The City of Seattle takes biking seriously, permitting the use of its roads and the creation of special bike lanes. State law also protects bicyclists, who are entitled to use roads the same as motor vehicles in certain areas and are afforded the same protections.
If you were harmed on your bike due to the negligence of another party, you might be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more about your particular case, let an experienced Seattle bicycle accident lawyer take a look at the facts of your situation. Every case is unique, and deserves an individualized legal strategy and an accomplished attorney.
Laws Governing Bicyclists in Seattle
State law imposes upon bicycle riders obligations of the road, but also certain protections. When a cyclist is riding on a road, they are entitled to the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle driver according to Revised Code of Washington § 46.61.755. As a result, motorists who do not properly respect the rights of bicyclists may be financially responsible for any injuries they cause.
Certain types of roads are not open to bicyclists such as limited access highways and other marked roads. Use of these prohibited roads may be considered negligence by the bicyclist, which could impact a personal injury claim. Other rules are:
- Bicyclists may share a lane at a maximum of two abreast
- A white front light and red rear reflector are both required for riding at night
- Bicyclists may ride on a path, bike lane, or shoulder as appropriate for their safety
- Parents and guardians are responsible for knowingly permitting their child to violate a rule or law
These protections and obligations can greatly affect a bike accident claim. A competent attorney in Seattle could review the facts around a cyclist’s accident to determine if they were violating any applicable laws.
Impact of Comparative Fault in Bike Crashes
Many defendants in bicycle wreck cases will allege that the cyclist was fully or partially at fault for their injuries. If a plaintiff was partially at fault for their own injuries, this is not a complete bar to financial recovery under state law.
Under state law, a pure comparative fault system is used to determine the percentage of blame attributable to both parties. For any percentage the plaintiff is determined to be at fault, that percentage is deducted from their total available damage award. A Seattle lawyer could help a cyclist injured in a collision build a claim that shows that other party was primarily responsible for the accident.
Who Determines Responsibility for an Accident?
A judge or jury is responsible for determining comparative fault percentages. Once this number is determined, the damage award can be reduced. Even if the bicyclist is responsible for a majority of their own injuries, they can still recover under this system.
Speak with a Seattle Bicycle Accident Attorney Right Away
To seek a fair recovery in your claim, it will benefit you to reach out to a knowledgeable civil attorney in the area. Every claim is unique, and your claim deserves careful consideration. A Seattle bicycle accident lawyer could give your case the attention it needs. Call today to schedule your initial consultation.