Bicycle Accidents and Pedestrian Collisions

Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents

I was hit while in a crosswalk by a driver that wasn’t paying attention when they were trying to turn right. What should I be able to expect my settlement to cover?

My daughter hit a pedestrian that was crossing the road outside of a crosswalk. Can the pedestrian still sue even if they were partially at fault?

I live in Seattle and recently decided to try riding my bike to work. Are there helmet laws in Seattle? What about Washington State?

When cyclists ride together in a group, how many are allowed to ride next to each other?

While riding my bike through the city, there is a lot of traffic and I want to get home quickly can I ride on the sidewalk?

Is it illegal to cross the street in a crosswalk that has changed to a flashing red hand?

What are the most common types of injuries in pedestrian and bicycle accident cases?

How likely are bicyclists to die in an accident?

If the injured bicyclist dies is there still a case? What happens?

Are bicycle accident cases more difficult to win?

Should I give the insurance company a statement?

Am I entitled to the money I lost as a result of not being able to work after my bicycle or pedestrian accident?

How much do I have to pay to hire you as my attorney?

What do I do with my medical bills while the case is in progress?

Can I change my lawyers if I’m not happy with them? How much will that cost me?

How much is my case worth?

What is the statute of limitations for bicycle and pedestrian injuries in Washington State?

If I was hit by a car while riding my bike, how long can I wait before pursuing damages?

Can I still recover damages from my accident if the driver was uninsured?

Why do I need an attorney if I have been in a bicycle or pedestrian accident?

What do I do if the driver that hit me was uninsured or under-insured?

I Was Hit While In a Crosswalk By a Driver That Wasn’t Paying Attention When They Were Trying To Turn Right. What Should I Be Able To Expect My Settlement To Cover?

There is no set amount that a pedestrian is guaranteed to get in any situation. However, you can generally expect that your settlement will at least cover medical bills. It could also cover lost income, future lost income and lost benefits; it will also typically include an amount that is meant to cover the pain and suffering of the pedestrian.

But, this is all subjective to each particular case, and you have to take into account that no two cases are alike. If you are a pedestrian who was hit by a negligent driver, you need to contact an experienced Seattle personal injury attorney who can help you get the settlement you deserve.

My Daughter Hit a Pedestrian Who Was Crossing The Road Outside Of a Crosswalk. Can The Pedestrian Still Sue Even If They Were Partially At Fault?

The answer to this question is complicated by the determination of fault and the amount of damage done.

If, say, your daughter was sending a text message and not paying attention to the road at the time that she hit the pedestrian, her level of negligence would be much higher than that of the pedestrian, even though they weren’t in a crosswalk. But, if your daughter was fully focused on driving and her surroundings, and the pedestrian was trying to run across the street, your daughter would have a much lower level of negligence. In this case, the insurance company will do everything in their power to not have to pay damages to the pedestrian.

Recently, there was a case where a pedestrian ran out into the road from behind a moving truck and was struck by a driver that had no time to react to the appearance of the young man. Although the driver struck the pedestrian, he was not cited or held at fault for the accident because a reasonable person would not have been able to avoid hitting the teen after he ran out into the road.

I Live In Seattle and Recently Decided To Try Riding My Bike To Work. Are There Helmet Laws In Seattle? What About Washington State?

Currently, there is not a state law that requires bike riders to wear a helmet, but many cities and counties do have laws enforcing a helmet law. In King County (that does include the City of Seattle), the ticket cost for riding without a helmet is $81. A few of the other cities and counties that have helmet laws are Tacoma, Renton, Puyallup, Lakewood, and Spokane.

Read about Washington State bicycle laws here.

When Cyclists Ride Together In a Group, How Many Are Allowed To Ride Next To Each Other?

Cyclists cannot ride anymore than two-abreast when riding together unless they are in a designated bike area that is large enough to allow more than two riders. Cyclists have to follow many of the same rules that drivers do when they are riding on the road.

Read about Washington State bicycle laws here.

While Riding My Bike Through The City, There Is a Lot Of Traffic and I Want To Get Home Quickly. Can I Ride On The Sidewalk?

The quick answer is “yes,” you can ride on the sidewalk. However, riding on the sidewalk can be dangerous and potentially be just as slow as the road depending on amount of pedestrian traffic. If you do ride on the sidewalk, you must remember that you have to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians; and, if you are getting ready to enter into a crosswalk, make sure that turning vehicles are aware that you are there. Bikes move a lot faster than pedestrians and can jet out into the crosswalk before a turning driver has a chance to notice that they are there. Most drivers will not be checking the sidewalk for cyclists before turning.

Read about Washington State bicycle laws here.

Is It Illegal To Cross The Street In a Crosswalk That Has Changed To a Flashing Red Hand?

Yes, and you can be given a ticket for jaywalking (which is $56 in the City of Seattle) for doing so. Vehicles trying to turn need to have enough time to clear the intersection before the light changes and, if pedestrians were allowed to continue entering the crosswalk, a motorist could get stuck in the middle of the intersection.

Read about Washington State pedestrian laws here.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Injuries In Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Cases?

The most common injuries are brain and spinal injuries, and multiple fractures. Bicyclists and pedestrians are prone to suffering such devastating injuries in auto accidents because they have little protecting them from the power of a moving vehicle. Oddly enough, bicyclists also often fall victim to parked cars. There have been several instances when a vehicle will park and open its door in front of an unsuspecting bicyclist. Severe injuries are usually the result as the biker may be thrown from the bike into traffic. In these accidents, bicyclists will often suffer severe head or brain trauma, as well as injuries to their back and neck.

How Likely Are Bicyclists To Die In An Accident?

There are not nearly as many bicycle accident fatalities as there are in car accidents, but the ratio of fatalities to survivable injuries is greater. This high number of bicycle accident fatalities is due to the limited protection cyclists have from the road and other vehicles. A great number of these fatalities occur when a bicyclist is not properly protected by a helmet.

Are Bicycle Accident Cases More Difficult To Win?

They can be. Jurists oftentimes have preconcieved notions about bicycle accidents and assume fault on the bicyclist, even if that clearly wasn’t the case.

Should I Give The Insurance Company a Statement?

No. Absolutely not, especially in the case of a catastrophic injury. It is vital that a law firm who understands how carefully a settlement needs to be structured protect your rights, because no insurance company is on your side – ever – even your own. They are only trying to find an excuse to get away with paying you very little or not paying you at all. Statements made while your brain isn’t functioning at par could be used against you. Sometimes, you have to provide your own insurance company with a recorded statement because your policy requires it. In that scenario, you should consult with your attorney who will prepare you for the statement.

Am I Entitled To The Money I Lost as a Result Of Not Being Able To Work After My Bicycle or Pedestrian Accident?

Absolutely. You must first seek medical attention for your injuries. You should also discuss with your physician the nature of your work and why you will not be able to perform your work as a result of your injuries. If your physician instructs you to take off from work for a certain period of time, you will be entitled to get all the money that you would have earned if you would have gone to work in that period of time (even if you wind up getting paid by using sick leave or vacation time). Furthermore, you are entitled to be compensated for loss of income capacity (i.e., income you would have been able to earn had you not been injured that you are now unable to earn).

How Much Do I Have To Pay To Hire You As My Attorney?

Nothing. You don’t have to pay anything upfront. You hire us on a contingency basis, which means we don’t charge you anything unless we win your case. We even pay for all of the expenses associated with your case out of our own pocket. Also, if for any reason we don’t recover any money (for example, if we find out later that the party at fault has no insurance), we still don’t charge you anything. However, when your case settles, we take a percentage of the settlement for our fees and costs. This percentage depends on whether your case resolves before litigation or after trial. Please note, however, that in Washington, the law requires that the client ultimately be responsible for reimbursing an attorney for costs advanced, even if the case is unsuccessful. Please contact us so that we can explain how this would work in your case.

What Do I Do With My Medical Bills While The Case Is In Progress?

While your case is being handled, make sure you continue seeking treatment for your injuries and follow your doctor’s instructions. Do not stop with your treatment without first consulting your attorney, as this can hinder the progress of your case. Also make sure to mail copies of all insurance forms received and receipts for medications and tools necessary for your recovery.

Can I Change My Lawyers If I’m Not Happy With Them? How Much Will That Cost Me?

Fortunately, you can change your lawyer anytime at absolutely no cost to you. All you have to do is call us and let us know. We will immediately send a letter to your former attorney. As soon as they receive our letter, by law they are immediately obligated to forward your file to our office. Also, they are forbidden to contact you. You are not even required to inform them of your decision. Of course, if they have done substantial work in your case, they are entitled to get a portion of our fees for their contribution. This will only affect our fees and will not change your recovery.

How Much Is My Case Worth?

Only an experienced attorney can put a dollar value on your case and that is only after you have been examined by specialized physicians and the full nature and extent of your injuries are precisely determined and the cost of your present and future medical treatments are known. Furthermore, there are other factors that determine the value of your case such as, recent jury verdicts on similar cases in your area, the credibility of all parties involved, the length of time, the frequency, and the intensity of your pain and suffering, etc. Give us a call at 206-285-1743 to schedule a free initial consultation. This will allow us to better determine how much your case is worth.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Bicycle and Pedestrian Injuries In Washington State?

A statute of limitations creates a cut-off date after which a suit can no longer be filed. In general, an action must be filed within three years of the act that is alleged to have caused the injury. Because there are circumstances that can alter the statute of limitations, it is crucial to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

If I Was Hit By a Car While Riding My Bike, How Long Can I Wait Before Pursuing Damages?

Car accidents have a statute of limitations that will run out three years after the incident in question, after which the victim can no longer initiate legal action. While there are some exceptions, there is generally very little reason not to act as soon as possible if you have been in a car accident.

It is extremely important that you at least consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as you can instead of waiting to take action.

Can I Still Recover Damages From My Accident If The Driver Was Uninsured?

Yes, but chances are you will need to sue the person liable for your accident. In order to win such a lawsuit, you will need to contact an experiencedSeattlepersonal injury attorney as soon as possible.

You may also be able to recover damages from your own insurance company if you have purchased Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist Coverage. Such an insurance plan would allow you to claim some money from your own insurance company if you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

In such a case, you will still need to consult a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies will try pay you as little as possible and you will need the expertise of an experienced attorney to get the settlement you deserve.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, call a Seattle personal injury attorney at the Premier Law Group, PLLC today for a free consultation.

Why Do I Need An Attorney If I Have Been In a Bicycle Or Pedestrian Accident?

There are several reasons to hire an attorney when involved in an accident:

1) Pursuing recovery for injuries is a complicated legal process, which requires the expertise and experience of a highly trained injury attorney. Many rules and strategies take years for an attorney to learn and acquire. Therefore, always speak to an attorney before trying to handle your legal case on your own. Your recovery will generally be substantially higher, even after all the costs and fees that you incur in hiring legal representation are subtracted.

2) When you have an attorney, you can seek medical treatment for your injuries through the most competent doctors at no upfront cost in most cases. Knowing an attorney has taken your case will give doctors the security that their bills will be paid once the case settles. This is especially important to those who have no PIP (personal injury protection) or health insurance and cannot afford to pay for the cost of the medical treatment needed.

3) Only an experienced lawyer can assess the value of your case after learning the full nature and extent of your injuries, the value of your claim for pain and suffering, and the cost of future treatment and rehabilitation. Chances are, without an attorney, you will settle your case for much less than it is really worth.

4) Most importantly, you need an attorney because the insurance company will offer you very little money for your injury. Only a competent, aggressive, and experienced lawyer has the means, the knowledge, and the ability to sue the insurance companies and force them to give you the appropriate settlement that you are entitled to. Insurance companies have a duty to protect and defend their own insured (the person who caused the accident). No matter how friendly they appear, the insurance company representatives are not your friends. They have a duty to act in the best interest of their shareholders by saving money. You need someone on your side that has your best interest in mind.

5) Lastly, when you have a lawyer, you don’t deal with any of the hassle, paperwork, headache and worry of dealing with insurance companies. You just sit back with the knowledge that an experienced lawyer who has your best interest in mind is going to handle your case and deal with the headache.

What Do I Do If The Driver That Hit Me Was Uninsured Or Under-Insured?

If you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, contact an attorney immediately, because you may be able to open a lawsuit against the individual’s estate to cover the damages. When you go to your consultation make sure you bring a copy of your insurance coverage so we may see what your limits are and if you have PIP (Personal Injury Protection) or UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist) coverage. It is very important that you are fully protected by purchasing these important types of coverage.

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