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Seattle Motorcycle Accident Attorney

The Seattle motorcycle accident attorneys at The Fang Law Firm have over a decade of experience in motorcycle accident lawsuits. Don’t fight insurance companies and negligent or careless drivers on your own. We’ll handle negotiations while you recover. Call us today at (206) 489-5140 and one of our motorcycle accident lawyers will walk you through a free case consultation.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, the future may seem unknown, especially if injuries were sustained and medical bills are piling up. Motorcycle accidents are frighteningly common. A knowledgeable attorney can help you recover the financial settlement you deserve.

 

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Choose Us to Help with Your Motorcycle Accident Claim

  • We’re winners: We have litigated over 10,000 cases with a 98 percent success rate.
  • 24/7 365 days a year: We’re available and promise to return your call within 24 hours.
  • We’ve seen it all: our Seattle personal injury lawyers have over a decade of experience in personal injury claims.

How Do I Recover Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident?

Financial recovery is almost as important as physical recovery in a motorcycle accident. There are two ways to recover after a serious injury or the death of a loved one.

  • Filing a claim against the at-fault’s insurance
  • Filing a civil suit against the at-fault driver

Recovering from the at-fault’s insurance

The state of Washington requires all drivers to carry the following insurance coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage: $10,000
  • Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Underinsured motorist property damage coverage: $10,000 per accident
  • Basic personal injury protection: $10,000 per accident

Depending on the injuries that you or your loved one sustains, you may not be able to entirely recover from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Let’s face it, the insurance company wants to pay out the smallest amount of money possible; they know that you are in a vulnerable position and will take advantage of that to bully you into a smaller settlement offer. A skilled motorcycle accident attorney in Seattle can help you recover from an insurance company.

If the insurance company refuses to give you the settlement amount you deserve, your motorcycle accident attorney can pursue an action against the at-fault driver in court.

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

  • Unsafe lane changes: It’s easy to change lanes on your motorcycle and bob and weave between vehicles to get to your destination faster. However, vehicle drivers may not see you in time. To avoid a costly motorcycle accident, follow the traffic laws at all times.
  • Inexperienced drivers: Inexperienced drivers aren’t as familiar with road conditions and other drivers. They may not know to check their mirrors for motorcycles.
  • Car doors: Drivers exiting their vehicles may not be paying attention when they open their doors to exit the vehicles.
  • Left-turn accidents: Drivers making a left turn might not see the motorcyclist coming up on their left side shoulder.
  • Speeding: Accidents happen at high speeds. When you are speeding it is harder and takes longer to stop.
  • Rear-end accidents: Drivers on their phones or not paying attention may run into you from behind, causing serious death or injury.

Any number of things could go wrong on the road to cause a motorcycle accident. It is important to remain aware of your surroundings to avoid serious injury or even death.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

These injuries can result in significant medical bills, lost wages, and even permanent disability.

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

  • Get to the shoulder of the road: After a motorcycle accident, seeking safety is the first thing you should do to prevent further injury.
  • Call 911: If there are serious injuries, it is imperative to seek the help of medical professionals as soon as possible.
  • Exchange insurance information: This step is essential to seeking financial compensation later on.
  • Keep your protective gear on: Don’t remove your protective gear until instructed to do so by a medical professional. Your protective gear may be compressing a potentially fatal injury or embedded into road rash wounds.
  • File a police report: A police report is important evidence to have to explain the story of the accident to the insurance company.
  • Take pictures of the incident and your injuries: Pictures are a great evidence tool to have when seeking compensation from the insurance company.
  • Keep copies of all your medical records: An insurance agency or judge won’t pay out personal injury claims without medical records to prove the injury exists.
  • Call an attorney: An insurance company knows that you are going through a very difficult and financially taxing time. They will do everything they can to reduce your settlement amount or deny your claim. A Seattle accident attorney can negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
  • File a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company: Filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company starts the process of financial recovery.

What Happens if You’re Hit by a Driver that Doesn’t Have Insurance?

The claims process gets a little trickier if you are hit by a Washington driver without insurance coverage. This is a likely occurrence because Washington ranks fifth for the number of uninsured drivers in the nation! Roughly 21.7 percent of Washington drivers are uninsured.

The best way to prevent this from happening is by purchasing Uninsured Motorist Insurance (UMI). UMI preserves an avenue of recovery for you if you are hit by an uninsured driver. If you have UMI you can make a claim against it to pay for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and much more.

Even though you’re recovering from your insurance company, it is still an insurance company. An insurance company will do their best to ensure that they don’t have to pay you the entire amount you’re entitled to. A motorcycle accident lawyer can oversee the claims process with your UMI insurance company and make sure that you receive the settlement amount you deserve.

A skilled motorcycle accident attorney can also help you recover from the at-fault driver through a civil lawsuit.

Claims You Can Bring Against an At-fault Driver

A Claim for Negligence

To prove a claim for negligence, you and your Seattle motorcycle crash lawyer will have to prove that:

  1. The driver had a duty to you
  2. The driver breached that duty
  3. The breach of that duty was proximately related to your injury
  4. Damages resulted from that injury

Washington’s statute of limitations, or time limit, for bringing a negligence claim is three years from the date of injury.

Proving a Personal Injury Claim

To prove a personal injury claim, you and your attorney must prove that:

  1. The at-fault driver acted negligently or with recklessness or negligence; and
  2. Their actions or failure to act led to an injury

The statute of limitations under Washington law for a personal injury claim is three years from the date of injury.

When you file a court action against the driver, the court process begins. Your Seattle motorcycle accident attorney can help you prepare for trial and present the best case possible in order to receive a damage award from the jury.

The jury can award you economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include quantitative costs spent recovering from your injuries, such as medical bills, rehabilitative costs, and lost wages. Non-economic damages include qualitative damages such as pain and suffering.

Is Washington a Comparative Fault State?

It is important to be aware that Washington is a comparative fault state. That means that if a jury finds that you contributed to the accident in any way, your damage award will be reduced by the amount in which you contributed. It is important to make sure that you drive safely and your motorcycle complies with all Washington road laws.

Washington Motorcycle Laws

  • A permit or endorsement is required: Washington law requires that all motorcycle riders go through a permit or endorsement class before taking the bike out on the street.
  • Wear a helmet: Washington requires that all motorcycle riders wear a helmet while on the bike. Any passengers on your bike are required to wear a helmet as well.
  • Wear eye protection: Similar to the helmet law, Washington law requires you to wear eye protection while riding a motorcycle.
  • Follow the rules of the road: Motorcycles must follow all the rules of the road, they are treated the same as vehicles under Washington law.
  • No passengers under five
  • Register your motorcycle: Just like a vehicle, a motorcycle needs to be registered
  • Sit properly on the motorcycle: you can’t ride with both feet on the same side of the motorcycle
  • Check the sound: WAC §173-62-030 prohibits bikes from exceeding a sound level of 78 dBA at 45 mph or less.
  • Two across only: RCW 46.61.610 prohibits motorcycles from riding more than two abreast.
  • Don’t ride between vehicles: RCW 46.61.110 & 46.61.115 prohibits riding in between lanes even in stop-and-go traffic.
  • Don’t ride on the shoulder: RCW 46.61.608 prohibits motorcyclists from riding on the shoulder of the road.
  • Purchase motorcycle insurance: Washington now requires that all motorcyclists purchase $25,000 in bodily injury coverage, $50,000 in bodily injury liability for two or more people, and $10,000 in property damage coverage.

In addition to general laws about owning and operating a motorcycle, Washington has codified motorcycle equipment requirements.

Washington Motorcycle Equipment Laws

Your motorcycle must have the following equipment per Washington law:

  • Two to three wheels
  • Electric or fuel motor
  • Windshield or wear eye protectors
  • Handlebars no higher than 30 inches
  • Footpegs for both driver and passenger
  • Brakes
  • Controls
  • Headlights
  • Brake lights
  • License plate light
  • Red reflector to the rear
  • Turn signals if built after January 1, 1960
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Muffler
  • Mirrors
  • Fenders Speedometer

It is imperative to follow these laws to a T to ensure your damage award is not reduced due to comparative fault.

Washington Motorcycle Red Light Law

RCW 46.61.184 provides that if a cyclist is at a pressure-activated redlight that does not turn green because the motorcycle is not heavy enough to trigger the light, the motorcyclist can legally drive through the red light after one complete light cycle, but the motorcyclist must heed to pedestrians.

How to Prevent Motorcycle Injuries

You can reduce injuries while riding a motorcycle by:

  • Wearing protective gear
  • Properly maintaining your bike
  • Paying attention to the road
  • Abiding by all Washington Motorcycle Laws

Washington Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Did you know that motorcycles only comprise three percent of road users in Washington but account for 15 percent of all fatalities and 19 percent of serious injuries? In fact, one in five motorcycle accidents ended in serious injury!

Contact Our Seattle Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

There are a lot of factors that go into financial recovery following a motorcycle accident. Don’t navigate this difficult time on your own. Hire a motorcycle accident attorney to handle all the claim logistics with insurance company representatives. The Fang Law Firm will handle insurance adjusters while you recover.

We have over ten years of experience in the accident litigation area. We have seen it all and we know all the tricks that insurance companies and opposing parties use to force you into a lower settlement amount than you deserve. Our motorcycle collision lawyers are standing by to answer any and all questions you have following a motorcycle accident injury. Call us at (206) 489-5140 for a free case consultation. Let’s get you the settlement you deserve.