If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s possible you could have a case if you chose to seek damages. The insurance company will offer the bare minimum, but if you’ve missed out on work or if you have an injury with long term implications, you could be owed much more. Here are some important factors to consider if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident.
How long do you have to seek damages in an accident?
Arizona state law gives you two years from the date of the accident, or two years from the date of a loved one’s death caused by the accident, to bring your case before the court. Two years gives you time to assess your injuries and your losses, which are not always immediately obvious, and also to build your case. Don’t wait too long, though, as it can take time to prepare a case and bring it before the court. It’s important to move quickly in the first few months after your accident.
How is fault determined?
The first thing that the court will look at if you are seeking damages in a motorcycle accident is whether you were at fault. For instance, if you were doing something that is prohibited by law, such as lane splitting (driving your motorcycle between the lanes to pass traffic in either lane), you may have a difficult time proving the other driver was at fault. On the other hand, if the other driver is even partly at fault, you may be able to ask for at least some portion of your medical bills and other losses.
What does it mean that Arizona is a comparative fault state?
When it comes to accident lawsuits, Arizona is a comparative fault state, which essentially means that the courts can find more than one party’s actions to be responsible for an accident. So if you were doing something that helped to cause the accident, the court may find you to be partly at fault.
If the court determines that the accident was 70 percent the other party’s fault, for example, they’ll look at your total damages and award you 70 percent of that amount. For this reason, it is imperative that you consider all damages when going to court, and not just your immediate medical bills.
How are damages assessed in a motorcycle accident?
Aside from the most obvious damages, the damage to your motorcycle and the cost of medical bills resulting from the accident, there are a number of other damages that you, your attorney, and the court may consider in your case. For instance, your damages will include any time off you had to take from work due to the accident, and any ongoing or expected lost wages. However, you will also be able to ask for the cost of therapy, emotional damages, and pain and suffering. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, your damages might include not just the loss of their income in your household, but also what’s called “loss of consortium.”
The Importance of a Good Accident Attorney
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, the first step is to find a lawyer. A good accident attorney will help you build your case, help you determine what damages to ask for, and navigate the legal system for you. For more information or to schedule a free consultation of your case, contact the Simon Law Group today.