Seattle Bike Accidents: What You Need to Know
The sheer size and weight difference between cars and bikes put them at a distinct disadvantage. When a crash occurs between a bicycle and a motor vehicle, the bicyclist can suffer severe injuries. Often, the fault rests with the motor vehicle driver for failing to share the road safely.
Washington Bike Law
Under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.61.755, bicyclists are protected from the actions of negligent or reckless drivers. Injured bike riders involved in crashes resulting from the negligence of other drivers can get compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
Compensation for Bicycle vs. Car Accidents
Bicyclists who have suffered one or more injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle may be entitled to recover compensation for these injuries and damages. This compensation may include coverage for:
- Property Damage
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Past and Future Medical Bills
- Permanent Disability
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Consortium
Drivers who obey the law regarding required insurance coverage carry liability insurance to pay the cost of a victim’s damages in the event of an accident.
Proving Liability for a Bike Accident
To prove liability in a bicycle-motor vehicle crash, the injured bicyclist needs to call the police as soon as possible so they can write a report consisting of a fair and honest assessment of the accident details.
Other factors that can establish liability include photographs of the scene and statements from witnesses. If you are physically able, take numerous photos and record contact information of any individuals who may have witnessed the incident.
Claims Against a Government Agency
Regardless of the severity of the injuries you incur if you’re involved in a bicycle accident, insurance policies are often limited in how much they cover. Cyclists injured by government vehicles may have access to higher coverage amounts.
Although these cases are rare, cyclists can be injured due to negligent road design or poor road upkeep. In such cases as the injured cyclist, you may be able to file a claim against the government agency responsible for the design or maintenance of the roadway.
What To Do After a Bicycle Accident in Washington?
If you are involved in a bicycle vs. car accident in Seattle or anywhere in Washington, knowing how to protect your rights and get the medical attention you need is important. Here are the steps you should take:
- Check for Injuries: Your priority should be to check for injuries. If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 immediately.
- Move to a Safe Location: If you can, move yourself and your bicycle to a safe location out of traffic.
- Call the Police: Even if you think the accident is minor, it is important to call the police so that they can file an accident report. The police report will be helpful if you need to file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
- Exchange Information: Exchange information with the car’s driver, including their name, address, phone number, insurance information, and license plate number.
- Get Witness Info: If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their names and contact information.
- Take Pictures: Document the accident scene, your bicycle, and any damage to your property.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t think you are injured, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any hidden injuries. Your medical records will serve as a baseline for the severity of your injuries and will be evidence in your insurance claim.
- Contact a Seattle Bike Accident Attorney: If you have been injured in the accident, you should contact a Seattle bike injury attorney to discuss your legal options. An attorney can help you file an insurance claim, negotiate a settlement, or file a lawsuit.