Not all Phoenix Personal Injury lawyers have the experience necessary to handle a serious motorcycle accident case. While many of the same rules that apply to car accidents also apply to motorcycle cases, the differences can be crucial.
The first thing to make sure of when selecting a Phoenix Personal Injury lawyer is that they are aware of the inherent differences between a motorcycle and a more traditional four wheel vehicle. While nearly every car on the road is required to have safety features such as seat belts, motorcycles typically have no such devices. It’s an obvious fact, but the legal implications can be more unclear. Can you sue the motorcycle
Can you sue the motorcycle manufacturer for failing to include a safety device that would have mitigated or prevented your injury? What about if the construction was faulty? Does it make a difference if you knew motorcycles were more dangerous than cars when you bought it?
These are the kinds of liability questions that victims of motorcycle accidents need a professional Phoenix Personal Injury lawyer to answer.
Does it make a difference if you knew motorcycles were more dangerous than cars when you bought it? These are the kinds of liability questions that victims of motorcycle accidents need a professional Phoenix Personal Injury lawyer to answer.
One common issue in motorcycle cases has to do with motorcycle helmets. In 1969, Arizona’s Legislature passed a law that would become A.R.S. ss 28-964, requiring everyone who rode a motorcycle to wear a full helmet when doing so.
In 1976, the federal Department of Transportation attempted to revoke highway funds from states that did not have a mandatory helmet law, and Congress responded by revoking the DOT’s authority to withhold funds on that basis. More than half the states immediately repealed their state mandatory helmet laws, while Arizona re-wrote A.R.S. ss 28-964 to require only drivers under 18 to wear a
More than half the states immediately repealed their state mandatory helmet laws, while Arizona re-wrote A.R.S. ss 28-964 to require only drivers under 18 to wear a helmet, while still requiring all operators to wear some form of eye protection.
Even though adult bikers can’t be fined directly for not wearing their helmets, Arizona personal injury law does recognize a sort of indirect fine on those who are injured in a motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet. This is one more reason to be sure to get help from the right Phoenix Personal Injury lawyer.
Arizona personal injury law uses a comparative fault system, which means that when an accident occurs, the law requires each person at fault to bear financial responsibility for their share of the fault in the accident. For example, if a jury determined that a biker was 20% responsible for the accident in which they were injured, the injured party would receive 80% of the compensation they were due, with the remaining 20% representing the loss the law imposes on the person for their fault in the accident.
How does this relate to helmets? Arizona’s courts have ruled that even though the law does not require a helmet, negligent drivers who injure bikers without helmets can argue that part or all of the injuries would not have occurred if the biker had been wearing a helmet and thus the injured party should not recover for their loss. The theory is that failing to wear a helmet is evidence that the biker was acting unreasonably and was therefore negligent.
It’s also important to remember that bikers need to have auto insurance coverage for their motorcycles just the same as car drivers do. As the old saying goes, it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.
The law governing motorcycle accidents can be complex, so it is very helpful to have the guidance of a Phoenix Personal Injury lawyer with extensive experience in motorcycle cases to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. To speak with a professional attorney who specializes in motorcycle accidents, call Zachar Law Firm at (602) 494-4800 or visit www.zacharassociates.com.