Bicyclists are more vulnerable to serious injury than motorists while traveling on the roads. Without the protection of a vehicle, bicyclists and drivers both have to pay close attention to the potential risk of danger that an accident could cause. Especially in low light conditions and at night, most bicycle accidents occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
If you suffered an injury in a bicycle crash, you might benefit from having a seasoned personal injury attorney guide you throughout your recovery. An experienced Chandler bicycle accident lawyer could take you through the step-by-step process of seeking relief and help you create a legal plan.
Negligence is an important aspect of personal injury law. When a bicycle crash in Chandler is caused by an accident or unintentional act, the injured party may sue the wrongdoer under a negligence claim.
The principles of negligence could be simplified into four main elements. The following four elements must be present in order to bring a successful negligence claim:
First, an alleged defendant must have owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. A duty of care could be imposed by law, such as a police officer’s duty to protect and enforce the law. If no duty is not imposed by law, courts determine whether a duty of care was present based on precedent and on a case by case basis. Generally, people owe others a duty to act as a reasonably prudent person would act under similar circumstances.
Second, plaintiff’s must show that the defendant breached their applicable duty of care. For example, if a driver failed to operate their vehicle as a reasonably prudent person by texting and driving and struck a cyclist, they could be in breach of their duty of care to others on the road. Third, plaintiff’s must prove by a preponderance of the evidence, more likely than not, that the defendant’s breach caused their injuries. And lastly, the plaintiff’s injuries must be compensable by damages in court. A near-miss accident with no injuries or property damage would be insufficient to bring a negligence claim. A dedicated bicycle accident lawyer in Chandler could help one with establishing negligence.
A statute of limitations prohibits any plaintiff from filing their lawsuit after the time period has ended unless an exception applies. Plaintiffs seeking personal injury damages in Chandler must file their case within two years of the injury according to Arizona Revised Statutes §12-542.
Another obstacle to recovery is Arizona’s pure comparative fault rule. Unless an injured party is 100 percent at fault for causing the accident, they have the right to seek recovery. But under pure comparative fault, courts could diminish a plaintiff’s damages by the percentage of fault that they contribute to causing the accident. For example, if an injured cyclist is found 25 percent at fault for the cause of the accident because they ignored a certain traffic law, they may only recover 75 percent of their overall damages. For more information, contact a knowledgeable attorney.
The inherent dangers of cars and bicycles sharing the road inevitably lead to accidents. When an injury occurs, it may be challenging to figure out what to do when it comes to seeking the financial and legal recovery you need. The process is not always straightforward.
A Chandler bicycle accident lawyer could help guide you through the procedures that are standing in your way and get your claim off of the ground. Discover your potential options, schedule your consultation by calling today.