Bicycle Accident Lawyers in Bellingham
Located in Whatcom County, the coastal city of Bellingham has some of the most dangerous roads in Washington. According to a recent study, it has three major bicycle accident hotspots, all intersections. The intersection found to have the most bike crashes is at East Magnolia and Cornwall. The next most accident-heavy were at Northwest Avenue and Maplewood Avenue. East Champion and North Forest also had a significant number of bicycle accidents. There are also 61.1 miles of bike lanes in Bellingham that could be the site of a crash. If you were injured in a bicycle collision caused by someone else, you should discuss whether you have a claim with the Bellingham bicycle accident lawyers of Walton Law.
Bicycle accidents involving another vehicle commonly happen at intersections. For example, it’s common for a bicyclist to be driving through an intersection and get struck or even thrown off by a driver turning left who failed to see them or yield to them. Other common causes of bike accidents include riding against traffic, dooring, rear-ending, T-boning, and poorly maintained roads. Bicyclists have the same rights and obligations as drivers of automobiles, but unfortunately, many drivers of larger vehicles fail to yield or otherwise treat bicyclists with the same courtesy and care as they would drivers of larger vehicles.
After a bicycle accident, a bicyclist may suffer severe or catastrophic injuries, even when the collision occurred at low speeds. If you were injured in an accident caused by an at-fault driver, you may be able to recover damages from the driver.
Our wrongful death lawyers representing families in Bellingham will need to prove it’s more likely than not: (1) the defendant owed you a duty of care, (2) breach of the duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. There are situations in which this is straightforward, such as when a driver fails to abide by a stop sign or green light and runs into you. However, there are more complicated situations, such as those involving uncontrolled intersections or blind spots.
You should be aware that the driver’s insurance adjuster is likely to examine the case closely to find some way in which you were at fault. Washington follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, under which a bicyclist’s damages may be reduced by his proportion of fault for the accident. For example, if the total damages are $500,000, but a jury finds you were 10% at fault, while another driver was 90% at fault, the damages you could recover from the other driver would be $450,000.
When a driver is not insured, but you have uninsured motorist coverage, you may need to turn to your car insurance to recover damages.
Recovering Damages for Bike Collisions
If our Bellingham bicycle accident attorneys can establish liability, we can recover compensatory damages, which are damages intended to put you back in the position you would have been in had you not been injured in a bicycle accident. They may include emergency care, medical expenses, lost wages, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment, pain, and suffering, and replacement services. When a bicycle accident is caused by a drunk driver or intentional misconduct, it may be appropriate to pursue punitive damages, which are damages intended to punish and deter.
Some accidents result in a bicyclist’s death. A decedent’s representative may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit for damages on behalf of his survivors; this is separate from any criminal action that a prosecutor pursues vehicular manslaughter.
Consult a Seasoned Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycle accidents often result in catastrophic or fatal injuries because there is little a bicyclist can do to protect himself against the force of a collision. Our compassionate, tenacious bicycle accident lawyers based in Bellingham aim to provide tailored, personalized service to every client. Our founder Chris Walton has been given the highest possible rating, AV Preeminent, by Martindale Hubbell. We know you may not be able to meet with us during regular business hours, so we offer evening and weekend appointments, and can even come to you. Call our seasoned Washington personal injury lawyers at (866) 338-7079 or online to schedule a free consultation.