“I was riding my bike outside of Phoenix. I was on my usual weekend route, and it was a clear afternoon. As I was riding through an intersection with the green light, I got hit from the side by a drunk driver. Well, at least that’s what I was told when I regained consciousness in the hospital. Apparently, the driver got arrested, but I don’t have a police report—or anything else from the accident—because I was taken away in an ambulance.”
“I suffered multiple fractures and internal bleeding in the accident. The doctors said my helmet almost certainly saved my life—and luckily I’m not showing any signs of significant brain trauma. But, I don’t know when I’ll be back to normal, and right now the doctors aren’t sure if I’ll ever be able to ride again. Although after what happened, it’s hard to see getting back on the road on my bike anyway.”
“I’ve never been through something like this before, but I guess I need to see about filing some sort of claim? What are my next steps?”
While we are saddened every time we hear about a case like this, unfortunately, we are not surprised. Despite the obvious and substantial dangers of driving while impaired, far too many people in Arizona still choose to drink and drive. Drunk drivers are dangers to themselves and everyone else on the road, including cyclists—who drunk drivers often don’t see until it’s too late.
Statistics provided by the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT) indicate a substantial decrease in alcohol-related crashes over the past decade. This decline can be attributed, at least in part, to the state’s rigorous efforts to combat impaired driving. Arizona has implemented some of the most stringent DUI laws nationwide, imposing substantial fines and potential imprisonment for first-time offenders. When an Impaired Driving Bicycle Accident results in severe injury or loss of life, the criminal repercussions become even more severe.
However, these consequences do not provide any assistance in the recovery of injured cyclists and their families affected by an Impaired Driving Bicycle Accident. Instead, it is crucial for cyclists and their families to assert their legal rights through Arizona’s civil justice system. Although this process involves multiple steps and can be challenging, having an experienced legal team by their side empowers cyclists and their families to pursue just compensation.
Considering this, for a hospitalized cyclist recovering from an Impaired Driving Bicycle Accident, the initial step is to contact a law firm. The initial consultation is entirely free and marks the beginning of the process to construct a claim for fair compensation.
“I’m nervous about talking to a lawyer. I’ve never even met a lawyer in my ‘normal’ life. I’m worried that she’ll ask questions I can’t answer, and that I will end up wasting her time. I understand that talking to a lawyer is the right thing to do, but it’s stressful, and I’m already starting to wonder if all of this is worth it.”
“What can I do to make sure my free initial consultation is as smooth (and productive) as possible?”
Almost all of our clients share these concerns. Even though we know that talking to a lawyer is no big deal, we also know that many people feel differently when they’ve never done it before. But, we can tell you definitively that you have nothing to worry about; and, rather than making you feel stressed, your lawyer will try to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible.
You don’t have to do anything before your free initial consultation. The most important thing is simply that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible—so that your lawyer can send an investigator to the scene of your bicycle accident before any evidence disappears. But, if you want to prepare, there are two main things you can do:
When preparing to consult with a lawyer regarding your Impaired Driving Bicycle Accident, it can be beneficial to take notes. This will aid in organizing your thoughts, recollecting any forgotten details, and ensuring you provide your lawyer with as much information as possible. If feasible, make an effort to jot down specific details such as:
To prepare for your complimentary initial consultation regarding your Impaired Driving Bicycle Accident, it can be beneficial to compile a list of inquiries. Even if you believe you have no questions, take a moment to reflect on your thoughts. Remember, there are no foolish questions, and if you have a query, chances are others have asked it before. Here are some sample questions you may wish to pose to your lawyer:
“I was told the driver who hit me was drunk, but I guess I don’t really have any proof. Does that matter? If it does, how can I prove that the driver was drunk when he hit me?”
Filing a claim against an impaired driving bicycle accident requires proof that the driver was being reckless or negligent at the time of the collision. In some cases, this is relatively easy. For example, if the driver admitted to being drunk at the accident scene, or if the driver got arrested for DUI and blew above the legal limit, these are all important factors that your lawyer can use in your favor.
According to Arizona’s negligence per se law, the violation of a law designed to ensure public safety serves as evidence of negligence. The state’s DUI law undeniably falls under this classification. Therefore, if your attorney can establish the driver’s impairment, this can be utilized to advocate for the rightful financial compensation you are entitled to in your Impaired Driving Bicycle Accident case.
However, in certain situations, demonstrating that the driver was intoxicated can pose greater difficulties in your Impaired Driving Bicycle Accident case. It is possible that the driver was impaired but did not exceed the legal limit, or perhaps the driver fled the scene and was apprehended only after their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) had returned to normal.
Even in these circumstances, attorneys can often establish evidence of the driver’s intoxication in many Impaired Driving Bicycle Accident cases. However, even if there are doubts about the driver’s impairment, there are generally no doubts about their negligence in some form. In our hypothetical situation, for instance, the cyclist was in the middle of the intersection with the green light, indicating that the driver’s light was red. Running a red light is considered negligence per se in Arizona, and proving that the driver violated the traffic signal alone is sufficient to support a claim for complete financial compensation.
“At this point I’ve already been in the hospital for four or five days, and I’m sure my medical bills are through the roof. My doctors have talked to me a little bit about the care I’ll need in the future, and they’ve asked me if I have ‘good’ health insurance. I’m not really sure what ‘good’ health insurance means.”
“If my health insurance doesn’t cover my bills, I don’t have any idea how I’m going to afford them. What options do I have available?”
In addition to entrusting your law firm to establish the driver’s impairment and/or negligence in an Impaired Driving Bicycle Accident, you can also depend on them to assess your avenues for obtaining rightful compensation. Identifying your options necessitates a comprehensive examination of your case, which may uncover potential claims such as:
“It’s comforting to know that I have options, but I’m still worried about going into debt while my bicycle accident case is pending. Is there anything I can do in the meantime so that I don’t have to deal with bill collectors and I don’t ruin my credit?”
Indeed, initiating a successful legal case for an Impaired Driving Bicycle Accident requires time and caution to avoid making hasty decisions under financial pressure. Fortunately, cyclists who have been involved in such accidents often have several short-term options to consider. Some examples include:
During your free initial consultation, your lawyer will go over your options in detail, and your lawyer will walk you through the steps you will need to take moving forward (like being sure to document your financial and non-financial losses). Your lawyer will also help you make informed decisions about what claim (or claims) to pursue; and, if you need short-term relief from your medical bills, your lawyer can help you make the right choice about how to handle this as well.
If you were involved in an impaired driving bicycle accident in Arizona, we can use our experience to help you. To get started with a free, no-obligation consultation, please call 480-634-7480 or tell us how we can reach you online today.