Bicycle Accidents in Scottsdale
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Lead Attorney Clark Watkin Will Personally Handle Your Case
As a long-time road cyclist and mountain biker, Clark Watkin has thousands
of miles of "saddle time" and has witnessed (and sometimes experienced)
the painful cuts, bruises, broken bones and even more serious injuries
that can be caused by the negligence of others - usually drivers of autos
and trucks, but sometimes motorcycles and even other bicyclists.
Most collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles that result in serious
injuries or wrongful death are preventable.
They are usually caused by negligence; they do
not need to happen. Aside from an equipment problem or "operator error"
where the cyclist himself is not paying attention or is riding dangerously,
fault can usually be found with the motor vehicle driver, who often claims
he "just didn't see" the bicyclist.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
In the United States,
approximately one million cyclists sustain serious injuries as a result
of bicycle-related accidents each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that a bicyclist
is fatally injured every 6 hours, and nearly half of all the people killed
in bicycle accidents are children under the age of 16. Head injuries account
for 75% of serious injuries and deaths from accidents.
The lack of protection surrounding a bicyclist and their inability to predict
a driver's behavior is a dangerous combination for cyclists. There
is no competition between a bicycle and a vehicle that weighs thousands
of pounds when the driver acts in a reckless manner.
Under Arizona State law,
cyclists are entitled to monetary settlements from the negligent driver for the following:
- Medical Expenses
- Bike Damage
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The Watkin Law Office, PC handles serious bicycle accidents, bicycle injuries
and wrongful death cases not only in Scottsdale, but throughout Arizona.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Arizona
In most bicycle accident cases, negligent drivers are to blame. Whether
it is due to driver inattention, aggressive driving or sheer stupidity,
motorists who fail to exercise reasonable care and obey the rules of the
road put bicyclists' lives in danger on a daily basis. When motorists
are negligent, it is the cyclists who suffer.
Here are some of the most common reasons for bike accidents:
- Cyclists get side-swiped by cars and trucks
- They get hit by car doors when motorists get out of their cars without looking
- They get hit by drivers who fail to yield the right-of-way
- Cars make a left turn in the path of the bicycle (the "left hook")
distraction and other "mild" forms of negligence
These are just a few examples of the dangers to cyclists caused when motor
vehicle drivers are inattentive. Add to that the dangers of speeding and
reckless drivers and the dangers multiply. Worst of all, there are apparently
drivers on the roadways who intentionally run cyclists off the road, throw
objects at them as they pass, honk for no reason, drive dangerously close,
and do other things designed to make cyclists crash or run off the roadway.
Clark Watkin has seen some of this bizarre behavior over the years and
has even had beer cans thrown at him from passing cars, has been hit in
the back by the side mirror of a truck passing too close, and actually
had a cement truck drive into a marked bicycle lane to try and force him
up and over the curb! Such crazy conduct is intentional, dangerous, reckless
and wrong. Many lawyers fail to understand the magnitude of these problems.
Damages Stemming from a Bicycle Accident
A collision between a bicyclist and a motorist is a terrifying incident.
The injuries to the cyclist are usually very serious and long-lasting,
often requiring tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses that
include ambulance bills, hospital emergency department bills, doctor bills,
surgery expenses, physical therapy and future medical expenses that sometimes
continue for the remainder of the injured cyclist's life. Because
cyclists have virtually no protection between their bodies and the cars
and trucks that hit them – or from the hard and often scalding hot
pavement they crash-land on – the injuries they sustain are usually
very bad, sometimes fatal.
Serious injuries from bicycle accidents can come in various forms, such as:
Any one of these is certain to impact a person for the rest of his or her
life, assuming they survive the crash. If you or someone you know has
personal injuries in a bicycle accident caused by the reckless or negligent conduct of another
person we urge you to contact us immediately.
In the same way, if you are the survivor of a cyclist killed while riding
a road bike or mountain bike please do not hesitate to contact our office
Other Devastating Effects of a Scottsdale Bicycle Accident
Professional cyclists, enthusiasts, "weekend warriors," occasional
riders, elders and minor children all run the risk of being tragically
injured or killed every time they ride. In each instance where a rider
is struck down by a collision with a motor vehicle, the cyclist's sudden
inability to engage in a profession, avocation or favorite hobby/pastime, is accompanied by the inability to engage in many (or any) aspects of
a his or her daily routine.
A serious "road rash" is essentially the same as a serious burn
- and it usually covers a fairly large expanse of skin. The cuts, broken
bones and more serious injuries inflicted in a cycling accident are no
less severe than if they had been inflicted in a car, truck or motorcycle
crash. In fact they are probably not much different than being beaten
severely with a tire iron or baseball bat. In fact, given the generally
"active lifestyles" lived by most bicyclists to begin with;
such injuries can have an even more devastating impact on their lives.
Depression, sleep loss, weight change and a host of
other "incidental" emotional conditions often coincide with such
a sudden and dramatic alteration in their lives.
How can a cyclist prevent a bicycle collision?
Cycling, of course, has some inherent risks. Mishaps and injuries caused
by rider error, inexperience, mechanical problems, potholes and debris
in the roadway are some of the most obvious reasons for harm.
Cyclists must obey the same "rules of the road" as drivers of
autos, trucks and motorcycles.
These rules include:
- Stopping at stop lights and stop signs
- Yielding when appropriate
- Using traffic lanes in a safe and lawful manner
- Using appropriate hand signals
- Not "blowing through" intersections while expecting everyone
else to obey the traffic control devices
It is, quite literally, a two-way street. If cyclists expect to be treated
with respect by motorists, they can earn that respect simply by following
the traffic laws and being courteous and considerate of others. "Share
the road" signs are there as reminders to both motorists and cyclists.
But what happens when you, the cyclist, are fully in control, paying attention,
obeying the traffic laws and doing everything you are supposed to be doing
-- but the driver of a motor vehicle suddenly swerves and strikes you
from behind, pulls into your path from a side street, or opens his car
door without looking? Because of the differentials in speed between cyclists
and motor vehicles, there is often no time to react and no place to turn
to avoid the sudden danger. Due to the huge size and weight difference,
in a match between a bicycle and a car or truck, the bicycle loses every
time. You don't stand a chance!
What happens if the responsible party does not have insurance?
What happens if the at-fault motorist has no liability insurance coverage
– or not enough? When that occurs, the injured cyclist (or his surviving
family) will have no recourse but to pursue the personal injury claim
or wrongful death claim under their own automobile insurance policies.
That is of course if they have uninsured and underinsured motorist "UM/UIM" coverage. Regardless of the insurance coverage issues,
victims of bicycle accident injury and death claims in Arizona should contact
a lawyer who has extensive experience handling cycling claims.
We Understand Your Claim
The Watkin Law Office, PC we do understand and we are well aware of the many adverse effects a serious
bicycle accident can have on a cyclist and their loved ones. It is almost
overwhelming just to endure the physical pain and emotional suffering,
but when a seriously injured cyclist or his surviving family members also
have to experience the ordeal of answering calls and letters from insurance
claims adjusters, bill collectors, unhappy employers or employees, the
stress can seem unbearable.
One of our most important jobs is to help our injured clients and their
families by doing some of the "heavy lifting" and handling the
insurance claims adjusters, bill collectors and so forth. This then allows
for our clients to focus on their health. We try to help ensure that our
clients fully and successfully file their legitimate claims for personal
injury and wrongful death damages against the responsible parties –
to compensate our clients for the pain, suffering and financial losses
they have suffered. We make sure the adverse party and his or her insurance
company pays our clients for the damage that has been done, not only physically,
but also mentally and financially. This includes not only past medical
bills and lost earnings, but future medical bills and lost earnings as well.
Our Strategy: Personalized Investigations & Devoted Work-Ethic
At The Watkin Law Office, PC, we can assist you in determining your rights,
and take over the insurance claims process, which can be a nightmare if
you are not represented by legal counsel. Ultimately, we can help get
you compensated for your losses.
Our actions are what set us apart from other personal injury lawyers in
- We review and investigate the facts, the records, the bills and the police reports.
- We interview the witnesses and locate additional documents.
- We discuss your entire "life situation," review and analyze your
- We develop a legal strategy that best suits your needs and your goals.
We do all of this with an eye
towards resolving your claim and collecting your full and fair damages
as quickly as possible, with the least amount of added aggravation to you and your family.
Generally speaking, nearly all of our clients prefer to "settle"
their claim with the opposing insurance company as quickly as possible,
provided they recover a full and fair amount of monetary damages. Let's
be honest, most people who have been seriously injured do not want to
spend years in costly and frustrating litigation, enduring hours of depositions,
paying for expert witnesses, and waiting "forever" for a jury
trial date where they will leave their fate in the hands of strangers.
Contact Scottsdale bicycle accident lawyer, Clark Watkin!
Clark Watkin has practiced trial law in Arizona since 1977. He is skilled
and accomplished as both a settlement negotiator and a trial lawyer and
has handled complex civil trials throughout his career. Attorney Clark
Watkin sponsors local cycling teams as well, as he passionate about the sport.
The Watkin Law Office, PC always endeavors to seek the maximum amount of
full and fair compensation to help our clients and their families recover
from the devastating losses that often result from serious bicycle accidents.
Let us help you get your life back together.
Contact us at
(480) 281-3838 to arrange a consultation. When results matter, choose the Scottsdale
bicycle accident attorney at The Watkin Law Office, PC.
The Watkin Law Office, PC is a Scottsdale accident and wrongful death law
firm that represents serious personal injury and wrongful death clients
throughout Arizona, including Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert,
Glendale, Peoria, Cave Creek, Carefree, Fountain Hills and Paradise Valley.
REMEMBER: If the other side's claims adjuster calls to "interview"
you or "take your statement," politely decline -- at least until
after you have spoken with an experienced bicycle injury and wrongful
death attorney. Despite what the insurance adjuster might tell you, he
or she is NOT "just trying to help."