Riding a bicycle in Mesa is not without risks. Statistics show that in Arizona, there were nearly 2,000 bicycle accidents that occurred in 2011 alone. Of these, 1,600 cyclists were injured and 23 were killed. If you’re on a bicycle and are in a crash, particularly if you are involved in a collision with an automobile, chances are that you will suffer a serious injury. It is important to remember that both the driver of the automobile and their insurance agents will try to pin the blame on you for the accident, given that Arizona has a comparative negligence law.
This means the judge will determine who was negligent and in what percentage, allocating damages based on this determination. It is equally important to note that once you have been injured in an accident involving a bicycle, there are very strict rules regarding the statute of limitations during which you may file an injury law suit. If you miss these deadlines, you will lose your opportunity to seek compensation forever.
Personal Injury from a Bike Accident
General personal injury is governed under Arizona revised statutes (A.R.S) 12-542. Under the statute, the person alleging a personal injury has two years to file a claim. The personal injury claim timeline starts on the date of the injury. What this means is, if you have been injured in a bicycle accident and plan to file a personal injury claim, under A.R.S 12-542, you have two years from the date of the injury to file or you could lose the right to do so. If you are hit by someone who works for a government entity, you may have as little as a 180 day notice of claim statute when it comes to government entities.
Negligence Leading to a Bike Accident
The statute of limitations for an action alleging negligence is two years and is governed by A.R.S 12-542. Government entities have different statutes. In the case of negligence, the Arizona revised statutes make some allowance in the timeline by giving the plaintiff time to determine that negligence has occurred. Once the plaintiff has determined that negligence could have occurred or in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known that negligence could have occurred, the timeline for filing the lawsuit begins.
A Wrongful Death Caused by a Bike Accident
In the event that a wrongful death has occurred as a result of the bicycle accident, the statute of limitations is also two years. However, in court case Anson v. American Motors Corp., 155 Ariz. 420, 747 P.2d 581 (App. 1987), the Arizona Court of Appeals held that the statute of limitations does not begin to accrue until the plaintiff has discovered, or with reasonable diligence, should have discovered, that they have been injured by the defendant’s negligent conduct. Again, wrongful death for claims involving the negligence of a government are 180 days due to the notice of claim rule.
Minors in a Bike Accident
When it comes to a minor child under the age of 18, there are special rules that apply when it comes to the statute of limitations. Generally, the statute of limitations does not begin to run out for the injury until the child reaches maturity — in other words, 18 years of age. Child injury is governed under A.R.S 12-502 in Arizona. The statute also protects people who are of unsound mind for the period of time where they hampered by the disability. If the disability is removed, as in the coming of age of a child who crosses the age of 18, the statute of limitations is the same as for somebody who did not have this limiting factor in the first place.
Do Not Miss the Deadline to File!
If you have been injured in a bike accident in Mesa, call our law firm right away to ensure that you do not miss the deadline to file your claim. Call today before the statute of limitations is reached. We can be reached at (602) 900-9000.