The weather in Phoenix has cooled enough for you to dust off your bicycle, fill the tires, and hit the road.
That’s what you’re thinking this time of year but drivers aren’t always watching for bicyclists even in the daytime.
The numbers alone tell the story – ADOT reports 72.5% of all motor vehicle accidents happen in broad daylight. In 2014, there were 1,466 accidents involving bicyclists, down 12.74% from 2013 but don’t get comfortable on the road just yet.
And while the law expects drivers to pay attention to all people using the roads, the reality is that it’s ultimately up to you to make yourself noticeable and to be aware of what’s happening on the road.
Just ask Mr. C who was clipped and flipped by an older driver taking a right turn.
The driver didn’t look to see Mr. C going straight in the bike lane. She took a right turn, hitting Mr. C so hard he flew over the handle bars leaving his bike and his arm a twisted mess.
In addition to cuts and bruises, Mr. C suffered from post-concussion syndrome and endured several surgeries to repair his arm.
After a year of negotiating with insurance companies, he was awarded damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you’re thinking about hitting the road, here are tips to help you in case of a bicycle accident:
- Obey the rules of the road. All too often we hear bicyclists tell us they didn’t know there are actual rules for cycling and we’re honestly surprised. Just as you would learn the rules of driving, you should learn the rules for bicyclists. Generally, the law for DUI is the same for cyclists as it is for motorists, for example, so be aware and obey the law. It could save your life or at least help you in the event of an accident.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident. Unless you’re in desperate need of medical attention, we advise that you stay at the scene and call the police. They can get statements from you and other witnesses. You will need those later for your case review.
- Witness information. Gather your own witness contact information including name, address, phone number, year, make, model, and license plate of their vehicle.
- Accident information. It’s often easier and more accurate to refer to your notes from the scene of the accident than trying to remember them later. Use your phone or ask for pen and paper to write down the date, time, and location of the accident. You may also want to have the number and type of other vehicles or pedestrians involved in your bicycle accident case as well as weather, road conditions, and damages.
- Take photographs. If you have a smart phone, you probably have a camera on hand. Do your best to take as many photos of the accident scene as you can. If nothing else, it will help you remember important details when you’re reviewing your case with your attorney.
- Call a personal injury attorney. Your life and injuries matter. Even if you think you don’t have a case, it’s worth it to have your case reviewed. You may need a personal injury attorney to help you through the lengthy (and sometimes costly) insurance claims related to your bicycle accident case.
Mr. C wasn’t able to call a personal injury attorney right away because of the seriousness of his injuries but his wife called to get the process started. That’s what you can do too.
We wouldn’t want an accident to keep you from seeking what you deserve as a result of your bicycle accident.
And you might even get back on the road.
We hear Mr. C’s love of cycling can’t be stopped. He’s back riding and is more vigilant than ever about watching other drivers and pedestrians.