It’s motorcycle season in Arkansas

With the recent drop in temperatures and the first official day of fall just two weeks away,  it’s motorcycle season in Arkansas.  Bikes Blues and BBQ, a local favorite in Fayetteville, will bring hundreds of thousands of bikers to the state this month.  This massive influx of bikers is great for the local economy but it also comes with some hazards.

Motorcycle safety regulations

Many of the bikers traveling in Arkansas this fall will pass through several states and the laws in each state regarding motorcyclists are different.  In Arkansas, motorcyclists under the age of 21 must wear a helmet.  Additionally, passengers must be at least 8 years old and your motorcycle needs to have a passenger seat.   To be certain your motorcycle has the required safety features to be compliant with Arkansas law, check Arkansas Code Annotated Section 27-20-104 for a good overview.
A Final note for interstate motorcycle tourists:  Missouri did attempt to pass a law removing the state’s motorcycle helmet requirement but the bill has stalled for now and so Missouri law still requires bikers to have a helmet.  

Personal injury law and motorcycling

The increase in motorcycle traffic this month will likely mean an increase in motorcycle accidents as well.  Injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents are often severe, especially when the rider is not wearing proper safety gear.  So, the medical expenses and claims to insurance providers can be quite high.  In fact, brain injuries, common in motorcycle accidents, cost about 13 times more than an accidents not resulting in brain trauma.

Not to mention, insurance companies may use the fact that a biker was not wearing a helmet as evidence that the biker contributed to the severity of their own injuries.  This argument could be used in an attempt to reduce or even eliminate your recovery if your case is not properly presented.

Unfortunately, many riders may not have sufficient insurance coverage to pay for these injuries.  The Arkansas state minimum coverage for motorcycles is $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 to cover property damage.  Given the relatively low cost of many motorcycles, and the view that a motorcycle is less likely to do large amount of damage to the car a biker hits, many motorcyclists might feel this coverage is sufficient.  However, even if the personal property damage was sufficient (debatable), the $25,000 in bodily injury coverage may not be enough.

To avoid paying medical bills and expenses out of pocket, make sure you have sufficient bodily injury coverage for your motorcycle.  If you or someone you know is injured in an accident, you may need to hire an attorney to help you negotiate with the insurance company and medical providers regarding coverage and your bills.  Attorneys at the Joyce Law Firm are experienced in accident and injury law and are available to consult with you about your claims.

Kirk Joyce is a general practice attorney in Northwest Arkansas who focuses on personal injury law and criminal defense.  If you would like to meet with him to discuss your case, please contact the Joyce Law Firm to schedule a consultation. 

JoyceLaw Firm was founded in 2002 by Kirk Joyce.  Each of the attorneys at the Joyce Law Firm focus in specific areas of law, including, but not limited to: personal injury, immigration, criminal defense, family law, and business law.  Contact the Joyce Law Firm today at 479-442-5577.  More about Joyce Law Firm