If you are in Arizona and seek representation from a bicycle accident lawyer, we’re here to help. Biking has grown in popularity for a variety of reasons whether it’s to save money, save the environment, save time for parking or other reasons. While bicycles have many benefits, the increased chance of injury is unquestionable when using a bike as a means of transportation. Bicycle accidents can take place in a wide variety of forms, from very mild in nature to involving very severe collisions with automobiles. If you or any loved ones have been injured or killed by an automobile while biking, it’s of the utmost importance to consider looking for a bicycle accident attorney.
Your attorney can help you determine your best options for legal recourse if another party caused your damages, whether they include physical and psychological injury, lost income, pain and suffering, or a combination of these. Personal injury law exists to hold negligent individuals accountable for their actions when they injure others, and your Phoenix bicycle accident attorney can help you build a strong claim to help you maximize your recovery.
When you need a Phoenix personal injury lawyer, it’s essential to choose one with in-depth experience of the type of case you’re facing. Our firm has handled many bicycle accident cases in the Phoenix area successfully, helping our clients recover their financial losses and secure the compensation they need to get their lives back to normal. We also believe strongly in holding negligent parties accountable for the injuries and damage they cause.
When looking for a bike accident lawyer, make sure to prioritize experience and successful results. Luis P. Guerra, LLC, bicycle accident lawyers possess over 20 years of law experience that allows us to consistently win case after case and successfully obtain compensation for our clients. The law regarding biking accidents can be quite meticulous, but our years of passion and experience have allowed us to master the craft to represent those in need.
It’s important that you hire a bike accident attorney who understands the facts. In 2013, cycling accidents involving a motor vehicle in Arizona decreased by 5 percent from 2149 to 2039. While on the surface, this trend appears very positive and would appear that safer practices are being employed, this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, fatalities increased from 18 in 2012 to 30 in 2013. Our bicycle accident attorneys understand that 30 fatalities in a year may seem low, but in reality one is too many.
Bicycle accidents are most common to occur around areas with heavy motor vehicle traffic and areas with poor visibility, especially at night. It’s vital for bicyclists to make themselves as visible as possible while on or near Arizona roads. They can do this by choosing brightly colored clothing and attaching reflectors to their bikes. Drivers can potentially cause bicycle accidents in many of the same ways as they might cause accidents with other drivers. Inattention, texting while driving, speeding, and failure to signal are just a few potential causes of bicycle accidents in the Phoenix area.
Phoenix area bicyclists must understand that while they have the same rights as vehicles on most Arizona roads, such as the ability to take a lane and occupy space in moving traffic where legal, they are inherently vulnerable to serious injuries on the road. Bicyclists also have the same responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers when it comes to signaling and moving with the flow of traffic. Drivers must yield to bicyclists in many different situations and have a duty of care to avoid collision with bicyclists. If they fail to uphold this duty of care due to distraction, unsafe driving, or by committing a moving violation, they are liable for any injuries and economic damages they cause.
If a car collides with a bicycle or vice versa, the bicyclist is likely the only one that’s going to suffer injuries. Bicycle accidents can cause severe cuts and scrapes, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, damage to internal organs, and traumatic brain injuries. While wearing a helmet can potentially save a bicyclist’s life and minimize the damage of a head injury, they are not foolproof at protecting against severe or fatal head injuries. Even a seemingly mild bicycle accident with a motor vehicle can lead to severe injuries and long-term medical complications.
If you believe you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit in Phoenix due to a recent bicycle accident, it’s vital to fully assess your damages that you intend to claim in your case. Arizona law allows personal injury plaintiffs to declare several types of damages in a formal personal injury Complaint:
- Medical expenses. A plaintiff in a bicycle accident personal injury claim can list all of the medical expenses they incurred from their accident as damages in their lawsuit. These damages pertain to any and all medical care required after the accident, such as emergency department treatment, rehabilitation costs, prescription medicine costs, and any costs related to necessary ongoing therapies and treatments that may last for weeks, months, or even years.
- Lost income. A bicycle accident could leave a victim too injured to return to work for an extended time. They can claim the income lost during this time as damages in their case. In the event a defendant’s negligence resulted in a permanent disability that leaves the plaintiff unable to work in the future, a Phoenix bicycle accident attorney can help the plaintiff recover compensation for their lost future earning potential.
- Pain and suffering. Bicyclists who suffer injuries from accidents with motor vehicles typically suffer severe injuries like bone fractures, head injuries, and more. Arizona law allows plaintiffs to recover compensation for their physical pain and psychological distress resulting from a defendant’s negligence. The amount a plaintiff receives for pain and suffering is typically a multiple of their measurable compensatory damages.
- Property damage. If a bicycle accident victim’s bike and other personal items were damaged or destroyed in the accident, they can claim compensation for the repair or replacement costs.
Some plaintiffs who sustain injuries from grossly negligent drivers or defendants who engaged in criminal or willfully dangerous behavior might receive punitive damages as well, but the Arizona Supreme Court has consistently held that punitive damages are reserved for particularly heinous offenses.
A bicycle accident lawsuit falls under the purview of personal injury law, and the central legal concept in any personal injury case is negligence, or a party’s failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a bicycle accident due to the negligent actions of another party, your Phoenix bicycle accident lawyer will help you gather the evidence necessary to prove your case and hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence.
Your Phoenix bicycle accident attorney may need to conduct eyewitness interviews, issue subpoenas for traffic camera footage and cell phone records, and gather other types of evidence depending on the specificity of your case. Ultimately, you can succeed with your personal injury claim if you and your Phoenix personal injury lawyer can prove the defendant was negligent and that their negligence directly caused the damages listed in your claim. It will also be essential to prove that those damages would not have occurred if not for the defendant’s negligence.
An experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyer will carefully assess your bicycle accident claim, review the medical report from your attending physician, and recover a copy of the police report from the accident to start building your personal injury claim. Luis P. Guerra, LLC and his legal team have the skills, experience, and resources to help you draft a strong initial formal Complaint that fully covers all of the damages resulting from your accident. Our goal is to assist you in exploring every available channel of recovery in your case and help you get your life as close to back to normal as possible.
We treat each case as if our own loved ones were affected. Why? Because each bicycle injury lawyer in our firm is an empathetic and dedicated person. We dedicate our lives to handling the legal side of unfortunate situations such as the potential catastrophic outcomes of bicycle accidents. In times of crisis and uncertainty, we understand handling the legal aspects of such situations can create a burden that may seem unbearable. Let a bicycle injury attorney handle this for you. We will go above and beyond to obtain compensation that you deserve — whether it’s coming to the scene of the accident, representing you in person in court, or dedicating all hours of the day.
Finding a dedicated bicycle accident lawyer is much easier said than done. If you need representation, come meet us. We offer free consultation and legal fees are based on a contingent basis so you don’t have any doubts or question marks in your mind. Give us a call today!
If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury in a bicycle accident, these questions can help you. It’s a good idea to have some understanding of your rights and legal options for recovery under Arizona state law. Consider the following most frequently asked questions about bicycle accidents in Arizona and reach out to an experienced Phoenix bicycle accident attorney to answer specific questions about your own claim.
Q: Is the driver always at fault in a bicycle-motor vehicle accident?
A: Whenever an accident occurs involving a motor vehicle driver and a bicyclist, the motor vehicle driver almost always absorbs the greater share of fault for the incident. While bicyclists have many of the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers in Arizona, it is
Q: What happens if I am found partially at fault for my bicycle accident?
A: Arizona follows a comparative negligence statute that allows a plaintiff to still claim damages if they are partially at fault for causing those damages, but only if their fault does not exceed the defendant’s. Any fault beyond 50% would nullify the plaintiff’s ability to claim compensation under this comparative negligence law.
Q: Can I file a legal claim if a roadway defect or safety issue with the road caused my bicycle accident?
A: If the party responsible for your bicycle accident is a government agency responsible for the road’s maintenance and safety, it may still be possible to pursue compensation for your damages. However, taking legal action against the government is very different than pursuing a case against another private party. Many government agencies have sovereign immunity that insulates them from civil liability. While these agencies may provide some type of claims process for damages their employees, programs, and services cause, navigating these processes without legal assistance is incredibly difficult. Claimants typically face limited recovery options.
Q: I wasn’t wearing a helmet during my accident. Will this mean partial fault in my case?
A: Phoenix only requires the use of bicycle helmets for bicyclists under the age of 18. If you are an adult riding a bike in Phoenix, you have the right to choose whether to wear a helmet. While safety experts agree that wearing a helmet is a good idea and can limit the risk of severe head injury in a bicycle accident, a bicyclist should not be expected to account for others’ negligence. If another party caused your accident, they are liable for your damages whether or not you were wearing a bicycle helmet at the time.
Q: What should I expect from an insurance claim after a bicycle accident?
A: Insurance is often the first step toward recovery after an accident. If you have the ability to file an insurance claim following a bicycle accident, it’s wise to have an experienced attorney assist in the drafting of your claim. This minimizes the chance for pushback against your claim and reduces the chance for errors to interrupt your claim processing. If an insurance company is overly argumentative, unreasonably denies your claim, or engages in any kind of bad faith practices, consult with an attorney immediately.
Q: Do I really need a bicycle accident attorney?
A: While your case may seem very straightforward, the reality is that any number of possible factors might arise to complicate your legal proceedings. Hiring an attorney to represent your interests is a way to strengthen your case and make your legal proceedings easier to manage. Instead of tackling court filings and fact-finding on your own while recovering from your injuries, your attorney can handle these tasks on your behalf so you can focus on recovering.
Q: What type of damages can I recover from my bicycle accident claim?
A: Bicycle accidents often lead to serious injuries such as brain trauma, broken bones, and internal organ damage. These injuries, in turn, lead to painful symptoms and recovery, during which time the victim cannot work. It’s not uncommon for bicycle accident victims to sustain many types of losses beyond their physical injuries. They may secure compensation for property damage, lost income, lost earning potential, immediate and future medical expenses, and their pain and suffering.
Q: The driver who hit me fled the scene. What do I do?
A: Contact the police immediately and provide as much detail as possible about the vehicle that hit you. Ideally, try to record their license plate before they escape and provide it to the police. Even a make, model, color, and location can be enough for the police to track down the driver responsible for a hit-and-run. File your report with the police and contact an attorney. Start building your case, so once the police locate the driver responsible for the hit-and-run, you and your attorney will be prepared to take immediate civil action.
Q: How long do I have to take legal action for a bicycle accident in Phoenix?
A: Arizona state law provides a two-year statute of limitations on most personal injury claims filed in the state, including bicycle accident claims in Phoenix. This time limit begins when a bicycle accident occurs, so it is vital to promptly seek legal counsel if you intend to take legal action for your bicycle accident.
Q: Will my bicycle accident case go to trial?
A: A bicycle accident claim falls under the purview of personal injury law, and the overwhelming majority of personal injury claims end in settlement negotiations, not in court. If another driver caused your bicycle accident, it is almost always in both of your best interests to pursue a swift and mutually agreeable settlement than to enter litigation. Your Phoenix bicycle accident attorney can help you understand what to expect from your settlement negotiations and prepare you for trial if settlement is unsuccessful.
Q: My loved one was hit while riding a bike and did not survive. What can my family do?
A: If a person suffers an injury due to another party’s negligence or intentional actions, they have grounds for a personal injury action against the party responsible for their damages. However, if the victim dies, their surviving family will have the ability to pursue a wrongful death claim instead of the personal injury suit the deceased could have filed had they survived. There are different rules for wrongful death claims from bicycle accidents than standard personal injury claims, so it is vital to seek reliable legal guidance if your family faces this kind of situation.