When you’re out on the road, it feels as if it’s been overtaken by SUVs and giant trucks. But what about the little guys? In a state with near year-round great weather, motorcycles are all over the Arizona roads and highways. Unfortunately, though, they are more difficult to see as they dart in and out of traffic. Even with their souped-up mufflers, our ears and eyes aren’t always attuned to be on the lookout for street bikes. And when an automobile and a motorcycle collide, the results can be catastrophic—and often fatal.

The “Invisible” Motorcycle

Following a collision, the first question is always about fault. Who was negligent? Typically, that blame goes to the vehicle. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident as the driver of a vehicle, it is important to examine the scene, determine approximate speeds, and interview witnesses. If you are on the motorcycle, although blame typically shifts off you, do your part to cover all of your bases as well. Regardless of which roll you play, your best choice is to secure legal representation as soon as possible to ensure you are well prepared should the case go to court.

In Arizona, motorcyclists are not required to wear a helmet. However, there is case law that says a jury or other trier of the facts can consider the non-use of a helmet in assessing the amount of damages to award. That means that if the injured rider suffers a head injury as a result of not wearing a helmet, the amount of money awarded may be seriously reduced. Naturally, it is the attorney’s job to provide evidence as to how the use of a helmet could have reduced injuries.

Motorcycles can be fun, but they can also be dangerous. No matter whether you’re on two wheels or four, be sure to keep your eyes and ears open on the road to avoid issues.