Spokane Bicycle Accident AttorneyBikes offer convenient and affordable transportation. They’re an excellent means of exercise and recreation for thousands. In Spokane, there are quite a few bike riders who commute to work or ride for pleasure. These bike riders interact with daily traffic and must obey the same traffic laws as automobiles. Even when they do, auto-bike accidents sometimes happen. Even the most mindful biker can suffer serious injury due to the carelessness of those who are behind the wheel. Bikes are at a disadvantage based on visibility and mere size. All drivers have the responsibility to be alert and aware of everyone on the road. Ignorance about bicycle laws will not lessen the culpability of the at-fault person if a bicyclist is injured.
Do You Have Grounds for an Injury Lawsuit?For an injured bicyclist to have grounds for a lawsuit, they must be able to prove the driver of the vehicle was wholly or partially responsible for causing the accident. To make a bicycle accident claim, the injured victim will need to prove that:
- The driver of the car or truck had a duty to drive safely
- The driver of the car or truck breached that duty
- The bicycle rider was injured or harmed
- That the breach of duty was the proximate cause of the bicycle riders injuries or damages
When Cars and Bikes Crash It’s Typically the Motorists’ FaultAs cyclists, we hear motorists blame us for the way cyclists ride recklessly and flagrantly on the roads. Motorists often don’t respect cyclists. I’m not sure why—maybe because they feel they’re in the superior vehicle or that bikes are in their way and should not be on the road. Many times, drivers and their insurance companies will try to blame the bicyclist for causing an accident—especially if the accident was serious. You shouldn’t let the insurance company intimidate you into thinking that the accident was your fault. Instead, you should avoid giving a statement about the accident until after you’ve had the chance to consult a lawyer. Contact Spokane Personal Injury Attorney Robert Hahn for compassionate and experienced help.
Washington State Bicycle LawsA bicycle is a legal road vehicle, just like a car. This means that bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers. When riding on a roadway, a cyclist has all the rights and responsibilities of a vehicle driver. Cyclists may ride side by side, but not more than two abreast. Cyclists may choose to ride on the path, bike lane, shoulder or travel lane as suits their safety needs.
Product Liability ClaimIf a defect in the product contributed to the accident, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer. In a negligence claim against a product manufacturer, your attorney will have to show:
- The defective bicycle or part was unreasonably dangerous
- The bicycle was being operated as the manufacturer intended
- The bicycle’s performance had not changed since its initial purchase.
Steps Bicyclist Should Take After an AccidentIf you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident it’s important to follow some basic steps in the minutes and days following the incident.
1. Evaluate Your InjuriesGet immediate medical attention, even in instances when the injuries seem minor. Serious injuries may not be readily apparent immediately following a collision, so undergoing an evaluation is a smart move.
2. Do Not Implicate YourselfDon’t assume you’re to blame. Avoid discussing fault when going over the facts with the the driver of the vehicle. Even if you believe the accident is your fault, don’t volunteer to take the blame, agree to pay for damages, or sign any statement that assigns blame without being advised to do so by an experienced personal injury attorney.
3. Exchange Insurance and Contact InformationExchange contact and insurance information with the driver. If you’re unable to write information down, use your phone to take pictures.
- Full name, date of birth, address, phone number(s), email address, driver’s license number, and place of employment
- Vehicle make, model, color, and license plate number
- Insurance company and policy number