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Salt Lake City Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Injured in a motorcycle accident in Salt Lake City?

Motorcycle accidents are some of the most serious types of collisions that occur in Utah. Motorcyclists have nothing to protect themselves in crashes, other than optional personal protective gear. Lack of protection can result in serious injuries such as fractures, severe road rash, and head or brain injury. If you were recently involved in a motorcycle crash, come see our Salt Lake City motorcycle accident lawyers at Fielding Law for legal counsel. You may be eligible for a significant recovery for your personal injuries, property damage, and more.

How you handle yourself after a motorcycle accident can make a world of difference in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. When in doubt, call an attorney right away. The lawyers at Fielding Law are always available to offer free consultations in Salt Lake City. We can walk you through the appropriate steps to take on the journey toward physical and financial recovery.

Motorcycle Accident Resources:

What Do I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?

At Fielding Law, most of the clients we’ve represented had no clue what to do after a harmful motorcycle accident. The majority of drivers do not think about traffic accidents until they are in the midst of one. Don’t worry – our firm is here to help you pick up the pieces and navigate a motorcycle accident claim, no matter what steps you took after your crash. Knowing what you should do, however, can help. Follow these 10 steps for maximum protection of your rights:

  • Take care of yourself first

    • Check to see if you have any injuries. If possible, get out of harm’s way. Move your disabled motorcycle to the side of the road to prevent further collisions. If you do feel injured or even suspect an injury, call 911 and request an ambulance right away.
  • Check others for injuries

    • If you don’t feel injured, ask the other party if there are other injuries. Do not move an injured person. Do what you can to make him or her feel comfortable while waiting for police to arrive.
  • Call the police

    •  In Utah, it is the law to report a crash to cops if there are any injuries, deaths, or damage greater than $1,000. When in doubt, call the police. You want an official record of the accident to exist in case the other driver tries to deny it happened.
  • Gather information

    •  Get the other driver’s name and contact information, as well as his or her insurance company. Take photographs of damaged vehicles, the roadway, and injuries. If you are too injured to gather information yourself, enlist the help of a friend or family member. Police should do a good job of collecting information as well.
  • Be honest

    • Be truthful when telling your side of the story to police. Do not admit fault, but describe what happened in as much detail as possible. Take note of what direction both vehicles were traveling, the speeds, the weather, and roadway conditions.
  • Talk to witnesses

    •  If any other people saw the accident, collect their names and statements if they are willing. Get phone numbers so that you or your attorney can get in touch with them later.
  • Report the crash to your insurance company

    • Most motorcycle insurers require reporting as soon as possible to provide coverage. Follow your agent’s instructions and provide him or her with the information you gathered at the scene of the crash. If possible, call our firm before having any conversations with the insurance companies. We prefer to handle those conversations for you to adequately protect your interests.
  • Get medical attention for injuries

    •  This step may come first if you have any injuries and need to go to the hospital right away. If you are well enough to collect information at the scene, go to a hospital as soon as police say it’s okay to leave. Prompt medical care is important for your wellbeing and for injury claims. Even if you only suspect an injury, or if you believe you’ll be hurting the next day, it is prudent to be promptly treated by trained medical professionals.
  • Follow the doctor’s orders

    • Follow treatment plans, take prescriptions, and adhere to instructions during your physical recovery. Insurance companies like to try to reduce compensation by claiming the victim’s injuries would not be as severe if he/she had followed medical orders. Obeying orders can also improve recovery time.
  • Contact a motorcycle accident attorney

    • Dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be difficult, demanding, and emotionally draining. Contacting a motorcycle accident attorney in Salt Lake City can take this burden from your shoulders and ensure that you protect your rights. A lawyer can also negotiate the terms of a settlement for you or go to trial if necessary to fight for just compensation.

Motorcycle Use and Accident Statistics in Utah

Utah is an excellent state for motorcycling, with spectacular drives. Motorcyclists hit the open road for views of creeks and canyons, and many navigate Utah’s cities for daily commutes. Every day, hundreds of motorcyclists in the state put themselves at risk just by operating their vehicles. Roads and highways can be dangerous for these road users, ending in deadly collisions. According to the Utah Highway Safety Report, there were nearly 13,000 motorcycle collisions and 10,436 injuries between 2006-2015.

Utah Motorcycle Crashes

Here are the latest statistics:

  • There were 1,217 motorcycle accidents in 2015, the most recent year data is available. These accidents resulted in 36 deaths and 979 reported injuries.
  • Motorcycle collisions represent 13.5% of all fatal crashes in Utah, 5.8% of reported injury crashes, and 0.4% of property-damage only crashes.
  • Motorcyclists ages 50 to 54 represent the highest percentage (13.6%) of those killed in motorcycle accidents in Utah, followed by 20-24 (11.4%) and 55-59 (10.1%).
  • About 60.7% of motorcyclists involved in accidents were wearing helmets at the time of the collision. Of those killed in these accidents in 2015, 48.5% were wearing helmets.
  • In Salt Lake County, there were a total of 468 motorcycle accidents in 2015. In these accidents, 12 motorcycle drivers and passengers died and 358 had reported injuries.

Utah isn’t the only state experiencing a high number of motorcycle accidents. There has been a recent rise in the number of motorcycle accidents around the country. In 2015, the number of national motorcycle accidents rose by 8.3% compared to the previous year (4,976 compared to 4,594 in 2014). In 2015, motorcyclists were about 29 times more likely to die in accidents than other types of motorists.

Where Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Happen?

A motorcycle accident can happen anywhere, but there are certain circumstances that result in higher numbers of these collisions than others. In Utah, most motorcycle accidents happen when motorcycles and other vehicles are traveling straight ahead (32.2% of all Utah motorcycle crashes in 2015). Vehicles making left-hand turns were the second-most common cause (28.7%), followed by other vehicles stopping in traffic lanes (13.2%). Parked motorcycles are at a relatively high risk of collisions, making up 14.1% of all motorcycle maneuvers prior to accidents in 2015.

To prevent collisions, motorcyclists should make themselves as visible as possible to other drivers. Smaller motorcycles are more difficult to see. Wearing brightly colored clothing and keeping daytime running lights on at all times can help prevent visibility-related accidents. Motorcyclists should also obey roadway rules to make their actions predictable. Obeying the speed limit, yielding the right of way, keeping a safe distance, and staying within the lane (instead of lane splitting) can help motorcycles avoid accidents.

Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents happen for the same reasons as other types of motor vehicle accidents: speeding, alcohol/drug intoxication, distracted driving , and broken roadway rules. Motorcycles are involved in more single-vehicle accidents than cars, due to speeding and inexperienced motorcyclists. Operating under the influence is illegal in Utah, where the maximum blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is 0.08% (which may change to 0.05% in the near future). In 2015, the most common causes of motorcycle crashes in the U.S. were as follows:

  • Alcohol

    • About 27% of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents had BAC levels of 0.08% or higher. Motorcyclists in fatal collisions at night were three times as likely to have illegal BAC levels than those killed during the day. At less than this percentage, a motorcyclist may still be too intoxicated to safely operate the vehicle.
  • Speeding

    • In 2015, 33% of motorcyclists in fatal accidents were operating at unsafe speeds at the time of the collision. The real percentage may be higher; it is difficult for police to gauge the speed of the motorcycle in some collisions. Compare this with just 19% of motor vehicle drivers who were speeding at the time of fatal collisions.
  • Not Properly Licensed 

    •  In 2015, 27% of motorcyclist’s in fatal accidents were operating without valid licenses. Utah law requires motorcyclists to carry special licenses for a reason. It takes certain skills and capabilities to operate this type of vehicle. Riding without a license increases the risk of an incompetent and unsafe operator.

Statistics show that “super sport motorcycles” have the highest number of losses compared to other classes of motorcycles. These models show higher insurance claim frequencies, likely due to the ability to reach much higher speeds than typical motorcycles. Super sport models deliver more horsepower per pounds and can reach speeds of up to 190 miles per hour. They are primarily for racing platforms, not for highways. If operating this type of motorcycle, do so with care and according to posted speed limits.

Motorcycle Safety Equipment and Helmet Laws

Utah only has a partial law when it comes to motorcycle helmet use. Motorcycle drivers and passengers under the age of 18 must wear helmets that abide by federal safety standards. For those 18 and older, helmet use is optional. Helmet use will not affect an adult motorcyclist’s liability for injuries or compensation award since the law does not mandate use. If the driver is under the age of 18 and not wearing a helmet, the fact that he or she broke the law may affect the injury claim.

Helmet Use In Utah Motorcycle Crashes

Overall, helmet usage is significantly lower in fatal motorcycle crashes than in total crashes.

Salt Lake City Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Over the last ten years, 56.9 percent of riders and passengers wore helmets in all crashes, while just 44.8 percent wore them in fatal crashes.

Motorcyclists must have other pieces of equipment to legally ride in Utah. Utah Administrative Code, Rule R714-161, states that all motorcycles must have proper registration, tires/wheels, steering capabilities, brakes, lighting, electrical systems, suspension, exhaust, fuel systems, windshields, frames, and bodies. There are hundreds of specifications a motorcycle must meet to be roadway-worthy. Motorcyclists need Class M licenses to operate these vehicles in Utah, as well as a motorcycle endorsement.

Keep our number, (801) 666-2912, in your phone. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about your crash. We’ll meet whenever is the most convenient for you. Get in touch with our Personal Injury attorneys in Salt Lake City or online to schedule your free consultation today. We are available to take your call 24/7

 

Past Client Review:

“Mitch poured his heart and his soul into our family and offered a piece of himself to us! We are forever grateful for all of the help that Mitch offered our family! He is one of a kind! We would highly recommend him and would be happy to speak with anyone who would like to inquire about the quality of his services!” -Jane Lacasse