Washington Bike Accident FAQ’s
WASHINGTON BICYCLE ACCIDENTS
What are some of the common bicycle claims you represent?
We represent many types of bicycle claims. While motor vehicle injuries may be the most severe, they aren’t the only injuries that bicyclists experience.
Bicycle – Motor Vehicle Injuries
This is the most common type of bicycle injury we represent. You would be amazed at how many times a bicyclist is injured because the driver of a parked car, fails to check if anyone is coming before they open their car door. The bike slams into the door, and the bicyclist is thrown into traffic and severely injured.
Bicycle – Dog Attacks
Whether a dog bites you are not, in King County a dog’s owner has a responsibility to keep their dog from chasing after bicyclists. Dogs have been known to knock cyclists off their bikes, causing serious injuries. If the dog has a known propensity for chasing cyclists, cars or others passing by the property, your case is even stronger. Boyd Buckingham represents clients who have suffered a bicycle injury from dog bites and other dog attacks.
Bicycle –Product Liability
If a bicycle helmet fails during a crash, the manufacture of the product may be liable. This is also true if some part of your bicycle fails during a manufacturer’s warranty. Boyd Buckingham represents clients who suffer bicycle injuries because of product failure.
Bicycle – Motor Vehicle Harassment
Motor vehicle harassment is especially prevalent during the summer when cyclists wear formfitting clothing. If a driver is harassing you, you can secure an anti-harassment protection order against them. While there are no laws currently protecting bicyclists from cat calls, etc. , it is illegal to throw things at a bicyclist or pass too close. If a car forces you off the road, the driver has broken the law. Boyd Buckingham has successfully represented other bicyclists who have been victims of motor vehicle harassment.
Bicycle – Wrongful Death
When someone you love dies from the complications of a bicycle accident, and someone else was at fault, you may have a wrongful death claim. Boyd Buckingham would be happy to help you prove that negligence played a role in your loved one’s death.
When can I sue for a bicycle accident?
It you are a family member are injured or killed while riding a bicycle, you may sue if the person causing the injury or death was negligent or at fault. It is reasonable for you to expect someone who is at fault to accept responsibility. If they do not, you will want to file suit promptly, before any statute of limitation runs out.
If I am injured in a bicycle accident, who can I expect to recover damages from?
Bicycle accidents caused by vehicles
You can expect to recover damages from the person who cause your injury, if you’re involved in an accident that involves a negligent driver of an automobile, bus or truck.
Bicycle accidents caused by manufacturer negligence
If you are injured in an accident that has been caused by a defective product, you may be able to recover damages from the manufacturer of the bicycle, bicycle parts or accessory that caused the accident.
Bicycle accidents caused by road conditions
You can’t sue because it was raining, but you may have a claim against the city, county or state if the roadway has not been maintained properly and is dangerous under normal conditions.
Bicycle accidents caused by negligent repair shops
You may have a claim against a repair shop and the mechanic who did the repairs. The negligence might involve a bicycle repair. But it could also include an accident caused by the failure to repair a car’s brake system properly.
Bicycle accidents caused by careless maintenance of public property
If your bicycle accident is caused by poor design or poor maintenance of public property, you may have a claim.
Bicycle accidents caused by careless maintenance of private property
If your bicycle accident is caused because someone fails to take care of their property, you may have a claim.
What kinds of damages can I collect?
You can seek recovery of medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by your bicycle accident.
Do I have to obey certain laws as a bicyclist?
Yes. In Washington state, there are specific laws that bicyclists are expected to obey. You are expected to use hand signals to indicate when you intend to stop or turn. Bicyclists are allowed to use the right shoulder on limited access highways unless signs are posted prohibiting bicycles. Such signs are common in urban areas.
As soon as you begin pedaling a bicycle, you have all the rights of any other vehicle on the road, with minor exceptions based upon the differences between motor vehicles and bicycles. You can also be ticketed for any violations of bicycle laws.
Common bicycle laws
- If you are peddling at speed slower than the normal flow of traffic, stay as near to the right side of the road as practical, unless you intend to turn to the left.
- If you are bicycling on a roadway that has a shoulder or bike lane, you may use it.
- Never bicycle more than two abreast, unless you are on a roadway that has been set apart for bicycle use.
- Never carry anything that prevents you from holding one handlebar at all times.
- If you are going to be on the road during the hours of darkness, you must equip your bicycle with a headlamp that is visible at least 500 feet in front of you. Your bicycle must have a red reflector on the rear which can be seen in the headlamps of a car following you, from between 100 to 600 feet before they reach you.
- Every bicycle must have brakes that will cause the bike to skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
- Operating a bicycle after you’ve been drinking or using drugs can result in a DUI charge. You could even lose your driver’s license.
Could I be found at fault for my bicycle accident?
Yes, you could. This is why it is so important to obey Washington’s bicycle laws. You could be found guilty of contributing to or causing your own accident. In this case, not only could you be charged, you could also be held responsible for any injuries caused to someone else. This is one reason why it is so important that you contact an attorney who understands the intricacies of bicycle personal injury.
How experienced is your law firm in bicycle accident law?
Because Boyd Buckingham is an avid bicyclist who rides between 100 and 250 miles per week, he is very knowledgeable in the area of bicycle accident law. He has helped many seriously injured cyclists recover the maximum amount of damage compensation for their personal injuries.
Do I need to pay before you will consider representing my bicycle accident case?
No. Boyd Buckingham provides free evaluations. Call our law offices at (425) 228-6662. If we do take your case, we use a basic contingency fee structure.
Are bicycle accidents similar to pedestrian accidents?
In some ways they are, but in others a bicycle accident is more like a motor vehicle accident, because bicyclists must obey Washington’s state traffic laws.
How long will my bicycle accident case take?
Most cases are resolved within nine months of the accident without having to go to court. Often, the property damage portion of the case can be resolved within six weeks.
What are the most important reasons for hiring an attorney to represent me after a bike accident?
There are several reasons hiring an attorney makes sense.
Recovering damages for personal injuries is complicated.
Unless you hire an attorney who understands personal injury case law, you will rarely recover as much as you would have if you had hired legal representation.
When you hire an attorney, you improve your chances for proper medical treatment.
Most competent doctors recognize that if an attorney has seen merit in a case, they have a reasonable expectation that their bill will be paid. This makes it easier to arrange for proper care even if you do not have health insurance or personal injury protection.
An experienced attorney can prevent an unfair insurance settlement.
Most insurance companies offer to pay as little as possible for your injury. Unless you hire an experienced, competent, aggressive attorney, you can expect the insurance companies to take advantage of you. Don’t mistake friendly, for being on your side. An insurance company agent has one primary responsibility– to go back to the company and make sure the payout is as small as possible.