Bicycle Accidents in Scottsdale

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As a long-time road cyclist and mountain biker, Clark Watkin has thousands of miles of "saddle time" and has witnessed (and sometimes experienced) the painful cuts, bruises, broken bones and even more serious injuries that can be caused by the negligence of others - usually drivers of autos and trucks, but sometimes motorcycles and even other bicyclists.

Most collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles that result in serious injuries or wrongful death are preventable.

They are usually caused by negligence; they do not need to happen. Aside from an equipment problem or "operator error" where the cyclist himself is not paying attention or is riding dangerously, fault can usually be found with the motor vehicle driver, who often claims he "just didn't see" the bicyclist.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

In the United States, approximately one million cyclists sustain serious injuries as a result of bicycle-related accidents each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that a bicyclist is fatally injured every 6 hours, and nearly half of all the people killed in bicycle accidents are children under the age of 16. Head injuries account for 75% of serious injuries and deaths from accidents.

The lack of protection surrounding a bicyclist and their inability to predict a driver's behavior is a dangerous combination for cyclists. There is no competition between a bicycle and a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds when the driver acts in a reckless manner.

Under Arizona State law, cyclists are entitled to monetary settlements from the negligent driver for the following:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Bike Damage
  • Lost Wages
  • Pain and Suffering

The Watkin Law Office, PC handles serious bicycle accidents, bicycle injuries and wrongful death cases not only in Scottsdale, but throughout Arizona.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Arizona

In most bicycle accident cases, negligent drivers are to blame. Whether it is due to driver inattention, aggressive driving or sheer stupidity, motorists who fail to exercise reasonable care and obey the rules of the road put bicyclists' lives in danger on a daily basis. When motorists are negligent, it is the cyclists who suffer.

Here are some of the most common reasons for bike accidents:

  • Cyclists get side-swiped by cars and trucks
  • They get hit by car doors when motorists get out of their cars without looking
  • They get hit by drivers who fail to yield the right-of-way
  • Cars make a left turn in the path of the bicycle (the "left hook")
  • Inattention, distraction and other "mild" forms of negligence

These are just a few examples of the dangers to cyclists caused when motor vehicle drivers are inattentive. Add to that the dangers of speeding and reckless drivers and the dangers multiply. Worst of all, there are apparently drivers on the roadways who intentionally run cyclists off the road, throw objects at them as they pass, honk for no reason, drive dangerously close, and do other things designed to make cyclists crash or run off the roadway.

Clark Watkin has seen some of this bizarre behavior over the years and has even had beer cans thrown at him from passing cars, has been hit in the back by the side mirror of a truck passing too close, and actually had a cement truck drive into a marked bicycle lane to try and force him up and over the curb! Such crazy conduct is intentional, dangerous, reckless and wrong. Many lawyers fail to understand the magnitude of these problems.

Damages Stemming from a Bicycle Accident

A collision between a bicyclist and a motorist is a terrifying incident. The injuries to the cyclist are usually very serious and long-lasting, often requiring tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses that include ambulance bills, hospital emergency department bills, doctor bills, surgery expenses, physical therapy and future medical expenses that sometimes continue for the remainder of the injured cyclist's life. Because cyclists have virtually no protection between their bodies and the cars and trucks that hit them – or from the hard and often scalding hot pavement they crash-land on – the injuries they sustain are usually very bad, sometimes fatal.

Serious injuries from bicycle accidents can come in various forms, such as:

Any one of these is certain to impact a person for the rest of his or her life, assuming they survive the crash. If you or someone you know has sustained serious personal injuries in a bicycle accident caused by the reckless or negligent conduct of another person we urge you to contact us immediately.

In the same way, if you are the survivor of a cyclist killed while riding a road bike or mountain bike please do not hesitate to contact our office right away.

Other Devastating Effects of a Scottsdale Bicycle Accident

Professional cyclists, enthusiasts, "weekend warriors," occasional riders, elders and minor children all run the risk of being tragically injured or killed every time they ride. In each instance where a rider is struck down by a collision with a motor vehicle, the cyclist's sudden inability to engage in a profession, avocation or favorite hobby/pastime, is accompanied by the inability to engage in many (or any) aspects of a his or her daily routine.

A serious "road rash" is essentially the same as a serious burn - and it usually covers a fairly large expanse of skin. The cuts, broken bones and more serious injuries inflicted in a cycling accident are no less severe than if they had been inflicted in a car, truck or motorcycle crash. In fact they are probably not much different than being beaten severely with a tire iron or baseball bat. In fact, given the generally "active lifestyles" lived by most bicyclists to begin with; such injuries can have an even more devastating impact on their lives. Depression, sleep loss, weight change and a host of other "incidental" emotional conditions often coincide with such a sudden and dramatic alteration in their lives.

How can a cyclist prevent a bicycle collision?

Cycling, of course, has some inherent risks. Mishaps and injuries caused by rider error, inexperience, mechanical problems, potholes and debris in the roadway are some of the most obvious reasons for harm. Cyclists must obey the same "rules of the road" as drivers of autos, trucks and motorcycles.

These rules include:

  • Stopping at stop lights and stop signs
  • Yielding when appropriate
  • Using traffic lanes in a safe and lawful manner
  • Using appropriate hand signals
  • Not "blowing through" intersections while expecting everyone else to obey the traffic control devices

It is, quite literally, a two-way street. If cyclists expect to be treated with respect by motorists, they can earn that respect simply by following the traffic laws and being courteous and considerate of others. "Share the road" signs are there as reminders to both motorists and cyclists.

But what happens when you, the cyclist, are fully in control, paying attention, obeying the traffic laws and doing everything you are supposed to be doing -- but the driver of a motor vehicle suddenly swerves and strikes you from behind, pulls into your path from a side street, or opens his car door without looking? Because of the differentials in speed between cyclists and motor vehicles, there is often no time to react and no place to turn to avoid the sudden danger. Due to the huge size and weight difference, in a match between a bicycle and a car or truck, the bicycle loses every time. You don't stand a chance!

What happens if the responsible party does not have insurance?

What happens if the at-fault motorist has no liability insurance coverage – or not enough? When that occurs, the injured cyclist (or his surviving family) will have no recourse but to pursue the personal injury claim or wrongful death claim under their own automobile insurance policies. That is of course if they have uninsured and underinsured motorist "UM/UIM" coverage. Regardless of the insurance coverage issues, victims of bicycle accident injury and death claims in Arizona should contact a lawyer who has extensive experience handling cycling claims.

We Understand Your Claim

At The Watkin Law Office, PC we do understand and we are well aware of the many adverse effects a serious bicycle accident can have on a cyclist and their loved ones. It is almost overwhelming just to endure the physical pain and emotional suffering, but when a seriously injured cyclist or his surviving family members also have to experience the ordeal of answering calls and letters from insurance claims adjusters, bill collectors, unhappy employers or employees, the stress can seem unbearable.

One of our most important jobs is to help our injured clients and their families by doing some of the "heavy lifting" and handling the insurance claims adjusters, bill collectors and so forth. This then allows for our clients to focus on their health. We try to help ensure that our clients fully and successfully file their legitimate claims for personal injury and wrongful death damages against the responsible parties – to compensate our clients for the pain, suffering and financial losses they have suffered. We make sure the adverse party and his or her insurance company pays our clients for the damage that has been done, not only physically, but also mentally and financially. This includes not only past medical bills and lost earnings, but future medical bills and lost earnings as well.

Our Strategy: Personalized Investigations & Devoted Work-Ethic

At The Watkin Law Office, PC, we can assist you in determining your rights, and take over the insurance claims process, which can be a nightmare if you are not represented by legal counsel. Ultimately, we can help get you compensated for your losses.

Our actions are what set us apart from other personal injury lawyers in Scottsdale:

  • We review and investigate the facts, the records, the bills and the police reports.
  • We interview the witnesses and locate additional documents.
  • We discuss your entire "life situation," review and analyze your various options.
  • We develop a legal strategy that best suits your needs and your goals.
  • We do all of this with an eye towards resolving your claim and collecting your full and fair damages as quickly as possible, with the least amount of added aggravation to you and your family.

Generally speaking, nearly all of our clients prefer to "settle" their claim with the opposing insurance company as quickly as possible, provided they recover a full and fair amount of monetary damages. Let's be honest, most people who have been seriously injured do not want to spend years in costly and frustrating litigation, enduring hours of depositions, paying for expert witnesses, and waiting "forever" for a jury trial date where they will leave their fate in the hands of strangers.

Contact Scottsdale bicycle accident lawyer, Clark Watkin!

Clark Watkin has practiced trial law in Arizona since 1977. He is skilled and accomplished as both a settlement negotiator and a trial lawyer and has handled complex civil trials throughout his career. Attorney Clark Watkin sponsors local cycling teams as well, as he passionate about the sport.

The Watkin Law Office, PC always endeavors to seek the maximum amount of full and fair compensation to help our clients and their families recover from the devastating losses that often result from serious bicycle accidents. Let us help you get your life back together.

Contact us at (480) 347-9804 to arrange a consultation. When results matter, choose the Scottsdale bicycle accident attorney at The Watkin Law Office, PC.

The Watkin Law Office, PC is a Scottsdale accident and wrongful death law firm that represents serious personal injury and wrongful death clients throughout Arizona, including Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, Cave Creek, Carefree, Fountain Hills and Paradise Valley.

REMEMBER: If the other side's claims adjuster calls to "interview" you or "take your statement," politely decline -- at least until after you have spoken with an experienced bicycle injury and wrongful death attorney. Despite what the insurance adjuster might tell you, he or she is NOT "just trying to help."

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