Bicycles are becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation in Arizona. People want to avoid paying for fuel and they are more concerned with living green lifestyles. This is admirable. However, the increasing number of bikes means it is more likely that bicyclists could get involved in accidents. These accidents often lead to injury, disfigurement or even death. In order to get compensation for their losses, many accident victims need the help of an Arizona bicycle accident lawyer.
Bicycle accidents take place in all kinds of circumstances, but some situations are more dangerous than others. For example, intersections put cyclists in the gravest danger. A driver may fail to yield the right of way and strike them. Cyclists can also get hurt when merging, turning or stopping. They have little to protect them against the speed and force of a larger vehicle. Therefore, their injuries can be severe.
The statistics show how much danger bicyclists are in when they head out on Arizona’s roads. In 2017, 1,490 accidents in the state of Arizona involved bike riders. They resulted in 1,371 injuries and 32 deaths. The majority of these crashes occurred in urban areas like downtown Phoenix.
Nathaniel B. Preston at Warnock Mackinlay Law has handled many cases on behalf of injured bicyclists. You or someone you love may have been hurt because of another road user’s negligence. If so, you deserve to be compensated. Insurance policies and the legal system can be difficult to understand but our law firm has several years of experience. We can support you during this difficult time and ensure you recover your losses. Call our office today at (602)652-2009 to receive a risk-free consultation with our expert lawyers.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents
Bicycle riders face a number of hazards whenever they travel on public roads. These include the lack of proper signage, dedicated bike lanes, and road shoulders. However, most bike accidents are caused by the negligence or recklessness of other drivers. Some examples of this are:
- Driving after using alcohol or drugs
- Texting or talking on the phone while driving
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Intruding into a bike lane
- Striking a cyclist with a car door
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Entering traffic directly in front of a cyclist
Common Injuries After an Arizona Bicycle Accident
Any of these types of accidents can lead to injuries, some of them serious. Lacerations, burns, facial disfigurement, internal damage, and amputations occur frequently. These injuries have a big impact on victims’ ability to live their lives normally. If someone is responsible for the accident, they should have to pay. An Arizona bicycle accident lawyer can ensure that they are held liable. Three of the serious injuries which are common are:
Bicyclists are encouraged to wear helmets but even then, they can still get head injuries. These include traumatic brain injury, skull fractures, intracranial bleeding, concussions, and contusions. Long after the accident, victims may experience headaches, memory loss, insomnia, seizures, difficulty talking or loss of mental function. They may require long-term medical care, multiple surgeries and physical therapy. Some can never return to work.
If you get hit by a vehicle, you will likely be thrown from your bicycle. Cyclists tend to fracture bones in their arms, legs, back, collarbone, and pelvis. Multiple fractures are common and some of them can take months or years to heal. You may need to get surgery to re-set your bones and the road to recovery can be long. You may not be able to earn a living while you recover.
Cyclists who hit the pavement or an object can suffer spinal injuries. Slipped discs can be fixed with surgery or therapy. However, a severed spinal cord usually results in permanent paralysis or death. Even spinal injuries which are repaired can prevent you from performing regular activities for months or years. Some people have to learn how to stand and walk all over again.
How Do I Prove Negligence in An Arizona Bike Accident?
The mere fact that you were injured in an accident isn’t enough to get you compensation from the driver. You have to prove that their negligence or recklessness caused the crash. Arizona is a fault-based state where insurance is concerned. If the other driver is at fault, your first step should be to file a claim with their insurer. A lawsuit is a last resort. However, the driver is not automatically at fault. If the accident was caused by a malfunctioning stoplight, the city or the manufacturer should be held responsible. Arizona bike accident lawyers will make sure they identify the liable party or parties correctly.
In personal injury cases, in order to prove that someone was negligent, you need to establish:
- Duty of care. The individual or entity must have owed you some duty of care. Drivers, for example, have a responsibility to obey traffic laws. They should take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of other road users. Manufacturers also have a duty to consumers to ensure their bicycles are safe.
- Breach of duty of care. Your attorney will investigate to determine if the party you believe is at fault breached their duty to you. In the case of a driver, this includes texting and driving, speeding, running a red light or otherwise driving recklessly. A city may also breach its duty if it fails to maintain a safe space for bicyclists.
- Causation. You must be able to prove that the defendant’s breach of duty directly led to your accident. If a distracted driver crashed into you because their brakes failed, their distraction did not directly cause the accident.
- Damages. The final thing you must show is that you suffered real losses. These include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and mental anguish. Photos, bills, and a medical report can help you to prove you suffered damages.
Contact an Arizona Bicycle Accident Lawyer and Get the Damages You Deserve
Most bicycle accident victims want to know how much they can receive in compensation. Those with the most to gain benefit most from having an attorney. This is because insurance companies try hard not to pay out large claims. With the help of Nathaniel B. Preston at Warnock Mackinlay Law, you may be able to recover:
- Current and future medical costs.
- Lost income.
- Pain and suffering
- Property repairs or replace
- Loss of consortium if you lost a loved one
- Punitive damages if the defendant was extremely negligent or reckless
Having an attorney can make all the difference whether in negotiations or filing a suit. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation and let us discuss your case in detail. The sooner you contact us, the sooner you can get the compensation you deserve. Call us at (602)652-2009 and let us work for you.