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Liability in Bicycle Accidents in Washington: What You Should Know

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Are Bicycle Accidents Common in Washington State?

Across the nation, bicycle accident fatalities have risen to their highest numbers in the past three decades. If there is a cause for this uptick in bicycle accident deaths, many critics point to cell phone usage and distracted drivers. That plus statistics show that Americans are now logging more miles and driving faster than before, which increases the chances of accidents happening.

Thankfully, Washington is not considered one of the most dangerous states for cyclists. The most dangerous states for bicyclists include California, Florida, New York, and Texas. It should not be surprising, however, that most bicycle accident deaths occur in densely populated metropolitan areas, of which Washington has a few.

Every year, Washington sees an average of a dozen or more fatal bike crashes. Additionally, there are approximately 100 bike accidents that result in serious or catastrophic injuries.

Ultimately, one bike crash is too many, and we should not minimize the fact that lives have been lost in Washington, even though we are generally considered to be a safer state than others. Steps should be taken, and are being taken, to improve cyclists’ safety on the roads. However, increased awareness is necessary to ensure bicyclists’ safety.

What Should You Do in the Event of a Bicycle Accident?

Bicycle crashes can be very traumatic and far too often deadly events. Whether you are the cyclist or a loved one of the cyclists who has been in an accident, it is important to attempt to remain calm following the accident and go through the necessary steps to ensure the injured cyclist’s well-being while also planning for a future personal injury claim.

First things first, you must seek medical attention after a bike crash with an automobile. It is highly likely that a cyclist would sustain serious injuries following a bike versus car accident.

Even if you think you are okay, it is still highly recommended that you get medical treatment from a professional. Some bike accidents can cause hidden injuries, and it is necessary to see a doctor in order to get a proper checkup to look for these injuries. Additionally, failure to seek medical aid following your bicycle accident could result in your insurance claim being dismissed at a later date. The insurance company could point to the fact that you did not get medical attention after your accident, thus proving that your injuries were minor and not worth the personal injury claim you are seeking.

Next, contact law enforcement by calling 911. Your police report will be valuable evidence for your personal injury lawyers when it comes time to file your bike accident claim.

While you wait for law enforcement, speak with any eyewitnesses to the crash and get their witness testimonies on video or audio recording. Additionally, take time to photograph and video record the accident scene, including documenting your injuries, the state of your bike after the crash, and the damage done to the vehicle that struck you.

Finally, if you haven’t already, now is the time to contact personal injury attorneys to discuss your case. Our law firm offers a free consultation to new clients with bike accident claims. To learn more about how we can help you through this difficult time, please contact our law offices today.

What Are Washington’s Comparative Negligence Laws?

In many cases, a car driver may be 100% to blame for causing a bicycle accident. However, in other instances, the cyclist or other parties may share part of the blame. And still, in some situations, the cyclist and the motorist may share equal amounts of blame.

In Washington, we follow pure comparative negligence laws for personal injury cases like bike accidents. What this means is that a cyclist may seek compensation for damages even when they were deemed to be mostly at fault for causing a bicycle collision.

However, your compensation will be reduced according to how much fault you have for causing the bike crash. For example, if you are 30% to blame for the bike crash, then you may see your maximum compensation diminished by 30%.

How Does an Injured Bicyclist Prove Fault in a Bike Crash?

Many bicycle accident claims involve instances where cyclists were struck by motor vehicles while riding their bikes. In order to prove that a motorist was negligent, the bicyclists must show the following:

  • The motor vehicle driver owed the bicyclist a duty of care. All motorists have a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid harming themselves or others who share the roadways in Washington.
  • The driver breached their duty in some way or another. The cyclist and their lawyer must show that the motorist failed to exercise reasonable care on the roads.
  • As a result of this breach of care, the cyclist was injured in the accident.
  • In order to recover compensation for your case, it will be necessary to show that the injury sustained in the bike crash caused economic or non-economic damages to the injured victim.

When is it a Case of Product Liability or Negligence?

In many bicycle crashes, driver negligence is to blame. However, that is not always the case. In some scenarios, product liability may be to blame for the cause of an accident. For example, if vehicle defects or bicycle defects (including defects in bicycle parts) caused a vehicle or bike to veer into the path of another person on the road, this might have been the cause of an accident. In such cases, it is impossible to say that the driver was negligent or that the cyclist was negligent. To pursue compensation, you would need to file a product liability claim against the makers of the bike or vehicle parts.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Washington Bicycle Accident Attorney

Khan Injury Law has years of experience representing injured cyclists in bike crash cases across Washington. We would be proud to represent your interests and legal rights as you pursue justice and financial recovery for your injuries.

Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that there is no fee unless we win. That’s right, you don’t pay unless we win your case. So, schedule your risk-free, zero-obligation case evaluation today. 206-900-9900.

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