Scottsdale Bicycle Injury Attorney
With beautiful weather year round, Scottsdale is a playground for outdoor activities. One of those activities is cycling. Unlike the harsh winters in the Midwest and on the East Coast, Arizona provides mild winters that allow cyclists to ride 365 days a year. In Scottsdale and the surrounding areas, individuals can cycle for exercise or sport or simply ride a bicycle for transportation or leisure during every season.
Scottsdale has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Community at the Gold Level for the better part of the last decade. This designation is based in part on having bicycling friendly laws, a certain percentage of total bicycle network mileage to road network mileage and a certain percentage of arterial streets with bike lanes. In other words, whether you ride a road bike, mountain bike or beach cruiser, Scottsdale is a great place to do it.
However, because of the sheer number of cyclists on the road in Scottsdale, bicycle accidents happen every single day. When a bicycle accident is the result of the negligence of a driver of a car or truck, the injuries can be life-changing and catastrophic. A 20 pound bicycle is no match for a 5,000 pound vehicle. The severity of the resulting injuries is further increased because of the lack of safety equipment cyclists have available. Really, the only thing that protects a cyclist from injury is his or her helmet.
All injury cases are taken seriously by our Scottsdale personal injury attorneys. However, our attorneys take bicycle accident cases personal. The firm is especially committed to holding those that cause injuries to cyclists and bicycle riders responsible.
The firm’s lead attorney, Charles “Tony” Piccuta, is a triathlete and avid cyclist. He regularly rides and trains in Scottsdale and the surrounding areas. He is familiar with the perils associated with cycling. More importantly, he is familiar with the attitude of some drivers who treat cyclists as if they have less rights on the road. These drivers look at cyclists as if they are pests and are reluctant to share the road with them. When a driver causes a bicycle accident and injuries as a result of this attitude, our attorneys have a personal axe to grind.
Our Scottsdale personal injury attorneys are knowledgeable about Arizona’s bicycle laws. In Arizona, a person riding a bicycle has the same rights as the driver of a vehicle. Likewise, a person riding a bicycle must obey the same rules of the road. Arizona Revised Statute 28-812 states that “A person riding a bicycle on a roadway or on a shoulder adjoining a roadway is granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle…” If a driver attempts to bully a bicyclist with a vehicle of otherwise treats a cyclist any different than the driver of a car or truck, he is violating Arizona law.
Arizona also has a “3 foot Rule” that was enacted to protect cyclists. The 3 foot rule requires drivers of vehicles to leave no less than three feet between their vehicles and a bicycle when passing. The law is set forth in Arizona Revised Statute 28-735 and states:
When overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, a person driving a motor vehicle shall exercise due care by leaving a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet until the motor vehicle is safely past the overtaken bicycle.
Three feet is the minimum amount required. The law calls for a “safe distance” which may be more than three feet depending on the circumstances. For example, three feet may be a safe distance when passing a cyclist at 25 miles per hour, but is likely not a safe distance when passing a cyclist at 55 miles per hour. At faster speeds vehicles create more perpendicular wind forces when they pass objects. At close distances and high speeds, these passing wind forces can knock a cyclist down or cause them to crash.
If a person breaks this law and causes a bicycle accident, they are subject to statutory civil penalties for any serious physical injuries and deaths that result. These same individuals are also responsible for all resulting damages they cause, including: pain, suffering, medical expenses, emotional distress, lost earnings, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, among other damages.
Not all bicycle accidents involve a vehicle. There may be several other causes of bicycle accidents. It could simply be that the cyclist made an error or miscalculation when riding that led to a crash and for which no recovery is available. At the same time, there are other situations for which a cyclist injured in a bicycle accident may recover. These can include:
- Bicycle manufacturer defect
- Bicycle equipment failure due to bicycle shop service errors
- Dangerous conditions in roadways/bicycle lanes (potholes, ruts, cracks, displacements, bumps, debris)
- Bicycle helmet defects
If the driver of a vehicle takes any action that harms a cyclist, our Scottsdale personal injury attorneys will hold them accountable. If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury as the result of a bicycle accident, contact our attorneys today. Our attorneys will provide a free consultation, analyze your case and inform you of your options.