Bicycle accidents and injuries are on the rise in Kent and the rest of Washington. A recent Washington State Department of Transportation report finds that pedestrian and bicycle fatalities have doubled across the state in the past four years and accident injuries have increased as well. The report indicates that the increase may be due to a number of factors including distracted driving and drug/alcohol impairment. Our Kent bicycle accident attorneys have handled many bicycle accident cases and we know that bicyclists are extremely vulnerable on the road and accident injuries can be severe and devastating.
In general, bicycles on the road in Washington have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles. Although the state does not require bicyclists to wear helmets, some municipalities, including Kent, do require helmets. Bicyclists are to obey traffic signs and signals, and they are required to use hand signals when turning or stopping. Bicyclists are to be treated by motor vehicles as pedestrians when they are operating in a crosswalk.
One thing our bicycle accident attorneys frequently hear is that the driver in the accident just did not see the bicycle. Although that is certainly no liability defense, it is important to make yourself as visible as possible when riding your bicycle such as wearing brightly colored clothes and staying out of blind spots as much as possible. You can do your best to make yourself visible and follow the law, but sometimes you cannot avoid accidents caused by other people’s negligence. See below for common bicycle accident scenarios.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact Kent bicycle accident attorneys at Russell & Hill, PLLC to discuss your accident and recovery options. Our attorneys will conduct an investigation including interviewing witnesses, reviewing medical bills and treatments, and hiring experts needed to support your liability and injury claims. When we receive settlement offers from insurance companies, we will help value your case and weigh it against any risks involved in bringing your case to trial to help you decide whether you should accept the offer or not. Insurance companies do not want to make a large payout, but when you have a strong case and a good attorney who is not afraid to try your case, insurance companies tend to make much more reasonable settlement offers to compensate you for your injuries and damages.