Motorcycle Accident Laws in Utah
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By nature, motorcycles offer more flexibility and freedom on the road. Unfortunately, those benefits can come at a price. The majority of accidents that involve motorcycle accidents are not the fault of the driver. To add injury to insult, these accidents are more likely to result in severe bodily damage.
If you’re interested in how the laws protect you in a motorcycle crash in Utah, we’ll look at the frequency of motorcycle accidents in the state, their common causes, how fault is assigned, and how an attorney can help.
The statistics on motorcycle accidents in Utah, like many states, are not exactly comprehensive. In 2016, the state reported 1,168 crashes, 41 deaths, and 1,014 injuries. According to the states, you were nearly ten times more likely to die in a motorcycle crash than in any other type of crash.
Between 1990 and 2016, motorcyclists were involved in just 1% of people in crashes but 15% of all deaths in the state. On average, crash rates have been either neutral or falling, but the number of deaths has increased.
Motorcyclists who were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash were more likely to be fatally injured than those wearing a helmet. The majority of crashes typically involve only one other vehicle, and others involve no other vehicles at all (e.g., a motorcyclist runs off the road into a ditch on a sharp turn).
Motorcycle accident causes can include:
Despite the tens of thousands of motorcycles registered in the state of Utah, the laws written in the state are somewhat murky. Utah may be known as a no-fault state, but the term doesn’t apply to motorcyclists. This means that you can still collect medical expenses and other benefits from the at-fault driver under the no-fault law.
Under state law, drivers generally have more responsibility to the motorcyclists on the road. A Utah motorcycle accident attorney can tell you that if the other driver wasn’t paying attention or otherwise made an error when on the road, they would typically be held liable.
If you were in an accident and sustained injury or property damage due to the collision, you would likely be entitled to a compensation package from the other driver. This package can include not just direct reimbursement to hospitals and clinics for care but also emotional damages as well.
Like any vehicle accident, motorcycle collisions can involve a number of factors. A Utah motorcycle accident attorney will apply the rules of the road to the facts of the case.
People choose to ride motorcycles for any number of reasons, but many of the perks come down to mobility. The small size makes it easy to maneuver in tight places and achieve the acceleration you want on short freeway ramps.
This is often one of the biggest perks for motorcyclists, but a motorcycle lawyer in Utah can tell you that the privilege must be used very carefully. Utah recently changed its laws on filtering, so it’s important to know what they are before you head out on the road.
Lane filtering refers to the act of splitting lanes. You are allowed to do this in the state, so long as the road does not exceed 45 miles per hour. In addition, the other vehicles must be completely stopped for this action to be legal. Finally, motorcyclists may not drive more than 15 miles per hour if they choose to filter.
So let’s say you were on a road with two lanes going in the same direction and a dotted yellow line in the middle. Due to a collision ahead, there are miles of stopped traffic both in front and behind you. In this case, a Salt Lake City motorcycle accident lawyer can safely say that you can move between the traffic to pass other vehicles moving in the same direction.
Laws under the Utah state code include:
After a motorcycle crash, it’s important to get all of your ducks in a row. You never know what information you’ll need to prove your case down the line, so it’s important not to leave anything out. In addition to exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver, you need to get other people involved. This means EMTs, paramedics, law enforcement, a Utah motorcycle accident lawyer, etc. Always seek medical attention, especially because injuries aren’t always apparent in a motorcycle crash.
Even minor accidents can have major consequences. For instance, you may seem fine only to find that you have internal bleeding from the impact of the crash. Do not remove any of your gear, such as knee pads or helmets, until paramedics or EMTs arrive as this can inadvertently make the injury worse.
All injuries should be documented and reported for further reference. A Salt Lake City motorcycle accident lawyer can attest that these companies will need all the paperwork to pay out any compensation for your expenses.
You should also obtain a copy of the police report, as this will include everything from the driver’s contact information, the police officer’s version of the story, and whether they issued the other driver a ticket. Even if the police officer got the story wrong, you’ll need to know their opinion before you begin trying to prove your side. Take note of the police officer’s name and badge number in case you want to get in touch with them later on.
If you’re considering a motorcycle lawyer in Utah, Craig Swapp & Associates is here for you. A crash in Utah can turn out to be far more complex than drivers realize, particularly if there are serious injuries involved. The right motorcycle accident attorney will investigate the details, turning over the facts and ensuring that their clients have every advantage when it comes to negotiating and receiving their compensation package. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.