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Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Due to the open design of a motorcycle, the rider may sustain severe injuries in the event of a crash with another vehicle. Even if a motorcyclist wears a helmet and full-body protective gear, the effects of an accident may be devastating. After such a crash, you may be able to collect compensation through an insurance claim, just as you would after any other motor vehicle accident. However, determining liability after a motorcycle crash can be difficult, especially as insurance adjusters may try to reduce your settlement if you were not wearing a helmet. Additionally, some states have different insurance requirements and laws related to motorcyclists, which may complicate your claim. Below, our local Arkansas motorcycle accident attorneys explain the unique aspects of these kinds of claims.
Having a qualified attorney on your side after a motorcycle accident is often essential to getting the compensation you deserve. A lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and defend your right to full compensation, regardless of helmet use. If you need to find a Arkansas attorney for your motorcycle accident claim, then consult our local listings.
A motorcycle accident claim usually involves serious injuries or even wrongful death, especially if much larger vehicles are involved. Other differences that set motorcycle accidents apart from car crashes include:
In all 50 states, motorcyclists must have a special endorsement on their licenses in order to legally ride. However, the requirements that you must meet to obtain a “Class M” endorsement vary by location. In Arkansas, the requirements are:
Licenses are required for motorcycles:
Ages 14 and older may use motor-driven cycle (engine between 50 cc and 250 cc) or motor-driven bicycle (engine up to 50 cc).
Ages 10 and older may use a motorized bicycle but only on private property and within a municipality with a population of ten thousand (10,000) or more.
Additionally, you must carry vehicle insurance on your bike in Arkansas. The minimum requirements for this coverage are the same for any other vehicle; you must have:
Additionally, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to negotiate for a lower or variable insurance premium for your motorcycle if you do not ride it consistently. For example, most people do not travel by motorcycle in the winter months, so you may be able to purchase a “lay-up” policy, which reduces your coverage, and therefore your premium, during a certain time period.
Arkansas is one of 28 states that have partial motorcycle helmet laws, which make helmets mandatory for only some people. According to state laws, all riders under the age of 21 must wear a helmet. All other riders are free to choose whether to wear a helmet. A motorcycle helmet can help protect you from serious head and brain injuries in the event of an accident. Other protective gear that can minimize potential motorcycle accident injuries includes: sturdy boots, light-weight riding armor, thick pants, a long-sleeved jacket and durable gloves. Additionally, since some neighboring states have universal helmet laws, it is a good idea to check local requirements if you plan to travel across state lines.
Although Arkansas law may not require you to wear a motorcycle helmet, insurance companies often try to claim that you contributed to your own injuries by failing to wear a helmet. However, insurance companies cannot use lack of helmet use as a reason to reduce your settlement. If this happens, then a qualified motorcycle attorney can help you fight for full and fair compensation.
If you suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, then an attorney may be able to help. To find a local lawyer, consult our listings. Otherwise, if you have a question or concern about motorcycle accident claims, then feel free to ask the lawyers.