Bicycles have become a popular mode of transportation, exercise, and recreation in Phoenix and throughout Arizona, but as the number of bikes on Phoenix roadways increases, so too does the rate of bicycle accidents and serious injuries. Unfortunately, bicycles offer riders very little protection in the event of a collision and when a cyclist is involved in an accident with a motor vehicle on the roadway, the cyclist is the one at greater risk for serious head injuries, brain damage, broken bones and other injuries caused by impact with the vehicle, a structure or the road itself. In the worst bicycle accidents in Phoenix, cyclists can be killed or suffer debilitating injuries requiring lifelong medical care. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a cycling accident in Phoenix or the surrounding area and you are unsure how to proceed, contact our experienced legal team at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC today.
Affordable Bicycle Accident Attorneys
In the aftermath of a bicycle accident, your first priority should be to seek medical care to address any immediate health concerns, such as deep lacerations, broken bones, head or neck injuries, or damage to internal organs. In many cases, serious, long-lasting bicycle accident injuries can be subtle at first but worsen over time, and without a medical record of the injury, you may find it difficult to connect it to the bike accident later on. After getting the proper medical care, your next course of action should be to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a bike accident claim for compensation. When filing a bicycle accident claim in Phoenix, you need a trustworthy legal representative who will protect your rights and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. At Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC, we are committed to serving as your trusted legal advocate, and our bicycle accident attorneys will help guide you through the process of filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim to seek financial compensation from the at-fault driver or other parties responsible for the accident.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Phoenix
In the state of Arizona, bicycles are considered “moving vehicles,” just like passenger cars, trucks and motorcycles, and cyclists in Phoenix have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as other drivers. As a cyclist, you are expected to obey standard traffic laws on Phoenix roadways, but even if you practice every safety technique in the book, you can’t control the actions of other motorists and you can still be involved in a serious traffic accident, if another driver fails to pay attention to you or give you the room you need and the respect you deserve as a vehicle. However, while distracted or inattentive driving is one of the most common causes of bicycle accidents in Phoenix, it’s not the only cause. Dangerous road conditions, lack of proper signage and defective bicycle design are all factors that can contribute to collisions involving cyclists. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents in Phoenix include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Bike lane intrusion
- Unsafe lane changes
- Driving too closely next to a cyclist
- Passing on the right
- Defective bicycle design
- Poor road maintenance
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Opening a car door in front of a bicycle
- Making a turn without checking for a bicycle
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Dangerous weather conditions
- Unsafe road conditions
- Running a stop sign
- Failure to obey traffic signals
- Entering the roadway in front of a cyclist
Potential Injuries from Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can occur at any time, in all types of weather, on any road and under a variety of conditions, which is why practicing safe cycling techniques when riding on Phoenix roadways is imperative. Unfortunately, even when cyclists obey the law, wear the appropriate safety gear and ride in designated bike lanes, serious and deadly bicycle accidents can still occur. In fact, Arizona is ranked as the fourth-deadliest state in the country for cyclists, and in 2017 alone, there were 1,490 accidents in Arizona that involved bicycles, resulting in 1,371 cyclist injuries and 32 fatalities. Due to the considerable size difference between automobiles and bicycles, and the level of protection passenger cars and trucks offer occupants compared to bicycles and their riders, cyclists are the ones who typically suffer the worst injuries in traffic accidents with motor vehicles. Some of the most common injuries resulting from serious bicycle accidents include the following:
- Neck injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Brain injury
- Severe burns
- Damage to internal organs
- Internal bleeding
- Road rash
- Severe bruises
- Loss of limbs
- Broken bones
Negligence and Fault in a Bicycle Accident
Nearly every bike accident occurs because someone failed to fulfill a duty of care, and if you are involved in a bicycle accident in Phoenix, the issues of negligence and fault will likely arise. If another person or party is found to be entirely at fault for the accident, the outcome is fairly predictable – that person or party will be liable for your medical bills and any other losses you suffered as a result of the accident. However, in bike accident cases where both parties share blame for the accident, the state of Arizona follows the law of pure comparative negligence, which means the amount of compensation you are entitled to for your damages is reduced by the percentage of your fault. For instance, if you are found to be 25% at fault for the bicycle accident, you are only entitled to recover 75% of the total dollar amount of your damages.
Proving Negligence in Your Bike Accident Case
Proving negligence in a bicycle accident case often requires a detailed investigation of the accident and the parties involved, and victims of Phoenix bike accidents can benefit a great deal from the expertise of a personal injury attorney in this area. In order to prove negligence in a Phoenix bike accident case, your attorney must establish the following key elements:
- The person or party believed to be at fault in the accident (the defendant) owed you some duty of care (i.e. the duty of a motorist to obey traffic laws or the duty of a bike manufacturer to produce a safe vehicle),
- The defendant breached that duty of care (the motorist was texting while driving or the bike manufacturer produced a defective bike),
- The defendant’s breach of duty directly caused your bike accident, and
- As a result, you suffered real, compensable damages or losses.
Any time you are involved in a collision with a motor vehicle in Phoenix, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities as a cyclist, so you can properly defend yourself and ensure that fault is assigned to the appropriate person or party. We understand that filing a lawsuit and potentially going to court is not something you particularly care to go through, but the long-term consequences of a bicycle accident can be life-altering, and if your accident was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or party, filing a claim for compensation can help you cover the cost of your injuries and move on with your life.
Seeking Compensation for Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accidents involving crashes with passenger cars, buses, commercial trucks or any other motor vehicle can be catastrophic, and the consequences of a bike accident can be life-changing for victims and their loved ones. If you were injured in a bicycle accident with another motorist in Phoenix, and you believe the other driver was at fault for the accident, even if you were also partially at fault, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your injuries and other damages. Even if the accident is covered by the other driver’s insurance company or your own uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) or personal injury protection (PIP) policy, insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible and will often offer less than bicycle accident claims are actually worth. If this is the case, filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit may be necessary to obtain full and fair compensation.
Bicycle accidents can result in devastating and debilitating injuries requiring immediate medical attention and/or long-term care, which can be a significant financial burden, and any physical disability you suffer can adversely affect the rest of your life. In Phoenix, negligent, reckless or careless drivers can be held liable for any losses resulting from the bicycle accident, and a personal injury claim can help cover the cost of past and future medical bills, lost wages, property damage, job loss, loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering, among other damages. If you lost a loved one in a Phoenix bicycle accident, you may file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party, in order to pursue compensation for funeral expenses, loss of consortium and other related damages.
Statute of Limitations for Phoenix Bicycle Accident Claims
The last thing you will want to do following a serious or fatal bicycle accident is deal with hiring an attorney and going through the complicated legal process of filing a lawsuit. Unfortunately, there is a statute of limitations for bicycle accident claims in Phoenix, which means you only have a certain amount of time to file a legal claim, or else lose your right to pursue financial compensation. Under Arizona law, you have just two years from the date the bicycle accident occurred to file a legal claim for personal injury or property damage resulting from a bicycle accident. For a wrongful death claim, you have two years from the date of the individual’s death.
How Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys Can Help
Every year in Phoenix, bike accidents occur that could have been prevented and bike accident victims and their loved ones are made to suffer the consequences of another person’s negligence. Sadly, there is no way to change the injuries that occur because of a bicycle crash, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hold the negligent person or party accountable for your injuries and pursue compensation that can help alleviate the financial burden the bicycle accident has caused for you and your loved ones. At Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC, our lawyers understand the challenges you face in the aftermath of a serious bicycle accident, and we will do everything in our power to make the process of filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim and seeking adequate compensation as effortless as possible.
In order to successfully recover compensation for a Phoenix bicycle accident, you must prove that the other person or party’s negligence, carelessness or wrongdoing caused the accident and is therefore liable for your injuries and other damages. To that end, our personal injury attorneys will thoroughly investigate your bicycle accident claim, interview witnesses and, if necessary, call in experts to prove the other driver’s negligence and maximize your recovery. Our lawyers understand that all bicycle accident claims are unique, and we know what to look for in a bike accident case to strengthen your claim and improve your chances of recouping fair and timely compensation.
Contact Our Phoenix Bicycle Accident Attorneys
As a cyclist, you are extremely vulnerable to injury or death in the event of a traffic collision, and while you would hope that motorists understand the importance of safely sharing the road and giving you the attention you deserve as a moving vehicle, that is not always the case. If you have been seriously injured in a bicycle accident in Phoenix, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal accident involving a negligent or careless driver, consult our qualified lawyers at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC today to discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are familiar with the devastation other motorists can cause when they neglect to share the road with bicycles, and we will fight to get you the maximum compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages and other costly bike accident damages.