It’s a great day for a bike ride — until you get into an accident, that is. Accidents involving bicyclists are common, often resulting in serious injuries to riders through no fault of their own. Over a thousand bicycle crashes were reported in Arizona in 2021, according to the state’s Department of Transportation.
Most of those accidents occurred during daylight and clear weather, illustrating how easily a bike accident can occur even under ideal driving conditions. Bike accidents can cause serious, even catastrophic injuries, or even wrongful death. In fact, the Arizona Department of Transportation reports that 45 bicyclists were killed in the state in 2021, accounting for nearly 4% of all fatalities in motor vehicle accidents.
How Do Bike Accidents Commonly Happen?
There are many reasons for bicycle accidents in Arizona. For example:
- Failure to follow traffic signals, road signs, or other traffic laws. Arizona provides information regarding the various laws that affect bicycle use, many of which discuss traffic lights and signs. When another motorist fails to follow the law, they can cause a bike accident.
- Failure to share the road. The Arizona Department of Transportation notes several important areas of concern for motorists who are driving around bikers. Driving cautiously, yielding to cyclists, being considerate, passing with care, and watching for children are some of the highlighted areas.
- Road hazards. In some cases, a bicycle accident is caused by an unexpected road hazard, such as debris or other objects in the biker’s path, improperly maintained roads, or even another driver unexpectedly opening a car door into the biker’s path.
- Reckless or inconsiderate driving. Some examples of this include speeding, weaving through traffic, following a bicyclist too closely, and unsafe lane changes.
- Distracted or impaired driving. Whether a motorist is distracted by electronics or other passengers, drowsy or tired, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, distracted or impaired driving is a major cause of bike accidents.
What Are Some Examples of Injuries from Bike Accidents?
A bike accident can result in severe personal injuries, particularly when the bicyclist is hit by a car, truck, or other motor vehicle. It can result in serious internal injuries, bleeding, or puncture of internal organs, as well as external injuries such as cuts, abrasions, or even breaks or fractures. Head and traumatic brain injuries are common, particularly among bicyclists who are not wearing a helmet during their accident, as are potentially back, shoulder, or spinal injuries.
As a result of your accident, you may incur significant financial losses, from medical bills and hospital expenses to repairs needed on your bike. You may also lose income if you cannot work as a result of your bike accident. General damages are also common, including pain and suffering, scarring, loss of enjoyment of activities, and an overall decline in your quality of life as you try to recover from your serious bike accident.
What Should You Do After a Bike Accident in Arizona?
After a bike accident, there are important steps you should take in order to protect your legal rights, preserve important evidence, and ensure you receive the medical care needed to get better. Take the following steps after a bike accident:
- Move to safety and call the authorities to report the accident. Be sure to give the police a thorough recount of what happened, and obtain copies of any reports that are taken at the scene.
- Get checked out for any injuries. Even if you are feeling perfectly fine, some injuries can take a while to manifest, and ignoring an injury can mean serious health consequences down the line. Go to the hospital or emergency care, or consult with emergency medical professionals at the scene about any potential injuries you have suffered.
- Document the accident and the scene. Take pictures of your bike, your injuries, the other vehicles involved, and the scene itself. Get the contact information for any parties and witnesses to the accident, and take down witnesses’ statements of what happened, if possible. When you are able, also write down or record your own account of the accident.
- Report the accident. When speaking to your insurance company, be careful not to share information with any insurers without first consulting a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. Remember that the main goal of any insurance company will be to minimize the damages you have suffered, along with any potential settlement amount. It’s best not to discuss the details of the accident with insurance companies until you have legal representation.
- Seek legal help. After a bike accident in Arizona, you should contact an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible, to discuss your legal rights and options, and to go over potential next steps. The right lawyer can make all the difference in a bike accident claim, helping to ensure that you have access to the medical treatments you need, that important evidence is preserved in your case, and that your interests are represented during negotiations, and, if needed, at trial.
- Continue medical care. Bike accidents can result in serious injuries, many of which can be long-lasting, even life-altering, and in some cases, catastrophic. It is essential that you find the medical professionals you need to help you get back on your feet.
Why Trust Torgenson Law to Help with Your Arizona Bike Injury Claim?
When you’re involved in a bike accident, there are many different variables that can affect your resulting claim. You need an attorney by your side who has the knowledge and experience necessary to investigate the facts of your claim thoroughly, preserve important evidence, negotiate with the other party and their insurance provider, and present a strong case on your behalf.
At Torgenson Law, we understand the significant impact of a serious injury on a person and their family. If you find yourself in a bike injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact Torgenson Law. We are located near the Japanese Friendship Gardens in Downtown Phoenix.
Get in touch online or give us a call today at 602-726-0747 for a free case evaluation.