Russell & Hill, PLLC

According to the National Safety Council, 66% of fatal motorcycle accidents happen in urban areas like Spokane. WSDOT reports that the city of Spokane sees an average of 1.5 crashes per week, with many involving serious injury and occasionally death. Many crashes occur at intersections and there are varied factors that lead to the seriousness of the injury, including helmet use, impaired driving, and weather. These factors can influence the legal strategy and evidence needed to support a motorcycle accident case. The number of motorcycle riders killed each year highlights the severe risks motorcyclists face on the road and the need for expert representation.

The Importance of Hiring Experienced Attorneys

Hiring the right attorney to navigate these details can significantly affect the outcome of your motorcycle accident case. A skilled motorcycle accident attorney knows how to build a case that ensures you receive the compensation you deserve. At Russell & Hill, PLLC, our Spokane motorcycle accident attorneys have the expertise needed to manage these challenging cases effectively. We are committed to advocating for your rights and achieving the best possible results for our clients.

Our firm has a deep understanding of the specific challenges involved in motorcycle accident cases. This knowledge enables us to provide comprehensive and effective legal support to victims of motorcycle accidents in Spokane.

What to Expect in a Spokane Motorcycle Accident Case

When you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Spokane, understanding the case process can provide clarity and peace of mind. Here is an overview of what to expect:

  1. Initial Consultation: Discuss the details of your accident with your Spokane motorcycle accident lawyer. This meeting will help determine the viability of your case and outline the next steps.
  2. Investigation: Your attorney will gather evidence, including police reports, witness statements, and accident reconstruction, to build a strong case.
  3. Medical Evaluation: Documenting your injuries through medical records to be sure that all medical expenses and future treatment needs are accounted for.
  4. Insurance Negotiations: Your attorney will handle communications and negotiations with the insurance company to seek a fair settlement.
  5. Filing a Lawsuit: If a settlement can’t be reached, your attorney will file a lawsuit and represent you in court.
  6. Litigation and Trial: The litigation process includes pre-trial motions, discovery, and, if necessary, a trial where your attorney will present evidence and arguments to secure a favorable verdict.
  7. Resolution: Whether through settlement or trial, the goal is to achieve fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

This overview sets the stage for a deeper understanding of the key elements involved in a motorcycle accident case.

A Few Key Elements of a Motorcycle Accident Case

Understanding Liability and Fault

Determining fault in motorcycle accident cases is a crucial step in securing compensation. Liability is often established through a careful analysis of evidence, witness statements, and accident reconstruction. The personal injury attorneys at Russell & Hill, PLLC, work diligently to collect and present this evidence to build a strong case.

  • Evidence Collection: This includes gathering photos from the accident scene, reviewing traffic camera footage, and analyzing police reports.
  • Witness Statements: Testimonies from witnesses can provide critical insights into how the accident occurred and who was at fault.
  • Accident Reconstruction: Experts may be brought in to recreate the accident scene, helping to clarify the events leading to the motorcycle crash. This can be especially important in complex cases where fault is disputed.

Washington State Laws Affecting Motorcycle Accident Cases

Several Washington state laws have a significant impact on motorcycle accident cases. Understanding these laws is essential for navigating the legal process and ensuring fair compensation.

  • RCW 46.61.755: This law outlines the responsibilities of motorcyclists on public roads. Motorcyclists must follow the same traffic laws as other vehicles, including obeying traffic signals and signs. Compliance with this statute can establish that a motorcyclist was operating lawfully at the time of the accident.
  • RCW 46.61.770: This regulation dictates where motorcyclists can ride on the road. Generally, motorcyclists are required to ride as far to the right as practicable but may use the full lane under certain conditions, such as avoiding hazards or preparing for a turn.
  • Helmet Laws: Washington requires all motorcyclists to wear helmets. While not wearing a helmet can affect a case by possibly increasing the severity of injuries, it does not negate the liability of the driver who caused the accident.
  • Yielding and Right-of-Way Rules: Motorists must yield to motorcyclists under specific conditions, such as when motorcyclists are in designated lanes or crossing intersections with the right of way. Violations of these rules often lead to accidents and will often be used in proving fault.

Pure Comparative Negligence Rule

Washington follows a pure comparative negligence rule. This means that even if a motorcyclist is partially at fault for the accident, they can still recover damages. However, the compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a motorcyclist is found to be 20% at fault and the total damages amount to $100,000, they would receive $80,000. Our attorneys develop strategies to minimize the motorcyclist’s percentage of fault and maximize their compensation.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and Their Legal Implications

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents. Drivers who are texting, talking on the phone, eating, or engaging in other distractions may fail to see motorcyclists, leading to collisions.

  • How Distracted Driving Leads to Motorcycle Accidents: Distracted drivers often fail to notice motorcycles in their vicinity, misjudge distances or react too slowly to avoid a collision. This lack of attention can result in severe accidents.
  • Gathering Evidence: When working with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at Russell & Hill, PLLC, they will gather evidence to prove distracted driving by collecting phone records, examining traffic camera footage, and obtaining eyewitness statements. These pieces of evidence can demonstrate that the driver was not paying attention at the time of the accident.


Speeding significantly increases the risk of motorcycle accidents since higher speeds reduce reaction time and increase the severity of collisions.

  • Dangers of Speeding: Speeding drivers have less time to react to road conditions, other vehicles, and unexpected obstacles. This can lead to severe accidents involving motorcycles, which are more vulnerable due to their smaller size and lack of protection.
  • Role of Speed Calculations and Expert Testimony: Attorneys may use speed calculations to determine the speed of the vehicles involved at the time of the accident. Experts may be called to provide testimony on how speeding contributed to the accident, reinforcing the argument for liability.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents. Impaired drivers have slower reaction times, poor judgment, and lack of coordination, making them dangerous to everyone on the road.

  • Prevalence of Drunk Driving Accidents: Drunk driving is a major issue, contributing to many motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists are at higher risk due to their lower visibility and vulnerability.
  • Legal Repercussions and Proving Impairment: Attorneys gather evidence such as police reports, breathalyzer results, and witness statements to prove impairment. Drunk driving convictions can lead to fines, license suspension, and imprisonment, which are significant factors in legal proceedings and can impact the compensation awarded to victims.

Poor Road Conditions

Poor road conditions pose significant hazards for motorcyclists. Potholes, uneven pavement, and lack of proper signage can all contribute to accidents.

  • Common Road Hazards: Motorcyclists face risks from potholes, debris, uneven road surfaces, and poorly maintained roads. These conditions can cause loss of control and lead to accidents.
  • Holding Government Entities Responsible: Attorneys may be able to hold government entities responsible for poor road maintenance by demonstrating negligence. This involves documenting the hazardous conditions, showing that the responsible entity was aware or should have been aware of the problem, and proving that the condition directly caused the accident.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions such as rain, fog, and snow can significantly impact motorcycle safety. Reduced visibility and slippery roads increase the likelihood of accidents.

  • Impact of Weather Conditions: Rain and fog reduce visibility, making it harder for drivers to see motorcyclists. Wet or icy roads also reduce traction, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Using Weather Reports and Road Maintenance Records: Attorneys use weather reports to establish the conditions at the time of the accident. They may also review road maintenance records to determine if the road was properly treated for adverse weather conditions.

Failure to Yield

Failure to yield is a common cause of motorcycle accidents. Drivers who do not give the right of way to motorcyclists at intersections or when changing lanes can cause serious accidents.

  • How Failure to Yield Accidents Occur: These accidents occur when drivers fail to recognize or respect the right of way of motorcyclists, often at intersections or while merging.
  • Using Traffic Camera Footage and Witness Statements: Attorneys may use traffic camera footage to capture the events leading to the accident. Witness statements also provide crucial evidence, showing that the driver failed to yield appropriately, establishing fault.

Analyzing the causes of motorcycle accidents and considering their legal ramifications helps our team build a strong case.

Common Injuries and Their Legal Ramifications

Head Injuries

Head injuries are among the most severe outcomes of motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists are at a higher risk of sustaining traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions, and skull fractures compared to other motor vehicle accidents, due to the lack of protection.

  • Severity and Impact: TBIs, concussions, skull fractures, and other brain injuries can have long-term effects on cognitive and motor functions, requiring extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation and often include permanent disability.
  • Medical Documentation and Expert Testimony: Accurate medical records detailing the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of head injuries demonstrate the extent of the injury and necessary medical care. Expert testimony from neurologists and other medical professionals clarifies the severity and long-term impact of these injuries, which supports claims for higher compensation for medical expenses, ongoing care, and pain and suffering.


Motorcycle accidents frequently result in fractures, which can range from minor to severe.

  • Types of Fractures: Common injuries include breaks in the arms, legs, ribs, and collarbone. Severe cases, such as compound fractures where the bone pierces the skin, often require surgical intervention.
  • Impact on Compensation: The severity and nature of fractures influence compensation. Detailed medical records show the extent of the injury, the treatment provided, and the recovery process. This documentation will help your Spokane motorcycle accident attorney negotiate settlements that cover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages.

Spinal Injuries

Spinal injuries can have life-altering consequences. These injuries often result in long-term disability, chronic pain, and reduced mobility.

  • Long-Term Effects: Spinal cord injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis, significantly affecting the victim’s quality of life. These injuries often require ongoing medical care, physical therapy, and modifications to the victim’s living environment.
  • Economic and Medical Analysis: Calculating future expenses involves detailed economic and medical analysis. Attorneys work with medical experts to project the costs of long-term care, rehabilitation, and any necessary home modifications. This analysis helps ensure that the compensation covers all future medical needs and lost earning capacity.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries, including lacerations, bruises, and road rash, are common in motorcycle accidents. While they may seem minor compared to head or spinal injuries, they can still cause significant pain and require medical treatment.

  • Types of Soft Tissue Injuries: These include lacerations, abrasions, bruises, and road rash. In severe cases, road rash can lead to infections and require skin grafts.
  • Pain and Suffering Claims: Documenting these injuries involves medical records, photographs, and personal accounts of the victim’s pain and recovery process. Attorneys use this documentation to build pain and suffering claims, highlighting the physical and emotional impact of these injuries on the victim’s life.

Possible Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Victims

Medical Expenses

Victims of motorcycle accidents are entitled to compensation for medical expenses related to their injuries. This includes both current and future medical treatments.

  • Coverage for Current and Future Treatments: Compensation covers immediate medical costs such as emergency room visits, surgeries, and hospital stays. It also includes future medical expenses like ongoing therapy, rehabilitation, and required medical equipment.
  • Calculation and Documentation: Accurate calculation of medical expenses involves collecting all medical bills, receipts, and treatment records. Estimating future medical costs requires input from medical experts based on the victim’s prognosis and treatment plan.

Lost Wages

Motorcycle accident victims often miss work due to their injuries. Compensation for lost wages helps cover the income lost during the recovery period.

  • Compensation for Lost Income: This includes wages lost from the time of the accident until the victim can return to work. In cases of severe injury, it may also cover future lost income.
  • Calculating Future Earning Capacity: For long-term or permanent disabilities, compensation accounts for the loss of future earning capacity. This calculation considers the victim’s previous earnings, potential career growth, and the extent of their disability. Economic experts may provide analysis to establish these figures.

Pain and Suffering

Motorcycle accident victims endure significant physical pain and emotional distress. Compensation for pain and suffering addresses these non-economic damages.

  • Monetary Compensation for Pain and Emotional Distress: This compensation covers the physical pain, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life resulting from the accident. It includes anxiety, depression, and ongoing psychological impact.
  • Quantifying Pain and Suffering: Attorneys use medical records, personal accounts, and expert testimony to demonstrate the extent of pain and suffering. They consider the duration and intensity of pain, as well as the impact on the victim’s daily life and activities.

Property Damage

Victims are also entitled to reimbursement for damage to their motorcycle and any other personal property affected by the accident.

  • Reimbursement for Damage: Compensation covers the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged motorcycle. It may also include other personal property damaged in the accident, such as riding gear or electronics.
  • Handling Property Damage Claims: The process involves collecting repair estimates, receipts, and photographs of the damage. Attorneys negotiate with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement for property damage claims.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Communication and Negotiation

Our attorneys manage interactions with insurance companies to protect our clients’ interests. This prevents clients from making statements that could be used against them. We use evidence, medical records, and expert testimony to negotiate fair settlements with insurance companies. We will build a strong case by detailing the injuries, associated medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering experienced by the victim. Our goal is to secure a settlement that accurately reflects the full impact of the accident on the victim’s life.

Adjusters in Motorcycle Accident Cases

Insurance adjusters often use tactics to minimize the payout on motorcycle accident claims. We understand their methods and know how to counter them.

  • Adjuster Tactics: Adjusters may try to downplay the severity of injuries, suggest that the motorcyclist was at fault, or offer quick, low-ball settlements. They may also question the necessity of certain medical treatments or argue that injuries are pre-existing.
  • Countering Adjuster Tactics: Our attorneys will gather robust evidence, including detailed medical records and expert testimony, to counter adjuster tactics. We will advocate strongly for our clients’ rights and push back against any attempts to reduce the compensation amount unjustly.

Challenging Denied Claims

Insurance companies may deny a motorcycle accident claim for various reasons. We understand how to challenge these reasons to obtain the compensation victims deserve.

  • Common Reasons for Denial: Claims may be denied due to insufficient evidence, disputes over fault, or alleged policy violations. Insurance companies might also argue that injuries are pre-existing or not severe enough to warrant compensation.
  • Strategies for Challenging and Appealing Denied Claims: Our attorneys gather additional evidence, such as medical records, witness statements, and expert testimony, to challenge denials. They file formal appeals, addressing the reasons for denial and providing new evidence or arguments to support the claim. Persistent negotiation and, if necessary, litigation are used to ensure that the insurance company honors its obligations.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits can be critical in motorcycle accident cases. PIP provides coverage for medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of fault.

  • Benefits of PIP: PIP covers medical bills, hospital stays, rehabilitation, and a portion of lost wages. This immediate financial support helps victims manage expenses while their case is ongoing.
  • Filing a PIP Claim: To file a PIP claim, victims have to notify their insurance company immediately after the accident. Documentation, including medical bills and proof of lost wages, must be submitted to support the claim.
  • Ensuring Maximum Coverage: Our attorneys assist our clients in gathering and submitting the necessary documentation accurately and on time. We will communicate with the insurance company to resolve any issues and ensure that clients receive the full benefits available under their PIP coverage.

Managing insurance claims requires thorough knowledge and strategic action. The motorcycle attorneys at Russell & Hill, PLLC, use their expertise to handle all aspects of communication, negotiation, and claim challenges, ensuring that motorcycle accident victims in Spokane receive the compensation they deserve.

Settling vs. Going to Trial

Pros and Cons of Settling

Settling a motorcycle accident case out of court has several advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Settling

  • Faster Resolution: Settlements typically resolve faster than court cases, allowing victims to receive compensation more quickly.
  • Certainty: Settling guarantees a specific amount of compensation, avoiding the uncertainty of a trial verdict.
  • Reduced Stress: Avoiding a trial reduces the emotional and psychological stress associated with court proceedings.

Disadvantages of Settling

  • Potentially Lower Compensation: Settlements may result in lower compensation compared to what might be awarded in a trial.
  • No Public Record: Settlements are usually private, which means there is no public record of the defendant’s liability. This can be significant for those seeking a sense of public accountability or precedent for similar future cases.
  • No Appeal: Once a settlement is reached, there is no option to appeal if the victim is unhappy with the outcome.

How Settlement Negotiations Work

Settlement negotiations involve discussions between the victim’s attorney and the insurance company. The attorney presents evidence and arguments to support your personal injury claim for compensation. Both parties may go back and forth with offers and counteroffers until an agreement is reached. Attorneys at Russell & Hill, PLLC, leverage their experience to negotiate fair settlements that reflect the true extent of the victim’s injuries and losses.

Pros and Cons of Going to Trial

Taking a motorcycle accident case to trial also has its benefits and risks.

Benefits of Going to Trial

  • Potential for Higher Compensation: Trials can result in higher compensation if the jury awards a favorable verdict.
  • Public Record: A trial verdict becomes part of the public record, holding the defendant accountable.
  • Validation: A trial can provide a sense of validation for the victim, as the facts are publicly presented and acknowledged.

Risks of Going to Trial

  • Longer Process: Trials can take months or even years to conclude, delaying compensation.
  • Uncertainty: There is no guarantee of a favorable verdict, and the outcome is unpredictable.
  • Increased Costs: Trials involve higher legal fees and court costs, which can reduce the net compensation received.

The Trial Process and What to Expect

  • Preparation: Attorneys gather all necessary evidence, including medical records, witness statements, and expert testimonies.
  • Filing the Lawsuit: The attorney files a lawsuit in the appropriate court, starting the legal process.
  • Discovery Phase: Both parties exchange information and evidence related to the case.
  • Pre-Trial Motions: Attorneys may file motions to resolve certain issues before trial.
  • Trial: The case is presented in court, where both sides argue their positions. Witnesses and experts testify, and evidence is presented. The victim’s attorney will seek to prove the extent of the injuries and the liability of the defendant.
  • Jury Deliberation and Verdict: The jury deliberates and delivers a verdict. If the verdict is in favor of the victim, the jury will determine the amount of compensation.
  • Post-Trial Motions and Appeals: Depending on the outcome, there may be post-trial motions or appeals. The defendant may appeal the verdict, which can extend the legal process further.

The motorcycle accident attorneys in the Spokane office of Russell & Hill, PLLC, will provide guidance throughout your case. Clients in Spokane benefit from our expertise, whether they choose to settle or go to trial. We evaluate each case individually, considering the potential outcomes and advising on the best course of action. Our goal is to secure the most favorable results for our clients, ensuring they receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

How Russell & Hill, PLLC Can Help

Full-Service Legal Support

Russell & Hill, PLLC, offers complete legal support from the beginning to the end of your case. Expertise in motorcycle accident cases ensures effective representation.

  • End-to-End Support: Managing all aspects of your case, from the initial consultation to the final resolution.
  • Expert Guidance: Clear explanations of your rights and options throughout the legal process.

Client-Centered Approach

The firm focuses on providing personalized and compassionate legal representation. Clients receive support through every stage of their case.

  • Personalized Service: Our approach to each case is customized to meet the specific needs of each client.
  • Compassionate Support: Offering emotional and practical support throughout the legal process.

Proven Track Record

Russell & Hill, PLLC, has a strong record of success in handling motorcycle accident cases.

  • Successful Outcomes: We have secured substantial compensation for many motorcycle accident clients.
  • Testimonials: Our testimonials reflect the effectiveness of our representation and our ability to get results for our clients.

The Spokane motorcycle accident lawyers at Russell & Hill, PLLC, provide the expertise, support, and commitment needed to achieve the best possible outcomes for clients. Whether you seek to settle or go to trial, the team is dedicated to fighting for your rights and ensuring fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident in Spokane, reach out to us today for a free consultation. Russell & Hill, PLLC, is ready to discuss your case, provide expert legal advice, and help you navigate the path to securing the full and fair compensation you deserve. Our dedicated team is committed to supporting you through every step of the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected and your needs are addressed.



Motorcyclists that are involved in an accident often experience severe and sometimes fatal injuries. During an accident, bikers are often thrown from their bikes and are left with extensive injuries because they lack thorough protection. Some motorcyclists are left with permanent injuries that have long-term consequences for themselves and their families.

Date published: 2024-05-04
5 out of 5

Ryan and Jeff were awesome to work with for my case. They always kept me updated and took the time to return a call, answer all questions and concerns. Definitely recommend them for next time!

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