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Bicycle Accident Injury Lawyers in Federal Way
Washington ranks first in bicycle-friendly States in the U.S. by The League of American Bicyclists.
The state actively promotes awareness of bike riding for health, the environment, and easing traffic congestion in Seattle and elsewhere.
So, you might think that bicycle safety has improved – but there has actually been an increase in serious bicycling injuries and fatalities in recent years.
Bicycle accidents occur in a number of ways we may not always expect, including:
- Motor vehicle drivers not respecting the rules of the road
- Reckless drivers who drive too fast
- Distracted automobile drivers
- Fatigued driving
As a cyclist, the negligence of other road users can create major problems, no matter how safely you ride.
If you sustained injuries in a bicycle accident in Federal Way, the personal injury lawyers at Park Chenaur & Associates can help you claim the compensation you deserve.
What are the typical causes of bicycle accidents in Washington?
Given the popularity of cycling in the area, it’s disturbing that there are so many accidents. Many involve only the cyclist but when another road user is involved, it is often a car or motorbike.
Unfortunately, because of the vulnerability of cyclists and lack of protection compared to motor vehicle drivers, cyclists often come off far worse.
Some of the typical causes of bicycle accident injuries include:
- Intersection accidents: around half of all accidents involving another vehicle and a cyclist occur at an intersection.
- Riding against traffic: it’s against the law to drive against the traffic even on a bicycle so if you are involved in an accident you will have to accept at least part of the blame.
- Hazards: poor road surfaces with potholes or other hazards are a major cause of bicycle accidents as cyclists may have to swerve out of the bike lane to avoid them.
What injuries are commonly sustained in bike accidents?
Because of the lack of protection for cyclists on the roads, nearly every accident involving another road user is serious.
Unfortunately, many are life-threatening or fatal, especially if the cyclist was not wearing a helmet or the vehicle runs over the victim after a collision.
The most typical serious injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Amputated limbs
- Permanent disfigurement from scarring
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries and soft tissue damage
Some injuries cause partial or total paralysis, requiring long-term rehabilitation and 24-hour care for the rest of the victim’s life.
If you or a loved one have suffered a serious injury from a bicycle accident, our lawyers are experienced in such accidents and can guide you on the best steps to take for medical care and claim compensation from the at-fault party.
What actions should you take if you sustain a bicycle injury in Washington?
The actions you take after a bicycle accident will naturally depend on how badly hurt you are.
Perhaps in the direct aftermath of the accident you are not in a position to make decisions and are rushed to hospital for emergency medical care.
If you are conscious and able to make decisions, the actions you take can affect the process of making a claim for your injuries.
Here are some general guidelines if you find yourself in this position:
- Never admit fault – by apologizing to the other party involved for your part in the accident, you might jeopardize your chance of making a successful claim
- Gather the details of the other party – name, address, phone number, license plate number, insurance details, etc.
- Get witness details – if other people saw the accident, take their details to pass to your lawyer
- Report the incident – make sure the police investigate the accident if you were injured as fault may be assigned in their report (get a copy of this)
- Seek immediate medical help and keep all medical reports, receipts, etc. – gather as much evidence as possible of your injuries and the associated medical costs
Whose fault was the accident and how does it affect a claim?
In some cases, apportioning fault in a bicycle accident is straightforward. For example, where a car driver admits that he didn’t see you at an intersection and several witnesses observed the accident.
However, in most cases, it is more complex than this. There are often no witnesses and neither the driver nor the cyclist admits fault.
In this case, it could go to trial in a civil court and a judge may need to decide on liability and damages.
With Washington being a “comparative fault” state, you can be partly at fault for an accident but still claim damages. This is sometimes called “pure contributory negligence.”
For instance, if you were riding the wrong way down the street but a speeding driver hit you, it’s possible that you would share the fault 50-50.
In such cases, any settlement awarded in your favor would be reduced by your proportion of the fault (in the above case 50 percent).
Who is commonly liable for bicycle accidents?
Motorists are the party most commonly targeted in lawsuits– but not the only one.
Drivers have a duty of care to all road users and failure to observe this due to negligent or reckless behavior can lead to liability for a bicycle accident.
Sometimes, more than one party can be held liable – for instance, if there was a road hazard that caused another motorist to crash into your bike.
Cases can be complex and, depending on the circumstances of your accident, your lawyer may need to consider liability for the following parties:
- Road agencies or contractors: designing, building, and maintaining safe roads is the obligation of local and state governments. Failure to meet this obligation could see them being held liable for a cycling accident.
- Vehicle operators: commercial or governmental employers may be held liable if one of their employees (e.g. a bus, truck, or train driver) causes an accident with a cyclist.
- Bicycle manufacturers or equipment manufacturers: accidents can occur due to faulty bicycle parts, equipment or accessories, leading to potential lawsuits against the manufacturer.
Does premises liability exist for bicycle accidents?
Yes – all property owners in Washington (including the State) have a duty to protect the safety of bicycle riders and other road users. This includes keeping the roads free of hazards and providing adequate signage when there are dangers.
Filing a negligence claim against state or local government entails a separate procedure from a standard civil liability claim, so speak to your lawyer about this first.
What compensation can you receive?
For bicycle accident injuries, like all personal injuries in Federal Way, you may be able to claim for both economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses include:
- Current medical costs – the costs associated with an ambulance, emergency care, hospital, etc.
- Ongoing medical costs – medication, physical and mental therapy, wheelchair costs, etc.
- Property damage – any losses incurred to your property e.g. your car
- Loss of income – lost wages due to missed work
- Loss of potential income – losses you will suffer because of future lost work
The non-economic damages may include:
- Pain and suffering – past and future pain and suffering, including mental health issues
- Loss of quality of life – often applicable if there is a more permanent injury
Are there limits to the compensation you can receive?
Personal injury claims are generally settled within the limits of the liable party’s insurance policy.
There are also limits imposed by Washington State for non-economic damages.
Do you need help claiming a bicycle accident injury?
Contact Park Chenaur today so we can get to work on your case immediately. Your initial consultation is free and we can come to you if you can’t make it into our office.
Did a great job in handling my case. Quick and professional. Communicated with me every step of the way and the end result was more than expected. I highly reccomend and am forever grateful.
Gracias por su amable atencion estoy muy satisfecha con los servicios de ustedes los recomiendo estube en las mejores manos muchas gracias ppr preucuparce de mi y de mi hija lucharon por lo justo gracias avogados por luchar por los derechos de las personas
Very thankful to Park Chenaur for handling my case quickly and efficiently. Very compassionate team. They make sure you are comfortable and educated in your options and work hard to get you the results you deserve. My case manager Mitchel was great and helped me really understand my options and each step of the process.
I was 8n a car accident in January of 2017. The first call I made was to these guys… they where awsome Lola came to my house and got started right away. They maintained contact with me and kept me informed via email and phone.. I received the medical care I needed and they fought to get that reimbursement. . And after everything I feel I got a fair deal. I highly recommend them. Also liandra is very kind and helpful…Thank you guys so much
My boyfriend and i worked with Mr. Pustzai on a car accident case. Working with him and his team was nothing short of amazing. They were there for us every step of the way, from the incident until the final court days and beyond that. I have always been able to reach out to Vita and Mr.Pustzai with any questions and get a quick response. They show empathy and are personable as well as very professional! Thank you so much for your work.
Mr. Park was understanding, extraordinarily competent, and hard working. His advice and guidance every step of the way was invaluable and extremely helpful. He was always very easy to reach by phone or email, kept me updated on all aspects of the case and succeeded in getting me a fair and generous settlement.
When you talk with them they are able to walk you through your case step-by-step, and they are able to make you understand each and every aspect of your case.
They handled my case very professionally. They were always very helpful, always available, very kind and great to work with. I felt like I was treated like family.
They just made me feel really secure that they were going to do their best and they were going to fight for me. It just felt nice to have someone care enough to want to do that for us.
My wife and son were in a collision in February, Mitchell was amazing. He made our family feel very cared for and took care of everything for us. A very competent and professional person. If I ever have any issues again I know the first place I’m going. Thanks Mitchell
My case recently closed and I am glad to have worked with Mitchel Pinedo during the entire process. I did not know how to deal with this situation as I had never been in a car accident before. I was not well health wise and neither was my mother. I lost my car as it was totaled and I was not at fault. Mitchel handled the case and exceeded all expectations. He kept me updated and answered all of my questions. Mitchel is very professional and was always punctual to our meetings. I highly recommend you to see Mitchel if you are in need of a great lawyer.
I first worked with Kimberly Yoon about 10 years ago for an auto accident case. Though I had no knowledge of legal procedures, she was so patient and sincerely empathetic. So when I was involved in another auto accident, I knew she was the best person to call. Her level of experience and client care exceeded my expectations. Her assistant, Michael, is just as caring and quick to follow up as she is. Thank you very much for eliminating much of the stress that follows an accident and ensuring that your client gets the best care!
Park Chenaur is the best! I’ve been referring people to Kimberly Yoon for the last three years because she’s amazing! She works hard to get you the best possible outcome for your case and really makes you feel great as a client. My mom was in a auto accident last year and Kimberly was able to get her well above what we were expecting. Thanks again Kim & Park Chenaur!
My mother and I worked with Mitchel Pinedo after our car accident and all I can say is he’s truly wonderful. He made the entire process easy to understand and was extremely helpful. It was our first time seeking out a lawyer and having him help us from start to finish made the whole experience much better and stress free.
I have had a positive experience and will continue to recommended to friends and family. I could not have asked for a better firm or attorney for not one but several cases. Park Chenaur & Associates are honest, courteous, friendly, knowledgeable, and have been very important and good to me for several years. I highly recommend!
Very happy with the end result. Never thought I would get a million. Great friendly hard working people. Thanks again.