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Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Wrongful Death Lawyers in Arizona

Wrongful death bicycle and pedestrian accidents unfortunately occur more frequently than many people realize in Arizona. Although there is a lack of comprehensive data on the exact number of these accidents, various studies and reports provide insights into their prevalence. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that pedestrian fatalities accounted for around 17% of all traffic-related deaths in 2021. A report shows 7,388 pedestrians were killed and more than 60,000 injured in 2021 alone. These figures illustrate the alarming frequency at which pedestrian accidents occur.

In Arizona, it is important to note that the frequency of wrongful death bicycle and pedestrian accidents can vary depending on various factors such as location, infrastructure, and population density. Urban areas and regions with high levels of traffic congestion tend to have a higher incidence of these accidents. 

Additionally, areas with limited pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure may also see more fatalities. Nonetheless, regardless of the specific numbers, the fact remains that wrongful death bicycle and pedestrian accidents happen all too often, highlighting the pressing need for improved safety measures and awareness campaigns to protect vulnerable road users.

Bicyclist vs. Pedestrian

A bicycle wrongful death accident refers to a situation where someone riding a bicycle is involved in a fatal accident. This typically occurs when a cyclist is hit by a vehicle, whether it is a car, truck, or motorcycle. These types of accidents can happen due to various reasons, such as a driver failing to yield, distracted driving, speeding, or drunk driving. In these cases, the focus is on the negligence of the driver and the potential liability they may have for causing the accident and resulting death of the cyclist.

On the other hand, a pedestrian wrongful death accident occurs when a person on foot is struck by a vehicle and dies as a result of the accident. Pedestrian accidents often happen at crosswalks, intersections, or when a driver fails to maintain proper control of their vehicle. Just like in bicycle accidents, negligence plays a crucial role in pedestrian wrongful death cases, as it determines the liability of the driver involved in the accident. Additionally, factors such as road conditions, signage, and traffic control may also be considered in determining fault in a pedestrian wrongful death accident.

While both bicycle and pedestrian wrongful death accidents involve the loss of life due to traffic accidents, the primary distinction lies in the mode of transportation involved. Bicycle accidents involve a person riding a bicycle, while pedestrian accidents involve someone walking or running. Both types of accidents can result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities, and in both cases, the focus is on determining the liability of the driver and holding them accountable for their negligence. 

Ultimately, the goal is to provide compensation to the surviving family members of the deceased and seek justice for the tragic loss of life. If your family has been the victim of wrongful death pedestrian and bicycle accidents, you need the wrongful death accident lawyers who specialize in obtaining justice for accident victims. Torgenson Law has been protecting Arizona residents for more than 20 years, and we know how important it is to get justice for your pain and suffering.

Right-of-Way Rules

Arizona Right-of-way rules play a crucial role in determining liability in a wrongful death lawsuit. These rules outline who has the legal obligation to yield or give way to others in certain situations. When a person dies as a result of another person’s failure to yield the right-of-way, it can be the basis for a wrongful death claim.

If a driver fails to follow right-of-way rules and causes a fatal accident, the surviving family members of the deceased may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The responsible party may be held accountable for their negligence, as failing to yield the right-of-way can be considered a breach of the duty of care owed to others on the road. The violation of right-of-way rules can be a strong indication of fault and can greatly impact the outcome of a lawsuit.

To successfully pursue a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant’s failure to yield the right-of-way directly contributed to the fatal accident. This typically involves proving that the defendant had a duty to yield, that they breached this duty by failing to yield, and that this breach caused the victim’s death. Right-of-way rules serve as a significant piece of evidence to support these elements and can be used to demonstrate the defendant’s negligence and liability in court.

Common Types of Bike Accidents

Bicycle accidents can occur for various reasons on Arizona roads, and understanding the common types can help promote safer cycling practices. One prevalent type of accident is the “dooring” incident, where a cyclist riding alongside parked cars gets hit by a suddenly opened car door. This occurs when car occupants fail to check their mirrors or use caution before exiting their vehicle, leading to a collision that can cause serious injuries to the cyclist.

Another common type of accident is the “right hook” collision, which typically happens at intersections. It occurs when a motorist turns right without noticing a cyclist traveling in the same direction. This can lead to a collision as the cyclist, assuming the motorist will yield or continue straight, continues riding alongside the vehicle and gets struck by the turning car.

Additionally, “rear-end” collisions are a prevalent danger for cyclists. These accidents entail a motorist hitting a cyclist from behind, often due to a lack of attention, distraction, or failure to maintain a safe following distance. Such incidents can lead to severe injuries for the cyclist, as the impact from a moving vehicle can cause significant harm. Raising awareness about these types of accidents can help both cyclists and motorists be more vigilant on the road and reduce the occurrence of such incidents.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona

A wrongful death claim for a pedestrian or cyclist accident can typically be filed by the immediate family members or legal representatives of the deceased individual. This usually includes the spouse, children, parents, or siblings of the deceased. These individuals have the legal right to seek compensation for the loss of their loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions. In certain cases, individuals who were financially dependent on the deceased, such as a partner or a stepchild, may also be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.

It is worth noting that the laws surrounding wrongful death claims may vary depending on the jurisdiction. In some regions, the ability to file a claim may extend beyond immediate family members to include other individuals who can demonstrate a significant financial or emotional impact as a result of the death. 

Additionally, a minor child may require a guardian or a court-appointed representative to file the claim on their behalf. Consulting with a legal professional familiar with the specific laws in your jurisdiction is crucial to ensure the accurate and appropriate filing of a wrongful death claim for a pedestrian or cyclist accident.

Although each jurisdiction may have its own specific criteria for who can file a wrongful death claim, it is usually designed to accommodate those who have suffered a significant loss due to the accident. By allowing immediate family members and dependents, as well as those emotionally or financially impacted, to file claims, the legal system seeks to provide them with a means of seeking justice and compensation for their loss.

Potential Damages You May Be Able to Recover in Arizona

In cases of pedestrian or bicyclist wrongful death accidents, the potential damages that may be sought for recovery can vary depending on the circumstances of the incident and the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred. These damages generally fall into three main categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

  • Economic damages. This award aims to compensate for tangible financial losses resulting from the accident. This can include medical expenses incurred prior to the victim’s death, funeral and burial costs, lost wages or future earning capacity, and any other costs directly related to the incident. These damages are meant to alleviate the financial burden placed on the victim’s family due to the accident.
  • Non-economic damages. This type of award is intended to compensate for the intangible losses that resulted from the wrongful death, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. Quantifying these damages can be more challenging, as they involve subjective factors, but they are nevertheless essential in recognizing the emotional impact and suffering endured by the victim’s loved ones.
  • Punitive damages. This type of damages award may also be sought in some cases, but they are typically only awarded in situations where the defendant’s actions were exceptionally reckless or intentional, thereby serving as a form of punishment and deterrence. While not available in every jurisdiction, punitive damages aim to send a message to others and to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions, in addition to providing additional compensation to the victim’s family.

It is important to note that the specifics of damages and the laws regarding wrongful death cases can vary greatly depending on the jurisdiction. Therefore, seeking experienced legal counsel from a knowledgeable attorney experienced in personal injury law is crucial in navigating the complexities of the legal system and ensuring that all potential damages are properly addressed and pursued.

Torgenson Law Is Here to Protect Your Rights

If you or a loved one has suffered a loss from a wrongful death accident, reach out to the personal injury lawyers at Torgenson Law for a free consultation on your case. We evaluate the unique circumstances surrounding your case, investigate the details, and guide you along the best path forward. 

Our attorneys are expert litigators prepared to go to trial if needed to achieve justice for your family. For a free and confidential case review, reach out online or call us at 602-726-0747, and we’ll walk you through the entire process and help put you on a pathway to recovery.

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