Can You Commit a Hit and Run as a Bicyclist?
Hit and run accidents involving bicyclists often portray the cyclist as the victim, watching as a relatively undamaged vehicle speeds off to avoid liability. However, bicyclists can commit hit and run accidents just like any other motorist, as they have a variety of legal obligations to fulfill after a crash of any size or variety. As a biker, it’s vital that you familiarize yourself with these obligations to avoid inadvertently committing a crime.
Arizona’s Hit and Run Laws for Bicyclists
Of the many Arizona bicycle laws that cyclists in the state are subject to, one is often overlooked: bicycles are functionally identical to any other motor vehicle in the context of most traffic laws, barring obvious exceptions. Most pressingly, this means that, as a cyclist, you’re subject to Arizona’s hit and run laws, which require you to do the following after a crash:
- Stop immediately, and move your bicycle from the path of traffic if applicable.
- Exchange your name and address with the other party. Motorists would normally have to exchange registration numbers and show their driver’s licenses as well, but this is less relevant as a cyclist.
- Ensure that any injured parties receive appropriate medical assistance. As a bicyclist, you can satisfy this requirement by calling 911, though those in motor vehicles might be expected to transport victims to the hospital themselves depending on the situation.
Failure to follow any of these points will render you guilty of a hit and run accident. If you hit an unattended vehicle or other personal property and can’t find the owner, you’ll usually be fine as long as you leave a note in or on the vehicle in a conspicuous place with your contact information and a short summary of the crash, such as “I hit the rear left corner of your vehicle with my bicycle.” Don’t neglect any of these points, as being found guilty of a hit and run in Arizona is either a Class 3 misdemeanor or Class 6 felony depending on the severity of the incident.
Ask a Lawyer About Arizona Hit and Run Bike Accidents
If you’ve been involved in a hit and run accident in Arizona as a bicyclist, it’s vital that you speak to a legal professional as soon as possible. Bicycles are in a unique legal position, in which they’re governed in equal parts by esoteric local laws, overarching traffic laws, and many exceptions that fall into grey areas, necessitating strong legal guidance in order to accurately interpret your case.
As a bicyclist, you have the same right as any motorist to open an insurance claim and seek compensation from an at-fault party. The Arizona personal injury attorneys at ELG can help you with the claims process, ensuring that you won’t be left high and dry on your bike repair and medical bills. Don’t delay, and take the first step towards a stress-free recovery. Give us a call today at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Arizona bicycle accident attorneys, and we’ll help to simplify matters for you, making it easy to seek fair compensation.