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TALK RADIO: Is There a Bicycle Accident Epidemic in the Metro Seattle Area?

n this video, attorney Chris Davis from Davis Law Group in Seattle is featured in an interview with KOMO 1000's Ken Schram as they discuss a spike in bicycle accidents throughout the Seattle area and whether or not that is a result of a bicycle accident epidemic in the area.

Full transcription of Mr. Davis's quotes from the interview:

Hi Ken, thanks. Well you would think that with the recent rash of these incidents occurring there might be an epidemic. And I have to tell you I’ve been doing this handling auto accident, bicycle accidents cases for over 18 years now and I have to tell you that just looking in the last few years there has been an uptick in these types of cases that we see at least in my practice.

It’s a combination of factors, number one yes we do see more cyclists on the road especially when various cities including the city of Seattle encourages more people to use their bicycles, more public resources are being devoted to bicyclists for instance more path ways out fittings our roadways to be bicycle friendly.

And so just by virtue of the fact that there’s more cyclist on the road your going to see more altercations and more incidences with motorists. I think that also helps to creates more frustration on the part of motorists and many of the cases that we see the motorist deliberately takes their frustration out on the bicyclist or takes chances while driving around the bicyclist.

Crowding the bicyclist, not giving the bicyclist more room but I don’t want that portrayed as only the people who drive cars because we also see just as many cases involving bicyclist who either are not aware of the rules of the road or intentionally ignore them by darting in and out of vehicles and not obeying all the traffic laws that exist.

Yes and I’m seeing more of that and as an attorney it certainly raises the consciousness of guilt factor because most people virtually all drivers are going to know when they hit a bicyclist and the fact that they take off tells me then as an attorney that they knew they did something wrong to cause that incident. That’s a good question, in today’s economic climate you’re not going to see is many resources devoted to these incidences by the prosecutor by the state or a municipality. Unless the injuries are pretty severe or unless the incident is pretty severe.

On the civil side that’s usually more than 90% of these cases the only redress that an injured bicyclist may have would be on the civil side and then you’d run into issues about whether the driver has insurance or adequate insurance because often times when you’ve got a bicyclist whose been hit by a car the medical bills are pretty steep and so we see a lot of cases where there’s no insurance or not enough insurance and the bicyclists is left with thousands of dollars in medical bills to pay.

Absolutely and I would also highlight the fact that many of these cases, there is no criminal prosecution because the driver has taken off or because there’s a lack of witnesses or the injures are so severe that the bicyclists is knocked out knocked unconscious and so from that perspective it can be very difficult for a prosecutor to successfully prosecute the driver. Because under the law both the driver and the cyclist have relative duties to act carefully and mind themselves and avoid the other so it’s not just a one sided thing I many of these cases. Thanks Ken.