Bicycle Accident Lawyers in Seattle, WA
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident due to another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Seattle bicycle accident lawyers at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner PLLC today.
Seattle has been a bicyclist’s paradise for over 100 years. Since the Lake Washington bike trail was built over 125 years ago, Seattle has led the way for bicycle access across Washington State. Unfortunately, despite Seattle’s efforts to expand bike access and make cycling safe, bicyclist fatalities have trended upward over the past few years.
Whether you are a regular cyclist on the streets of Seattle or you are a casual rider out on the trails, if you have been in a bicycling accident, you might be entitled to compensation. In this blog post, the Seattle bicycle accident law firm of Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner PLLC will explain what to do after you have been in a bike accident. We will help you understand when to call a Seattle bicycle accident lawyer and explain what you need to know if you are involved in a bike accident.
What Are Common Causes of Bike Accidents?
Bicycle accidents result from a variety of causes. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have compiled data on common causes of bike accidents. That data shows that the vast majority of cycling fatalities happen in urban areas and at intersections.
Time of day plays a large role in causing bike accidents. The NHTSA data shows that the most dangerous time of day for bicyclists is in the late afternoon and evening. This is when most fatal cycling accidents occur.
Alcohol use by motorists and cyclists also contributes to crashes, as does the speed of the motor vehicle at the time of the collision. Vehicles can sideswipe cyclists who are riding with traffic, and speed can mean the difference between life and death. Another common type of collision where speed matters is when a vehicle cuts off a cyclist, often when either the vehicle or cyclist is turning left.
Finally, in urban areas, “dooring” injures dozens of cyclists each year. A dooring happens when a vehicle door opens into the path of a cyclist. This happens most often when the cyclist approaches the vehicle from the rear and the vehicle occupant fails to look backward before opening the door. Then, the cyclist collides with the open door, often flipping over it. These sudden obstacles can result in devastating injuries for cyclists, sometimes even causing death.
If you have been the victim of any of these kinds of accidents, contact a Seattle bicycle accident attorney at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner today. A member of our team might be able to help you seek compensation for your injuries.
What Kinds of Bike Accident Injuries Happen in Seattle?
Common bike accident injuries in Seattle range from minor scrapes and bruises to fatalities. This is partly because there is no statewide bike helmet law in Washington State. Some cities, like Tacoma, have enacted their own helmet laws, but Seattle has not. That means an accident that causes minor injuries to a cyclist who was wearing a helmet could cause life-threatening injuries to another cyclist who was not wearing a helmet. Some of the common and severe injuries that result from bike accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Other nerve injuries,
- Partial or complete paralysis,
- Fractures and broken or crushed limbs,
- Soft tissue and ligament damage,
- Road rash,
- Disfiguring cuts and lacerations,
- Blood loss and severe internal bleeding, and
- Serious dental injuries.
While some of these injuries will heal in relatively short order, others can leave victims with serious long-term disabilities. When seeking damages for injuries sustained in a bicycle accident, your bicycle accident lawyer in Seattle can carefully review your medical records and go over items related to the crash to ensure that they pursue all of the compensation you are entitled to seek.
What Damages Can I Receive For My Seattle Bike Accident?
The damages you can receive for a bicycle accident will depend on the unique facts and circumstances of your case. There are also some Washington laws that can affect how much compensation you can collect.
In the event that a cyclist is killed in a bike accident, state law allows certain relatives to bring a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim allows family members to seek compensatory damages from parties who are legally liable for the bicyclist’s death. If you are the parent or child of someone who was killed in a bike accident, contact a Seattle bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash. A knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate all the red tape and seek justice.
Economic and Noneconomic Damages
If you survive your accident, you may be entitled to economic and noneconomic damages depending on the circumstances of your accident. Economic damages typically reimburse an injured party for out-of-pocket costs directly related to their accident. These usually include:
- Medical bills,
- Long-term care costs,
- Medical devices and home modifications,
- Physical therapy,
- Lost wages, and
- Lost income or employment opportunity.
Noneconomic damages pay an accident victim for mental and emotional injuries that are more difficult to quantify in monetary terms. These often include:
Washington law caps noneconomic damages at 43% of the injured person’s average annual wage in Washington multiplied by their life expectancy at the time of the collision. This formula uses a minimum of 15 years for the life expectancy factor. This cap is unusual in comparison to other states.
Finding the Seattle Bike Accident Law Firm You Need
The attorneys of Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner have achieved exceptional results for clients injured in bicycle accidents. Our bicycle accident attorneys will handle all aspects of your case so that you can focus on what matters most—recovering from your injuries. We have won millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients, so you can trust that we know what it takes to get you the best outcome possible. Our Washington bicycle accident lawyers travel throughout the state, helping seriously injured people wherever they live. We also have several offices throughout Washington State. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation.