Riding a motorcycle through Utah is a great way to see your beautiful country up close. Riders can see the Mighty 5 National Parks (Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Arches, Zion and Bryce Canyon), the canyons surrounding Salt Lake City, the Bonneville Salt Flats and countless other natural wonders from a different perspective. Southern Utah is a wonderful place to horseback ride, where your eyes will be dazzled by the rich colors of the red rock landscape.
Motorcyclists in Utah face many more obstacles than other motorists. In addition to the harsh weather and unpredictable road conditions, motorcyclists are much more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a collision than car or truck drivers. Thousands of motorcyclists die on US roads every year and many more are seriously injured. If you've been involved in a motorcycle accident, you need a lawyer who understands the struggle that motorcyclists have to get what they deserve.
Obtaining a Utah Motorcycle License
You must have a special endorsement on your Utah driver's license to legally operate a motorcycle in Utah. To obtain a Utah motorcycle license, you must complete a state-approved 15-hour motorcycle driving course or take a proficiency test to demonstrate proficiency. You must also take a written exam to demonstrate your understanding of traffic rules and pass an eye test.
Certain limitations occur within the first two months of obtaining a motorcycle license in Utah. During this period you are prohibited from:
- Ride with each passenger.
- Riding after 10 p.m. and before 6 p.m
- Drive on all roads with speed limits of 60 mph or more.
Utah Motorcycle Laws and Restrictions
In addition to obeying other traffic laws, Utah motorcyclists are required to obey certain other laws. These include:
- A motorcycle must change lanes before passing a vehicle.
- No more than two motorcycles are allowed to ride side by side in one lane.
- Riders must keep both hands on the handlebars.
- Motorcyclists must use signals at least two seconds before turning.
- Motorcyclists are not allowed to ride with a passenger unless the motorcycle is being used by more than one person.
- Motorcyclists are not allowed to carry packages that affect driving safety.
Utah does not require drivers over the age of 21 to wear a helmet or eye protection, although these safety measures drastically reduce the risk of fatal injury in a collision.
Lane filtering (also known as lane splitting) has been legal in Utah since May 2019. Motorcyclists are allowed to drive between two lanes of traffic to overtake vehicles that are stopping and traveling in the same direction. Lane filtering is not allowed on freeways or any road with a speed limit greater than 45 mph, and drivers are not allowed to exceed 15 mph when driving between lanes.
Liability for motorcycle accidents
Several parties may be legally responsible or “at fault” in an accident, including the driver or drivers involved in the collision, a manufacturer of a defective vehicle or part, or a company or public body that failed to keep the roads in order .. reasonably safe for motorcyclists. Joint responsibility is referred to as "comparative negligence".
Complaints against other drivers are usually based on negligence. An injured driver must demonstrate that the driver did not exercise the reasonable care required of drivers to prove the driver's legal responsibility. Sometimes the driver's own negligence contributes to a collision. As long as the pilot in Utah is less than 50% at fault, they can still recover damages for their injuries, although the value of their recovery may be reduced.
Claims settlement in motorcycle accidents
The damage suffered by a motorcyclist in a motorcycle accident is often catastrophic and can be life changing. Without the protection of a vehicle, passengers who are hit by a vehicle or pushed off the road can be thrown into oncoming traffic or other hazardous situations. Victims of motorcycle accidents often experience fractures, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), internal bleeding, organ damage, spinal cord injuries, and other serious trauma.
“Compensatory” damages compensate you for your losses related to an accident. These damages fall into two categories: 'economic' and 'non-economic'.
Economic damages are quantifiable expenses and costs related to the accident, including:
- medical bills.
- Loss of wages and reduced earning capacity.
- vehicle repairs.
- Rent a replacement vehicle.
- insurance deduction.
- Expected future expenses directly resulting from your accident (e.g. future medical treatment).
“Non-economic” damages seek to compensate an injured motorcyclist for harm such as pain and suffering, disability, loss of society, disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder, and mental distress. The extent of these injuries is often documented by driver testimony and the opinions of medical and occupational health experts. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you properly quantify these damages as part of your claim. In the case of motorcycle accidents in particular, the immaterial damage can be considerable.
What if a motorcyclist is partly to blame for an accident?
Don't let prejudice against motorcyclists stop you from claiming the compensation you deserve. Insurers and defendants try to intimidate motorcyclists into accepting settlements below the value of their injuries by implying that they were responsible for an accident. Even if a pilot's actions contributed to a collision, they can legally recover if they are less than 50% at fault.
If a court finds that you are jointly responsible for a crash, your refund amount will be reduced by the same percentage. For example, if a court rules that you are 20% at fault in a collision because you didn't blink before changing lanes, all claims for damages will be reduced by 20%. If the court finds that you are equally (or more) liable than all other parties combined, you cannot recover anything.
What is perfect insurance coverage?
Utah's "No-Fault" law requires motorists to drive a minimum ofPersonal Injury Insurance (PIP)🇧🇷 Regardless of who is at fault in an accident, an injured person must first claim their medical bills from their own PIP insurer. When medical bills exceed the PIP coverage amount, an injured person can file a claim or lawsuit against a faulty driver or other responsible party.
Motorcyclists are not required to have impeccable insurance coverage, although it is available and recommended. (If you also drive, you can add this to your existing PIP policy at a reasonable cost.) This means that if you are injured while riding a motorcycle, you can take legal action for your injuries immediately, rather than waiting for yours Own insurance for claims settlement.
Don't wait to contact a lawyer after a motorcycle accident
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Why?
- they existtime restrictionsto assert legal claims; In Utah, most personal injury claims must be filed within four years, including those related to motorcycle accidents. However, some types of claims have shorter statutes of limitations. For example, if you have claims against a government entity, you must file a formal "Claim Notice" within one year of the date of the claim. The requirements for a claim notification are technical and must be specifically followed or you will not be able to submit your claim.
- A lawyer can help youBuild your best case🇧🇷 After a motorcycle accident, the road is often long and includes surgery, rehabilitation, physical therapy and other long-term medical treatments. An attorney can help you understand how to document your treatment and progress so you are in the best possible position to file your claims.
- A lawyer can help youfind medical providers and specialistsexperienced in treating your wounds. Personal injury attorneys who have dealt with motorcycle accidents for many years can recommend doctors, therapists and rehabilitation professionals for your needs.
How can I pay a lawyer?
Many attorneys take motorcycle injury cases on an “emergency” basis. Instead of charging an hourly rate for the provision of legal services, they agree to receive a percentage of any severance or damages payment. In most cases, a rate of 1/3 is common, although the rate can range from 25% to 50%. At Injury Smart Law we never charge more than 1/3 even if the case goes to litigation and goes to court. In addition to the specified percentage, other fees are payable by the client, such as court fees, fees for obtaining documents and records, expert witness fees, and various additional costs and expenses. At Injury Smart Law we anticipate these costs and they will be reimbursed at the end of the process. You will never receive a call from us asking for money to pursue your case.
If an attorney agrees to a contingency fee agreement for your case, they will provide you with a written summary of the terms for you to sign and approve before beginning. When your case is settled, your attorney will provide you with a detailed breakdown of fees and costs before paying the settlement or arbitration award. If you do not recover the damage, your attorney will not charge a fee.
Do I really need a lawyer?
Bikers can be very independent. You may be tempted to go it alone and take up an insurance company's offer without sharing the profits with an attorney. Why do you need an attorney for a motorcycle claim in Utah?
Many accident victims underestimate the value of their claims. An experienced personal injury attorney can properly assess your claim and include all types of damages to which you are entitled. In certain limited circumstances (e.g. accidents involving a drunk driver), an attorney may even seek punitive damages.
If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the attorneys at Injury Smart Law today.Our friendly and dedicated teamhas many years of experience in fighting for the rights of injured pilots. Find out what you can recover from and how we can help get you back on the road. Arrange a free and non-binding consultation appointment today.