What should I do if I was involved in a Seattle motorcycle accident?
When on a motorcycle, Seattle riders need all the protection and care they can get from other drivers around them because of the precarious position motorcyclists are in. When other vehicles on the road come into contact with motorcycles, the resulting accident often leads to serious injury for the rider. In King County, there were 71 fatalities from motorcycle accidents from 2008 to 2012, according to the county’s public health department.
After a motorcycle crash, riders have legal options to recover damages they suffer; however, they need to act quickly to protect their rights – the statute of limitations for personal injury is three years in Washington. Find out more from Seattle motorcycle attorney Max Meyers below.
What legal recourse is available after a motorcycle accident in Seattle?
A personal injury lawsuit is a common legal action riders can take against the at-fault driver or that driver's insurance company. In order to win a personal injury case in Seattle, a motorcycle rider must prove:
- a duty of care between the two parties;
- that the other driver broke that duty of care;
- the other party's breach of duty led to the accident; and
- the accident resulted in substantial damages to the plaintiff.
At-fault drivers, their insurance companies and other parties who contributed to the accident can be named in personal injury cases.
In the tragic event that a rider dies from in an accident, the rider's family has the option to file wrongful death claims against the responsible parties. There are two types of wrongful death claims. Standard wrongful death claims are filed on behalf of family members -- parents, children or spouses -- for the damages they suffer from the loss of their loved one. Survival actions are claims the decedent's estate files for economic and non-economic damages the decedent sustained.
Accident Liability and Motorcycle Laws in Washington
Unfortunately, in Seattle motorcycle accidents, if a rider breaks a law in the process of the accident, that action can lower the liability the other driver faces and lower the plaintiff's recovery by the proportion of fault assigned to him. Therefore, motorcycle safety violations can result in riders seeing lower settlements or awards if it’s related to their accident and/or injuries.
Some examples of motorcycle safety regulations in Washington include:
- wearing helmets while riding;
- driving with no more than two bikes to a lane;
- avoiding riding or passing between lanes; and
- running headlights even in the daytime.
There are other regulations governing motorcycles. Riders should try to follow all of these regulations while riding for their safety and to protect their rights in the unfortunate event of an accident
What to do if I think I have a seattle motorcycle accident claim?
Insurance companies often interview accident victims immediately after the accident in an attempt to get victims to admit fault or downplay their injuries. Riders have to be extra careful not to give away their rights or harm a potential case. Speaking with a Seattle motorcycle lawyer immediately after the accident can help riders protect their rights, and prepare for a possible legal claim.
Max Meyers Law PLLC protects Seattle riders’ rights when dealing with insurance companies after motorcycle accidents. Contact a Seattle motorcycle accident lawyers today by calling our offices at (425) 242-5595, or visit our contact page to set up an appointment with an attorney.