Bicycling is an efficient and eco-conscious method of traveling about Bellevue. But while it may present a host of benefits, it also puts riders at risk for accidents. In fact, according to information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011 alone, 48,000 riders suffered injuries in crashes with other motor vehicles.
Injuries sustained in bicycle accidents may necessitate costly medical treatments, and the riders involved may be able to file an accident claim to recover due compensation. If you have been hurt in a bike crash, the following can provide information on who may have been at fault and what you can do to recover damages.
Causes of Bike Crashes
In Washington, bicyclists are required to follow all of the same road rules as other motor vehicles. This means that bicyclists must stop for red lights and stop signs, use their hands to signal turns, and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
Of course, even when following all of the rules of the road, it is still possible for a bicyclist to be involved in an accident. According to information provided by the California Highway Patrol, some of the common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- a driver making an unsafe turn, either in front of or adjacent to the biker;
- a motorist inattentively opening his or her door into the path of an oncoming cyclist (this is commonly referred to as “dooring”);
- a bicyclist riding outside of the confines of the bike lane; and
- a cyclist not wearing bright lights or reflectors when riding at night.
In the event of an accident involving a bicycle and a car, liability will lie with whichever party was negligent and caused the accident. In many cases, the driver is liable for not respecting the bicyclist’s right to the road and causing an accident as a result. According to Revised Code of Washington 46.61.755, bicyclists have both responsibilities as well as rights to be on the road as long as they follow the rules.
Severity of Bicycle Accident Injuries
Unfortunately, bicycle accidents often cause serious injuries, especially if the rider was not wearing a helmet. A 2001 report published in the journal American Family Physician states that “head injuries occur in 22 to 47 percent of injured bicyclists,” with other common injuries including those to the upper or lower extremities, abdomen or thorax. Due to the location and often serious nature of these injuries, riders may face costly medical treatments.
Riders also may miss time from work, leading to lost wages. And injured bicyclists can face additional noneconomic costs represented by pain and suffering and other damages. If you need help filing a claim and recovering compensation for your damages, contact Max Meyers in Bellevue. He can examine the nature of your case and help you file a claim through the correct channels so that you can recover due compensation. Call today at 888-230-4970 or contact us online to set up a consultation.