Do I need a lawyer if a driver hit me while I was riding my bike?

two men riding bikes in a citySeattle and its suburbs are among the most bicycle-friendly cities in the United States. However, accidents still happen with alarming regularity. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a bicycle crash, you could be entitled to significant compensation. An experienced bicycle accident attorney could help you secure the settlement you need and the justice you deserve.

Determining If You Need an Attorney

Bicycle accidents are not always serious. If you did not sustain any significant injuries in the crash, you might not require legal representation. However, you should consider contacting an attorney if:

  • You had to take an ambulance to the hospital.
  • You were forced to take time away from work to recover from your injuries.
  • You are unable to resume work or partake in ordinary activities because you are in pain or disabled.
  • You suspect you suffered a concussion or other traumatic brain injury but have not yet received a diagnosis.

Washington law is clear: if you have been injured in an accident that is even partially attributable to another person’s negligence, you may initiate a claim against the at-fault individual and their insurance company.

However, before you can expect the insurance company to enter negotiations, you will have to convince the adjuster that another motorist’s negligence caused your injuries. 

Proving Negligence After a Washington Bicycle Accident

Even if you have a seemingly open-and-shut case, securing a fair and equitable settlement after a Seattle-area bicycle accident can present unexpected challenges. While you might know that a motorist’s misconduct caused your crash, the other motorist’s insurance company might demand a seemingly unreasonable mass of evidence to support your claim.

Before the insurance company is willing to negotiate, you will have to demonstrate that:

  • The at-fault motorist owed you a “legal duty of care,” meaning that they had an obligation to ensure your safety;
  • The at-fault motorist negligently abrogated their legal duty of care;
  • The at-fault motorist’s negligence caused your injuries; and
  • Your injuries constitute practical, compensable damages that can be recovered in court.

Max Meyers Law could help you secure legal relief by constructing a compelling, evidence-based claim for recompense.

What to Do After a Serious Seattle-Area Bike Crash

If you have been injured in a serious Seattle-area bicycle crash, you could bolster your chances of securing a fair and equitable settlement by:

  • Seeking immediate medical attention. You should always seek immediate medical attention after a bicycle accident, even if you do not believe you have been seriously injured. A physician could help you identify latent injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, that may have taken days or weeks to begin showing symptoms. Furthermore, visiting the doctor shows the insurance company that you have genuine concerns about your physical well-being and are not simply seeking to profit off your injuries.
  • Notifying law enforcement. If you do not require on-site or emergency medical treatment, call 9-1-1 and request that an officer be dispatched to the scene of the accident. While the police may not be able to determine fault, an officer’s report could be entered into evidence in insurance negotiations or at trial.
  • Collecting evidence. You could protect your right to compensation by carefully collecting and preserving evidence from the crash. You could take pictures of the damage to the other vehicle, to your bicycle, and photograph any nearby traffic control signals, road signs, and road markings, such as a bicycle lane boundary. If another person witnessed your accident, ask them for their full name, phone number, and other contact information.
  • Contacting an attorney. Even if you were unable to gather evidence after your Seattle-area bicycle accident, Max Meyers Law could dispatch professionally trained investigators to investigate and identify the causes of your accident. We could subpoena surveillance camera footage, interview eyewitnesses, and consult medical experts who could assess the extent of your injuries and determine whether you need compensation for long-term care.