Arizona’s wide-open desert roads attract out-of-state motorcycle riders, but more riders mean more chances for a motorcycle accident. If you’re a tourist to Arizona, and you get into an out-of-state motorcycle crash, what should you do next?
An out-of-state accident is handled much the same way as an accident in your home state. There are only two complications. First, the laws for riding in Arizona may be different from your home state and you’ll need to make sure you follow them to preserve your settlement. The second is who you choose as your motorcycle accident lawyer, if you need one.
First Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
The two tasks you need to do after a motorcycle accident are to follow the laws of Arizona after an accident and to preserve as much evidence as you can. If you’re reading this, you’ve likely already had a motor vehicle accident, but if you haven’t, here are some things to know.
Call the Police and Render Aid
If you can do so, check to see if the other drivers are unharmed and call 911. Even if you feel fine now, get checked by a doctor. Injuries can hide under the adrenaline rush of a crash, and it will also create evidence to link any injuries to your motorcycle accident case.
You’re required to exchange names, contact information, and insurance information with the other involved drivers. This will allow each side to file a motorcycle accident claim with the insurance companies involved. Arizona is an at-fault state. Even if you have PIP insurance in your home state, you will still need to exchange information and file a claim to receive compensation.
If you have a working phone, take photographs of the crash scene before you move your bike out of the way of the road. Be sure to photograph both vehicles, the general scene, and any injuries you sustained. These will prove you were injured and give clues about who was responsible.
Get a Police Report
Stay at the scene until the police arrive and give a statement of your version of events. Do not admit fault to the police or the driver. Merely state the facts as you remember them. After you give your statement, ask how you can get a copy of the police report. You’ll need this for your claim. You’re free to leave after the police release you.
Get Medical Care and Call Your Insurer
Get medical attention within 24 hours of the accident and contact your insurer to notify them of the accident. Do not admit fault to your insurer. Let them know the facts and that you’re getting medically checked. Answer all their questions honestly. You need to let them know so they’ll cover you if the other driver makes a claim.
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After you’ve done these, you can make a claim to the other driver’s insurer. In cases of clear fault, you might get a settlement that’s worth the full value of your case, but if you share fault, then you could get much less.
One common thing that reduces settlements for native California riders is that Arizona does not allow lane splitting. If you split a lane in Arizona and get into a crash, you could be considered at-fault and get nothing for your injuries.
The way to fight accusations of fault is to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer. In fact, it’s best to hire one before you talk to the other insurance company. Your lawyer can handle all the communication and protect you from tactics that could reduce your chances of a fair settlement.
Which Lawyer to Hire?
Every experienced Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney has to have a license to practice law. As an out-of-state rider, you’ll need to find a law firm that can practice law in the state where you had your wreck.
If you come from a neighboring state, like California, you might find a lawyer with a license in both your home state and the state of your crash. The closer to the border, the more likely you can find one.
If you absolutely must use a lawyer from your home state, your home state lawyer can work with a lawyer who practices in the state where you crashed. This is called a pro hac vice agreement. The best option of all is to work with a local lawyer.
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Advantages of Working with a Local Lawyer
A local lawyer will know all the relevant laws and case history for your kind of motorcycle accident, and they will know the attitude and approach of the local courts. This can be an enormous advantage if you have to take your case all the way to trial.
Local lawyers will also know how the insurance adjusters like to work in that state and how to negotiate with them. An out-of-state lawyer without this knowledge will have a harder time getting you the most compensation from your case.
If you’re unsure which local lawyer to choose, it won’t hurt you to get a free consultation with someone in your home state. They may refer you to a lawyer in their network who can help you with your motorcycle wreck.
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If You Crashed in Arizona, Consider Zanes Law
Zanes Law has Tucson and Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyers who help motorcycle accident victims recover their medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other compensation for their motorcycle accident injuries. For 20 years, the Zanes Law legal team has fought for injured riders.
After a motorcycle collision in Arizona, Zanes Law is ready to help you. We have personal injury attorneys in both Tucson Arizona and Phoenix. In fact, one of our Tucson motorcycle accident lawyers is a certified specialist by the State Bar of Arizona. Call us at the number on your screen today, or contact us through email. One of our representatives will contact you to schedule a free consultation.”
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