Arizona Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident in Arizona?
Call Rasmussen Injury Law. Our Arizona motorcycle accident attorneys have represented clients injured in motorcycle accidents for over thirty years. If you ride a motorcycle in Arizona, you should be aware of the increasing number of motorcycle accidents in the state. Therefore, it is crucial to have a legal representative who can handle your case and attend court proceedings while you recover from the accident and your injuries.
Frequently asked questions about motorcycle accidents in Arizona
Can I sue a motorcycle driver as a passenger on their bike?
Yes. The passenger in an accident, whether it is on a motorcycle or other vehicle, can claim any potential person at fault for the accident. If you are riding on a motorcycle and the driver is partially or fully responsible for an accident, you are entitled to claim him/her.
If a drunk driver caused my accident, who can I sue?
The driver of the car that caused the accident is the first person to whom you would make a claim. If the driver was drunk, you can also look at bringing a Dram Shop claim. This is a claim that alleges a bar overserved a person. If it can be proved that a bar overserved its patron before he/she left, the bar can be responsible for the accident.
Additionally, if the drunk driver is operating someone else’s vehicle, you may be able to bring a claim against the owner of the vehicle. The claim is for negligent entrustment. If the owner of the vehicle knew of the driver’s drinking and still permitted that he/she operated the car, the owner can be held responsible for entrusting the vehicle to the drunk driver.
What can I do if the other driver’s insurance does not fully cover my losses?
If the other driver’s insurance does not have sufficient coverage to pay for your losses, you have two options:
- Make a claim under your insurance for Underinsured Coverage (UIM)
a. This coverage is something you can pay for to make sure you can get all of your claims paid if the at-fault driver does not have enough coverage. Many people drive with the state minimum coverage. And, in an accident, the minimum coverage (now $25,000.00 as of July 2020) is not enough to cover all medical bills and pain and suffering. If you have UIM coverage, your insurance company steps in and pays you what the at-fault should have paid you. And this does not affect your premiums because you are not at-fault for the accident.
- Claim the driver in court
b. If the at-fault driver does not have sufficient coverage for your loss, you can ask him to pay from his funds. Most insurance companies will ask you to sign a release to prevent getting money from the at-fault driver personally. The only way to make someone pay you above what their insurance company has is to get a judgment. To get a judgment, you will have to file a lawsuit.
What type of damages does Arizona law allow victims to recover?
Arizona has specific areas addressed in jury instructions for compensation. The list includes:
- The nature, extent, and duration of the injury.
a. This is regarding the type of injury you sustained and for how long.
- The pain, discomfort, suffering, disability, disfigurement, and anxiety already experienced, and reasonably probable to be experienced in the future as a result of the injury.
a. This is what most people know as “pain and suffering”.
- Reasonable expenses of necessary medical care, treatment, and services rendered, and reasonably probable to be incurred in the future.
a. Your medical bills incurred and future medical bills you will need relating to the accident.
- Lost earnings to date, and any decrease in earning power or capacity in the future.
a. Lost wages because of the accident or loss of future earnings because you are unable to work in a particular field you were going to or have been working in.
- Loss of love, care, affection, companionship, and other pleasures of the [marital] [parent-child] relationship.3
a. This is referred to as loss of consortium. Generally, it has to do with the loss of sexual relations with your spouse. But it also refers to the love and companionship of a parent-child.
- Loss of enjoyment of life, that is, the participation in life's activities to the quality and extent normally enjoyed before the injury
a. This addresses how your life was affected during and after the accident. What things did you stop doing? Did you miss out on vacations? Hobbies? Etc.
See RAJI – Personal Injury Damages 1 – Measure of Damages
How can a lawyer help me with a motorcycle accident?
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, there are a lot of issues to address. It can become overwhelming to handle the medical treatment, calls from the insurance company, medical bills, car repairs, rental cars, and submitting information to the insurance company. A good lawyer can take that off your plate and make sure you can focus on feeling better. The best ways a lawyer can help is:
- Stop the phone calls from the other insurance company
- Submit your claim to get your vehicle repaired and obtained a rental car
- Request police report and talk to any witnesses
- Gather vital evidence to prove who has the fault
- Find insurance from the at-fault person and any other sources
- Make sure you are not overcharged for medical treatment
- Work out the reimbursement of your medical charges to your health insurance company
- Prepare your case to meet the legal burdens of proof if litigation is necessary.