Hire an attorney who is also a cyclist.
I am a road and mountain bike cyclist and have ridden since I was a child. I ride approximately 2000 to 3000 miles per year in the only L.A.B. Gold Region in the United States - Pima County. So I know what it is like to have to deal with drivers. I try very hard to help injured cyclists, as often times motorists try and blame the cyclists just because they are on a bike.
I volunteer my time with the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee. http://www.dot.co.pima.az.us/tpcbac The TPCBAC is an official government body that holds open meetings and advises the City of Tucson, Town of Marana, Town of Oro Valley, City of South Tucson, Town of Sahuarita, Pima County, University of Arizona, and Davis-Monthan AFB on matters relating to cycling. The TPCBAC works with large scale transportation improvements such as the Regional Transportation Authority to help ensure that existing and new bicycle facilities serve the area after construction projects. The TPCBAC works with local law enforcement and assists with officer education. The TPCBAC works with the public to promote safe cycling.
I am a League Cycling Instructor with the League of American Bicyclists http://www.bikeleague.org and teach the Road safety courses to Tucson’s cyclists. As an L.C.I., I am able to make a direct difference in the safety of cycling for each person who takes one of our free Pima County Road classes.
I volunteer my time with the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists http://www.cazbike.org to help them work with legislative changes, bicycle safety and advice to riders and family of riders who have been involved in collisions.
I also serve as Vice President and Legal Adviser to the Greater Arizona Bicycling Association. http://www.bikegaba.org GABA is the largest bicycle club in Arizona. Currently GABA holds the contract for the diversion class in Pima County. Cyclists who have received a citation for violating traffic laws can take an educational course and obtain a dismissal of the ticket much like motor vehicle drivers who take a defensive driving course.
I will work hard to protect your rights and maximize your insurance settlement. You need an experienced and aggressive Arizona trial lawyer who will work hard for you. Having an experienced Arizona bike collision attorney can make the difference between getting what is fair and getting nothing.
I work hard to make sure you are fully compensated for your bicycle damage. Unlike many lawyers, I know how expensive bicycles can be. I know what it is like to spend thousands of dollars on a bicycle and even to spend thousands more modifying it to your liking only to have it damaged by someone else. I work closely with local bicycle shops to try and get you full replacement value bicycle and bicycle gear.
Bicycle Truths and Myths
If you have been injured in a bicycle crash or collision, you will need a bicycle attorney that understands bicycle law and procedures.
Many insurance carriers view the roadway as auto-only (carcentric) territory and attempt to find fault on the part of the bicycle rider for no valid reason. Roadways are not designed for the convenience of bicycles and riders often improvise. You should not have to accept part of the blame if you did everything right. Even if you did make errors on the bicycle that does not give the motorist a free pass at hitting you.
Hiring an attorney who understands bicycle law and procedures can greatly assist you in your claim. There are always differences between what is permissible and the actual rule of law. Not all things lawful are good for us. When it comes down to it, do you know what the actual rules are in Arizona?
(Myths) FACTS on BICYCLE LAW
Riding in a crosswalk is prohibited
FALSE There is no State law prohibiting it. Some cities have addressed it in their local ordinances.
Riding on a sidewalk is prohibited.
FALSE There is no State law in Arizona, however, some local ordinances such as the City of Tucson or Mesa or Tempe have restrictions on sidewalks.
Sidewalks and crosswalks, if used, must follow the direction of the adjacent traffic.
FALSE Crosswalks and sidewalks are bi-directional.
Please note that a substantial number of collisions, about 28 percent of all bicycle/auto collisions in Tucson, occur while a cyclist is on the sidewalk or in a crosswalk. Mostly these collisions are caused by drivers who do not look to their right before attempting to enter traffic on a cross street. Drivers are required by Arizona law to make these movements only when safe to do so. Driver’s must look to know if it is safe or not.
You must use the bike lane.
FALSE Arizona law only requires a cyclist to move to the right when at or below the speed of traffic. If you are keeping up with traffic, you need not comply. If below the speed of traffic, you may still take the lane when it is unsafe not to, or to avoid debris, or passing, or preparing for a left turn, etc.
A bicycle is a vehicle in Arizona.
FALSE A bicycle is a "device" and expressly excluded from the definition of vehicle. However, laws that apply to the driver of a vehicle also apply to the rider of a bicycle.
You have the same rights as the driver of a vehicle.
TRUE In Arizona’s transportation code, bicycle riders have the same rights on the roadway and shoulder as drivers of vehicles. Bicycle riders are equally allowed to use the public travel ways.
You must follow laws that apply to motor vehicles.
FALSE Arizona has a set of "behavioral" laws that apply to drivers of vehicles and these are also applied to cyclists. Laws that address one subset of vehicles, namely "motor" vehicles are often more about equipment and taxes and registrations. They take into account the nature of a large engine that requires no effort other than pressing a gas pedal. They do not apply to cyclists.
You must put a foot down at a stop sign.
FALSE Cessation of movement is all that is required.
The 3-foot passing law also requires motorists to pass safely.
TRUE This statute in Arizona is often misunderstood. Many times officers are reluctant to cite a motorist because they can’t prove whether or not the motorist left 3 feet. If it was not a “safe pass” then the statute still should be used.
If I got the ticket (or the motorist didn’t) then I have no claim.
FALSE The jury will not hear who did or did not get the ticket. Officers sometimes get it wrong. Just because you have an unfavorable police report doesn’t mean that you are at-fault. A good bicycle attorney can analyze the crash and make an independent decision.
I need to be vigilant in getting eyewitness contact information if possible.
TRUE Many officers do not get eyewitness information or report it on the Arizona Crash Report. Sadly, we live in a world of selfishness and many motorists feel that they need to make self-serving statements or flat out false defenses to what happened. Often this happens later in the claim process. Preserving eyewitness information is important in many cases. However, if no witnesses are available, a good bicycle attorney can still analyze the collision and move forward with the case when appropriate.
Arizona allows drivers to be held responsible only to their level of fault.
TRUE Some states have harsh tort reform laws designed to let the wrongdoer off the hook if the injured party was not completely perfect in their actions. Other states use a 51 percent rule that effectively gives the driver a free pass for hitting a cyclist. Arizona is pure comparative fault and whatever fault percentage is placed on a driver that is their share in the responsibility of the harm.