Bicycle accidents can be a traumatic experience, causing severe physical injury, emotional distress, and financial strain. At Bungay Law, our compassionate Washington Bicycle Accident Attorneys understand your struggle and are committed to helping you navigate this challenging time.
Bike accidents can happen at any time, and if you have suffered a bicycle crash, rely on our Seattle bicycle accident lawyers to represent you. We can recover compensation to cover medical bills for an injured cyclist.
Learn more about how our personal injury lawyers can help you, and call us to schedule a case consultation.
Why Choose Bungay Law for Your Bicycle Accident Case in Washington
Choosing Bungay Law to represent your bicycle accident case in Washington means trusting a team that genuinely cares about your well-being. We strive to provide the following:
- Personalized Attention: We understand that each case is unique. Our attorneys take the time to understand your situation, crafting a legal strategy that aligns with your specific needs and goals.
- Experienced Advocacy: Our lawyers have a wealth of experience handling bicycle accident cases. They are well-versed in Washington State’s bicycle laws and have a track record of successful outcomes.
- Compassionate Representation: We approach each case with empathy and respect. We aim to reduce your stress and support you during this challenging time.
- No Fee Unless We Win: We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t pay us a dime unless we win your case. We fight for bicycle accident victims after a bike crash.
Washington Bicycle Accident Statistics
Based on information from the Washington state government, 474 cyclists and pedestrians were killed between 2013 and 2017.
In addition, news reports indicate that accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians have increased over the past few years, highlighting the importance of safety and caution when riding a bike. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, reach out to us to schedule a case consultation.
Understanding Washington State Bicycle Law
In Washington, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. They are entitled to use the road and must obey traffic laws.
For example, if there is a stop sign, people riding bicycles must come to a complete stop before proceeding. If there is a red light, cyclists must wait for the light to turn green, just like the cars on the road. Understanding these laws is crucial in determining liability in a bicycle accident.
Most Common Types of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can occur in various situations and often have devastating consequences. Understanding the most common types of accidents can help cyclists be more aware of potential hazards and take preventive measures. The following are some of the most common types of bicycle accidents:
- Dooring: This type of accident occurs when a parked vehicle’s door is unexpectedly opened into a bicyclist’s path. It is a common hazard in urban areas with roadside parking, and it can lead to serious injuries as the cyclist has little to no time to react. Bike lanes that run alongside parked cars are particularly prone to dooring accidents. Cyclists should be aware of this risk and keep a safe distance from parked vehicles whenever possible. Motorists and passengers should always check for cyclists before opening their doors.
- Right Cross: This happens when a vehicle pulls out from a side street, driveway, or parking spot right in front of a cyclist. The driver may fail to see the cyclist or misjudge their speed, causing a collision. Cyclists can help prevent these accidents by using lights and high-visibility clothing, especially in low-light conditions. Motorists should always check for cyclists before pulling out onto the road.
- Left Cross: This occurs when an oncoming vehicle turns left in front of a bicyclist. The driver may not see the cyclist or may incorrectly judge their speed. To prevent such accidents, cyclists should make themselves as visible as possible and be aware of oncoming traffic at intersections. On the other hand, drivers should always check for cyclists before making a left turn.
- Rear-End: This type of accident happens when a vehicle hits a cyclist from behind. This can occur if the driver is distracted, speeding, or fails to see the cyclist. It is one of the most dangerous types of bicycle accidents and can result in serious injuries or even death. Cyclists can reduce the risk of rear-end accidents by using rear lights and reflective gear. Drivers should maintain a safe distance and always be on the lookout for cyclists, especially at night or in poor weather conditions.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Washington
While many causes of bicycle accidents exist, some are more common than others. Understanding these causes can help both cyclists and drivers take steps to prevent accidents. Here are the most common causes of bicycle accidents:
- Distracted Driving: Motorists not paying attention to the road pose a significant risk to bicyclists. This can include drivers who are texting, talking on the phone, eating, or otherwise not focused on driving. Distracted driving can prevent motorists from seeing cyclists or reacting in time to avoid a collision.
- Failure to Yield Right of Way: Many bicycle accidents occur when motorists fail to yield the right of way to cyclists at intersections. Drivers may not see the cyclist or incorrectly assume that the cyclist will yield to them. Motorists should always check for cyclists and yield as required by law.
- Speeding: Motorists who speed have less time to react to avoid hitting a cyclist. They may also misjudge a cyclist’s speed, leading to a collision. Speeding is particularly dangerous in areas with high bicycle traffic.
- Drunk Driving: Impaired drivers are a significant threat to bicyclists. Alcohol or drugs can affect a driver’s ability to see cyclists, judge distances, and react quickly to prevent an accident.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accident injuries can be devastating due to bicycle’s lack of protection compared to motor vehicles. These injuries can range from minor to severe, with some having long-term or even life-altering effects. Here are some of the most common bicycle accident injuries:
- Scrapes and Bruises: While these may seem minor compared to other injuries, scrapes and bruises can still be quite painful and require treatment. Cyclists often sustain these injuries when they fall or are thrown off their bikes in an accident.
- Fractures and Broken Bones: Bicyclists can easily break bones in a collision, particularly in the arms, wrists, and collarbone, as they instinctively reach out to break their fall. Leg and rib fractures are also common. These injuries can be extremely painful and may require surgery and a lengthy recovery period.
- Head Injuries: Despite the use of helmets, head injuries are common in bicycle accidents. These can range from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs can have long-lasting or even permanent effects, including cognitive difficulties, mood changes, and physical impairments.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries can occur if a cyclist lands on their back or neck or is hit by a vehicle. Spinal cord injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis, which can be permanent.
- Road Rash: This occurs when a cyclist slides across the pavement, causing layers of skin to be scraped away. Road rash can lead to significant scarring and, in severe cases, may require skin grafts.
- Internal Injuries: The impact of a bicycle accident can cause internal injuries, including organ damage and internal bleeding. These injuries can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
The recovery process from these injuries can be lengthy and challenging, often requiring extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. In severe cases, cyclists may be left with permanent disabilities that affect their quality of life.
What To Do After a Bicycle Accident
If you’re involved in a bicycle accident, it’s important to take the following steps:
- Seek Medical Attention: Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, even if you feel fine.
- Report the Accident: Contact the police and provide an accurate account of the incident.
- Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any property damage.
- Collect Information: Obtain contact and insurance information from all parties involved. Do not forget to ask for a copy of the police report as well.
- Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney: Seek legal guidance to understand your rights and options.
When looking for Washington bicycle accident attorneys who can represent you, look no further than Bungay Law. We would be pleased to provide you with the legal representation you expect and deserve.
Assigning Liability in Your Washington Bicycle Accident
Establishing fault in a bicycle accident involves identifying the party who acted negligently or failed to uphold their duty of care on the road. This could be a motorist, cyclist, or even a third party such as a pedestrian, municipal entity, or vehicle manufacturer.
Our experienced attorneys at Bungay Law can help investigate your accident, gather evidence, and establish liability to strengthen your claim.
Types of Damages Available in a Washington Bicycle Accident Claim
Victims of bicycle accidents can seek two main types of damages:
These are damages that can be objectively defined using a receipt or invoice. A few examples include:
- Medical expenses: This can include costs for hospitalization, surgery, medication, physical therapy, and future medical care. In addition, if you believe you will require medical care in the future, you may be able to recover compensation to cover future medical expenses.
- Lost wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can seek compensation for lost income and loss of earning capacity. If your injuries will prevent you from returning to work in the future, this compensation can be significant.
- Property damage: You can seek compensation for repairing or replacing your bicycle and any other damaged property. For example, if you had an electronic device damaged in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation to replace it.
We encourage you to keep all receipts from any expenses related to the accident so that we can file for the maximum compensation we can recover.
These are subjective, non-monetary losses that are harder to quantify. On the other hand, they are no less important. There are plenty of examples of non-economic damages, such as:
- Pain and suffering: This can cover both physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident and your injuries. If you have seen a mental health professional after the accident, ask for a copy of your medical records.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: If your injuries prevent you from enjoying activities you once loved, you may be compensated for this loss. We will work closely with you to ensure we adequately explain the accident’s impact on your life.
There are even some situations where you could be awarded punitive damages. These damages are typically awarded when the circumstances of the accident are particularly egregious. Punitive damages are unavailable following every bicycle accident, but we can review your situation to see if you qualify. This can increase the size of your settlement significantly.
Start Working With Our Washington Bicycle Accident Attorneys at Bungay Law | Call Us Today!
At Bungay Law, we are committed to helping you secure the compensation you deserve. We understand that it can be stressful if you have been involved in a bicycle accident, and you should seek medical care as quickly as possible. Then, once you are sure there is a plan in place for your medical recovery, reach out to a Washington bicycle accident lawyer from our office to see if you are entitled to compensation. We will defend your rights and protect your interests. Don’t navigate this challenging process alone. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Washington Bicycle Accident FAQS
How will fault affect my settlement?
Washington is a comparative fault state. If you are partially blamed for the accident, your compensation could be reduced by the percentage you are at fault.
What evidence should be gathered?
Evidence can include photos of the accident scene and your injuries, witness statements, police reports, medical records, and anything else that can help prove the other party’s negligence and the extent of your damages.
Do bike riders have the right of way on Washington roads?
Yes, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers, including the right of way in many situations.
How can I file a personal injury claim after a Seattle bike accident?
The first step is to contact a knowledgeable bicycle accident attorney. They can guide you through the process, including gathering evidence, filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, and negotiating a fair settlement.
Can I sue a bicycle rental company or manufacturer for a Washington bike accident?
Yes, if a defective bicycle or negligent rental company contributed to your accident, you can hold them accountable.
Should I accept the settlement amount the insurance company is offering?
Before accepting any settlement, it’s recommended that you consult with an attorney. They can help ensure the offer adequately covers all of your damages.
How much does it cost to retain a bike accident lawyer?
At Bungay Law, we operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t pay any legal fees unless we win your case. Our initial consultation is also free of charge.