Tucson Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Tucson Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Bicyclists face much higher risks of injuries and fatalities when they are involved in accidents with motor vehicles.
The Tucson bike accident lawyers at Lamber Goodnow regularly help injured bicyclists and the families of those who are killed to recover compensation for their losses.
Unlike people who are occupying motor vehicles, cyclists do not have the protection afforded by the metal frames of vehicular cabs. They are largely unprotected from the environment and absorb more of the physical forces that are released in collisions. As a result, cyclists are likelier to suffer catastrophic injuries when they are struck by cars.
Residents of Tucson, Arizona are increasingly choosing to ride their bicycles as a means of transportation to their jobs and schools. The warm desert climate allows people to enjoy bicycle riding year-round as they enjoy the scenery. Bicycling offers some important health benefits, and it is also better for the environment. However, bicyclists also face much higher risks of injuries and fatalities when they are involved in accidents with motor vehicles.
“As an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Tucson, I’ve personally witnessed the deep-seated consequences these accidents can impose on victims and their loved ones. Our firm remains unwavering in our dedication to defend the rights of these victims, obtain the justice they rightly deserve, and advocate for improved bicycling safety measures to forestall additional tragedies on Tucson’s roads.”
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Expertise that Makes a Difference
As you seek legal aid, you’re not merely in need of an attorney with general experience. What you need is a legal team with specific, in-depth expertise in bicycle accidents. Our Tucson-based team has direct experience with the profound life changes that result from these incidents, and we’re ready to fight for the financial compensation you rightfully deserve. The journey to your claim resolution can unfold in four key ways:
- Trial verdict
The most suitable approach for you will be determined by the unique aspects of your case. We make it a priority to deeply understand your circumstances by dedicating time to listen to each detail of your case. This allows us to formulate the most effective legal strategy in representing your interests.
FAQs: Bicycle Accidents in Tucson
Navigating the aftermath of a bicycle accident can be challenging. It’s natural to have questions regarding your rights, options, and the legal process. We’ve assembled a list of the most frequently asked questions and their answers to provide initial guidance.
Q: What should I do immediately after a bicycle accident in Tucson, Arizona?
A: Immediately after an accident, prioritize your safety and health. Seek medical attention right away, even if injuries appear minor. Contact law enforcement to file a report and document the scene, if possible. Get the contact information of the driver and any witnesses.
Q: What rights do I have as a bicyclist in a traffic accident in Arizona?
A: Under Arizona law, bicyclists have the same rights as motorists. If a motorist’s negligence caused your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages.
Q: Can I still claim compensation if I was partially at fault in the bicycle accident?
A: Yes, under Arizona’s comparative negligence law, you can still recover damages even if you were partially at fault. However, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Q: What if the driver who hit me was uninsured or fled the scene?
A: Your own insurance policy may cover your injuries under an uninsured or underinsured motorist clause. A skilled attorney can help navigate these complex situations.
Q: How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a bicycle accident in Arizona?
A: The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Arizona is two years from the date of the accident.
Q: Do I need a lawyer if I’m involved in a bicycle accident?
A: While not required, hiring a lawyer can greatly benefit your case, especially when dealing with insurance companies and the legal complexities of personal injury law.
Q: How can a Tucson bicycle accident lawyer help me?
A: A seasoned lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your best interests in court, if necessary.
Q: What type of compensation can I seek after a bicycle accident?
A: You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, future medical costs, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, property damage, and other losses depending on the circumstances of your case.
Arizona Bicycle Accident Stats From 2021
Bicycle Accident Deaths in Arizona
Bicycle Accident Deaths in Pima County
Data from NHTSA – Pedalcyclists Injury Facts – 2021
Bicycle Accident Stats in Tucson
Bicycle safety is a growing concern in Tucson and across Arizona. As per the 2021 statistics shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were a total of 45 fatal bicycle accidents throughout the state. Of these, a significant portion occurred in Pima County, where Tucson is located, with 7 deadly bicycle accidents reported.
This data brings to light the persistent risks faced by cyclists in our region. Although Tucson is known for its bicycle-friendly roads and cycling culture, these numbers signify the continued necessity for proactive safety measures and awareness. The need for these precautions extends to all road users, including motorists who share the road with cyclists, to foster a safer environment for everyone.
Tragically, behind these numbers are individuals whose lives were abruptly and dramatically altered or cut short due to these incidents. This underscores the vital work of organizations and agencies striving to enhance road safety, as well as the importance of legal support to help accident victims and their families navigate the aftermath of such events.
At Lamber Goodnow Injury Lawyers, we urge all road users to prioritize safety, be aware of their surroundings, and respect all types of road users to help reduce these worrying statistics in the future.
Prevalence of bicycle accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bicycles account for just 1 percent of all of the trips that are taken in the U.S. However, people who are involved in bicycle accidents have a much greater risk of suffering serious injuries or fatalities than are people who are riding in cars. The CDC reports that more than 1,000 bicyclists were killed and nearly 467,000 were injured in 2015 alone. In Arizona in 2016, the Arizona Department of Transportation reports that 31 bicyclists were injured and 1,350 were injured in accidents. The CDC reports that children and adolescents account for 33 percent of all bicycle accident injuries while bicyclists who are ages 50 to 59 are the most likely to suffer fatalities.
Accident Laws Pertaining to Bicycles
Understanding the laws governing bicycling in Arizona is crucial for both cyclists and motorists. In Arizona, under ARS §28-812, bicycles are granted the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles, meaning cyclists must adhere to traffic laws as if they were driving a motor vehicle.
Arizona’s ARS §28-815 stipulates that bicyclists must use a bicycle path or lane if one is provided and should ride as close to the right-hand curb as possible when on the road. Exceptions are allowed when passing, making a left turn, or when avoiding hazards.
In terms of safety equipment, ARS §28-817 requires bicycles used at night to be equipped with a white headlamp visible from at least 500 feet away and a red reflector visible from 50 to 300 feet away. Moreover, it is important to know that while Arizona law doesn’t mandate helmets for riders of any age, it’s strongly recommended for safety purposes.
In the unfortunate event of an accident, Arizona’s comparative negligence law ARS §12-2505 applies, meaning a bicyclist can still recover damages even if they were partially at fault, but their compensation may be reduced by their percentage of fault.
Legal help can assist in interpreting these laws in the aftermath of a bicycle accident, helping victims navigate the complex legal landscape to secure the compensation they deserve.
Types of injuries in bicycle accidents
When bicycle vs. motor vehicle collisions happen, they can cause catastrophic injuries. Bicyclists may suffer any of the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skull and facial fractures
- Serious lacerations
- Rib and thoracic fractures
- Spinal injuries
- Fractures to the pelvis
- Fractures of the legs, arms, hands or feet
- Damage to the internal organs
- Internal bleeding
In some cases, bicyclists may suffer injuries that cause permanently disabling conditions, or they may be killed.
Common bicycle accident causes
Multiple factors may contribute to bicycle accidents, including the weather, road conditions, visibility and negligence. Drivers may cause bicycle accidents by doing the following:
- Being inattentive
- Driving while distracted by cell phones, passengers, food or other things
- Failing to yield
- Unsafe lane changes
- Failing to signal
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
According to the Federal Highway Administration, there are three primary categories of bicycle accidents with six common scenarios. The three primary categories include parallel-path accidents, crossing-path accidents and specific-circumstances accidents. Within those categories, the FHWA divided the accidents according to the scenarios that they involved.
In parallel-path accidents in which the bicycles and cars were traveling in the same direction, 12.2 percent were caused by drivers turning across the path of the bicyclist or merging into the bicycle’s path, striking him or her. In other parallel-path accidents, 8.6 percent happened when drivers overtook the bicyclists, and 7.3 percent were caused by the bicyclists turning into the path of the motorists. Among the crossing-path accidents, 21.7 percent were caused by motorists who failed to yield to the bicyclists, and 16.8 percent were caused by cyclists who failed to yield to motorists at intersections. Finally, 11.8 percent of the accidents were caused by bicyclists who failed to yield to motorists at midblock areas.
In these accidents, the common thread is that they are all largely preventable. When bicycle accidents result from the negligent conduct of motorists, the victims or their families may be able to recover damages with the help of the Tucson bike accident law firm of Lamber Goodnow.
Proving liability in bicycle accidents
Bicycle accident claims normally proceed under a theory of negligence. Both motorists and bicyclists have the responsibility to obey the traffic laws in the state. Motorists owe duties of care to operate their vehicles in a manner that a reasonably prudent person would do under similar circumstances. In order to prove negligence, plaintiffs must prove that the motorist owed a duty to them and that the motorist breached the duty. They must then prove that the breach by the motorist directly or proximately caused the accident in which they were injured. Finally, they must prove that they suffered financial harm as a result.
Common examples of negligent actions by motorists could include speeding, driving while distracted, following too closely behind the cyclists, abruptly cutting them off when passing, failing to see the cyclists when turning, aggressive driving and driving while intoxicated. Cyclists may also be negligent and contribute to the accident’s cause. Examples of bicyclist negligence might include riding against the flow of traffic, crossing streets at the midblock, failing to yield to motorists and disobeying traffic control devices. When both the cyclist and the motorist are at fault, the doctrine of comparative negligence will apply.
Understanding comparative negligence in Tucson bicycle accidents
In some bicycle accident cases, the defendants will claim that the bicyclists’ own negligence caused or contributed to the accident. Arizona follows the doctrine of comparative negligence under A.R.S. § 12-2505. Under this doctrine, juries and courts assess the percentage of fault that each party had in causing the accidents. Even if a bicyclist shares blame in causing an accident, he or she may still recover damages. After the percentages of fault are allocated between the parties, any award will be reduced by the percentages that are allocated to the plaintiffs. For example, if a jury returns a gross verdict of $1 million in favor of a plaintiff who is allocated 20 percent of the fault, the plaintiff will receive a net amount of $800,000.
Potential damages in Tucson bicycle accidents
In Arizona, damages are divided into two primary categories, including special damages and general damages. Special damages are the actual economic losses that the victims suffer because of the defendants’ negligence, including:
- Past and future expected medical bills
- Past and future income losses
- Reductions in the ability to earn an income
- Property losses
General damages are losses that are more intangible and include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Hedonic damages
- Losses of the ability to enjoy life
In bicycle accidents involving wrongful death, the families may also receive damages for their reasonable costs incurred when holding funerals and burials. The spouses may recover for losses of consortium, and the children may recover for the loss of their parents’ guidance.
Punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant beyond the losses that were suffered, are rare in bicycle accident cases. They are unlikely to be awarded except in very egregious cases such as when motorists intentionally run bicyclists down.
Why it’s important to get help from experienced Tucson bike accident lawyers
Proving liability in a bicycle accident claim can be complex. Insurance companies may employ a variety of tactics in order to try to reduce the amounts that they have to pay. The Tucson bike accident attorneys at Lamber Goodnow know the tactics that are used by defendants and insurance companies, and they understand how to counter them. In many cases, they are able to recover damages in much greater amounts than people might recover without help. Contact Lamber Goodnow today to schedule your free consultation and to learn more about your potential rights.
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"My wife and I had occasion to use Mr. Lamber and his staff for a legal matter. The entire staff was wonderful. They kept us informed of every step and communicated quickly and effectively as things changed or progressed. We would highly recommend Mr. Lamber and his staff to anyone needing legal advice or assistance. They had a very high level of integrity and professionalism. It's too bad there are only 5 stars for their rating. They are excellent."
"I just got rear-ended today, but I'm thankful I found this firm. They take care of you in general, and if you don't make enough to cover your costs, they back you up 100%. Stephanie Ramos gave excellent and kind customer service by getting me in motion with the whole process. Attorney Donn Coolidge gave me the rundown of the situation very clearly, and I'm looking forward to working with him. I fully recommend this firm!"
Jonathan Carrillo Lopez
1 S Church Ave #1000
Tucson, AZ 85710