Washington state has been named the top “Bicycle Friendly State” in the country by the League of American Bicyclists. However, anyone who spends time commuting by bike or riding around on Vancouver streets knows bicycling can still be dangerous. Impatient drivers may swerve closely to cyclists, risking serious injury. Distracted or inattentive drivers may turn right in front of a cyclist or fail to yield the right-of-way, putting the cyclist in harm's way.
According to the CDC, there were more than 460,000 bike-related accident injuries in the U.S. in 2015. That same year, more than 1,000 cyclists were killed in bike-related accidents. The majority of these fatal bike accidents involved cyclists hit by cars. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, there were more than 1,200 bike collisions in 2017 and 13 fatal bike collisions.
Claims Process for Cyclist Accidents
If you are seriously injured in a bike accident, you should seek medical attention. Even if you are not sure if you are seriously injured, you should consider seeing a doctor. Bike injuries can be unpredictable and may involve complex head, neck, or back injury. Riders may feel a bit shaken up but otherwise fine right after the accident only to find that they are in serious pain the next day.
After an accident, cyclists should gather evidence and report the accident to the police. The other driver may not take a bike accident seriously, leave the scene, or not want to give the cyclist their contact or insurance information. In some cases, the driver would rather avoid reporting the accident and offer to cut the rider a check. However, the cyclist may be left without compensation if the driver disappears or lies about the accident.
Even if a cyclist isn't driving their car, their auto insurance policy may cover a bike accident. If your insurance policy does cover your bike accident, your insurance company may have reporting requirements for the coverage to take effect. Take a look at your insurance policy to understand what may be covered after a bike accident.
You should contact an experienced bike accident lawyer before you talk to the other driver's insurance company. The insurance company is looking to deny a claim, delay payment, or offer the smallest settlement possible. The insurance adjuster may sound helpful or concerned but they may be trying to get statements or evidence that they can later use against you. Let your lawyer talk to the insurance company.
Bike accident injuries can be serious, or even deadly. Head injuries can be some of the most serious consequences of a bike accident. Washington state has no mandatory helmet law for adult cyclists. Vancouver city laws require a helmet for cyclists of all ages but not all cyclists wear a helmet. Even if a cyclist is wearing a helmet, they may still suffer serious back or neck injuries. Common cyclist injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injury
- Abrasions or “road rash”
- Facial injuries
- Back injury
- Broken ribs
Bicycle Accident Lawsuit Damages
Under Washington's personal injury laws, you are entitled to compensation from those who were responsible for causing your bike accident. Depending on the accident, those liable for your accident could include another driver, city or county, or even the bike manufacturer. Damages available in a bike accident lawsuit may include:
- Medical bills
- Hospital bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earnings
- Bike replacement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Clark County Bike Accident Attorney
After a cycling accident, you need an experienced lawyer on your side to make sure you get the full compensation you are entitled to under Washington personal injury laws. Quinn Posner at Posner Law Office, P.C. has successfully fought for his bike injury clients to recover damages from negligent drivers and the insurance company. I represent injured clients in Camas, Washougal, and Clark County. Contact me today for a free injury accident consultation.