Seattle Bicycle Accident Attorneys

You’ve been injured in a bicycle accident. Now what?

Seattle Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Court grew up biking anywhere and everywhere in the Northwest and still enjoys cycling to this day. That is why he’s happy to see the ever increasing popularity of cycling in Seattle and throughout Washington State. Whether it’s commuting to and from work, or for recreation/exercise, one does not have to look far to find bicyclists out on our streets.

The downside is that when there are more bikes on the road, there is inevitably going to be more accidents. And the likelihood of serious injury from a bike accident is very high.

Whether you were injured by a car or by another means, if the other party was negligent, you deserve to be made whole financially.  Your job is to focus on recovering from your injury.  We will handle the rest.  Unlike the insurance companies, our only interest is in protecting you and putting you in the best position possible.

Common Bicycle Accident Questions

You will have peace of mind that your attorneys truly care about you and your family. Michelle & Court have over 35 years of combined experience and will use all of that experience towards helping you.

We will take the stress of dealing with the insurance companies away from you, and will get you the compensation you deserve. Money that will help to cover lost wages, medical expenses, pain & suffering, etc.

We will personally handle your case every step of the way, including contacting the insurance companies, contacting the at-fault party and/or their attorney, investigation, research, drafting pleadings, conducting depositions, and taking cases through trial when necessary. This process will often be resolved over the course of several months, but can sometimes take years. Throughout this process, we are there for our clients. We care about what our clients are going through and we want them to feel comfortable that they are in the best hands.

We will meet with you, gain an understanding of your individual situation and if we decide to work together, our fee does not get paid until the insurance company pays you.

It is scary to find yourself or your loved one a victim of any type of injury or loss. It is your job to heal. It is our job to deal with everything else.

Our advice for what to do after a bike accident is largely the same checklist as with many other types of accidents. However, the main difference is that in a bicycle accident, there is a much higher risk that you will be severely injured. Thus, first and foremost, make sure your immediate injuries are properly addressed and call 911 for medical assistance whenever needed. As much as you are able to do other things, here is our checklist:
  • Do not leave. Stay at the location the collision occurred.
  • Remain calm. Do not become argumentative.
  • Do not admit or otherwise accept fault for the collision.
  • Exchange information with the other party including:
    • Name, Phone number & Address
    • Driver’s license number
    • Insurance information
  • If you were injured by a driver, find out if he/she is the owner/lessee of the vehicle. If not, also obtain as much of the owner/lessee’s information as possible.
  • If the other party is at fault, it is typically a good idea to also make a police report. This decision is less clear cut compared to a car vs. car collision as not all police officers are not well versed when it comes to bike law. If the police get fault wrong, just know they do not have the final say.
  • If you are concerned that you may be injured, go to the hospital
  • As soon as possible, document what happened.
  • If your bicycle sustained damage, take photos. If you can, take photos of the collision scene/location as well. This will help to know what conditions were like at the time, including volume of traffic, lighting, direction, etc.
  • Take down any witness statements.
  • Make notes as soon after the collision as possible.
  • Write down any statement(s) the other driver made to you.
  • If you felt the other party was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, document why you feel this way.
  • If you were injured, see a doctor ASAP and document/keep records of everything.
  • If the other party’s attorney contacts you, do not agree to be audio recorded, do not answer any questions, do not make any statements and do not sign anything! Rather, consult with your own attorney immediately.

Just as if you were in a car yourself, we seek recovery through the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Yes, and do it as soon as possible. We need medical documentation to support your claim.

The two primary types of damages that can be recovered are economic/special damages, and non-economic/general damages.
  • Economic damages are for out-of-pocket costs that are incurred due to the injury. For example:
    • Medical costs, including unreimbursed bills, long-term/chronic care costs, medical devices, home modifications, physical therapy, etc.
    • Property damages;
    • Lost wages or employment opportunity
  • General damages are for other harms that you have suffered but are more difficult to calculate, such as:
    • Enjoyment/Quality of life
    • Pain & suffering
    • Loss of consortium/companionship

If your car insurance includes Personal Injury Protection (PIP), it may pay your medical bills.

First, we are very sorry for your loss.  We understand that despite this horrible loss, you may still be stuck with medical bills, funeral costs, and other expenses. You may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to recover these costs and more. Please visit our wrongful death page and reach out at any time for a consultation.

In this case, your own insurance may be able to step in, assuming you have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) protection. This could cover your damages including medical bills, lost wages, etc.

The best way to recover in this situation would bet through the other rider’s homeowner/renters insurance if they were at fault.

Regardless of whether the other person was driving, walking, skateboarding, or whatever else, if you are determined to be at fault for the accident, homeowner or renter insurance can typically be used to cover the damages to the other person.

It’s not uncommon for injury victims to be partially at fault for an accident. This does not mean you are completely responsible and you very well may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Washington State uses a “pure comparative negligence” calculation, where the amount of money you recover gets reduced by the percentage you are considered to be at fault. For example, Let’s say you recover $100,000 but are determined to be 25% at fault, your total recovery would then be $75,000.

It’s certainly possible. Many police officers do not understand the law when it comes to bicyclists and thankfully, they do not have the final say in determining who is at fault. Also, tickets can often get thrown out in situations where it is later determined that you were not at fault.

You do not want to leave the scene in this situation. Further, whenever you are questioned by the police, it’s important to be honest, but do not take responsibility for an accident without consulting an attorney.

This is a tough question to answer as there really is no average. The reason for this is that every case is unique from an injury perspective. Further, they is also a wide variance in insurance coverage. The best way to know how much your case will be worth is to get an attorney to fight for you. Please know, however, this is not a question we can accurately answer in an initial consultation. Rather, we first have to get into the case by evaluating injuries, insurance coverage, and then get into the negotiation process.

While Washington State itself does not have a mandatory helmet law, many jurisdictions have enacted their own helmet laws.

Regardless of what the law is in your particular jurisdiction, not wearing a helmet can be construed as contributory negligence, which will serve to reduce how much you can recover for your injuries. That said, if the other party is at fault for the accident itself, you can still seek compensation from their insurance company even if you were not wearing a helmet.

Yes, although what you can recover is often quite limited. People are not insured walking around like they would be if they are driving. Further, unlike insurance companies, most individuals do not have huge sums of money in their personal bank accounts. Thus, even if you were to “win” you lawsuit, recovering the funds from the other party is often difficult. That said, there are many cases where it still may be worthwhile to explore this option.

Driver’s are only supposed to open their car doors when it is safe to do so and when it does not interfere with traffic, including bicyclists. Thus, you will most likely still be able to recover damages for your injuries in this situation.

Yes. In many potential car vs. bike accidents, you will have to quickly swerve out of the way to avoid being hit by a negligent driver. You then hit something else or otherwise fall off your bike and get injured. That driver still caused the accident and is liable.

However, the problem that often arises in these situations is that divers do not stop after causing the accident. If this happens, the best case scenario would be to take down the license plate number if you can. If not, perhaps there are witnesses nearby or cameras that caught the incident. Call the police for assistance as well.

This is a common occurrence and there is often a responsible party to be found. Cities and counties are charged with the duty of maintaining safe roadways for both cars and bikes and if they fail to do so, they could be held liable.

A number of legal websites will list different ways you can get injured on a bike as if that is somehow helpful information to have. The bottom line is that if you were riding your bike and you get injured, then it doesn’t matter much if your accident is common or not. If you were either not at fault or only partially at fault, you are entitled to compensation. That’s were we come in.

You bet. We are licensed everywhere in the state and have handled cases in multiple different counties throughout Western and Eastern Washington.

While I certainly enjoy cycling and get out on the road as often as I can, I don’t pretend to be a daily rider or someone who is out there competing in races. What I do everyday, however, is fight for my clients. You don’t need a professional cyclist by your side, but you do need a trial-tested and experienced firm that knows the law and knows how to get the best outcomes for their clients. That’s what we do. Everyday.

The most common defenses we see is that the insurance company will try to claim:

  • You are at fault for the accident
  • You are partially at fault, referred to as contributory negligence
  • No proximate cause – they acknowledge the injury but try to claim it was not caused by the accident (this is more common in car accident case as the cause in most bike accident cases is usually obvious).**

Despite these available defenses, we will do everything possible to still maximize your recovery.

General/Insurance FAQ's

We’ll keep this answer simple: Yes, you need an attorney if you want to maximize your recovery. It’s just one of those things that is best left to the experts.

Insurance companies want to pay out the minimums, close your file, and move on. Attorneys get in the way of that.

This question will get you a very lawyer-like answer: it depends. We need to know a lot more about your injury and get deep into the case before we can fully answer this question.

The word “win” also means different things to different people. For instance, if an insurance adjustor offers you $500 to settle your case and then after we get involved the offer goes up to $20,000, many people would consider that a win. In some cases, we would agree with this. In others, we may believe that more money is deserved and will urge you to keep fighting.

What we can tell you is this. We will put you in the best position to maximize your recovery, whether that is through a settlement or trial.

Similar answer here to the question above about whether you will “win” your case. While this is another great question, it’s not one that can be answered until many things happen first. Fault and seriousness of the injury, are a couple of the main factors at play.

The two primary types of damages that can be recovered are economic/special damages, and non-economic/general damages.

Economic damages are for out-of-pocket costs that are incurred due to the injury.  For example:

  • Medical costs, including unreimbursed bills, long-term/chronic care costs, medical devices, home modifications, physical therapy, etc.
  • Property damages;
  • Lost wages or employment opportunity

General damages are for other harms that you have suffered but are more difficult to calculate, such as:

  • Enjoyment/Quality of life
  • Pain & suffering
  • Loss of consortium/companionship
No. There is no cap on either economic (out of pocket) or general damages in Washington State. However, Washington does not allow you to recover punitive damages.
The deadline to file a claim, also called the statute of limitations, is 3 years for most personal injury cases in Washington State. The clock starts ticking on the same day of your accident/injury.
The vast majority of cases get resolved through a settlement prior to trial. That said, there are some cases where trial is the only way to get the compensation you deserve.
It varies quite a lot. It can be a few months to a couple of years (and occasionally even longer in serious injury cases). To get the biggest settlement, we typically want to wait until treatment finished, and you have reached what is referred to as maximum medical improvement. It’s important to remember that you also have some say in how long your case will go on for, meaning that if a settlement offer is made, you can decide whether or not to accept it/
Yes. Nothing is more important than your health and physical recovery. It’s important to reach out to an attorney as well, but don’t feel like you must speak to an attorney before visiting the doctor. Just make sure to document everything about your medical visits and care.

It’s not uncommon for injury victims to be partially at fault for an accident. This does not mean you are completely responsible and you very well may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Washington State uses a “pure comparative negligence” calculation, where the amount of money you recover gets reduced by the percentage you are considered to be at fault. For example, Let’s say you recover $100,000 but are determined to be 25% at fault, your total recovery would then be $75,000.

If you have Personal Injury Protection, then you can recover economic damages for medical bills, etc. However ,you will not be able to recover any general/non-economic damages (such as pain & suffering).
Once the settlement is finalized, you can typically get a check within 30 days, but this is not a requirement under Washington law. There are a number of circumstances that could cause it to take longer.

Protect yourself with a bicycle accident personal injury lawyer.

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I would highly recommend Mr Court for any criminal case consulting. His approach was thoroughly professional. he was a great listener and a good strategist. His approach was methodical and he didnt rush into any decisions. I changed my counsel just before my first court date and Mr Court did an excellent job. The case was finally dismissed in my favor. I would consider myself lucky but Mr court had some innovative ways to approach my case. It was such a pleasure to have Mr Court on my side. He was super responsive over texts and emails. He was punctual and very gentle in communication.
We never imagined we would be in the position to need a defense attorney, but when we did, we were so thankful that we found Court Will. Both he and Michelle are truly the best. Court is extremely dedicated, thoughtful, calm, and confident. He took time to get to know us, the case, and really ensured that we understood not only what was happening, but all possible outcomes. Court was honest, answered every question, took his time with us, gave excellent advice, and ultimately got the best possible outcome we could have hoped for. He is brilliant, and we are most grateful.
After some research & speaking with other attorneys, I came across Court. I instantly knew he was right for my situation. I met him shortly after we discuss some details on the phone. He was very pleasant & very understanding of this difficult time in my life. One of the hardest things I have ever gone through. Of course I hired him. As months passed, he reached out to me & gave me the best news/results I have ever heard. I know the work he did in the background & I couldn’t be more grateful. Thank you Court!
Chris
A knowledgable and caring attorney who got me an amazing result I was charged with a felony sex crime. I had a previous attorney before hiring Mr. Will. The other attorney told me I needed to plead guilty or I would go to prison for 3 years. Due to a number of reasons, I didn't want to go to trial, and Mr. Will respected that. Mr. Will went to court for me more times than I can count, did some additional investigation and ultimately told me that I could plead guilty to a lesser offense and get probation and house arrest. I was amazed. I give Mr. Will my highest recommendation.
Mike

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