- How can I prove the driver who hit me is liable for my bicycle accident?
The best way to prove liability in nearly any type of accident is to call the police and have them write up an honest and fair assessment of the accident’s details. Beyond a police report witness statements and photos of the scene are also helpful in proving liability. If you are able, do not hesitate to take as many photos as possible, as well as writing down the contact information of anyone who might have seen the accident occur in real-time.
- How much money should I expect from my bicycle accident claim?
It varies. Bicycle accident claims are based on the gravity of the injuries you suffered, how long you were out of work, and upon the subjective concept of pain and suffering. Insurance adjusters are trained to keep settlement payouts as low as possible, so it’s best to hire an experienced attorney to negotiate for you. With this in mind, bicycle accident settlements can range anywhere from as low as 4-figures up to millions of dollars in some instances. It all depends on how badly your health and lifestyle were impacted by the collision.
- How long does a bicycle accident claim take to settle?
This depends on the length of your medical treatment. Once you are finished with treatment, your Advocate attorney can make a demand to the at-fault party/insurance provider and if they accept it then you should receive compensation within weeks. But if they reject it and negotiations break down then a lawsuit will have to be filed in order to continue. Unfortunately, the litigation process can take several months if not years before a resolution is reached. So, in short, the timeline varies anywhere between 4 months to several years.
When bicyclists and drivers share the road, cyclists are often left the losers. Bicyclists are at a high risk of accidents and injuries and considering the size difference between motor vehicles and bicycles, it’s easy to see why.
The Advocates Law knows about bicycle accident laws and how to get insurance companies to offer fair settlements. Our experienced attorney can help determine if your case is worth pursuing. If you’ve been involved in an accident you can be compensated for your medical bills, lost income, property damage, and any pain and suffering.
Bicycle Laws and Useful Facts
The following is a list of helpful information and facts about bicycle use and laws in Washington State:
- In Washington, bicyclists have the same rights on the road as the motorized vehicles do. The same traffic laws govern bicycles and cars or trucks. However, that does not guarantee that drivers sharing the road know that.
- The traffic laws govern what a bicyclist can do, but they also protect bicyclists from the actions of reckless or negligent drivers.
- Bicycle riders must stop at all red lights and stop signs and must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.
- Traffic laws may seem restrictive when you are on a bicycle, but those same laws give you the right to seek compensation for being injured in an accident.
- 61.755 grants you all of the rights and responsibilities of a motorist. This means that you are granted the same rights as drivers of other vehicles, but you also have the same duties such as yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians, as well as stopping at red lights and stop signs.
- 61.770 allows cyclists to ride side by side but no more than two abreast.
- 61.770 allows cyclists to choose between the roadway, a bike path, a bike lane, or the shoulder as suits their needs.
- 61.780 requires riders to have a white front light and a red rear reflector when riding at night to increase visibility.
How an Attorney Can Help with A Bicycle Accident Claim
Insurance adjusters are trained to offer the lowest possible payout for bike accident injuries. Insurance companies use this strategy even when the policyholder is grossly at fault. In order to save money, insurance companies will downplay the seriousness of bicycle accident injuries as well as the amount of time you will need to recover. Having an experienced attorney, familiar with bicycle accident injuries and the relevant law, can help you win fair compensation for you bicycle accident claim.
In a perfect world, the at-fault insurance company would provide full compensation after a bicycle accident without much of a fight. Instead, insurance companies act like the businesses they are and put their own interests before any other.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, an accident attorney at The Advocates Law will take on the insurance companies for you. We’ll negotiate a fair settlement with them, and if they won’t play ball we’ll file a lawsuit and take them court.
Common Causes Behind Accidents Involving a Bike and a Car
There are several common scenarios involving a motor vehicle driver’s negligence that result in a car and bicycle accident. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) reports that the most common factors contributing to bicycle accidents are:
- Drivers failing to see a bicyclist
- Careless and reckless driving
- Excessive speed of the vehicle
- Under influence of alcohol and/or drugs
In 2012, the WTSC reported 1,294 car and bicycle accidents. Of those accidents, 1,214 resulted in injury. While over half of the reported car and bicycle accidents were caused by the driver being at fault, there are also several common factors where negligence on behalf of the bicyclist. The most common causes of a car and bike accident where the cyclist at fault was:
- Failure to yield right-of-way to an automobile
- Riding the bicycle on the wrong side of the road
- Disregarding traffic signs or signals
- Under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
Bicycle Accident Injuries
Car accidents involving a bicyclist often cause serious injury to the bicyclist. A bicycle accident injury can be a life-changing event and can have long-term consequences and injuries. Some common bike accident injuries include:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck, back, and spine injury
- Nerve damage
- Joint dislocation
The majority of bicycle accident injuries happen in urban areas due to the increased use of bicycles in cities and towns. Statistics show that injuries are more likely to occur on certain types of roadways than others. Nearly 2/3rds of bike accident injuries or fatalities occur in intersections, with T-intersections being the most dangerous, and then roundabouts.
Bicycle Accident Compensation
A common question victims have after their bicycle accident is, “Will I be able to pay all of my bills?” If you hire an Advocate you can rest easy. We will get you every penny of compensation you are owed for your losses. The compensation you receive will more than cover your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, as well as any pain and suffering you experienced.
If you have been involved in a bicycling accident with a driver, you are almost certainly entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact The Advocates Law today to set up a meeting with one of our bicycle accident attorneys so we can help you determine the value of your case. We have decades of experience working with bicycle accident victims just like you and we can make sure you are more than adequately compensated. Call us at 206-452-4200 for a free case evaluation. Don’t wait to get back on the road to recovery. Call us today!