Bicyclists are more at risk for crash-related injuries than vehicle drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although only one percent of all trips involve bicycles, nearly 467,000 bicycle-related injuries occurred in 2015. King County alone sees 42 collisions between bicyclists and cars that cause severe injuries each year, with 2-3 fatalities. Even with initiatives in place to protect bike riders, accidents on the roads still happen frequently.
The law mandates the same rights and responsibilities to bicycles and motor vehicles. If you followed the rules but got into a crash with an automobile, you could seek compensation for the harm you suffered. You can work with a Seattle bicycle accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, to explore your legal options. Get in touch with our team today at (800) 761-5225 for your free case review.
Potential Compensation Differs for Every Case
Injured cyclists have the right to submit a claim to recover losses related to an accident. Typically, the liable party’s insurance company will estimate the amount owed by requesting pertinent documents detailing medical bills, lost wages, property repair or replacement costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
A personal injury lawyer can help you estimate your damages. They will consider the elements involved in your case, mainly the collision’s economic impact on the injured cyclist. Often, insurance companies and liable parties will lower their offered payout by pointing out the victim’s fault in the accident—they might show evidence that you acted recklessly or negligently, causing the incident. Moreover, the insurer or at-fault driver might not factor in noneconomic compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, or disfigurement.
A Seattle bicycle accident lawyer can look at comparable cases and documentation of your expenses to determine the value of your claim. Remember that every case is different, so payouts vary.
For a free legal consultation with a bicycle accidents lawyer serving Seattle, call (800) 761-5225
Determining Fault in a Bicycle Accident
Before you can recover compensation from a personal injury case, you must prove the other party’s responsibility for the accident. In determining liability, negligence is a commonly used legal basis for pursuing claims—who among those involved in the accident acted negligently?
With bicycle accidents, sorting out liability can become challenging. Many injured bicyclists fail to receive compensation because of the other party’s defense—the cyclist acted unreasonably by violating traffic laws, causing motor vehicle drivers to collide with them.
A bicycle accident attorney can investigate your crash to pinpoint its and determine liable parties. If the other motorist is at fault, you must show that they failed to exercise a degree of reasonable care on the road, causing your injuries and property damage.
Suppose a driver in the left lane suddenly made a right turn and struck your bicycle because they did not check their side and rearview mirrors before turning. This would be an example of negligence on the part of the vehicle driver, which puts you and other motorists at risk. As such, you could hold them responsible for your injuries.
If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, a lawyer could help you establish the four essential elements to make your claim actionable. Besides showing that the other party owed you a duty of care and breached it, you must prove that their actions led to your injuries and caused you to suffer monetary damages. All four elements must be present to prove liability; otherwise, you do not have a case for seeking compensatory damages.
Seattle Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 761-5225
Washington’s Comparative Negligence Approach
Washington recognizes that multiple parties may be at fault for the accident, and each should be held liable according to their contribution to the incident. Revised Code of Washington (RCW) § 4.22.070 establishes the state’s comparative negligence rule in which your degree of fault proportionately reduces your potential compensation.
Based on Washington’s negligence laws, no restriction prevents recovery even if you were 90 percent at fault—the court could still award damages to you. Most insurance companies will raise the issue of shared blame during settlement negotiations. Instead of receiving the full amount of compensation, they will argue that you have contributed to the accident, thus reducing damages owed to you.
Working with a Seattle bicycle accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, could make the process of pursuing compensation easier than representing yourself. We can gather and examine evidence to establish the liable party and pursue compensatory awards for your injuries. Reach out today for a free case review with a representative from our team.
Understanding Washington’s Statute of Limitations
Every state has its statute of limitations, which are time limits for filing different legal actions. Such deadlines are in place to deter baseless and stale claims. If you decide to sue the party responsible for your injuries, understand that you only have three years per RCW § 4.16.080 to do so. The clock on the statute of limitations could begin either on the date of your biking accident or discovery of the injury, which can apply for latent injuries with severe complications.
Remember that failing to submit a claim within the deadline could forfeit your right to pursue compensation from those liable—the court might dismiss your case without a hearing. Should you decide to proceed with litigation, a Seattle bicycle accident lawyer could help you avoid missing the deadline or see whether you qualify for an exception.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Work with a Seattle Bicycle Accident Lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC
Whether you pursue an accident claim through an insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit against liable parties for your bicycle crash, you might benefit from working with a Seattle bicycle accident lawyer. The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can handle your case from start to finish—determining liability, compiling evidence, negotiating with insurance adjusters, and fighting your case in court if necessary. To get started, call (800) 761-5225 today for your free case review with a staff member.