Why Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Motorcyclists are overrepresented in terms of severe injuries and fatalities following a motor vehicle collision. While most riders are thrilled by the excitement and freedom of hitting the road, they also should be aware of the risks. However, no one deserves to have their ride interrupted by a catastrophic collision.
If you were injured due to a reckless or negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation. When seeking legal action, look for a motorcycle accident lawyer to remain by your side. At Sargon Law Group, we can help you determine the right attorney for your case.
In 2019, the Arizona Department of Transportation reported 2,676 motorcycle accidents in the state. A motorcycle accident attorney in Arizona can have a better understanding of motorcycle accidents than a lawyer who only deals with trucks or other vehicles. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers understand the unique challenges and injuries associated with motorcyclists.
Common Factors Behind Motorcycle Accidents
All motor vehicles have a responsibility to other drivers on the road. When you’re behind the wheel, you agree to drive safely and follow the rules to prevent putting others in danger. All drivers have the same obligation to you, regardless of whether you are on a motorcycle or in a passenger vehicle. The following are some of the most common reasons for motorcycle accidents.
Sudden Lane Changes
If a vehicle changes lanes in front of you with little to no warning, you may have no time to brake. When you collide with a passenger vehicle in front of you, as a motorcyclist you are more likely to experience severe injuries than the people within the car. Sudden lane changes may not give you enough time to respond to the driver.
The most common reason for a sudden lane change is driver distraction. Drivers may be engaging with passengers or using a phone before suddenly remembering that they need to change lanes. About 21% of drivers who make sudden lane changes admit to rarely or never using their turn signals. A safe lane change requires using turn signals, checking blind spots and ensuring visibility before moving into the other lane.
Lack of Visibility
A Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer has most likely heard the excuse that the driver didn’t see the motorcyclist. This is not an implausible claim. The human eye only sees a small area at one time. Our eyes are in constant motion, sending various pictures to the brain every second, which the brain assembles to create a mental image. When you’re familiar with an environment, your mind takes shortcuts to conserve energy. You may not be seeing everything you think you’re seeing.
If drivers are not familiar with seeing motorcycles on their daily drive, they may not perceive them. Their brain may ignore them if they don’t move across their field of vision. Moreover, when people become stressed, their field of vision becomes worse. Stress and fear force your muscles to freeze and the brain fills in the rest of the scenery with black. Most people know this phenomenon as tunnel vision.
Drivers can avoid not seeing motorcyclists by paying more attention to their surroundings. Drivers must make an effort to check their mirrors and environment thoroughly while driving. A motorcycle accident lawyer understands that accidents are more likely to happen when drivers aren’t consciously paying attention.
In 2019, about 3,142 people died because of distracted drivers. Distracted driving may refer to any activity that steals a driver’s attention.
There are three types of distractions: manual, visual and cognitive. Manual distractions are any activity that takes your hands off of the wheel. For example, changing the radio station or fiddling with the GPS is a manual distraction. Visual distractions take your eyes from the road, and cognitive distractions take your mind off driving. When a driver texts while driving, they experience all three distractions at once.
If a vehicle is traveling at 55 MPH, the time it takes to send or read a text is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field without opening one’s eyes. For instance, a driver around you may be reading a text while you legally change lanes or cross an intersection. Many accidents occur because one person wasn’t paying attention to the road ahead.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
While there is some overlap in different motor vehicle accidents, there are certain injuries that are more common among motorcyclists. When seeking a motorcycle accident lawyer, work with someone who understands your injuries. The following injuries are frequently sustained after a motorcycle accident.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries occur due to violent blows to the head. Moderate to severe brain injuries may result in persistent headaches, loss of consciousness, confusion and loss of coordination. A TBI may result in prolonged changes and, in some cases, permanent changes to your brain.
A patient may suffer seizures, fluid buildup, and infections in severe cases. While wearing a helmet can reduce the likelihood of a TBI during a motorcycle accident, it cannot 100% guarantee that you will not develop one. Brain injuries can have a lifelong effect on you. They may impact how and where you work, your hobbies and your enjoyment of life. Our Phoenix brain injury lawyers have handled cases for seriously injured motorcycle accident victims.
Spinal Cord Injuries
When you speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer, most likely, he or she has dealt with many spinal cord injury victims. Spinal cord injuries include all injuries that affect the spinal cord and nerves at the end of the spinal canal. SCIs may result in permanent changes in sensation and strength. Generally, the amount of control you have over your limbs depends on the location and severity of the injury. Complete SCIs refer to losing all feeling and function below the spinal cord injury, whereas incomplete SCIs refer to having some sensory and motor function below the area. Our spinal cord injury lawyers in Glendale have experience with severe motorcycle accidents and know that motorcycle accidents and other motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries.
Road rash is common during motorcycle accidents. It happens due to friction when your body contacts the road. In a lot of cases, road rash may heal in two weeks. Less severe cases tend to be superficial abrasions. However, motorcyclists may also face more severe types of road rash that produce a hypertrophic scar and may require skin grafting to heal.
What Qualities Should You Focus on When Seeking a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Every personal injury lawyer is different and every case is different. When choosing the right lawyer for your case, you need to match your needs with the attorney’s performance.
Choosing a lawyer outside of your local area doesn’t make sense. When you live in Arizona, find an attorney who lives within the state. Local attorneys know the laws and local court procedures of the area. Additionally, they are more familiar with the local judges and court officials. Having a local attorney also makes it easier for you to visit the office as frequently as you need.
To accurately calculate your losses, choose a motorcycle accident lawyer with experience. Lawyers who have handled such accidents before have the formulas ready to calculate your damage and have past cases to judge yours by. They know what to expect out of insurance negotiations and understand when it’s time to pursue a claim in front of a judge and jury. The legal system is complex, and legal professionals with experience can navigate it strategically.
When insurance companies refuse to settle out of court, you may have to take the case to trial. An experienced lawyer can collect the necessary evidence to help fight for rights, including gathering police reports, witness testimony and medical information.
A firm’s track record is a good indicator of its performance. You cannot spend too long getting to know every lawyer in your area. Instead, look at a law firm’s experience and track record to decide if you trust them. During your consultation, ask questions about the lawyer’s success rate. Most lawyers will not accept your case if they don’t think they can win your settlement.
Consider checking the state bar profile of each motorcycle accident lawyer. Every lawyer registers with the state bar association. Not only does the state bar confirm the licensing, but it also has information on your lawyer’s conduct and any ethical violations.
After an accident, victims are often overwhelmed with medical expenses, property damage and future costs. Unfortunately, many don’t believe they could afford representation. The myth that attorneys are too expensive stems from the idea that all lawyers have the same fee structure as criminal defense lawyers. Criminal defense attorneys tend to accept payment hourly, but we take a contingency fee.
We accept a fixed percentage of your settlement in a contingency fee arrangement. Most lawyers receive between 30% and 40% of the overall payment. If we lose the case, we don’t receive any money. There may be filing and court fees associated with the case, however. Before hiring an attorney, talk about expenses and payments outside of the firm’s fees.
How Do You Choose a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Once you have a shortlist of options, it’s time to pick the lawyer most suited for your case. Fortunately, there are several ways to narrow your decision down.
Talk to Friends and Family
If you have people you trust, ask if they have experience working with personal injury lawyers. They may have attorneys they’re confident in the abilities of and those they think you should steer clear of. If you don’t know anyone personally who has dealt with attorneys in the past, ask the motorcycle accident lawyer if he or she has testimonials. Take the opinions of former clients seriously.
Set Up a Consultation
Before choosing an attorney, show up at the firm for a consultation. Our law firm offers free consultations. The first meeting is an opportunity to get to know the potential lawyer. Not only should you feel comfortable, but you need to know that the lawyer is knowledgeable and wants to help with your particular case. A consultation can give you a better idea of how qualified the lawyer is to handle your specific accident.
Do not be afraid to ask questions. Your chosen lawyer should be open to answering any questions you have throughout the process. Be wary of lawyers who make you hesitate to voice your concerns or confusion. While attorneys take care of the intricate details of your case, they should also be able to keep you informed about the process. Examples of questions to ask include:
- How long have you been practicing motorcycle injury law?
- How often do you handle cases involving motorcycles?
- Do you think my case will go to trial?
- What difficulties do you foresee with my case?
A motorcycle accident lawyer should never make you feel like you don’t have a right to ask questions.
Consider Communication Styles
Every case requires communication. Different forms of communication may include in-person meetings, email threads, telephone conversations or text messaging. Ask your lawyer how often he or she plans to get in contact with you. Likewise, find out how you can get a hold of him or her if you have any new details or concerns to go over. Some attorneys are flexible in their communication styles. For example, if you prefer email correspondence over phone calls, the firm may be able to accommodate you.
Assess How You Feel
Following your consultation and research, assess your feelings. Consider which attorneys you feel the most comfortable with. You should leave the firm feeling more confident in your case. You have to work closely with your attorney during your injury claim. When you feel comfortable, you’re more likely to be able to discuss various details of your case and to help recover your settlement.
Contact Sargon Law Group for Experienced and Understanding Motorcycle Lawyers
If you were involved in a preventable accident, an Arizona motorcycle accident lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation. At Sargon Law Group, we fight for our clients’ rights to receive the settlement they deserve. After your accident, you need an attorney who understands the ins and outs of motorcycle injury cases. Contact our office today to set up a consultation.