If you have been hit by a vehicle on your bicycle, you may be wondering who is responsible for your mounting medical bills. A Seattle bicycle accident attorney at The Fang Law Firm can help you recover financial compensation from the negligent or careless driver. It can be overwhelming helping a friend or loved one after a bicycle accident or recovering yourself.
There are two possible routes of financial recovery from an at-fault driver after bike crashes:
Drivers in Washington are required to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage.
The insurance policy must have coverage of at least:
Filing a claim with an at-fault driver’s insurance company can get you an award of financial compensation in the form of a settlement. It is important to be aware that Washington is a comparative fault state. Comparative fault means that if you are found to have contributed to the accident in any way, your settlement award will be reduced by the percentage in which you contributed to the accident.
If you don’t reach a satisfactory settlement or your injuries are so severe that a settlement from the insurance company does not cover your medical bills, you can pursue a personal injury action against the at-fault driver.
A Seattle bicycle accident lawyer can walk you through the complex process of filing a claim against a negligent driver. A bicycle attorney will:
A jury can award you economic and non-economic damages if they find in your favor. Economic damages include things like medical treatment, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. Non economic damages include damages for pain and suffering, such as emotional distress.
Unfortunately, Washington does not allow a plaintiff to recover punitive damages in a personal injury claim. Punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault defendant and aren’t related to costs associated with your injury.
In personal injury actions, you have three years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If you have questions about personal injury claims or the injury claims process under Washington law, an experienced bicycle collision attorney can help explore your legal options during a free consultation.
Washington’s personal injury laws include a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim, including those from bicycle accidents. In most cases, victims have 3 years from the date of the accident in which to file a claim. Statutes of limitations are put in place for several reasons:
It’s essential to file an accident claim in a timely manner. A court will simply throw out a case filed past the statute of limitations. Some exceptions to Washington’s 3-year statute of limitations include:
When it comes to filing an injury claim for a bike accident, it’s best to act as soon as possible so as not to miss the 3-year deadline. Quick action also helps ensure evidence is available and witness testimony in your case is fresh.
Accidents happen in many ways. In some bicycle accidents, the motorist is entirely at fault, but in others, the bicyclist may be partly to blame, for instance for failing to signal a turn. Washington is a comparative negligence state. That means a victim may still recover compensation even if they were partly at fault in the accident. For example, if you were found to be 25% at fault for your accident and your award for compensation is 100,000 dollars, the court reduces your compensation award by $25,000 so you receive $75,000. Even if your case settles out of court, an insurance provider will offer the amount of the settlement based on this same rule.
In some cases, the city or county may be held liable in a bicycle accident if broken signal lights, missing stop signs, or damaged roads, sidewalks, or bridges caused the accident.
In some bicycle accidents, you may be found partly at fault if any of the below instances apply to your accident:
A bicycle accident lawyer can help you build the best case possible to present to the at-fault drivers insurance company. An insurance company knows that you are in a vulnerable state and insurance adjusters will use as many manipulative tactics as possible to encourage you to take a lower settlement offer. An experienced Seattle accident attorney won’t let this happen.
Injuries following a bicycle accident can range from minor to severe. The common types of injuries our Seattle bicycle accident lawyers see, include:
Injuries like these can prevent you from leading your normal life for some time, and even forever. There are ways you can prevent or lessen injuries if you’re involved in a bicycle accident in Seattle.
While in some cases, a bicyclist may be partly to blame for an accident, statistics show that motorists are much more often at fault in bike accidents. The most common causes of bicycle accidents include the following:
While wearing a helmet and protective gear helps minimize the chances of serious injury, a bicyclist doesn’t have the protection from exterior walls that a motorist does, leaving them at a disadvantage in accidents involving motor vehicles.
There are steps you can take to lessen your injuries if you are involved in a bicycle crash.
As the summer heat sets in and the spring greys turn into days full of sunshine, more bicyclists are out on the road. Some bicyclists are commuting to work and others are out for a fun afternoon ride. As bicyclists hit the road in droves, the accident numbers increase, even though Washington is the most bike-friendly state in the United States. In 2020, 860 bicycle accidents were reported in Washington state alone; 105 of those accidents resulted in serious injury and 12 resulted in death.
Call The Fang Law Firm today if you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident. We are standing by to assist you through this difficult process. Our knowledgeable bike collision attorneys have decades worth of experience in personal injury and bicycle accident litigation. The best part is, you don’t pay unless we win. Not only will we do everything we can to get you the highest settlement possible but you don’t have to pay anything until the settlement is finalized. It’s risk free!
We’ll handle all negotiations and keep you updated on your claim litigation process. While you recover, we’ll go to battle against crooked insurance companies to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Call us today at (206) 489-5140 for a free case consultation.
The Fang Law Firm offers 100% remote and contactless meetings & representation.