Snohomish County Bicycle Accidents Lawyers Upholding the Rights of Injured Bikers
Bicycling is a healthy, fun, and environmentally friendly way to travel. When they are on the road, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists and must obey all applicable laws. Sadly, even when bikers follow all the rules and regulations, they may still be involved in a frightening crash. If you’ve been hurt while biking, a personal injury attorney can protect your rights and ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve.
How Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?
While there are many beautiful bicycle trails throughout Snohomish County, bicyclists often find themselves sharing roads with motor vehicles, sometimes without even the protection of bike lanes. This situation can heighten the likelihood of serious bicycle accidents, especially if drivers do not remain aware and provide bikers with adequate space. Other common ways drivers can cause motor vehicle-related bicycle accidents include:
- Failing to notice riders.
- Not looking before opening car doors.
- Distracted driving.
- Impatience or road rage leading to tailgating bikers or attempting to push them off the road.
- Operating a vehicle while fatigued.
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
What Injuries Can Result From a Bicycle Accident?
Sadly, when accidents occur between bikes and automobiles, the bicyclist is much more likely to sustain serious injuries. Washington state has no laws requiring bicycle helmets for riders, although some cities and counties may enforce helmet ordinances. However, wearing a helmet is still highly recommended to protect your head and brain from harm in the event of a crash. Some of the most common injuries that can occur during a bicycle accident are:
- Back and spinal cord injuries, possibly leading to paralysis
- Lacerations and bruising
- Skull fractures and facial damage
- Damage to internal organs
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Road rash (scrapes caused by sliding across the pavement at speed)
- Fractured and broken bones
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Strains and sprains
- Fatal injuries
What Compensation Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You Recover in a Bicycle Accident Case?
Being hit by a motor vehicle can be devastating for a biker. The potential for severe and long-lasting injuries is high. Unfortunately, most insurance companies are unmoved by an accident victim’s struggles. Instead, they frequently will attempt to place the responsibility for the accident fully or partially onto the victim to escape having to pay them a fair amount for their damages. A personal injury lawyer will help you hold the responsible parties liable for their actions. The types of damages your lawyer may recover for you include:
- Economic damages: These are awarded for tangible financial losses resulting from the bicycle accident, including emergency room bills, lost wages, surgery and therapy expenses, loss of earning capacity, the cost to replace or repair personal property, and more.
- Non-economic damages: Emotional damage can be just as harmful as physical injuries. Non-economic damages take into consideration the pain and suffering you’ve experienced because of your injury and the mental anguish you’ve endured.
- Punitive damages: If the defendant’s injurious actions showed a high level of malice or wanton negligence, such as intentionally hitting a biker in an act of road rage, punitive damages might be awarded. It must be proven that the defendant realized their actions could cause severe harm, and they acted with reckless indifference to the victim’s well-being. The purpose of punitive damages is to serve as a deterrent to others who might cause the same type of tragic injuries.
How Can an Experienced Bicycle Lawyer Help You?
You have the right to seek compensation for your bicycle accident injuries, regardless of whether you shared some responsibility for the accident or not. Under Washington’s comparative negligence laws, you may attempt to recover damages as long as you are not entirely at fault for the accident. However, because your settlement will be decreased by the percentage of fault you are assigned for the crash, insurance companies will often try to shift the blame onto you to reduce their liability.
A skilled bicycle lawyer can help you fight back against these unfair claims and secure the full compensation due to you. To discuss the details of your bicycle accident with a knowledgeable lawyer, call 206-678-1427 for a free consultation.