What You Can Recover After a Bike Accident
As a bicycle accident victim, your first priority should be on your physical recovery. Bike accidents often cause serious injuries, as cyclists are no afforded the same protections as vehicle passengers. With usually only a helmet to protect you, victims are often left with life-changing injuries.
After you’ve recovered enough to face the realities of the situation, you are entitled to bring an injury claim for damages against the person responsible for your injuries. Those damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of essential services
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
If you have any questions about the particulars of your bike accident case, contact Davis Law Group today: (206) 727-4000.
What is a Bicycle Accident Claim Worth?
Each bicycle accident injury case is unique. Many factors go into determining the final number that a victim will be offered in a settlement or verdict after an accident. Some of those factors include:
The At-Fault Driver's Insurance Policy
Law-abiding drivers carry liability insurance that will pay for a victim’s damages if they cause an accident. Insurance policies usually have limits on how much it will cover, no matter how severe the victim’s injuries are. In some cases, if the cyclist was injured by a government vehicle or a commercial vehicle, the available insurance may be higher. In very rare cases, negligent design of the roadway itself may have contributed to the accident; in these cases, an injured cyclist may be able to file a claim against the city or county responsible for designing and/or maintaining the road.
Bicyclist's Missed Time from Work
Lost wages and loss of future income are major factors in the calculation of economic damages. An injured cyclist who lost a year of income, or their entire ability to work, can claim more lost wages than someone who missed a few days of work and went on to make a complete recovery from their injuries.
The Type and Severity of the Cyclist's Injuries
Medical bills play a large role in determining the value of damages after an accident. An injured cyclist who suffered many broken bones and internal organ damage, had to be airlifted to a trauma center, and spent several weeks in the ICU is going to have much higher damages than a cyclist with no broken bones who was treated primarily by a chiropractor and a massage therapist.
Finding a Top Bicycle Accident Law Firm
While any lawyer who has passed the bar in Washington state is allowed to handle accident claims, few are prepared to get the best possible results for their clients. Attorneys who only take personal injury cases usually have more knowledge of insurance law and more experience with complex cases than attorneys who practice many different areas of law.
Large personal injury firms often have an incentive to take lots of cases and close them quickly, making a large amount of money for the firm but only collecting a small amount for each individual client. Small personal injury firms like Davis Law Group are often more selective about the cases that they will take, and more willing to fight for the maximum amount of money their clients deserve.
Call our office today at (206) 727-4000 for a free consultation.
Most Common Types of Bicycle Accidents
Davis Law Group is dedicated to protecting the legal rights of injured bicyclists in Seattle and across Washington state. As more people choose to ride bikes, the risk for collisions goes up.
Understanding the different types of bicycle accidents can assist drivers and cyclists be better prepared and watch for potential collisions. Those types of accident may include:
- Left-hand turn accidents. As with other motor vehicles, motorists must yield to oncoming bicyclists when attempting a left-hand turn.
- Right cross accidents. When a car exiting a side street or parking lot turns right in front of a bike and hits them.
- Right hook collisions. When a car overtakes a bicyclist and makes an immediate right turn in front of them, serious injuries may occur.
- Dooring accidents. This type of collision occurs when a driver parks on the street and opens their door to exit the vehicle. A bicycle rider then slams into the open door.
- Rear-end collisions. A bicyclist may be forced to avoid a situation and swerve into the flow of traffic and get overtaken/rear-ended by a vehicle.
- Hit-and-run incidents. When a motorist hits a bicyclist and leaves the scene of the accident, the bicyclist may not receive medical treatment that could save their life.
Injuries Suffered in Bicycle Accidents
At Davis Law Group, we see a wide variety of bicycle accident injuries. No two bike collisions are the same, however, and the types of injuries suffered depend on the specifics of your case.
Because bicyclists are afford little to no protection against motor vehicles, the injuries they suffer are often serious and life-changing. Those injuries may include:
- Brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) could range from a mild concussion to a serious skull fracture, leaving victims with life-long complications.
- Spinal cord injuries. Damage to the spinal cord is one of the most serious injuries reported after a bike crash. Any damage done to this part of the body could result in permanent injury.
- Facial injuries. Whether it’s soft tissue damage done to the skin or a facial fracture, bicyclists are at risk for serious facial injuries.
- Broken bones. One of the most common injuries suffered by cyclists in a collision, broken bones may require one or more surgical procedures to fix completely.
- Internal injuries. Broken ribs and damage to the internal organs can be caused by a serious bike crash.
- Dental injuries. Bicyclists that hit their face in a crash may suffer broken or chipped teeth, maxilla fractures or broken jaws.
- Joint and ligament injuries. Riders may try to brace themselves during a crash and wind up with serious joint and ligament tears and strains.
- Lacerations. Bicyclists often fall hard and suffer serious cuts and lacerations.
- Death. If a bicyclist doesn't survive a crash, their surviving family members may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault person.
Common Causes of Bike Collisions
At Davis Law Group, our bicycle accident attorneys in Seattle know anytime injuries result from carelessness or recklessness of a driver, it is grounds to pursue a claim for compensation.
There are a nearly unlimited number of potential causes of bike crashes, including:
- Distracted driving. Drivers that get behind the wheel while on their phone put bicyclists at risk.
- Jaywalking. Pedestrians that choose to cross the street in unsafe places put bike riders in harm’s way.
- Weather. If it’s wet, cold and rainy out, bicyclist may not be as visible to drivers.
- Drunk driving. A driver impaired by alcohol likely won’t have the reaction time necessary to avoid a dangerous collision with a bike.
- Drugged driving. Drivers that are high on drugs are more likely to make poor and unsafe choices behind the wheel.
- Roadway design. If a road’s design contributed to your bike accident, the parties responsible could be forced to pay for your recovery.
- Nighttime darkness. Riding when it’s dark out is one of the major factors in collisions with motor vehicles.
- Distracted walking. People that are walking and looking at their phones — instead of watching for cyclists — can put lives at risk.
Free Bicycle Accident Legal Guidebook
Many people who have been involved in a bicycle accident simply want to learn more about their own legal rights before contacting a lawyer. Seattle attorney Chris Davis wrote Wheels Of Justice: The Essential Guide To Bicycle Accident Law In Washington State to educate bicyclists about the law and how it affects the process of pursuing a personal injury claim. You can order a free copy of the book now, and you will receive it in just a few business days.
Get your complimentary copy today and learn for yourself how to navigate the insurance claims process, or whether hiring an experienced bicycle accident attorney might be in your best interests.
Legal Consultation For Bicycle Accident Victims
Many accident victims are hesitant to contact a personal injury lawyer after being injured in a bicycle accident because of the common misconception that they cannot afford to hire an attorney. In reality, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no up-front cost and all attorney fees are paid out of your settlement at the conclusion of your case.
Our award-winning attorneys will review your bicycle accident case for free. If we believe that we can help, we’ll explain how we may be able to improve the overall value of your case and why it may be in your best interests to hire a lawyer. Use the confidential contact form on this page or call (206) 727-4000.