Motor vehicle drivers must pay special attention to bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians who share the road. When hit by a car, truck, or other vehicle, bicyclists are at a higher risk of a fatal or catastrophic accident. On average, 7.5 bicyclists per one million people experience a fatal accident in Tucson. Bicyclists also have a responsibility to ride on the road safely so that they don’t cause traffic accidents.
When you get into a crash because of a reckless cyclist, you can experience injuries that prevent you from working. You may even struggle to pay expensive medical bills following the accident. When you have damages that impact your life, it is time to seek a settlement to hold the cyclist responsible for your damages. Tucson bicycle accident attorneys can help you estimate how much your damages are worth and negotiate a fair settlement. To find out more about the process, talk to Wattle and York Tucson bike accident attorneys today for a free consultation.
Can You Sue a cyclist?
It is possible to sue a cyclist, especially with the help of a Tucson bicycle accident attorney. However, it would be in your best interest to attempt to settle the case first. When you decide to settle instead of sue, you can receive your settlement within a few weeks or months. However, when you file a lawsuit, it involves a longer process through the court system before you receive a trial date and a judgment.
You will also be required to attend mediation before a trial date is set. This gives you and the other parties a final opportunity to settle on an agreed-upon amount. If this doesn’t work, then you will receive a court date. The other party may prefer to settle sooner rather than risk being burdened with numerous court fees if you win the case.
Who Is at Fault When a Cyclist Gets Doored?
Cyclists who hit an open car door can get knocked off their bicycle or thrown forward onto the concrete, resulting in severe injuries. This may put the blame on the motor vehicle driver, simply because they obstructed the cyclist. However, this isn’t always the case because the car driver may have opened their car door responsibly. Here are ways the car driver may not be at fault.
The Car Door Isn’t Opened In Moving Traffic
The car driver should avoid opening their car door in traffic because this can disrupt the flow of other vehicles and bicyclists. If you pull over in a bike lane, even if it is empty at the time, you are opening your car door in a lane reserved for bicyclists. This can set the stage for a bike accident. It is crucial for a car driver to only open their car door in a safe space. You may not be at fault if you weren’t obstructing traffic and chose a space that is out of the way.
The Car Door Isn’t Left Open
When unloading or loading passengers, only leave your car door open long enough to allow them to enter or exit your vehicle. You shouldn’t leave your car door open for an unnecessary amount of time because this can cause a receiving a bicycle accident injury. This put your passengers at risk of getting injured if another vehicle hits your car door and increases the chance of bike accidents. If you did not leave your car door open for an excessive amount of time, this can be a reason that you aren’t held responsible for the other party’s damages.
For anyone to obtain a settlement, there must be evidence. A Tucson bicycle accident lawyer can show that you were not reckless in this situation. If the cyclist was intoxicated, speeding, distracted, or breaking rules, then it is likely that they are responsible for their own injuries.
What Happens if You Accidentally Hit a Cyclist?
If you run into a cyclist, you may be blamed without anyone investigating the bicycle accident. This is why speaking with a Tucson bicycle accident lawyer can protect you during such dire circumstances. They can guide you through the process before you are pressured to accept liability for an accident you may not be at fault for. After you accidentally hit a cyclist, you should take the following steps.
Reach out to paramedics and local authorities as soon as possible after you’ve crashed into a bicyclist. Emergency responders can show up at the scene and make sure the bicyclist is okay. The police will also arrive and ask questions about how the accident occurred. If they notice anything off about the bicyclist or observe any inclement weather, they will include this in the report. They may also list any obstacles or construction on the road that may have contributed to the accident.
Don’t take the blame immediately, especially if you followed traffic laws and paid attention to the road. The bicyclist may have been the one violating local laws.
Start Snapping Photos
Evidence will reveal how the accident came to be. You can take pictures of the area, dents on your motor vehicle, and any debris at the accident scene. If other motorists were involved, take pictures of their vehicles to show their relationship to the accident. The bicyclist may have been avoiding another vehicle before they veered into your path unexpectedly. Whatever the circumstances were, try to take pictures immediately.
Get Contact Information
If any eyewitnesses observed the crash and saw that you weren’t the one who caused it, get their contact information. You should also get the contact information from the bicyclist so you can contact them later.
Call Your Insurer
You must let your insurance company know what happened so that they are aware of the incident. They can cover the costs of your property damage and may help pay for any minor injuries you may have suffered.
Talk to a Tucson Personal Injury Lawyer
Let your attorney know exactly what happened and what you experienced. After you suffer injuries, your bicycle accident lawyer will initiate your bicycle accident claim. They’ll let you know exactly what to say and how to protect yourself from being blamed for an incident that you may not be at fault for. They will also help you inform your insurance company without them placing you at fault.
Reach Out to Reputable Tucson Bicycle Accident Lawyers
A personal injury lawyer can protect you from unfairly being blamed for a bike crash. It’s common for car drivers to face blame because they are in a larger and more protected vehicle. When you crash into a bicycle, things can happen fast and you may feel guilty for injuring a bicyclist. Speak to a bicycle accident attorney so that you can receive the guidance you need. Call the Wattel and York personal injury law firm now for a free consultation with knowledgeable personal injury attorneys.