What Are My Rights in a Bicycle Accident?
A bicycle accident is something we all want to avoid. Bicycling is ideal for exercising, having fun, or even commuting. However, bicycling can be a dangerous sport, mainly due to the proximity of much larger, heavier, and faster motor vehicles. As the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety point out, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers.
As a result, these laws can play an essential role if you suffer severe injuries in a bicycle accident. If you are in this situation, call the bicycle accident lawyers at Gallagher & Kennedy today for a free consultation.
Bicyclist Rights on the Roadway
Bicyclists must follow traffic laws just like drivers. For instance, they must obey stop signs and traffic lights. Bicyclists also must yield to other vehicles and pedestrians when appropriate and use signals when turning.
However, Arizona also has some special rules that only apply to bicycle riders. Some of these traffic rules include:
- Riding in the righthand lane or as close to the right edge of the road as possible when traveling slower than ordinary traffic.
- Pulling over safely to allow vehicles to pass if riding on a two-lane road and five or more vehicles are behind them.
- Using a white headlight and red reflectors when riding before sunrise or after sunset.
- Keeping at least one hand on the bicycle handlebars at all times.
- Having at least one brake capable of making the wheel skid.
- Riding with no more than two bicyclists side-by-side, except while on dedicated bike paths.
- Having a regular seat to sit on while riding.
- Refraining from attaching to or holding onto other vehicles.
Determining Liability in Bicycle Accidents
Like in motor vehicle accidents, you must determine who is liable or at fault for causing a bicycle accident. Although violating a traffic law is not an automatic finding of liability, it often is strong evidence that one party is responsible. For instance, if a driver runs a red light and strikes you while on your bicycle, the driver is likely liable for causing your injuries from the accident.
Gathering evidence quickly after any type of accident is always necessary. Following a bicycle accident, the personal injury lawyers at Gallagher & Kennedy recommend you take the following steps:
- Notify police and call for an ambulance if you have sustained any injuries.
- Get contact and insurance information from everyone involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses to the accident.
- Complete a police report with the officer at the scene if possible.
- Document the accident scene by taking photos from multiple angles.
- Note the date, time of day, weather conditions, and location.
If liability for the accident is in question, you also may be able to get evidence from other sources such as video surveillance from nearby businesses, homes, or traffic cameras that show the accident. Witness statements and toxicology reports may also help prove a driver liable for the accident, especially if there is suspicion that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Damages in Your Bicycle Accident
If you can prove that a driver was negligent in causing your accident, they may be liable for the costs of your damages. Potential damages in a Phoenix bicycle accident claim may include:
- Property damage to your bicycle.
- Medical bills to treat your injuries.
- Rehabilitation expenses.
- Lost wages due to being off work from your injuries.
- Pain and suffering for yourself and loved ones.
With strong legal counsel on your side, you can seek these damages from the parties who are responsible for causing your accident.
Consult with Us After Your Bicycle Accident and See How We Can Help
A Phoenix bicycle accident attorney at Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A. provides legal services for individuals and their families after suffering losses in an accident. We focus all our efforts on getting you compensation for the losses you have suffered due to the negligence of others. Call us today at 602-530-8400 or visit us online and get more information about the legal services we can offer you.