Arizona Bicycle Attorney Eric Post
• Free consultation
• No legal fee
unless I recover money for you
Protect your rights.
You have been injured in a bicycle collision and you are worried about who is going to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The last thing you want is to be taken advantage of by an insurance company. If you don’t protect your rights, you may not be able to make a claim. Insurance companies have attorneys and adjusters whose goal is to pay you as little as they can. You need an experienced Arizona bicycle collision attorney to fight for you.
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 oftentimes 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/ and am the chairman of the Enforcement Subcommittee. We are an official government body that holds open meetings and advises the City of Tucson and Pima County on matters relating to cycling. We work 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. We work with local law enforcement and assist with training films and officer education. We work with public interest projects for TV spot announcements. We work with the public to promote safe cycling.
I am a League Cycling Instructor with the League of American Bicyclists 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 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 will work hard to protect your rights and maximize your insurance settlement. You need an experienced and aggressive Arizona trial lawyer who will fight for you. Having an experienced Arizona bike collision attorney can make the difference between getting what you deserve 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 for your damaged bicycle and bicycle gear.
An experienced attorney can make the difference.
I am an experienced aggressive lawyer. I am not afraid to take your case to trial or arbitration if that is what it takes to maximize your bicycle collision insurance recovery. I offer one-on-one service, and I will not hand your case off to an inexperienced lawyer or a paralegal.
Reduce the stress of making a claim.
Bike collisions can turn your life upside down. Once I take your case, you can stop worrying about dealing with the insurance companies and focus on recovering from your bicycle collision injuries. I take care of all of the paperwork, phone calls, and negotiations, so you can get on with your life.
I handle bicycle collision cases on a contingency fee basis. This means:
YOU DON’T OWE ME A LEGAL FEE
UNLESS I RECOVER MONEY FOR YOU.
Support The Brad Gorman Bike Fund
Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists
I regularly make donations to the Bradfund, CAzB, and LAB.
Arizona Bicycle Collision Attorney
Q: What are the bicycle laws in Arizona?
A: The Share the Road guide has a copy of most of the State and Tucson City laws that apply to bicycles. This list is not comprehensive, however, it covers the most common statutes and ordinances. http://www.dot.co.pima.az.us/tpcbac/Publications.html
Q: Why should I consider hiring a lawyer?
A: There are many reasons why a person might want to hire a lawyer. Their case may be too complicated to handle themselves or they may simply be too busy to deal with the insurance carrier. They may not know what they are entitled to and therefore settle for less than they deserve. I will be glad to share with you what I think about your case and whether or not it is one that may work out for you to handle yourself or whether you should get a lawyer involved.
How soon after my bicycle collision should I call you?
A: Call me immediately. Do not talk to the other person’s insurance companies until after you have consulted a lawyer. I make a point of returning all calls and e-mails promptly. If you have been injured in a bicycle collision you need to know right away what insurance coverage is in place to cover your medical expenses and lost wages.
Arizona has certain time limits. If your claim involves a state or local government entity such as a government vehicle or road hazard you have 180 days to file a notice of claim against that government entity. If there is a Federal Government entity involved, then different time limits apply. Generally, you have two years to settle your case or file a lawsuit, but if you treated on workers’ compensation you have only one year to file a lawsuit or settle your case (or seek a reassignment which may not be the best thing for you.) If you are a minor you may have some extended time such as the two-year statute that begins when you turn 18. So, involve an attorney sooner rather than later.
Q: How do I pay your legal fees?
A: I handle bike collisions and all other personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means YOU DO NOT OWE ME A LEGAL FEE UNLESS I RECOVER MONEY FOR YOU. I do not ask for any attorney fees up front. If there is no recovery there is no fee.
Q: Lawsuits can be expensive, will it cost me any money up front for filing fees, court costs, expert witness fees, and any other costs?
A: Filing a lawsuit, paying court costs and expert witness fees can be very expensive. Every year I spend thousands of dollars in litigation costs. I know that most people cannot afford these costs up front, so I advance these costs up front in every case I take. Spending a few thousand dollars on a good expert witness can make the difference between getting thousands of dollars and getting nothing for your personal injury claim. Before you hire a lawyer, make sure that they are willing to advance the money to adequately pursue your personal injury case. Otherwise, you may be forced into taking a minimal settlement if you cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars to pursue your personal injury claim.
Q: Will I have to pay any up front expenses?
A: No. I advance all routine costs associated with your case. I never ask you for a penny until we recover from the at fault party. If you have one of the very rare cases where you should have a stake in the expenses, I will discuss this with you up front.
What do you charge for recovering my medical expenses or property loss?
A: I do not charge my clients a fee recovering their past medical expenses from MEDPAY. I do not charge my clients for recovering the property damage to your bike or accessories. I do charge a percentage out of the settlement for your personal injury case. Because I do not charge a fee for the recovery from other sources such as Health Insurance or MEDPAY, I do charge a percentage for the entire personal injury portion of the claim even though that involves some additional recovery for medical expenses. I generally charge 33.3 percent if we go all the way through arbitration or trial. However, I charge on a sliding scale to correspond with the level of work involved meaning that if your case is one that really can be handled quickly, I will not take my full fee. My fee will be discussed before you sign up and will be in writing.
Are there any hidden fees?
A: No. I do not charge you fees for consultations, opening your file, paralegal assistance, or my time on the phone. These are all covered under the contingency. Before you hire a lawyer, make sure you find out what they will be charging you, as these hidden fees can add up. I do charge for the cost of gathering medical records and bills, court costs, and copy / long distance / fax charges after I have agreed to take your case and you have signed a fee agreement with me. In most situations, these costs are small. If for some reason any larger expense is required, such as deposition transcripts or expert witness billing, I will discuss these with you and explain why it is important. My goal is to maximize the money that goes into your pocket.
Will I get to talk to a lawyer if I call?
A: Yes. Everyone who calls for a free consultation gets to talk to a lawyer. I do not have my staff screen cases. Usually you will get to talk to a lawyer right away or later the same day.
Should I call you even if I want to handle my claim myself?
A: Yes. In a few minutes over the phone I can usually give you an estimate of what your claim is worth so you don't get ripped off by the insurance company. If they give you an offer and you later hire me, I will take that into account and work hard or restructure my fee percentage to try and put more money in your pocket than if you had not hired me.
Can I recover even if the motorist never hit me?
A: Yes. Many people are under the misconception that there has to be physical contact between a cyclist and a motor vehicle for the motorist to be liable. This is not true. There are many situations where cyclists are injured when they take evasive action to avoid being hit, and crash as a result. The motorist can still be held liable if their negligence caused an injury.
Can I recover if the other driver had no insurance?
A: Yes. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can recover money for your medical bills and pain and suffering even if the other driver had no insurance or cannot be found.
What if it was a hit-and-run or a near miss and run?
A: Even a partial license plate may be helpful, however, if the driver is never found you may still recover from your own uninsured motorist policy or maybe someone who has such a policy in your household. In Arizona, you must have corroboration. This means that if it was a hit-and-run, there must be some evidence that you were hit by a vehicle. Paint marks, frame damage from the impact, etc. If it was a near miss and run, you must also have corroboration and that means an eyewitness or some independent information (skid marks, etc) in addition to your own statements. This is why riding with a friend may be of value. In this situation, ALWAYS get the name and contact information of any eyewitnesses. Never rely on the police report to have this for you.
Does my auto insurance cover collisions when I am on my bike?
A: Many auto policies will cover you if you are injured in a bicycle collision or while on foot as long as a vehicle was involved.
Is Arizona a no-fault State?
A: No. The at-fault insurance carrier will not pay your bills until the final settlement. You must find other ways to pay your medical expenses prior to resolving your claim with the at-fault insurance company.
Q: What other kinds of insurance cover my medical bills and do they get repaid?
A: Arizona allows you to recover from multiple sources. You may have health insurance that must pay for your medical bills. Whether that health insurance company is entitled to repayment when you settle is a matter of law and I will work to make sure no repayment is made unless it is required by law or in your best interest. A valid ERISA plan health insurance payment may get reimbursed under certain circumstances. If you don’t have health insurance, you may qualify for an emergency enrollment in the State AHCCCS program. AHCCCS is entitled to be repaid and I will work to negotiate a lower repayment. You may have MEDICARE which is also entitled to be repaid. Again, I will work to reduce the repayment amount. The first $5,000.00 of your auto MEDPAY does not have to be repaid, the amount above that can be negotiated in many circumstances. In some situations you may have a strong enough case to support medical treatment on a lien. A lien is where you treat now and pay later when your case settles. The method that is best for you depends on the facts of the case and I will have to discuss it with you on an individual basis.
Q: What if I expect to have medical complications in the future?
A: Future treatment is something that must be included in your claim. Once you resolve your claim (with the rare exception of workers’ compensation) you are done with the at-fault insurance carrier and cannot come back later for more money. Therefore, it is important to have an attorney who also understands medical issues and treatment procedures.
Q: Will my insurance rates go up if I use my own auto coverage such as uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist or MEDPAY?
A: No. Arizona law prohibits an auto insurance company from raising your rates unless the collision was substantially your fault. Since most claims are the fault of the careless driver, you will be able to enjoy a claim on your own policy without fear of increased premiums.
Q: What if I have a double recovery from different companies that pay my medical expenses?
A: Arizona allows you to recover from multiple sources if you had the foresight to obtain good coverage. The courts have recognized that there are multiple sources and recognized that this might result in excessive payments to an injured person. Likewise, the courts will not allow the at-fault driver to reduce his payment just because you had the extra coverage. Therefore, if there is to be a windfall, the courts have said that it will go to the injured person and never benefit the wrongdoer.
Q: What if I don’t have any of my own auto insurance or don’t even own a car but I live with someone who does?
A: Arizona may allow you to use the auto insurance policy of the person you live with under certain circumstances. You may even be able to stack their policy on top of yours if you have one, or elect to use the higher of the two policies depending again on the circumstances.
Q: My health insurance paid the bills and the hospital or doctor still wants more money because I was in an auto collision, what now?
A: Some doctors and hospitals take your health insurance at a reduced rate and then seek to balance the write-off amount against your settlement. This is absolutely illegal in many situations and I will work to resolve these disputes to your best interest.
Q: What kind of doctors should I expect to see?
A: Doctors are not all the same. Obviously you would follow-up with any recommendations from the emergency room or your primary care physician. However, it is good to know what the different types of doctors are and what they do.
Physiatrists are also known as sports medicine or physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors. They deal with trauma and may end up being the better overall care provider to oversee your treatment. These doctors are very good at knowing what type of specialist you should see for your collision related injuries.
Orthopedic surgeons are good at joint and bone injuries such as shoulder separations, rotator cuff tears, knee injuries, ankle or elbow injuries. They are not all the same. Some are specialists in hand surgeries and others stick to knee and elbow injuries. Ask who is the best for your specific injury.
Neurologists are often the best at determining if you had a concussion or head injury. They also work well with spine and neck injuries where there is numbness or tingling in the extremities.
Neurosurgeons are typically available for neck and spine surgeries.
Anesthesiologists often work in pain management and direct their focus on conservative measures to assist with pain such as epidural steroidal injections.
Physical therapists are not doctors. They do perform physical manipulations and strengthening exercises.
Chiropractors perform physical manipulations and in conjunction with massage therapists may be able to bring you some soft tissue relief.
Acupuncture is also occasionally recommended by some medical doctors and acupuncture providers are licensed.
Q: What if I am also partly at fault for the collision?
A: Arizona is a pure comparative fault state and that means that even if you are 90 percent at fault, you may still recover 10 percent. In the situation of a cyclist struck by a car that can still be a significant number. Traffic tickets are almost always excluded from your court case so even if you were cited, your court case may well go to your advantage. While law enforcement does their best to investigate collisions fairly, they are not perfect and you are free to disagree, especially in the civil trial. You may find that the law is on your side after all.
Q: How do I know if I have a good bicycle collision claim?
A: You need to contact me and we can discuss your case. My consultation on a personal injury case is always free.
Q: What can I recover for?
A: Your lost wages that can be documented are recoverable dollar for dollar. This includes lost contracts for self employed, and maybe even reductions in retirement funds from forced early retirement. You must be able to prove the loss which means good tax records and a letter from your employer. In some situations your doctor may need to provide a letter.
Your medical bills may also be recovered at the full billed amount regardless of whether or not you had any other insurance that paid them. This also is a dollar for dollar recovery.
Your pain and suffering is more subjective and varies based on how much pain and suffering you endured. There is no set figure and there is no formula such as “5 times my medical expenses.” This amount is on a case by case basis.
You might recover for loss of enjoyment of life. If you find you are not able to do the things you enjoyed before, you can seek compensation for that.
Property damage is dollar for dollar. Some carriers will want to pay you replacement value, others will want to depreciate your property and pay you a fair market value. In the case of an automobile, you are only entitled to fair market value of the automobile in Arizona. This law of fair market value does not apply to bicycles so you are free to ask for replacement value.
Punitive damages is a form of punishment against the wrong-doer for willful or significantly reckless acts. If the driver who hit you was drunk at the time, it may be a case of punitive damages. This “punishment” is a dollar amount over and above the fair value of your claim. The fair value of your claim is meant to compensate you for your loss. The punitive is meant to punish the wrong-doer and deter society from such behavior.
A smaller but often brought claim is loss of consortium or essentially, the loss of enjoyment and companionship with your family and their loss of the same with you.
It may be a reasonable expense to hire support help. This is someone to help around the house, or a nurse to stay with you, or hire a trainer at the gym or a cycling coach to help you get back to your regular routine without further injury. If the support help is reasonable and necessary then you may be able to seek compensation for those expenses.
You may be entitled to loss of use for your damaged bicycle (or automobile).
Q: Should I accept the offer that the car insurance company has given me?
A: Often times I can get insurance companies to substantially increase the amount of their settlement offer. If you have already received an offer for your injuries, contact me and I will let you know if I think it is a fair offer. I will not charge you for this consultation.
Q: How long does it take to settle most bicycle collision and personal injury cases?
A: It depends on the nature of your personal injury claim. I have settled cases in as little as a few months. Larger personal injury cases typically take longer to settle. I will be delighted to explain the timelines and if retained, will always keep you informed of the progress.
Q: Will pursuing my case take up a lot of my time?
A: No. Oftentimes I only meet with clients for the initial interview and then we can just talk over the phone. If we do have to go to court, it will take more time. I realize your time is important, so I don’t waste it. However, I do want to speak with you once a month to check on your progress. Under certain circumstances, it might be in your best interest to be more involved in your case and I will fully explain that to you.
Q: Will I have to go to trial?
A: The vast majority of bicycle collision and personal injury cases don’t go to trial. However, I treat each case as if it is going to be a trial. That means I prepare from day one for trial and send the message that we are ready to go. Some lawyers will work very little until they realize they have to go to trial. Insurance companies know who these lawyers are, and they oftentimes offer them less than the case is worth.
Q: What is the difference between Trial and Arbitration?
A: In Arizona, all court cases that are valued
certain amount are sent to an arbitrator rather than a jury. Arizona
the maximum amount at $65,000 for arbitration, however, each individual
county is allowed to have their own limit as long as it is lower. Pima
County, for example, set the limit at $50,000, meaning that if your case
worth more than $50,000, it goes to a jury and under $50,000 it goes to
arbitrator. An arbitrator is a lawyer who will hear both sides and make
decision. Either side may appeal to a jury trial, however, the
usually do resolve the case.
Q: Why is it so important to hire an Arizona attorney who goes to trial?
A: Most personal injury cases settle before trial, but you want to maximize your settlement. If you hire an attorney who does not want to go to trial, or cannot go to trial, you may find that you are pressured into settling and settle for much less than what the case is worth. Insurance companies know who these lawyers are, and they oftentimes offer them less than the case is worth.
Q: Do I need a bicycle lawyer? Does he/she have to be an Arizona lawyer?
A: In order to settle your bike collision case you will have to deal with insurance companies. Their goal is to pay you as little as you will take. It is tough for someone who is not familiar with bicycle collision cases to know what a fair settlement amount is. An experienced Arizona bicycle collision attorney can help you to determine that amount and reach a fair settlement. Also, in order to go to arbitration or trial, an attorney must be licensed in Arizona or apply for special permission for your case. If the attorney is not licensed in Arizona, it is more likely that they will be unable to maximize your claim. Make sure that you hire someone because they are qualified.
Q: I don’t want to bankrupt somebody. What happens to the person I sue?
A: Although the lawsuit will have the other driver’s name on it, we are actually going after the insurance company’s money. In virtually every case, the person we sue does not have to pay a penny. Their insurance company pays the settlement or verdict amount, as well as all of the legal fees for the at-fault party. In some cases where an arbitration or jury award exceeds the policy limits the insurance company may still have to pay the full amount, as it was their fault for not settling for the policy limits.
Q: What can I do prior to a collision to protect myself?
A: You always want to have good riding habits and to obey the law. Stop at stop signs, don’t ride where you are not supposed to be riding. Walk your bike in crosswalks (so that you maintain protection as a pedestrian). You never want to be in a situation where you are hit and it is your fault.
Take the time to review your auto insurance. Make sure there is no exclusion for bicycles. Make sure you have a high amount of UM/UIM. This is the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage that pays you if the other guy has inadequate or no insurance at all for your injuries. You will find that the basic coverage is what costs the most, and then upping the policy limits is relatively inexpensive. Find out if you can get 300,000/500,000 on your auto policy for a reasonable rate, you probably can. Shop around. The same goes for MEDPAY. You should get at least $10,000 to $25,000 in MEDPAY or more. Consider an umbrella policy with a UM/UIM coverage on it. Umbrella’s are often very inexpensive.
It is important that you actually review your policy. If your agent says you have “full” coverage or a “large” policy, or “the works” know that this probably doesn’t mean what you think it means. Look at your declaration sheet and policy language yourself to see if you have good coverage.
Q: Who may recover if there is a wrongful death case?
A: In Arizona the statutory heirs and the Estate may recover. These are
separate claims and follow different laws and theories of recovery. The
statutory heirs may be the spouse and children and parents. Siblings
are excluded as statutory heirs. Also, the Personal Representative of
Estate may bring the claim on behalf of the Estate and distribute in
accordance with a will, or trust, or intestate succession. This is
siblings might be entitled to a recovery. Some of the claims brought by
statutory heirs and also brought by the Estate may overlap and in some
situations result in both recovering.
Q: What types of Arizona cases do you handle?
A: I handle all types of Arizona personal injury, wrongful death and products liability cases, including: crashes and collisions involving bikes. I also handle criminal defense cases especially where a cyclist was ticketed. I have handled bankruptcy, domestic, contract, aviation, probate and conservatorship cases and bring that knowledge to the personal injury practice. For example, if the settlement is for a minor child and requires a conservatorship, I will handle that myself and save you the cost of hiring a conservatorship attorney. Or if the defendant files a bankruptcy I will appear in the bankruptcy court and seek to allow the case to continue against the insurance company.
Q: What parts of Arizona do you handle cases in?
A: Although I am located in Tucson, Arizona, I will take cases throughout the entire State of Arizona. I am native to Tucson and have worked and lived in all parts of Arizona. Prior to becoming an attorney, I flew and maintained helicopters for charter companies at the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Sedona, Douglas and Scottsdale. As an attorney, I have practiced extensively in Mohave County and Pima County. I have had cases in Mohave County, La Paz County, Pima County, Cochise County, Maricopa County, Coconino County and Yavapi County.
Arizona Legal Links
I am a member of the Arizona Trial Lawyer’s Association aztla.org
You can find Arizona statutes here.
You may be able to look up some Arizona Bicycle cases here http://www.law.cornell.edu
Here is an interesting insurance law website http://www.lawresearchservices.com/firms/practice/ctinsur.htm
This is a handy legal dictionaryhttp://www.lectlaw.com/def.htm
This is Arizona’s Corporation website to look up who owns companies in Arizona http://starpas.azcc.gov/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=wsbroker1/main.p
Maybe you are looking for a specific court? http://www.ncsconline.org/D_KIS/info_court_web_sites.html
Arizona Administrative Code http://www.azsos.gov/public_services/Table_of_Contents.htm
Tucson Municipal Code http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=11294&sid=3
Municipal Codes for other Arizona Cities http://www.municode.com/resources/code_list.asp?stateID=3
Look up medical terminology and learn about specific conditions http://www.medscape.com/home
Look up a particular doctor in Arizona:
Ph.D. and Ed.D.
M.D. and P.A.
Arizona Cycling Links
I support the local bicycle team of http://www.christiancycling.com/Spokes/Arizona/
I am also an advocate level member of the League of American Bicyclists and am a certified League Cycling Instructor, L.C.I.#1730 at www.bikeleague.org
I support the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists at cazbike.org
I am a member of the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee and chairman of the Enforcement Subcommittee at http://www.dot.co.pima.az.us/tpcbac
I am a sustaining member of the Greater Arizona Bicycling Association at www.bikegaba.org
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