In Arizona, bicycles are classified as vehicles, which means that they follow many of the same laws as ordinary cars. Drivers should share the road with bicyclists but unfortunately drivers are often distracted around bicyclists or fail to yield. Sometimes drivers of vehicles allow themselves to become overcome with road rage related to a bicycle. In other cases, they simply forget to check for a bicyclist when opening their car door and this carelessness can result in devastating injuries. If you were injured in a bicycle accident in Arizona, Phoenix bicycle accident lawyer Freddy Saavedra may be able to help you.
Many bicycle accidents are caused by drivers of larger vehicles. There are no airbags and no structures to protect the bicyclist, so even if the driver walks away unscathed, the bicyclist may be catastrophically or even fatally injured. In order to hold a driver accountable for your injuries and losses, you will likely need to establish negligence in a personal injury lawsuit.
Establishing negligence requires you to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached the duty, and thereby caused your accident. Drivers may breach the duty to use reasonable care in many different ways, including by failing to leave enough room for a bicyclist, speeding, failing to obey traffic signals or signs, or failing to check for the possibility of a bicyclist before opening a door. Often, the specific cause of an accident will not emerge until a bicycle accident attorney in Phoenix conducts a careful investigation.
Certain laws pertain to bicyclists’ conduct in Arizona. For example, bicyclists are expected to ride as close to the curb as they can when traveling on city streets. Bicyclists are not supposed to ride on the sidewalk. When a group of bicyclists are traveling together, no more than two should ride together in a traffic lane. Moreover, a bicyclist needs to mount a white light on the front of the bicycle that could be seen by cars approaching from 500 feet away. The driver’s insurance adjustor will likely look very closely at the circumstances leading up to the accident to figure out whether you violated any of the rules and whether those violations contributed to the accident.
Arizona follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. This means that a jury will evaluate not only the driver’s negligence but also the bicyclist’s negligence. The damages will be reduced by an amount equal to the victim’s percentage of fault. Suppose that, for example, you were riding home one night without a white light on the front of your bicycle, and a driver ran a red light and hit you. The jury might find that you were 40% at fault and that the driver was 60% at fault. If the damages were $200,000, your Phoenix bicycle accident attorney could recover $120,000 for you from the driver.
The extent and nature of your injuries will determine the amount of your damages. You can recover economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit if you can establish liability. These are compensatory damages, meaning that they are damages intended to put you back in the place in which you would have been had there been no negligence. Economic damages are tangible, concrete losses, such as medical expenses, surgical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, out-of-pocket costs, replacement services, alterations to the home, and lost income. Replacement services are the costs of paying someone else to do something that you can no longer do because of your injuries, such as housekeeping or child care.
Non-economic damages are intangible. They can include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. Generally, economic damages are stable and documented. However, retaining an experienced attorney can have a large impact on non-economic damages, which may be highly variable, depending on your unique characteristics and life.
Bicycle accidents can have devastating consequences. If you were injured in a bicycle accident in Arizona, you should talk to a seasoned personal injury attorney. Freddy Saavedra represents accident victims across Maricopa County. Contact us at (602) 753-8917 or via our online form.
There are many types of damages that your bicycle accident lawyer Phoenix, Peoria, and Maricopa County, AZ residents rely on will go over with you to make sure that you include everything applicable for compensation in your claim. There may be some damages that you haven’t even considered or that are trickier to put a monetary value on, such as emotional trauma, lost wages, reduced quality of life due to long-lasting injuries, etc.
It may depend on the situation, but most likely yes. If your child is your dependent and a minor, then you most likely can submit a claim on their behalf since the monetary loss and medical expenses are your responsibility. You may also be able to include damages that affected you, such as lost wages if you had to take off work to care for your child during their accident recovery. One of our bicycle accident lawyers from Saavedra Law Firm, PLC would be happy to go over the details of your child’s lawsuit with you and discuss your options.
The amount of time that you have to submit a claim, or the “statute of limitations” in legal terms, can vary but in Arizona it is two years. That may feel like a long time, but it can go by quickly, especially when you are focused on recovering from the accident. It is recommended that you speak with a Phoenix, Peoria, and Maricopa County, AZ bicycle accident lawyer sooner rather than later. Even if you decide not to follow through with a lawsuit, you will have sound legal advice and know your options so that you can make an informed decision with confidence.
After being injured in a bicycle accident, the medical bills tend to start piling up and without the compensation you deserve they may drive you into serious debt. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not like to pay injured victims what they deserve and need to cover their medical expenses or other damages. This means that you may need to submit a lawsuit with the legal assistance of an experienced Phoenix bicycle accident lawyer from Saavedra Law Firm, PLC so that you can get the compensation you need and deserve in order to move on with your life after this accident.
The sooner you contact a bicycle accident lawyer from Saavedra Law Firm, PLC, the better. It is recommended that you meet with a bicycle accident lawyer early on so that you have as many options as possible and can make informed legal decisions after discussing the likely outcomes of each option with your lawyer. Don’t hesitate to give us a call to get answers to all of your legal questions. Call today to schedule a consultation!