The City of Kirkland respects bicyclists and even has a biking page dedicated to them. Despite the rights bicyclists have within the city and the rest of the state, too many drivers fail to respect these rights. As a result, cyclists frequently suffer catastrophic if not deadly injuries in collisions with vehicles.
If you were injured because of a negligent driver or other party, you should not hesitate to speak with a reliable attorney as you may be owed financial compensation. To better understand your unique case, allow an experienced Kirkland bicycle accident lawyer to represent you and protect your interests. Our firm is here to help you maximize your potential settlement or jury award.
Laws Governing Bicyclists
The Revised Code of Washington § 46.61.755 lays out many of the responsibilities and rights that bicyclists have when using the road and other areas to travel. While there are some special rules for bicyclists, generally they are entitled to use the road the same as motor vehicle operators, and other drivers must respect their rights.
Some roadways are not accessible to bicyclists, like limited access highways or other specially marked roads. If a bicyclist uses these types of roads, they may be considered partially responsible for any accident they find themselves in. Other unique rules for bicyclists include:
- The rider must have white front light and red reflector in the rear when riding at night
- Bicyclists are permitted on a bike path, bike lane, or shoulder of the road
- Bicyclists are allowed to share a road lane at a maximum of two next to one another
- A parent or guardian may be legally responsible for knowingly allowing a child to violate the rules
The protections and obligations required by state law must be considered when handling a bicycle accident case. These laws often help the bicyclist prove that the other party was negligent.
Common Causes of Collisions Between Bikes and Vehicles
Unfortunately, due to cyclists size and lack of safety features, any collisions between bikes and cars can be catastrophic. Dangerous and irresponsible actions by vehicle drivers may be the direct cause for a bicyclist’s injuries. Situations that commonly lead to bicycle accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Distracted motorists
- Intoxicated drivers
- Aggressive driving
- Failure to check blind spots
- Failure to respect the right of way of bicyclists
- Defective bike parts or tires
- Dangerous road conditions
These and many other possibilities could be why a bicyclist was hurt in an accident. The party responsible for those injuries should have to bear the costs—not the injured party. Depending on the exact cause of a cyclist’s accident, a Kirkland lawyer could hold either a negligent driver, bike manufacturer, or government entity financially liable for their harm.
Compensation Available to Injured Cyclists
Compensation in personal injury claims is broken down into two primary categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are those that have an ascertainable value like lost income, medical bills, and property damage.
Non-economic damages include loss of consortium claims, pain and suffering, and wrongful death damages. As these losses can be more difficult to calculate, it is important for a bicyclist injured by another person’s negligence to consult with an experienced attorney in Kirkland.
Work with a Kirkland Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
After your accident, you likely have a lot of questions about your rights to compensation. Our firm is here to help answer those questions and determine how to best move forward with your claim.
Let us help you fight for compensation. A dedicated Kirkland bicycle accident lawyer at our firm is here to help you get started. Contact our office today.