Scottsdale Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Riding a bicycle in traffic can be extremely dangerous, whether you’re riding during the day or at night. 857 bicyclists died on U.S. roads in 2018, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Bicyclists have very little protection when they’re involved in an accident with vehicles that are bigger and heavier, so serious injuries and fatalities occur more frequently in bicycle accidents than other vehicle-related accidents.
You or a loved one may have been riding a bicycle to cut fuel costs, for health benefits, or as part of a bicycling event. You or your loved one were dressed in protective gear, obeyed the rules of the road, and did everything the way you or they were supposed to. Another driver, however, hit you or your loved one and the result was traumatic injuries or death.
There is no amount of money in the world that can bring back a loved one who died in a bicycle accident or that can reverse the severe injuries you are suffering. However, you may be entitled to significant compensation from the negligent driver who caused your accident.
The experienced Scottsdale bicycle accident lawyers at The Bourassa Law Group can help you. Contact us today at (480) 867-7177 for a free consultation about your bicycle accident.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Distracted drivers – Cyclists have a thin frame, which means they may not be seen by a driver who is distracted.
Drunk drivers – Drinking alcohol diminishes a driver’s cognitive abilities, leading to either not seeing a cyclist or to not seeing them in time to stop and prevent an accident.
Failing to yield/disregarding safety rules – Drivers and cyclists alike do not always follow the right-of-way rules at an intersection. Drivers who try to beat yellow lights, who run red lights and who run stop signs pose a significant risk to cyclists.
Cyclist inattention – Hands-free cell phones and headphones can distract a cyclist and cause them to get into a crash.
Dangerous road conditions – Poorly-maintained roads can lead to accidents. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that 13% of all bike accidents occur because of roads that are in disrepair.
High speed – Accidents are more likely and harder to avoid when drivers are going too fast to avert or prevent an accident with a cyclist.
Night riding – Cyclists should avoid riding at night when it is much harder for cars to see them. Additionally, they should wear reflective gear and use lights to illuminate them to other drivers.
Defects in bicycle equipment – Bad brake pads or tires could cause a cyclist to have an accident. Malfunctioning headlights or reflectors reduce their visibility to other drivers.
Bicycle Accident Scenarios
Right Cross – In this case, a driver pulls out of a side street to the right of a cyclist and hits them as they pass, or blocks their path, causing the cyclist to collide with their vehicle.
Right Hook – A cyclist is next to a vehicle at a cross street, and the driver turns right, colliding with the cyclist as they move forward.
Door Accident – Someone in a parked car opens the door without looking as a cyclist passes, striking the cyclist before they can react.
Rear-End Collision – The most common accident involving cyclists and drunk drivers, this occurs when a driver fails to stop in time to avoid hitting a cyclist in front of them.
Left Cross – A driver traveling in the opposite direction from the cyclist turns left in front of them, and either strikes them from the side or moves into their path, causing the cyclist to collide with their vehicle.
Parking Lot and Driveway Accidents – Drivers backing out of a space in a parking lot or a driveway may not check their rearview mirrors first, or they may miss a cyclist passing behind them before or after they check. Even at slow speeds, a collision with a car or truck is dangerous to a cyclist.
What Are the Bicycle Laws in Arizona?
- Every person riding on a bike must have a standard seat. (ARS 28-813)
- A bicycle may not be attached to another vehicle, and a cyclist may not hang onto another vehicle on the road. (ARS 28-814)
- Cyclists may not ride more than two abreast on the roadway. On designated bike paths, groups of cyclists may ride side-by-side. (ARS 28-815)
- Cyclists must always have at least one hand on the handlebars at all times (ARS 28-816)
- Every bicycle must have at least one brake that will make the wheel skid when applied (ARS 28-817)
- Bicycle helmets are not required for anyone over the age of 18 under Arizona state law. They are only required for those under 18 in Tucson, Sierra Vista, and Yuma, and in Pima County under municipal and county laws.
- Cyclists must obey laws that apply to motorists on the road, including stopping for traffic lights and stop signs, yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks and on sidewalks, and signaling turns (performed by extending the arm to the right or left).
Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
- Traumatic head injuries, including concussions and brain injuries. Wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle cuts the risk of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) in half, according to a study reported in the American Journal of Surgery.
- Skull fractures, cranial hemorrhage (bleeding inside the skull). In a study reported in the SAE International Journal of Transportation Safety, skull fractures, severe brain injuries and skull base fractures were 80% less frequent for bicyclists wearing helmets.
- Spinal cord injuries, which can lead to partial or full paralysis. If bicycle accident victims need to be moved by non-medical personnel to get them to safety, they should be moved carefully so that spinal damage isn’t caused or made worse by the move.
- Broken bones or fractures – Any bone may break in a cycling accident, but particularly at risk are facial bones, the skull, bones in the neck and back, the collarbone, the ribs, and bones in the arms, legs, hands, and feet.
- Road rash, or road burns on the skin caused by skidding across the pavement. Road rash can have serious lasting consequences, including skin damage and permanent nerve damage.
- Contusions, or bruises, can occur in a cycling accident. Swelling and inflammation damage healthy tissue and keep the joint from moving, slowing down healing.
- Lacerations, or deep cuts in and tearing of the skin, can easily become infected. Blood loss is also a danger in this situation. Stop the bleeding, clean, and cover the wound if possible. Seek medical help immediately.
- Muscle strains can be less obvious but need to be treated so that your other muscles don’t overcompensate and become injured as well. Sufficient rest before riding again is required to heal muscle strain.
- Facial fractures can result from the contact in a collision with a car or with the pavement. Broken jawbones, nose, and cheekbones can result in permanent facial disfigurement.
- Dental fractures may require expensive dental repair.
- Rib fractures or breaks can endanger the heart and lungs. As with possible spinal cord damage, care should be taken in moving a victim, and this should be done only if they need to be moved to safety. Chest pains, bruising or swelling, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties could all be symptoms of broken ribs.
- Neck injuries can occur with the severe impact experienced in a bicycle accident. The muscles and tendons around the neck can become strained or injured, and discs or nerves could also become damaged.
What Sort of Compensation Can I Receive from a Bicycle Accident Claim?
The compensation you can expect will depend on your injuries and the liable party or parties involved in the accident. There are several different areas that compensation may cover, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages/time lost from work
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Legal fees
- Burial expenses
- Loss of household income
What to Do in a Bicycle Accident
- As in any accident, make sure you and others are safe and wait in a safe location.
- Call 9-1-1 if there is an emergency.
- Even if you think you aren’t injured, seek immediate medical treatment. It’s possible you have suffered injuries that are not apparent, which can cause damage later if not treated. Further, your compensation claim could be jeopardized if you fail to see a doctor or refuse medical treatment at the scene.
- If possible, gather information from others involved in the crash, including insurance and contact information.
- If possible, speak to witnesses, and take pictures of the scene before vehicles are moved.
- Call The Bourassa Law Group to pursue a claim for compensation. Speak with one of our attorneys first before speaking with insurance companies and before signing anything.
- Obtain a copy of the police report. This could provide important evidence that may be used in your claim.
- Gather all medical records and receipts from medical treatment.
How The Bourassa Law Group Can Help You
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a bicycle accident, you need a seasoned team of professionals by your side to help you seek compensation, while you focus on your recovery and well-being.
The experienced Scottsdale bicycle accident attorneys at The Bourassa Law Group can answer all your questions and will ensure that every step is taken to obtain fair compensation for your suffering. Contact The Bourassa Law Group today at (480) 867-7177, or visit us on the web for a free consultation.