What is the difference between uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage?

Both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are types of coverage you can buy on your insurance policy. Uninsured motorist coverage applies if you were in a crash with a negligent driver that was not insured. It also applies to hit-and-run accidents. Underinsured motorist coverage applies if you were in a crash with a negligent driver that had insurance but their policy limits were less than the amount of damages you are entitled to.
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I don’t have motorcycle insurance. Can I sue the driver that hit me?

Yes. You can make a motorcycle accident claim and file a motorbike crash lawsuit against a negligent driver even if you do not have insurance.
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I wasn’t wearing a helmet. Can I recover for my injuries?

You should wear a helmet for safety. If you were not wearing a helmet, however, this doesn’t affect whether another driver was at fault for causing the accident. Depending on the nature of your injuries and how the accident occurred, it could affect the amount of damages you are entitled to recover.
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What kinds of damages can I recover in a motorcycle accident case?

The damages you can recover will depend on what losses you sustained. For example, this may include medical bills, lost wages, diminished earnings capacity, pain and suffering, compensation for permanent impairment, special equipment to accommodate disabilities and life care assistance. If you lost a family member in a bike wreck, you may be entitled to wrongful death damages.
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How much is my case worth?

How much you can expect to recover will depend on the damages you suffered, including your medical bills, lost wages, the extent of your injuries, pain and suffering, whether you have any permanent disabilities and other factors. If there are questions as to whether the other driver was at fault, or if you were partially at fault, this may reduce your recovery. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can provide you with additional information based on your specific circumstances.
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How long will it take to complete my case?

Some cases take months to complete, others take years. Factors that affect the time to settle a case include the nature and seriousness of your injuries, whether there are questions about liability that have to be worked out, whether the insurance company makes a reasonable settlement offer in a timely manner and other factors. The sooner you get a good legal counsel on board, the faster they can start working on your case.
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Will I have to go to court?

Most cases settle before going to trial. If the insurance company does not offer a reasonable settlement, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. Even if a lawsuit is filed, it is more likely than not that the case will settle before trial. We prepare all cases with the assumption that they will go to trial. We believe being very prepared raises the chances a case will settle and increases the settlement value. And, if the case does not settle, then we are ready to go to trial.
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How do I pay for your services?

We take motorcycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that if there is no recovery, you do not owe us anything. Payment for fees and costs is made out of money we recover for you.
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How can I get more information?

For more information, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation at (480) 361-2442.
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    * IMPORTANT: Our “99% success rate” is based on personal injury cases that resulted in a settlement (in any amount) or a trial/arbitration result in favor of our clients. Matters where the lawyer or client terminated representation before the conclusion of the matter are excluded from this calculation. “No fees until you win” means that we take injury cases on a contingency fee basis. Past results cannot predict or guarantee future outcomes. Every case is unique, and every case involves risk including the risk of loss. If there is a loss, you may have to pay opposing parties’ attorney fees and costs.

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