Category: Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Passengers: A Brief Look at Liability Under Arizona Law

Skilled Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Phoenix, AZ Motorcycle operators and passengers face significant risks on Arizona roadways.  According to the Department of Public Safety, in 2016 alone there were 792 motorcycle collisions in the state, and 32 of them fatal. Passengers who have been subjected to an unreasonable risk of injury have a right to recover compensation for the harm they suffered.  Successfully litigating the claim requires skilled advocacy.  Contact Hirsch & Lyon for assistance. Specific Prohibitions and Requirements Involving Motorcycle Passengers in Arizona Arizona law features a number of prohibitions that could impact your injury claims against the motorcycle operator: Passengers must wear a helmet if they are below the age of 18 (though it’s important that you wear a helmet regardless, as the defendant is likely to argue that a failure to do so constitutes contributory negligence); Passengers cannot ride with motorcycle operators who only have their permit, and not a license; and Motorcycles must be equipped with a passenger seat and footrests to ensure that the passenger can ride safely. For example, if someone takes you as a passenger on their motorcycle without having obtained their license (they only have a permit), they could be held liable for injuries that you suffer in an accident caused by their negligence. Similarly, if someone takes you as a passenger on their motorcycle without having properly installed a passenger seat and footrests on the vehicle, and the lack thereof causes you to be harmed in a subsequent accident, then you […]

Sharing the Lane With Multiple Motorcycles

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the fault of another, then Arizona law may entitle you to damages.  Do bear in mind, however, that the lawsuit may be a bit more complicated than it initially appears. Motorcyclists are often — and unfortunately — perceived by much of the general public to be inherently undisciplined on the road.  This perception can be challenged, of course, but it takes skillful and detail-oriented advocacy, particularly in situations where the injured motorcyclist may have engaged in behavior that is violative of the law. Without context, this can all be somewhat confusing.  Let’s explore some basic issues relating to lane sharing and splitting, and how liability is affected. Two Motorcycles May Ride Together in the Same Lane In Arizona, Section 28-903A of the Revised Statutes quite clearly allows for two motorcycles to ride abreast of one another in a single lane.  This “lane sharing” allowance is limited to two motorcycles, however.  If another motor vehicle attempts to share the lane with you, then they could be held liable in the event of an accident. Prohibited Behavior Arizona prohibits a variety of behavior relating to motorcycle lane use: Motorcycles may not ride more than two abreast in a single lane Motorcycles may not ride between lanes of traffic (i.e., lane-splitting) Motorcycles may not overtake other vehicles in the same lane (they must transition into the next lane and back to perform a passing maneuver) By violating any of these prohibitions, you will […]

Understanding the Standard of Care for Motorcyclists

Let Our Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Help If you are a motorcyclist who was injured due to the fault of another, then Arizona law may give you a right to sue and recover damages as compensation for the losses that you suffered as a result. Motorcycle accident litigation — not unlike other motor vehicle accident litigation — can become quite complicated when the facts are “messy.”  In some cases, the injured motorcyclist may not be entirely absent of fault.  It’s not uncommon for a motorcyclist to have acted negligently and thereby contributed to the accident in their own way. So, how does this affect the dispute?  Let’s dive in for a closer look. Comparative Fault in Arizona In Arizona, pure comparative fault rules apply.  What this means is that an injury plaintiff is not barred from recovering damages even if they have acted negligently (and this negligence has contributed to the injuries at-issue).  Instead, the plaintiff’s overall damages will be reduced in accordance with their fault contribution. For example, suppose that a plaintiff was hurt in a motorcycle accident and has suffered overall damages equivalent to about $100,000.  If the plaintiff is found 40 percent at-fault for their injuries, then they will be entitled to recover $100,000 minus $40,000, or $60,000 in total. As the plaintiff, it’s not only important that you “win” your case (i.e., negotiate a settlement or obtain a favorable verdict), but also that you secure the maximum possible compensation given the circumstances.  An effective litigation strategy […]

Do I Have a Responsibility to Make Myself Obvious as a Motorcyclist?

Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Motorcyclists have good reason to be paranoid while operating their vehicles on America’s roadways.  Motorcycle accidents — in Arizona and elsewhere — are often caused by car and truck drivers who fail to drive in a manner that accounts for the possibility of two-wheelers on the road, or who otherwise fail to “notice” the presence of a two-wheeler.  This can expose motorcyclists to an unreasonable risk of harm. Given the risks, it’s not surprising that many motorcyclists wonder whether they have an affirmative responsibility or duty to make themselves more (in the visual and auditory sense) obvious to others. Let’s explore some of the basics for a clearer understanding. Motorcyclists Must Exercise Reasonable Care — There is No Special Responsibility to Make Oneself Obvious Motorcyclists have no affirmative responsibility or duty to make themselves obvious.  In fact, it could be reasonably argued that attempts to make themselves more visible or otherwise obvious to other vehicles could expose the motorcyclist to additional risks of harm.  For example, many motorcyclists swerve within their lane to make themselves more visible to passing cars, but this activity can confuse other drivers — they may not be aware that you are intending to stay in your own lane. As a motorcyclist, your mind should be focused on exercising reasonable care given the circumstances.  If the actions necessitated by the circumstances involve making yourself obvious, then that would justify you doing so.  Otherwise, it’s not required to take additional or special actions […]

The Legality of Lane Splitting in Arizona

In Arizona, and elsewhere, motorcyclists sometimes attempt to split lanes in an effort to cut through traffic and avoid the gridlock.  This is perfectly natural, of course — many motorcyclists see lane splitting as a maneuver that is meant to take advantage of the unique dimensions of a two-wheeled vehicle.  Motorcyclists (like most others on the road) tend to also see themselves as exemplary operators and may therefore find any restriction on lane splitting to be questionable. In reality, however, lane splitting can expose both motorcyclists and others to a significant risk of injury.  It should come as no surprise that Arizona and most other states have regulated lane splitting in an effort to minimize the occurrence of motorcycle accidents (and the injury claims that may result from such behaviors).  As per section 28-903 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, the state imposes a complete ban on motorcycle lane splitting. How does this effect damage recovery in a motorcycle accident?  Let’s take a look. Recovering Damages in a Lane Splitting Accident Given that lane splitting is banned in Arizona by statute, if you are involved in an accident while you are splitting a lane (i.e., riding between two lanes of traffic or between adjacent rows of vehicles), then you will be found negligent per se. Importantly, however, the fact that you are negligent for violating the lane splitting prohibition is not — in and of itself — enough to prevent you from successfully recovering damages in an accident.  Arizona implements the […]

10 Tips to Help You When Involved In an Accident

Safety: Make sure that you and your passengers are not injured. If an injury occurred, call 911 to report the injuries. If there is serious injury or major damage, do not move the vehicles. Wait until the police arrive so they can properly document the scene. This will help the police and investigators determine who is at fault if there is any question of liability. If the accident is minor, move the vehicle to the side of the road to a safe location. Do not get out of the vehicle unless it is safe. Stay in the vehicle if you are injured or surrounded by moving traffic. What seems like a minor injury could be much worse than it seems and trying to move could make things worse. Your best bet is to stay in your vehicle with your seat belt fastened, turn on your hazards while waiting for help to arrive. Call the police: Don’t ever let anyone at the scene try to convince you otherwise. A police report will be very important alter on. Get the police report along with the name and number of the reporting officer. In some cases of minor crashes, the police will not respond unless there are serious injuries or property damage; if that is the case, you will need to file an accident report at the local police station as soon as possible. Exchanging Information: Get the other drivers name, phone number, insurance company, policy number, drivers license number, plate number, and […]

Be A Safer Motorcycle Rider

Be a Safer Biker You are more likely to get into an accident riding a motorcycle than if you were driving a car. Here are some safety tips to help you avoid a motorcycle accident, and have safer ride. The main cause of motorcycle accidents are: Being in a driver’s blind spot. Loose gravel, and road debris. The main objective is to stay visible. Try to stay out of the blind spots of cars. Add a little extra buffer room between you and the car that is in front of you, and to the side of you. Just in case they decide to stop short, or change lanes unexpectedly, you will have time and space to make the proper maneuvers to avoid and accident. You can also wear bright colors to improve your visibility. Yellow, red, and white are very visible on the road. Try to avoid wearing all black. Black blends in with the road, and may make you harder to see by other drivers. Wearing reflective gear will also help. It will help you get noticed by the drivers around you, even in their peripheral vision. Always use turn signals when making a turn. It might be necessary to put your turn signal on a little early to give the driver behind you ample warning time that you will be slowing down. Tapping your break a couple of times before slowing down will also get the drivers attention, and let them know that you will be slowing down […]

$

What Our Clients Are Saying

"I had an accident and Jack Hirsch was recommended to me by a friend. I can not say enough good things about how good Jack and his staff were to work with. He is so personable, timely and thorough. I was very happy with the results my case and I have already recommended friends to Jack. He's a great guy and a great attorney!"