Bike riding is very popular in Phoenix and across the State of Arizona. Some ride bicycles for fun, but many people ride bicycles to commute to work. And while bicycling is great for both recreation and commuting, there are dangers when motor vehicles are nearby.
The Arizona Department of Transportation reports that many cyclists sustain injuries every year in accidents. Tragically, there are fatalities as well. Our Phoenix bicycle accident lawyers at Abels & Annes are here to help those bike riders who have been injured in accidents due to negligence.Phoenix Bicycle Accident FAQs
Here are answers to many questions that are often asked about bike accidents.
With such great weather most of the year in the Phoenix area, there are lots of bicycles on the road. However, this also means you can occasionally expect accidents with motor vehicles.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), in 2018 there were:
- 1,279 bicycle accidents
- 1,182 injuries from bicycle collisions
- 24 bike accident fatalities
ADOT further reports that:
- Bike accidents represented 1.01% of all collisions in Arizona
- For every crash, a cyclist would suffer an injury 92% of the time
- Those ages 20-24 were most likely to be involved in a bicycle accident.
- 93% of bicycle collisions took place in urban areas like Phoenix
As predictable, in these collisions the bicyclist is the one to sustain severe injuries. This, because of the imbalance in weight between a bike and a car.
It's important that bicyclists who are victims of accidents are properly represented so that their undue pain and suffering is compensated due to a driver’s lack of care. When an Arizona motorist negligently strikes someone riding a bike, that cyclist can make a claim for his or her damages. This includes medical bills, pain and suffering, disfigurement, lost wages, and other damages from the accident.
Bicyclist injuries are often severe when struck by a vehicle, as they have little or nothing protecting them. Some common injuries are:
- Back and neck injuries. Sometimes this can be soft tissue in nature that can heal with physical therapy. But sometimes this can be a disc herniation that requires surgery. Sometimes
- Broken bones. Whether it’s a wrist or ankle fracture, these injuries often require surgery with hardware to repair.
- Head trauma. Even low impact collisions can cause serious injury. And even with a bicycle helmet, some victims can suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Lacerations. Cyclists often suffer serious cuts, whether it’s from slamming into a car or some other fixed object. Some can be healed with stitches or staples, but sometimes there’s a need for plastic surgery.
- Death. Tragically, every year some bicyclists sustain fatal injuries in Arizona.
Distracted driving. Our Phoenix bike crash attorneys find that many collisions are caused by inattentive or distracted drivers. Often motorists pay attention to other cars and trucks on the roadways. However, they fail to keep an adequate lookout for the most vulnerable people on the street, such as cyclists and pedestrians.
Left turns. Many bicycle accidents occur when motorists make left turns in intersections. They wait for oncoming vehicular traffic to clear, and then fail to notice a bicycle rider coming through the intersection with the right-of-way.
Dooring accidents. Bicyclists also sustain injuries in dooring accidents. This occurs when a driver or passenger negligently swings open a car door as a bicycle is passing by. The bicycle rider typically flips over the car door or collides with it, often causing severe injuries.
Bicycle lane encroachments. Sometimes motorists fail to pay attention in the area of bike lanes, and this can have deadly consequences if a cyclist is present.
First, wear a helmet while riding. In the State of Arizona there currently is no bicycle helmet law. While failing to wear a helmet would not stop a lawsuit against an at-fault party, it could reduce the threat of traumatic head injuries.
Additionally, there is other bike safety gear you should consider before hitting the pavement. These include items such as light reflectors that are fitted onto your bike. Also, wear bright or reflective clothing. These items all make you more visible to drivers.
Keep your bike maintenance up-to-date and your equipment in good working condition. This, to avoid unsafe biking conditions. For example, a loose bike chain, tire damage, or unresponsive brakes could make an accident more likely.
Make sure to obey traffic laws when bike riding. The Arizona Vehicle Code applies to bicycles as well as cars. These laws include, for example, riding on the right-side of the road and moving with the flow of traffic.
Additionally, bicyclists need to obey all traffic signs and signals. They should follow lane markings and signal to drivers when turning.
Signals bicyclists use include:
- The left arm extending outward to indicate a left turn
- The right arm extending outward to indicate a right turn
- The left arm pointing downward to stop
- Call the authorities right away and let the police investigate and make a report. Police reports can be useful in identifying the names of everyone in the accident, identifying witnesses, and officers often take statements from everyone at the scene and draw crash diagrams. Further, in my experience, negligent motorists will often tell the truth to police on the scene. But, if the authorities are not notified, the defendant may later change his or her story.
- Exchange information with the at fault driver. Photograph the person’s driver’s license and insurance information.
- Take down witness information. The police do not always do this, and you may need the help of an independent witness to prove liability in your case.
- Seek medical care as soon as possible, if you sustain injuries. Even if you don’t feel that bad at the scene, sometimes the severity of injuries is masked by adrenaline.
- Contact a bike accident attorney in Phoenix. Do this before you start engaging with the driver’s insurance carrier. This is where mistakes get made and accident victims often damage their own case. Let an experienced accident attorney do the talking for you.
Abels & Annes Bike Accident Settlements
Here are just a few of our bicycle accident settlements:
- $200,000 - Client was injured in an intersection. The defendant was talking on her cell phone. Our client suffered a broken leg.
- $152,000 - A bicycle rider broke her wrist while riding past a construction site. She was injured when an unsecured windscreen was blown into her path.
- $125,000 - Our client was hit by a driver who failed to yield while turning left. The cyclist had surgery to repair a fractured clavicle.
- $100,000 - Insurance policy limits settlement on behalf of a bicyclist who was injured by a distracted motorist who made a left turn, failing to yield the right-of-way.
- $100,000 - Settlement for a student who was hit by a driver who failed to yield while turning.
The injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. believe that all accident victims deserve to have someone on their side fighting for their rights. We put our clients' interests first and we work hard to obtain the best outcome in every case.
Our law firm offers a free case consultation to injury victims who call us at (602) 819-5191 or who contact us online.
If you have injuries from a bike accident, we are here to help. Give us a call.