Experienced Washington Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Injuries from bicycle accidents are typically severe and more devastating.
Traveling by bicycle is an efficient, healthy, and affordable means of transportation, and is increasing in popularity across Washington State. Unfortunately, biking also can bring a heightened level of danger. Bicyclists are less visible, and bike riders are uniquely vulnerable to injury after a collision. A crash almost inevitably results in significant, and sometimes fatal, injuries to the rider. If you or someone you love sustained injuries in an accident, it’s time to speak with a Washington bicycle accident attorney.
The lawyers at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner have extensive experience working with clients injured in bicycle accidents. We possess a huge advantage over many other firms. Our Washington bicycle accident lawyers know what our clients will be facing as they move towards recovery, how to build complete and compelling claims, and how the insurance companies will respond. Please schedule a consultation with a Washington bicycle accident lawyer to learn how we can assist you.
Common Injuries in a Washington State Bicycle Accident
Injuries will vary based on the circumstances of the accident. However, we see some injuries more often than others. Symptoms may be noticeable immediately, while others might not show for days or even weeks. Some of the most common injuries we see include the following.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Brain injuries are one of the most common injuries. You might sustain a head injury without any visible injuries, such as a concussion. Brain injuries can include many different symptoms, such as mood swings, depression, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and headaches. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), head injuries are common occurrences in fatal bicycle accidents. Some of these deaths could have been avoided had the bicyclist worn a helmet.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A bicyclist who suffers an impact on the back may suffer a spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries are typically permanent and can result in paralysis, often from the waist or neck down. Symptoms of a spinal cord injury include loss of sensation, movement, and bladder and bowel control.
Cyclists can strike their faces on the bicycle, a car, or even the pavement, resulting in severe injuries. Facial injuries include broken noses, eye injuries, broken or dislocated jaws, and dental injuries. In some instances, bicyclists might sustain broken orbital fractures or cheekbones. Nerve damage is also a possibility with facial injuries.
Other Fractured or Broken Bones
All body parts are vulnerable in a bicycle accident. Some of the most common broken bones include:
- Hands, fingers, and wrists;
- Feet and ankles;
- Arms and legs;
- Pelvic bones;
- Hips; and
- Collarbones or clavicles.
If you suspect a broken bone following a bicycle accident, it’s crucial to seek medical attention right away. You could also have internal injuries that aren’t visible.
Victims can sustain various abdominal injuries, including renal contusions, splenic ruptures, bowel contusions, or hernias.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can occur for multiple reasons. Some of the most common causes we see in Washington include the following:
- Distracted driving,
- Changing lanes without looking,
- Pulling out of a driveway or parking spot without looking,
- Opening a car door onto a bicyclist (dooring),
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
- Driver fatigue,
- Failure to yield,
- Running a stop sign,
- Reckless or aggressive movements,
- Not leaving enough space,
- Speeding, and
- Not checking blind spots.
Bicycle accidents can happen anywhere, from parking lots to larger roads. Drivers must always be engaged and monitor for all hazards, not just other vehicles. Distracted driving has the potential to be deadly for bicyclists as well as motorcycle riders, pedestrians, and other motorists.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in Washington State
When you’re involved in a bicycle accident, taking proper steps to protect your rights and ensure you get the necessary medical attention is essential. Someone should contact the police and advise that an accident involving injuries has occurred. Get the contact information and insurance policy for the driver that struck you. Was there a witness? If so, you’ll want their contact information as well.
If you can do so safely and without further injuring yourself, take photos of the damage and surrounding scene. Include pictures of skid marks and anything pertinent to the accident. Be mindful of what you say to the driver and the police at the scene. You could inadvertently say something that the driver’s insurance company will try to use against you.
You need to get checked out by a doctor, even if you don’t think your injuries are serious. You could have internal injuries that are not visible. Don’t delay seeing a doctor; otherwise, the insurance company will try to use that against you too.
We also recommend hiring a bicycle accident attorney right away. The driver’s insurance company will suggest you don’t need to hire a lawyer, but you really do. You need someone to protect your rights and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. In severe injury cases, you will likely need additional medical treatment in the future. You might have permanent injuries and need to go on disability. The driver’s insurance company will undoubtedly undervalue your case, offering you less than it’s worth.
What Does a Successful Bicycle Accident Claim Look Like?
When a Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner bicycle-accident client suffers from injuries caused by an at-fault driver, our bicycle accident lawyers take special steps to identify the extent of their injuries and damages, and to determine how the collision affects our client’s life, now and in the future. Many injuries require long-term, costly medical care, and we ensure that this cost is fully factored into the insurance-claim process. A successful claim is one in which our client receives a settlement or verdict that enables them to fully recover financially, and compensates them for their current and future losses.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bicycle Accidents
We receive a lot of questions from prospective clients about bicycle accident claims. To help you prepare for your initial consultation, we’ve provided answers to some of our most common questions.
What types of damages can I get money for?
If you can prove the other driver is at fault, you might receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses to date,
- Future medical expenses,
- Loss of earnings,
- Loss of earning capacity,
- Damage to your bicycle,
- Disability and disfigurement,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Mental anguish.
Your bicycle accident attorney will review what damages apply in your case. If you were not wearing a helmet somewhere that local laws require you to wear a helmet, the insurance company might allege you’re partially at fault for your injuries. They could deny full compensation for your head injuries, assigning a certain percentage of blame against you. Your attorney can help you receive as much compensation as possible, even when you may have been partially at fault for your injuries.
How much time do I have to pursue a personal injury claim?
If you plan to pursue a compensation claim, you only have three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit in the appropriate Washington court. If you don’t file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, the court might dismiss your case entirely. Don’t risk jeopardizing your case by inadvertently missing the deadline.
Does Washington require bicycle riders to wear helmets?
There is no statewide law regarding helmet use. However, be advised that some counties and cities have their own ordinances on wearing helmets.
Helping Washington State Clients Heal Is our Job, and We Are Very, Very Good at Our Job.
As Washington bicycle accident lawyers, we have achieved exceptional results for our clients after a bicycle collision, including:
- Multi-million dollar settlement commercial truck vs. biker in Seattle.
- $150,000 – Boy on bicycle hit by car, suffers fractured leg
Our bicycle accident attorneys are ready to help you with your case. Contact your Washington bicycle accident lawyers at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner today! We have several offices throughout Washington State, including a personal injury law office in Seattle.