The city of Tacoma, Wash., has several biking and hiking trails. These are designed for cyclists and pedestrians, and the outcome of most accidents that occur on these trails usually requires a bandage and an apology. It is when cyclists share the road with automobiles that the risk of more serious accidents increases. Unfortunately, no matter how cautious cyclists may be, an accident with a motor vehicle can leave a devastating and debilitating impact. If you were in a Tacoma bicycle accident, a lawyer can help you pursue fair compensation that covers your damages.
Establishing a Motorist's Liability for a Bike Accident
According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, there were 1,294 collisions involving bicycles in 2012. Of these accidents, there were only 64 in which no one was injured. In more than 95 percent of bike-auto accidents, someone experienced at least a minor injury. In 108 of those injury collisions, one of the parties experienced serious injury. Although some cyclists may be at fault, in many cases, it is the driver of the vehicle who is to blame. Riders must prove that the motorist caused the accident in order to collect damages. Some examples of driver negligence that can cause bicycle accidents include:
- sideswiping the cyclist with a vehicle's side mirror;
- opening a car door in a bicyclist's path;
- driving in the bicycle lane;
- distracted drivers not seeing cyclists;
- turning right in front of a bicyclist traveling straight; and
- drivers failing to yield the right of way to cyclists.
If you have been involved in any of these bicycle accidents and were injured, you may provide the motorist's liability through witness testimonies, video surveillance of the accident and more.
What should I do if I was involved in a bicycle accident with a car?
Similar to a car accident, there are certain steps you should follow if you are a cyclist who has been injured in a collision. Upon leaving the scene:
- seek medical care if you did not receive it at the scene or in an emergency room;
- contact witnesses who may provide testimony;
- inquire about nearby video surveillance that may have captured the accident;
- check if your insurance policy covers your damages; and
- contact the driver's insurance company to begin the claims process.
Some of these steps can be intimidating or foreign for injured cyclists, such as inquiring about video surveillance and contacting insurance companies after a Tacoma bicycle accident. A lawyer can be very helpful in carrying out these and other steps to help you obtain fair compensation for your damages.
Speaking with a Tacoma Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Unless the accident was minor and involved no injury or damage, speak to an attorney. If you have broken bones or sprained muscles and ligaments, and as a result, have missed time from work, seek fair compensation for your damages. You also may seek compensation for your bike damages. Do not be too quick to accept a settlement from the insurance company because you may not realize the extent of your injuries for a few weeks. Seek a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer who can help you decide whether to accept a settlement offer.
If you have been the victim of a bicycle accident in Tacoma, contact a lawyer at Max Meyers Law by calling 888-230-4970, or contact us online to set up a free consultation. We can help you get you compensation you deserve for the injuries you sustained.