Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Scottsdale
Personal Injury Representation for Arizona
Let's face it; riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. Even if you are
a skilled motorcycle operator who always "drives defensively,"
just being ON a motorcycle can be a life-threatening adventure. This is
largely due to the unpredictable and often bizarre actions of the drivers
of cars, trucks and other vehicles who share the road with motorcyclists.
We represent motorcycle operators and their passengers who have been involved
in crashes and collisions -- usually with 4-wheeled motor vehicles. Our
motorcycle clients have sustained serious physical injuries, including
fractures, internal bleeding, severe and disfiguring road rash and burns,
spinal cord and brain injuries, and other catastrophic and often fatal injuries.
Our Scottsdale motorcycle accident attorney investigates these incidents
and the "accident" scenes, takes photos, interviews witnesses,
reconstructs the conditions that led to the accident, and employs engineers
and medical experts when needed to help us ensure we obtain the maximum
amount of monetary compensation fully and fairly available for our clients.
We can come to your home or the hospital, including evenings and weekends,
or meet you at our Scottsdale, Arizona office.
Hire an Attorney Who Rides Motorcycles and Understands What You are Talking About
Clark Watkin has ridden and raced motorcycles since the late 1970's,
and he understands and appreciates how quickly a peaceful street or off
road-ride can turn into a nightmare because of an inattentive, reckless,
intoxicated or malicious driver. While the drivers of passenger vehicles,
small trucks and certainly large trucks and semis are usually safely tucked
behind the steering wheels of their much larger vehicles surrounded by
steel and air bags, motorcycle operators and their passengers are almost
fully exposed to the steel, concrete and other elements that suddenly
transformed into deadly weapons when motorcycles and other motor vehicles collide.
Like most personal injury and wrongful death cases, motorcycle injury
and death claims generally arise from the negligence or recklessness of
another person or company. To establish negligence, the injured party
must prove that the other party failed to exercise reasonable care, which
directly caused the injured party's injuries. Negligence claims are
common in situations where a car driver hits a motorcyclist from behind;
head-on; makes a left turn in front of the motorcycle; or pulls out or
turns in front of a motorcycle when emerging from a driveway, shopping
center or business.
All too often the at-fault driver claims he "never saw the motorcycle,"
"didn't see it until it was too late," or "thought
the motorcycle headlight was just a car in the distance."
What Should You Do If You Have Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you have been seriously injured - or a friend or family member killed
- in a motorcycle accident, you should first seek all reasonable and necessary
medical care. Next, contact an attorney skilled in personal injury, wrongful
death, and motorcycle accident cases so the lawyer can assist you in taking
all necessary steps to protect and preserve your legal rights and remedies.
Then, you and your attorney can decide the best strategy for making a
claim for the recovery of monetary damages to compensate you for your
physical injuries and pain, your emotional suffering, and all of your
economic damages arising from the crash.
Assuming you are reading this shortly after the motorcycle crash or collision
be sure to do the following: If the police attempt to interview you (at
the accident scene, in the ambulance, at the hospital or even at your
home), give them accurate and truthful information (name, address and
the relevant facts about the accident). But we recommend that you do NOT
accept blame or admit fault for the incident, even if no other vehicles
were involved! For example, the crash may have been caused by a defective
tire, steering component, throttle assembly, or disc brakes and may not
have been your fault at all; or you might even believe you were slightly
negligent (or could have been paying better attention), but not realize
yet that the other driver was DUI, speeding or driving recklessly.
With regard to medical treatment, keep (or obtain) copies of all of your
medical records relating to the incident. In addition, keep all bills
relating to your medical treatment, as well as any other expenses related
to your accident (repair expenses, rental vehicle, costs and wages lost
because of missed work, etc.) All of this information is likely going
to be relevant to the eventual calculation of your total "damages."
If you are able to do so, try to identify any other drivers or pedestrians
who witnessed the accident and write down their names and phone numbers.
In addition, exchange names, addresses, telephone numbers and insurance
information with the driver(s) of the other vehicle(s) involved in the
accident. As soon after the incident as possible, take photographs of
the scene to record evidence and the road conditions.
Be sure you take plenty of photographs of your injuries and damage to your
motorcycle and any other property involved in the accident.
What Should You Expect?
Depending on your particular situation, it may be necessary to hire expert
witnesses to assist with building your case. Experts in crash reconstruction
or motorcycle mechanics may be able to assist with determining the cause
of the crash and the defendant's potential fault.
If you bring a negligence action against another driver, that driver may
argue that even if he is found to be partially to blame for the collision,
you are also partly at fault because your own negligence helped cause
your injuries. The doctrine of comparative negligence may reduce or limit
your recovery if you are found to be partly at fault for your injuries.
In Arizona, an injured party's fault is not a bar to recovery if his
or her negligence is not as great as the negligence of the defendant,
with a reduction in damages proportionate to his or her degree of fault.
Like all accidents involving motor vehicles, there can be any number of
causes for motorcycle accidents. As stated above, many drivers of passenger cars and trucks fail to see
motorcyclists -- until just before or just after they hit them! Also,
if either the passenger vehicle or the motorcycle is speeding or driving
recklessly, the odds of a tragedy only increase. Both car drivers and
motorcycle riders can be found negligent if they drive aggressively, speed,
do not pay attention or drive too close to the vehicle in front of them.
Alcohol is a contributing factor in many fatal motor vehicle accidents,
including motorcycle crashes. Recent reports from The Insurance Institute
for Highway Safety reveal that over 25% of fatally injured motorcyclists
had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) at or above 0.08%, only slightly
less than the percentage of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers.
Resolution of the Case
It may be possible for the parties to resolve the dispute through settlement
or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as mediation or arbitration.
If the parties agree to binding arbitration, they are bound by the decision
of a neutral arbitrator. Some states require litigants to go through alternative
dispute resolution in some form.
In the absence of a settlement or ADR, the case will go to trial. At trial,
the attorneys for each side present evidence and arguments, and the judge
or jury decides the unresolved issues. Once the judge or jury has reached
a decision, the judge will enter a judgment for the winning party. Either
or both parties can appeal a judge's decision to a higher court. Settlements
usually cannot be appealed if both parties agree to their terms.
Contact The Watkin Law Office
We have set out in another section of our website many of the "Frequently Asked Questions" that apply to most motor vehicle incidents. Take a look and see
whether or not they address your concerns; but whether they do or do not,
please give us a call. We will be more than happy to provide you with a
free consultation about the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
Contact us online via email, or call 480-347-9804 to arrange a free, confidential
consultation. When results matter, choose The Watkin Law Office, PC.
REMEMBER: If a claims adjuster for the person at fault calls to "interview"
you, decline -- at least until after you have spoken with an experienced
personal injury and wrongful death attorney. Despite what the insurance
agent might tell you, he is NOT "just trying to help."