Phoenix Bicycle Accident Lawyer

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Among all travelers on the road, bicyclists are perhaps the most vulnerable. In car-on-bike collisions, the bicyclists will likely suffer the most severe injuries because they have little protection. Whereas vehicles have bumpers, horns, and turn signals, bicycles are protected only by the rubber of their wheels, their cyclists’ hands, and occasionally a spring bell. It’s easy to get hurt while riding a bicycle, which is why it’s important to know a Phoenix bicycle accident lawyer in case of an accident.

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident caused by a reckless or impatient driver, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to speak with a Phoenix bicycle accident lawyer today. With your free case evaluation, we can begin to help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries.

ARIZONA BICYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS

With Arizona cycling deaths rising, cyclists are calling for more awareness from drivers. In fact, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has made it a goal to inform drivers that they should watch out specifically for cyclists. In 2020 alone, ADOT reported that there had been over 830 bicycle crashes with roughly 98% of them resulting in injury.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), crashes involving bicyclists have been increasing since 2009. Accounting for this statistic, NHTSA points to the increased number of drivers and cyclists on the road. In the past three years, the number of U.S. cyclists on the road has increased by over 4.5 million.

In 2019, bicyclist deaths most often occurred in urban areas (78%), compared to rural areas (22%). To this point, it is important to consider where you are riding your bicycle.

Some parts of a city or town will have more drivers on the road. But regardless of where you are in Arizona, cyclists have the very same rights as automobile and truck motorists. No matter where your bike-related accident occurred in the gorgeous Valley of the Sun, you need a personal injury attorney who will protect your rights and seek damages for the harm caused to you.

ARIZONA BICYCLE SAFETY AND LAWS

Under Arizona state law, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, but in some places more than others, there appears to be a disregard for the rights of cyclists on the roadway. Of course, acknowledging the rights of all road users would help them feel better protected and help avoid accidents too.

Like elsewhere in the nation, the majority of crashes between motorists and cyclists happen at intersections. Typically, the accident is a result of the motorist failing to yield the right-of-way to the cyclist. For example, the motor vehicle driver may inch out of a driveway into the cyclist’s path or may make a sharp turn without realizing there is a cyclist in front of them.

Arizona bicycle laws are designed to reduce cyclist injuries and fatalities on public roads. To this end, they have also informed law enforcement of various ways in which they can police communities to maintain and enhance compliance with applicable traffic laws. A Phoenix bicycle accident attorney would know these laws and analyze the facts of a case in light of them.

Here are some Arizona laws that may be at play in during your bicycle accident case:

Arizona Bicycle Law

  • Stop for traffic lights and stop signs (ARS 28-644).
  • Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and on sidewalks (ARS 28-792; 904).
  • Before you turn or change lanes, look behind you, signal to show your plan to turn or change lanes, and yield to any traffic already there. Cyclists may signal their turns by extending either their left arm for a left turn or their right arm for a right turn (ARS 28-756).

Laws for Bicycle Riders Only

  • Always use a white headlight and a red rear reflector when you cycle after sunset or before sunrise (ARS 28-817).
  • Every bicycle must have at least one brake that will make the wheel skid when applied (ARS 28-817).
  • You must have at least one hand on the handlebars at all times (ARS 28-816).
  • You may not attach your bicycle to, or hold onto, another vehicle on the roadway (called “clinging”) (ARS 28-814).

These laws were put into place with the intention to make the motorways in AZ safer. Still, many drivers neglect these laws and put the lives of cyclists at risk every day. As a cyclist, being able to demonstrate that you were abiding by the bicycle rider-specific laws at the time of your accident will help to ensure the success of your case. Furthermore, abiding by these laws may help prevent an accident in the first place.

However, as bicyclists know and has been mentioned in this article already, when riding a bicycle, you are in an extremely vulnerable position. The average car weighs over two tons (approximately 4,000 lbs.), whereas the average bicycle weighs 25 lbs. This means that if someone takes their mind off driving for just a second, the result could be deadly for cyclists.

A Phoenix injury attorney would ascertain all the facts and apply them to any relevant law when building a case for a personal injury lawsuit. You’ll want to hire one who has handled bike crash cases before, like the lawyers who work for Zinda Law Group have done.

COMMON CAUSES OF BICYCLE ACCIDENTS IN PHOENIX

Bicycle accidents most commonly occur on public roads and can result from a variety of factors. Each time you take your bicycle out, you face risks that are supposed to be mitigated by the rule of law. Unfortunately, many drivers disregard these rules and increase the chance of harm for the bicycle riders around them.

Unfortunately, bicycle riders in Phoenix are treated as second-rate users of the motorway. Even though they have the same rights under the law as drivers, cyclists are often put in dangerous positions by drivers who are only concerned about getting somewhere as quickly as possible. Do not put it past a driver to tailgate a bicyclist because they are late for a doctor’s appointment, for example.

Even when the danger posed is not based on selfish concern but rather too long of a daydream while driving, a driver’s neglect or disregard for cyclists can result in threatening injuries, nonetheless. A driver may not even realize the risks that they pose to cyclists by trying to pass them on a narrow street, by using their cellphone while driving, or by not being adequately rested before getting behind the wheel of their car.

Below are descriptions of some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents in Phoenix:

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving means a lot more than it used to before the advent of smartphones. There are so many things to be distracted by nowadays, it’s easy to imagine someone opening their phone and taking their eyes off the road. How many times have you reached a destination and thought, “Wow, I don’t remember driving here at all.” When this happens, any pedestrians and cyclists on your route at that time were in potential danger.

Speeding

The faster a car is traveling, the more likely it is that it will cause serious injury if strikes a cyclist. A driver who is not paying attention to their speed creates a risk of harm to all those around them. In residential neighborhoods, community members expect cars to travel at relatively low speeds, but people often ignore the speed limit, deeming it to be a mere suggestion.

Unsafe Lane Changes

Unsafe lane changes include changing lanes without a turn signal and weaving in and out of traffic. When the driver of an automobile fails to use their turn signal, they are creating uncertainty for the other people on the motorway.

A motorist who properly signals gives other drivers and cyclists the chance to alert them that they may be making a dangerous maneuver. Weaving in and out of traffic creates significant risk for bike lane users, who are also at great risk when they ride in a bike lane that is dually purposed for both bike and automobile traffic.

Turning Without Looking

Turning without looking is a significant danger because many bikers use pedestrian walkways to cross the street. If a driver does not take the time to ensure that there is nothing in front of or to the side of their vehicle, they risk causing potentially fatal damage.

Looking before turning is a simple habit that can prevent the loss of life and damage to property. Furthermore, because cyclists have to stop at traffic lights just as cars do, there is a particular danger for cyclists sitting next to a car that is ready to make a right on red.

Failure to Yield

There are various parts of the road system in Phoenix which feature roundabouts. In an instance where a car pulls up to a roundabout intersection, if there is a vehicle already in the intersection, then the incoming car must yield to them. For most, this is an obvious rule, but many people neglect to give bicycle riders the same deference and appreciation on the road. The result can be horrific, with the cyclists sometimes being side-swiped and flying in a cartwheel over the top of the vehicle.

Driver Fatigue

People fail to realize how important it is to be well-rested before getting behind the wheel of an automobile. The Arizona Department of Public Safety reports that 19 hours without sleep is comparable to having a blood alcohol content of 0.05%, and not having slept for 24 hours is comparable to having a blood alcohol content of 0.1%. Symptoms of fatigue include nodding off, lack of alertness, and slow reaction time; all of which increase the likelihood of a car crashing into an unsuspecting cyclist.

Running a Red Light

Running red lights and stop signs are actions that commonly precede intersection accidents. This risk is magnified in areas where there is a lot of stop-and-go traffic, such as in urban neighborhoods and city centers. When a cyclist has the right of way and a car rolls through their stop sign, the results are usually injurious and often deadly.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR BICYCLE ACCIDENT INJURIES?

In Phoenix, it’s up to the motorists to respect the rights of cyclists and to obey traffic laws. Failing to adhere to Arizona law and subsequently causing an accident is considered negligence. If you believe a negligent driver is responsible for causing your accident and injuries, we encourage you to get legal advice from our personal injury lawyers.

Negligence is a legal standard that refers to someone having ought to be aware of an unjustifiable risk but fails to act in a way that recognizes the risk. In the context of a bicycle accident, some examples include:

  • ignoring traffic signals,
  • texting and driving,
  • driving in the bike lane, and
  • abrupt turns without signaling.

When a person engages in any of these actions, they are said by law to have lacked ordinary due care. To hold a defendant liable for negligence, the plaintiff must establish the following four elements by a preponderance of the evidence:

1. The defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff to conform to a specific standard of care.

2. The defendant breached that duty.

3. The breach was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s harm.

4. The victim suffered damages because of the accident.

Negligence per se is another form of liability proscribed by Arizona state statutes. It states that if a person is found to have violated a statute, regulation, or code and as a result injures another, then negligence will apply automatically.

Being that it is the infraction of traffic laws that is the typical precedence to a car-on-bike accident, it is likely that the negligence per se rule will apply. Having a lawyer who knows these rules will affect whether you succeed in your lawsuit. Be assured that the attorneys at Zinda Law Group are familiar with AZ law standards and the fact patterns which trigger accidents.

ZINDA LAW GROUP PHOENIX BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYERS CAN HELP

During your recovery, the thought will likely cross your mind, “How do I find an injury lawyer near me?” A Phoenix injury attorney from Zinda Law Group is here to help you.

At Zinda Law Group Phoenix, our experienced team of attorneys is focused on the preservation of evidence and ensuring that the proper procedures of the court are followed. With our expertise, we can help you and your family pursue maximum compensation for medical bills, lost income, damaged property, pain and suffering, and much more.

If you are the victim of a bicycle accident, you may have sustained serious injuries. A Phoenix bicycle accident attorney can work to seek awards on your behalf and hold negligent parties accountable. We also offer a 100% free consultation, and you will pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your bicycle accident case; that is our No Win No Fee Guarantee.

A personal injury attorney from our firm would be honored to serve you during this challenging time. If you were injured in a bicycle accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to schedule a free consultation with a Phoenix personal injury lawyer today. We are ready and willing to assist you!

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.