Many people nationwide pass their time by bike riding, while others cycle for health and fitness. No matter the reasons for hitting the pavement on a bicycle, it’s a great hobby. However, a normal day out shouldn’t be the cause of serious accidents. But, as the name suggests, accidents can happen at any time, and if they occur to a cyclist, serious injuries can be sustained.
Whether you have been hit by a car, read-ended, or thrown from your bike, you can generally file a legal claim for your injuries. In this case, seeking experienced personal injury lawyers in Yakima, WA is important to recover what you have lost.
How Do Bicycle Accidents Occur?
Knowing more about the types of accidents cyclists could encounter on the road could be important for prevention. Some of these accidents include the following:
- Left-hand turn collisions: When other motor vehicles are on the road, they are in charge of yielding to bikers. However, this doesn’t always happen. If a cyclist is turning left and a car does yield, they can be struck and injured.
- Right-crossing accidents: If a parked car on the side of the street decides to move onto the road and a cyclist is coming by, they could be lightly hit. This is common on quieter roads where cars are parked on the side of the street.
- Right hook collisions: If a cyclist is riding on the road, and a car overtakes them to turn in front of them, they may not be able to stop fast enough. The cyclist could hit the side of the car turning, and serious injuries could be sustained.
- Dooring accidents: This is a common type of bicycle accident. If a cyclist is riding on the roads and a parked car’s door opens, they will likely hit the interior hard. In cases like this, a bike accident attorney in Yakima, WA can be of great assistance.
- Hit-and-run collisions: Unfortunately, hit-and-runs are a huge occurrence for cyclists. When a motor vehicle hits a bicycle and flees the scene, serious consequences will occur if the driver is caught, and likely, the cyclist will have life-threatening injuries.
Ultimately, drivers on the road are required to yield to bikers and be careful while on the road. These collisions above are likely to occur from various circumstances such as distracted driving, aggressive driving, speeding, not following traffic rules, driving while under the influence, or failing to yield.
In any case, meeting with a bike accident attorney in Yakima, WA will give you a better understanding of the legal process moving forward.
Washington Bicycle Laws
In the state of Washington, there are strict rules for those riding bicycles on the roads. A bicycle is considered a legal vehicle, just as a car is. This means that cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as those in a motor vehicle do.
There are laws that cyclists should be aware of when riding on the road. Below are some to keep in mind:
- When riding on the road, a cyclist has the rules and rights as a motor vehicle driver does. If they don’t follow these rules, they can be ticketed.
- Some roads will be closed to cyclists, such as busier highways or within business districts. These are to be respected.
- Bicyclists can ride side by side, but no more than two by two.
- At night, a front light is required for all bicycles that are visible for at least 500 feet in front of them. Additionally, a red light should be located on the rear of the bicycle to maintain visibility.
- As of now, there are no state laws requiring cyclists to wear helmets. However, each city or country might be more strict about this.
- If a cyclist chooses to ride on the shoulder instead of a bike lane, they are responsible for their own safety.
If you are interested in learning more about these rights and responsibilities, reach out to Brumback & Ottem for more detailed information. Having the support of a bike accident lawyer in Yakima, WA is a great resource in the case of an accident.
Why Choose Us To Represent You?
When choosing bicycle accident lawyers, know that the team at Brumback & Ottem works hard to protect you if you are involved in an accident. For bicycle-related injuries, we are the ones you want on your side. When it comes to your livelihood and financial future, we will do what we can to help you get the compensation you deserve.
- We advocate for you: Our services are client-centered, which means your personal injury claim is just that: personal. We will do what we can to get you back on your feet after a bicycle accident injury.
- Experience is on our side: With over 20 years in the law business, our experience speaks for itself. We know the ins and outs of personal injury law and will make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
- Dedication and loyalty are important to us: Injured individuals deserve bicycle accident attorneys in Yakima, WA, who can represent them to the best of their ability. From honesty to loyalty, we stand by our values and showcase them in the legal field.
The Common Injuries That Occur From Bicycle Accidents
At Brumback & Ottem, we see various injuries that are caused by bicycle accidents. No two collisions are the same, and the severity of the injuries will also vary. Here are some of the most common injuries from a bicycle-related bicycle incident.
- Head injuries: These injuries are the most commonly sustained injuries when involved in an accident as a cyclist. Head injuries can encompass a wide range of things, such as brain injuries, concussions, bumps, fractured skull bones, or even brain damage in serious cases.
- Spinal cord injuries: When a cyclist comes into contact with a vehicle, spinal cord injuries can happen. Spinal cord injuries can cause permanent damage and affect someone’s bodily functions. These injuries can appear as fractures in the bone, nerve damage, or disc damage.
- Injuries to the facial bones: There are 14 bones in the face, and when an accident occurs, these bones are at the forefront of injury. Common facial injuries that could occur include broken noses, eye injuries, dislocated jaws, or dental injuries.
- Broken bones or fractures: Cyclists are vulnerable to impact injuries that easily cause broken collarbones, wrists, fingers, or hips. Some broken bones are more serious than others and could require ongoing treatment.
- Wrongful death, in rare cases: Due to the seriousness of bicycle accidents, fatalities can occur. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, cars striking cyclists at high speeds or in specific ways can cause wrongful death.
Steps To Follow After A Bicycle Accident in Yakima, Washington
After being involved in an accident while on a bike, there are some necessary steps you should follow. First, calling 911 and seeking medical attention is important. When the police arrive, they will file a detailed report and document the scene of the crime. Additionally, they will determine the fault and then officially file the report so it can be used for a claim down the line.
The same goes for medical documentation. The quicker you are to get your injuries looked at and diagnosed, the better off you are. Medical professionals will give you the help you need to prove you have faced serious injuries. This will be a key piece of evidence in your legal claim.
In conjunction with law enforcement, it’s important to collect necessary evidence from the crime scene. Taking photographs and videos of the area will be helpful. Make sure to collect insurance information and contact details from the individual at fault.
If there are witnesses who saw what happened, speak with them and record their accurate and detailed statements. Have law officials collect their contact information so that your bicycle accident attorney in Yakima, WA can contact them during your claim process.
Once the initial shock has settled, it’s important to get the help of a skilled bicycle accident lawyer. From here, your lawyer will be able to take what the police have documented, the proof you have collected, and witness statements to create a solid lawsuit.
Determining Fault In a Bicycle Accident
In any type of accident, it’s normal for both parties to point fingers at the other. The driver in the vehicle might think that the cyclist has done something wrong, and vice versa. Luckily, there is more to fault than just the blame game, and in Washington, the issue of fault will look at who was more negligent in the given situation.
In order to recover damages in a bicycle accident, a few elements must be proven. As a cyclist, you need to look at the following things and determine if the other party has acted in a careless way. Ask yourself these questions to come to the right conclusion:
- Did the driver owe you a basic level of care? Were they driving in a way that would think about others and avoid harm on the road?
- Was this level of care breached? In other words, has the driver acted unreasonably or out of character, causing harm to you while on the road?
- Have you suffered injuries due to this recklessness?
If you have answered yes to these questions, the driver will likely be at fault. Generally, in vehicle-bicycle accidents, the driver will be the one at fault. However, if you have done the following, you could be partially at fault:
- Rolling through stop signs and not thinking about other vehicles on the road
- Swerving into the lanes of other vehicles
- Not following traffic signals
A bicycle accident attorney in Yakima, WA can be of great help when looking at fault. Contacting Brumback & Ottem to discuss the specifics of your claim and accident negligence will give you a better understanding of where your case stands.
What Damages Can You Recover After A Bicycle Accident
If you are a victim of bicycle accident injuries, you could be entitled to compensation to cover your losses. Bike accidents are likely to cause serious injuries, leaving victims with large financial losses. With the help of skilled bicycle accident attorneys, you can calculate all you have lost and file a legal claim.
The two main types of damages you could recover include the following:
- Economic losses: This type of loss will include all things that are tangible. If your losses have a set value, then they will fall under this category. For example, medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and ongoing rehab will be included in this type.
- Non-economic losses: These losses encompass the intangible losses you have obtained due to an accident. These can include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or mental anguish. These losses will be given a value from the insurance companies, your bicycle accident attorney, and the courts.
How Long Do You Have To File a Legal Claim?
When you sustain serious injuries from an accident, you are likely to experience financial hardships. Depending on the specifics of your accident and what you have suffered, seeking compensation might be the best course of action. However, making sure this is the option for you and filing a claim on time is important.
In Washington, the statute of limitations to file a claim is three years. This means that a victim has three years to legally file a claim starting from the date of the accident. Even though this may seem like plenty of time, it’s vital to get started on the legal process as soon as possible to avoid any delays that could cost you your financial stability.
Let Us Help You With Your Claim
We know better than most that accidents can happen to the most hardworking and down-to-earth people. When this occurs, where do you turn? At Brumback & Ottem, we understand what you are going through and are the best ones to lend a hand.
If you or a loved one is involved in a bicycle accident and need a seasoned bicycle accident lawyer, contact Brumback & Ottem today to schedule a free consultation.