Bike riding is a popular activity in the Phoenix area and across the State of Arizona, but it can be a dangerous hobby. The Arizona Department of Transportation reports that 23 people were killed and 1,604 injured in Arizona bicycle accidents in the year 2011. The Phoenix bike accident lawyers at Abels & Annes look to represent those bike riders who have been injured in accidents with motor vehicles due to negligence by the driver.
In accidents involving a bicycle, most often it is with a car. In these situations, the bicyclist is the one to sustain more severe injuries instead of the driver of that motor vehicle. Because of the imbalance in vehicle weight between a bike and a car, it is 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 bicyclist can make a claim against them for his or her damages, including medical bills, pain and suffering, disfigurement, lost wages, and other damages from the accident.
Biking injuries are often severe when struck by a vehicle, as bikers have nothing protecting them. We see injuries to the back and neck, to multiple fractures, to serious head trauma. Even low impact collisions can cause serious injury.
Our Arizona bike accident lawyers find that most bicycle versus motor vehicle collisions are caused by inattentive or distracted drivers. Often motorists pay attention to other cars and trucks on the roadways, but then fail to keep an adequate lookout for the most vulnerable people on the street, such as bicycle riders and pedestrians.
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.
Bicyclists are also often injured in "dooring" incidents. This occurs when a driver swings open a car door without looking as a bike rider is passing by. The bicycle rider then typically flips over the car door or collides with it, often causing severe injuries.
It is a very good idea for you and/or your kids to use a helmet while riding. In the State of Arizona there is currently is no bicycle helmet law, and while not using one 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 like light reflectors that are fitted onto your or your child’s bikes so that drivers can more easily spot you.
Also, wearing bright clothing during the day may keep you safer on the road since you are then more visible to others around you.
Finally, keep your bike maintenance up-to-date and your equipment in good working condition to avoid unsafe biking conditions. For example, a loose bike chain, damaged tire, or unresponsive brakes could make an accident more likely.Obeying Laws Can Keep Cyclists Safer
Make sure to obey traffic laws when bike riding. The Arizona Vehicle Code applies to bicycles as well as cars. Arizona bike riders in accidents have been surprised in the past to get traffic citations for not obeying the vehicle code. These codes include riding on the right-side of the road moving with the flow of traffic.
Additionally, bicyclists need to obey all traffic signs and signals just as motorists do while also following lane markings (“right turn only” or “no left turn”) and signal to drivers when turning or stopping. Signals bicyclists use include the left arm extended outward to indicate a left turn, the right arm extended outward to indicate a right turn, and the left arm pointed downward to indicate a stop.What to do after a Bicycle Accident
If injured in a bicycle accident, you should 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. If possible, contact police immediately. 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.
If a bike rider is struck by a vehicle, our office can submit a claim with the negligent motorist's insurance company. However, if the defendant is uninsured, you may still be able to make a claim. With the help of Arizona bike accident lawyers, you may be able to make an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company.Contact Experienced Arizona Bike Accident Attorneys
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 always work hard to obtain the best outcome in every case. We offer a free case consultation to injury victims who call us toll free at (855) 749-5299 or locally at (602) 819-5191 or who contact us online.
Here are just a few bicycle collision cases that have been resolved by Abels & Annes:
$200,000 - Client was injured while a driver was moving through an intersection. The defendant was talking on her cell phone. Our client suffered a broken leg and had to have a series of surgeries.
$152,000 - Represented a bicycle rider who 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. He had multiple surgeries to repair a fractured clavicle.
$100,000 - Reached an insurance policy limits settlement on behalf of a bicyclist who was injured by an inattentive motorist who made a left turn, failing to yield the right-of-way.
$100,000 - Secured a settlement for a student who was hit by a driver who failed to yield while turning.
$50,000 - Represented bicycle rider was injured by an opening car door. The case resolved for the defendant's auto insurance policy limits.