A motorcycle pinned under the rear of a white automobile after a collision.

Motorcycle riding is associated with thrills and, more commonly, risks. But the latter doesn’t have to be the case. All too often, motorcycle riders are put in danger by others on the road. Whether they are making dangerous maneuvers or failing to keep an eye out for two-wheeled vehicles, other drivers tend to cause accidents with motorcycle occupants at a high frequency.

A large study of motorcycle crashes by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) found that other vehicle operators involved in a crash with a motorcycle failed to take any collision avoidance action in a staggering 83% of cases, and 32% had been involved in at least one other crash within the past five years. 

If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident and now have steep medical costs and other expenses to cover, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Utah to get assistance with your possible injury claim. You could be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries — or a loved one’s death — from both your personal injury protection (PIP) insurer and the liability coverage of any at-fault driver involved.

Schedule your free, confidential case review today with no obligation when you call (801) 810-9999 or contact us online. 

Why It’s a Good Idea to Hire a Utah Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Motorcycle accidents are somewhat rare in the state of Utah, but their consequences can be deadly. Data from the Utah Highway Safety Office shows that 1,144 motorcycle operators and 83 motorcycle passengers were involved in crashes in 2021. These crashes led to the death of at least 40 motorcycle occupants. Data from the Utah Department of Public Safety also indicates that “motorcycle crashes are 9.8 times more likely to result in a death than other types of crashes.”

Crash data from the above-mentioned FWHA study showed that 35% of injured persons involved in a motorcycle accident required hospitalization. 8% were determined either “dead on scene” or “dead on arrival.” 40% were treated at a medical facility and then released. Just 6% “sought no medical treatment.” 

These numbers indicate that most motorcycle crashes are, indeed, serious, often involving wounds that need professional treatment to address. In many cases, motorcycle occupants involved in a collision will require surgery, extended hospital stays, and possible intensive care. Injuries are likely to be significant and result in, at very least, missed work days. Paralysis and loss of function are certainly possible.

Medical scenarios like this are not only scary; they are also extremely costly. Information from United Health Care shows that the average emergency room visit cost is $2,200 — even with insurance. When hospitalization or specialized treatment is required, these costs can quickly multiply 5, 10, or 20 times higher. Patients with complications that require life-saving treatment or that involve paralysis will have potential costs upwards of $100,000 or more per year.

Because motorcycle accidents are so costly, injury victims are more motivated to get all the insurance coverage they can. At the same time, insurers are motivated to reduce their risk exposure as much as possible — meaning they will do anything they can to undervalue your claim. What you have then is a head-to-head battle between someone desperate to bring in any benefits they can, versus an institution that will use every excuse in the book to deny or reduce coverage.

The Utah motorcycle attorneys at Valley Law Accident and Injury Lawyers have experience with these types of cases, and we know how fond insurers and others are of pinning the blame (at least partially) on the motorcycle operator. In truth, our clients often deserve extensive benefits for the harms they have suffered, as they often meet Utah’s injury threshold for filing a liability claim.

Getting the money you need to fully recover is never easy, when you’re seeking it from your own insurer and especially when filing a claim against someone else’s policy. Let our attorneys help you in investigating your accident, fully estimating your medical costs and other damages, assembling all evidence available, and building the strongest claim to help us convince insurers that paying what you ask is their best option. We have extensive experience with these types of cases when it comes to negotiating, fighting, and sometimes arguing in court in front of a jury of your peers. You deserve to have the space and peace of mind needed to focus on recovering; so let us focus on the rest.

What Damages Are Available in a Motorcycle Accident Claim?

In addition to the PIP coverage areas listed above, someone claiming their injury under a liability policy may be able to obtain compensation for the following types of damages:

  • All relevant medical expenses, past and future
  • Out-of-pocket costs made necessary by the accident
  • Lost wages (including possible compensation for permanent reductions in earning capacity)
  • Property damage inflicted in the crash, including the costs of repairing or replacing the motorcycle
  • Pain and suffering compensation

Every case will involve unique costs, so be sure to consult with an attorney prior to filing a claim. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will help ensure that no costs are overlooked, and they can help you with complex calculations, like the total value of your lost wages, and the projected future costs of your injury.

Common Injuries After a Motorcycle Crash

Because of the lack of protection around the motorcycle operator and their passengers, they are highly likely to be injured in the event of a collision, even at low speeds.

Data from the FHWA shows that the most common types of injuries were suffered in the lower extremity (32% of crashes studied), referring to broken bones, cuts, bruising, and other injuries affecting the legs, ankles, and feet. Upper extremity injuries were also common (24%), referring to injuries affecting the arms, hands, wrists, and shoulders.

Other possible types of injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Skin abrasions (“road rash”)
  • Lacerations (cuts)
  • Internal organ damage
  • Eye injuries
  • Burns
  • Impalements and other foreign bodies
  • Soft tissue injuries, especially to the shoulders and neck

What Insurance Can You Use to File an Injury Claim After a Motorcycle Accident?

Utah uses a “no-fault” car accident claim system. What this means is that you are expected to file under your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in the event of an accident. Only in certain cases are you allowed to file a claim under someone else’s insurance policy.

The bad news is that, in Utah, motorcycle owners aren’t required to purchase a PIP policy. The good news: all motor vehicle owners are required to purchase liability insurance coverage in the following amounts.

Utah minimum liability insurance coverage for accidents is as follows:

  • Bodily injury liability, per person — $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability, per accident — $65,000
  • Property damage liability, per accident — $15,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage must be purchased in the same amounts as above, per coverage type

If you did purchase the optional PIP protection for your motorcycle prior to the accident, then you are supposed to file a claim on your own policy, potentially up to the maximum coverage limit. Once that limit has been hit, you will need to file a separate claim under another policy to get the remainder of the coverage you need.

In Utah, someone must have a qualifying medical condition that meets the “injury threshold” in order to file a liability claim against an at-fault driver. The “injury threshold” is met for any injury that involves:

  • A permanent disability or impairment
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Dismemberment (amputation)

Proving that you meet the injury threshold is often difficult, compounding the already-complex challenge of getting the compensation you need. When you work with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Utah, they can assist you with fully diagnosing your condition, consulting with medical experts, and seeking the maximum amount of compensation available from all at-fault parties.

What Does “No Fault” PIP Insurance Cover If I Have It?

If you had the forethought to purchase PIP coverage for your motorcycle prior to your accident, you will be able to file a claim for certain injury treatment costs, as well as for lost wages and specific out-of-pocket expenses.

PIP coverage in Utah provides the following benefits:

  • Coverage of reasonable and necessary medical treatment costs related to the accident, up to the policy limit (minimum of $3,000)
  • 85% of income lost during the recovery period, up to a maximum of $250 per week
  • Compensation for replacement domestic services you normally would render but are unable to because of your condition, up to a maximum cost of $20 per day
  • In the event of a fatal motorcycle accident, up to half the policy’s medical coverage in benefits for the funeral and burial or cremation of the victim

Best of all, these benefits are made available, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. These benefits also apply to any passenger riding on the covered motorcycle at the time of the crash.

How Can I Pursue a Liability Claim Against Another Driver Who Injured Me?

First, your expenses must exceed the coverage available under your own PIP insurance. In the event of a serious motorcycle accident, exceeding that coverage is very likely.

Second, you must establish that your condition meets one of the above-listed criteria for Utah’s “injury threshold.” Valley Law Accident and Injury Lawyers will work with your care team and other medical professionals to determine the full extent of your injuries and whether or not there may be permanent effects.

Third, you must be prepared to demonstrate that the holder of the liability policy in question was at-fault for the accident. Often, this means demonstrating that their careless actions — and possible violation of Utah driving laws — were a primary contributing cause to the accident’s circumstances.

More specifically, you have to prove that the defending was negligent by showing the following:

  • They had a duty of care
  • They breached their duty of care
  • Their breach was directly responsible for (i.e. the most-proximate cause of) your injury
  • You suffered damages as a result of your injury

A Utah motorcycle accident lawyer from Valley Law can assist you in building your case, including proving fault and calculating the full extent of the damages you have suffered. That includes the likely future costs of your injury, encompassing things like physical therapy and any ongoing medications you must take. We are prepared to assert your legal rights and hold all at-fault parties accountable for the damages they have inflicted.

Who Might Be Considered At-Fault for My Accident?

Some motorcycle accident cases are very complex. They may involve multiple parties or, in many cases, a hit-and-run.

Based on our experience and other data, we have found the following types of parties are most commonly considered at fault in the wake of a motorcycle accident:

  • Other drivers whose careless actions or failure to pay attention led to the crash
  • Employers of truck drivers and other commercial employees, who often have generous liability policies (but who also tend to fight to avoid accepting liability)
  • Negligent government agencies or property owners who allowed an unreasonably dangerous road hazard to persist, leading to the accident
  • The motorcycle operator, if you were a passenger and the operator committed a dangerous, illegal, or substantially unsafe act
  • The motorcycle manufacturer if a defect with the bike is what led to the collision, or a defect caused the collision to result in more-significant injuries than would have otherwise occurred

Your attorney will examine the total circumstances regarding your case to determine who contributed fault and what sources of liability coverage may be available. In cases where multiple parties are determined to have been at fault, liability (and compensation) will be split proportionately according to each’s contributed amount of fault.

Get an Experienced Utah Motorcycle Accident Law Firm to Fight for You

After a devastating motorcycle crash, the last thing you want to do is add to your worry and stress. Handling an injury claim on your own can create both, while also putting you at a disadvantage against insurance companies that are highly experienced (at paying as little as possible).

Before you accept a settlement offer — and, ideally, before you talk to any insurer — contact a Utah personal injury law team with the tenacity and dedication to help you pursue every dollar you need.

Talk to a lawyer near you for free during a confidential and no-obligation case evaluation when you call (801) 810-9999 or contact us online today.

Questions you might have in your mind

It depends on the circumstances of your accident, but in many cases, yes. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you determine the best way to address your damages. If…

Yes. A lawyer will assist you with calculating your damages, seeking compensation from the liable party, and ensuring you receive a fair settlement. The claims process can be complicated, and…

Additional Questions?

We have helped many clients recover from injuries resulting from car accidents in West Valley, Salt Lake City, and the greater Utah area. We are here to help you recover after an accident. If you've been injured, don't hesitate to call Valley Law Accident and Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. We have recovered millions for our clients and we are ready to fight for you.

Get in touch

Work with the team that cares

5255 S 4015 W Suite 207C,
SLC, UT, 84129, United States.

Call 24/7 801-810-9999

Directions Sign
Valley Law Accident & Injury Lawyers Logo

Book a Consultation

Find out why so many clients appreciate the amount of work we put into their case.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Brigham Richards
Receive top-tier legal guidance from a leading expert in the valley
Call to action

2021 and 2022 Gold Winner for Top Law Firm by Salt City Best


Call 24/7 801-810-9999