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Phoenix Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Bicyclists have little protection when they get into an accident, and face a high risk of serious injury when bicycle accidents happen. If you have suffered injuries in a bicycle accident in Arizona, then you may be facing significant medical bills and might not be able to return to work.

Discuss your case with a skilled and highly experienced Phoenix bicycle accident attorney at Stone Rose Law. We offer free and confidential consultations. Call our accident law firm at (480) 498-8998 or reach us online to talk with a personal injury lawyer.

Why You Need a Lawyer After a Bike Accident

Although bike accidents are not normally the rider’s fault, in most bicycle accident claims cyclists typically face an uphill battle and unique challenges when dealing with insurance companies. The driver’s insurance company will not have your best interests at heart and will try to find ways to avoid paying you.

Even if their policyholder was 100 percent at fault, they will look for inconsistencies in your story and may attempt to get you to settle for a lesser amount than what you need to recover from your injuries.

It is often in your best interest to hire a Phoenix personal injury attorney, who will collect evidence and prepare a strategy for negotiating a fair settlement amount on your behalf.

Why Choose Our Phoenix Bicycle Accident Lawyer?

As Phoenix accident lawyers, at Stone Rose Law, our legal team has represented bicycle accident victims in many cases. We can help you as an injured party to seek maximum compensation for lost income, medical expenses, ongoing medical care, and future medical expenses.

We also deal with insurance adjusters and negotiate an insurance claim for rightful compensation.

  • When it comes to our fees, we work to ensure they are fair and reasonable.
  • We take a client-oriented, no-nonsense approach, so you can see your case resolved as soon as possible.
  • The right bike accident attorney can relieve your stress during this difficult time, and we want you to feel comfortable and have peace of mind.

Bicycle Accidents Are Common in Arizona

On average, every year Arizona reports more than 1,000 bicycle accident cases. Of these, two dozen or more are fatal to the bicyclist. What is also worth noting is that of the nonfatal accidents, almost all of them resulted in injury to the bicyclist.

Historical statistics of bicycle crashes in Arizona from 2018 to 2022.

Bicycle accidents can happen at any time and in any weather condition. Still, considering the way most bicyclists ride, about two of every three Arizona bicycle accidents happen during daylight hours and in all but a few cases in dry weather.

Common Bicycle Accident Injuries

Bicycle accidents involving a motor vehicle are often musculoskeletal trauma, even if a car or truck is moving slowly. Cyclists can suffer serious harm from blunt force trauma, such as the following common injuries:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Severe bone fractures
  • Loss of limb
  • Head injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Serious concussion
  • Disfigurement, significant scarring
  • Neurological damage
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Proving Personal Injury Cases in Arizona

Proving your personal injury case in a lawsuit based on a bicycle accident is the same as proving a personal injury claim generally. Here are the steps to take.

File Your Claim in a Timely Way

Arizona has a time limit, or statute of limitations, for personal injury claims. This is almost always two years from the date the accident occurred. Two exceptions exist to this personal injury law general two-year rule.

Latent Injury Claims

Sometimes, the serious injuries you suffer from a bicycle accident might not be immediately obvious. You might walk away from a bicycle accident scene thinking you were unscathed, but a few days, weeks, or even months later delayed symptoms from the accident can begin to appear, and only when you seek medical attention later do you realize that you suffered an injury.

If this happens, the statute of limitations may begin on the date you discovered your injury.

Claims Against the Government

If, as a bicyclist, you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident that involves a government vehicle, government-owned equipment, or government-owned property, then you may have a personal injury claim against the responsible state, county, or local government agency that was the at-fault party.

If this is your situation, then instead of the two-year statute of limitations that applies to lawsuits against private parties, you will need to file a notice of claim with the responsible government agency no later than 180 days after the accident.

If you do not do so, then you will forfeit your claim against the government.

Elements of Arizona Personal Injury Lawsuits

Arizona personal injury claims are based on common law. To succeed in establishing liability of the other party to the accident, you must do the following:

  1. You must show the other person involved in the accident owed you a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances. Examples of a reasonable duty of care are driving safely given the existing road, lighting, and weather conditions; not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and not driving while distracted by texting.
  2. You must show that the other driver breached this duty of care toward you. You do this by showing that the other driver was negligent or acted recklessly or intentionally toward you.
  3. You must show that this breach of duty toward you by the other driver was at least partly responsible for the ensuing accident.
  4. You must show that you were injured because of the accident in a way that can be compensated.

You prove a personal injury claim by persuading a jury, or a judge if there is no jury, that it is more likely than not that the other driver was at least partly to blame for the bicycle accident.

Your means of persuasion can be your own testimony, that of other witnesses to the accident, medical records, and testimony from your treating doctor or other medical professional about your injuries and their treatment, through expert testimony if necessary, and with documentary evidence including police reports, damage repair estimates, replacement cost receipts, and medical treatment records.

In a free case evaluation, a Stone Rose Law bicycle accident lawyer can help you gather evidence and organize it to support your bicycle accident case.

Compensation for Bike Accident Victims

If you are a bicyclist and get into an accident with a car, truck, or other vehicle, and the driver of that vehicle was at least partly responsible for the accident, then you may have a legal claim to recover for medical treatment of your bicycle injuries, property loss and damage, lost wages if you cannot work, and in some cases for additional compensation for accident-related pain and suffering.

  • Past and future medical costs: This covers costs related to the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of the injury.
  • Property damage: If you are in a bicycle accident serious enough to injure you, then chances are good that your bicycle will not be in good condition, either. If any other item of your personal property is damaged or destroyed because of the accident, then you might be able to receive compensation for the costs of repair or replacement.
  • Past and future lost wages: If the injury prevents you from performing your job and earning an income.
  • Compensation for pain and suffering: This covers emotional distress and mental anguish caused by the accident.

To learn more about the value of your claim or how to seek compensation, speak with a knowledgeable Phoenix bicycle accident attorney at Stone Rose Law.

Are Bicyclists Ever Responsible for an Accident?

Because bicyclists must follow most of the same Arizona traffic laws as motor vehicles, bicyclists can be entirely or partially responsible for causing an accident. To avoid liability, cyclists must refrain from violating traffic laws, such as making unsafe lane changes or failing to yield to pedestrians.

What is Comparative Negligence in Arizona?

Under Arizona’s comparative negligence fault system, each party involved in a bicycle accident can recover compensation if they are both partly responsible. The amount of compensation you recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault. If your recovery is reduced in this way, then the amount you recover can be as small as one percent, or as much as 99 percent.

For example, if a jury finds you as a bicyclist to be 20 percent at fault for an accident, and the driver of a car is 80 percent responsible, then your recovery will be 80 percent of the total compensation if you win in a personal injury lawsuit.

What Are Arizona’s Bicycle Laws?

Winning a personal injury lawsuit because of a bicycle accident can give you a sense of satisfaction, but the better outcome is to avoid such an accident. 

One way to improve your odds of not being an accident victim in Arizona, and to reduce the chance of comparative negligence reducing your recovery if you must pursue a personal injury lawsuit, is to know and follow the state laws that govern bicycles.

Arizona State Bicycle Laws

An experienced attorney in this state will tell you that Arizona has several laws that apply to bicycles on the road. Here are some of these laws.

Arizona Laws That Apply to All Vehicles Including Bicycles

  • Bicycles must obey traffic signs and signals, including stop signs and traffic lights (ARS 28-644, ARS 28-792).
  • When riding at night, you must equip your bicycle with a white headlight visible from at least 500 feet and a rear reflector visible from at least 50 feet away (ARS 28-817. You can also have a rear red light on your bicycle visible up to 300 feet away, but this is in addition to, not a substitute for, a red reflector.
  • You must give right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks and on sidewalks (ARS 28-904).
  • You must signal turns and lane changes in advance by using an appropriate arm signal, and yield to traffic as appropriate when executing turns and lane changes (ARS 28-756).
  • If you are moving slower than prevailing traffic, then—except when turning left or when passing—you must stay in the right-hand lane and as close as safely possible to the right edge of the road (ARS 28-721).
    • Note: Your safety on the road takes priority over your need to be considerate of other drivers. You can legally occupy any part of a lane if riding along the edge of the road is unsafe, and can ride far enough from the edge to avoid hazards like potholes, rough pavement, drain grates, pavement joints, pedestrians, parked vehicles, animals, and other objects.
  • If you are on a two-lane road, and there are five or more vehicles behind you, then you must pull off the road at the first safe opportunity to let them pass (ARS 28-704).

Arizona Laws That Apply Specifically to Bicycles

  • Parents and legal guardians of children are legally accountable to make sure those children observe Arizona laws that apply to bicycles (ARS 28-811).
  • Your bicycle must be equipped with a seat that is capable of being sat upon (ARS 28-813). Also, the practice of “doubling” (two people seated on one seat, one on top of the other) is prohibited.
  • When riding you cannot hold onto, or attach your bicycle to, a moving vehicle on the road (ARS 28-814).
  • You may ride two abreast, but no more than two abreast, except on specially designated bike paths (ARS 28-815).
  • Your bicycle must have handlebars, and when riding you must always keep at least one hand on the handlebars (ARS 28-816).
  • Your bicycle must have a brake on at least one of its wheels, and when applied that brake must be able to lock the wheel so that it creates a skid mark (ARS 28-817).

Arizona Laws for Drivers Passing Bicyclists

When passing a bicycle traveling in the same direction, Arizona motorists must leave at least 3 feet of distance between their vehicles and the bicycle (ARS 28-735).

Local Arizona Bicycle Laws

Depending on where in the state you live, your community may have its own laws that apply to bicycles. These can include ordinances concerning who is required to wear a helmet while riding, and whether riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is legal.

For example, in Pima and Yuma counties, and in Tucson and Sierra Vista, riders under 18 must wear helmets.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Phoenix Bicycle Accident Lawyer

At Stone Rose Law, our bike accident attorneys have decades of experience and a proven track record of success in recovering compensation for injured cyclists. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, a Phoenix bicycle accident lawyer is here to protect you. 

Contact us online or call our law office in Phoenix at (480) 498-8998 to set up an initial consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.