Bicycling is a popular activity in Bremerton, but bicycle accidents are always a possibility when you climb behind the handle bars and head out. Drivers are not as alert to cyclists as they should be, oftentimes due to inattention or even outright negligence in their driving habits. Texting while driving, working with a GPS or stereo unit while moving through traffic, and even driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs can all lead to drivers who fail to see cyclists in their path—until it is too late. It is rare in a bicycle versus motor vehicle accident to see the cyclist walk away uninjured. Serious injuries are often the outcome instead. If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a bike, you have a right to collect damages from whoever caused your accident, including medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Russell and Hill has experience helping accident victims just like you recoup their losses when they are harmed due to the reckless behavior or negligence of others. Contact our legal team as soon as possible following your bicycle accident to discuss the legal remedies you have available to you.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are five common causes of bicycle accidents. These are:
Distracted riding or driving is the number one cause of accidents. Bicyclists should never take their attention from the road to look at their smartphones or try to multitask when behind the handlebars, just as drivers should not be on their phones when behind the wheel. All too often distracted driving results in tragedy.
Riding a bike too fast can result in serious injuries or death. Even though bicycles cannot travel at the same speed as cars, riding too fast can result in an accident with another vehicle on the road, or because of road or weather conditions.
In Washington, only motorcyclists are required by law to give bicyclists three feet of space when passing in the same lane, despite more than 20 other states requiring all motorists giving bicyclists three feet of space when riding in the same lane. Many accidents are the result of bicyclists riding too close to other vehicles, and not having enough space to safely operate their own vehicle.
In the state of Washington, bicyclists are considered vehicles. This means that legally they have the same rights and responsibilities as any other automobile. However, bicyclists are required to stay on the right side of the road except when turning or avoiding an object, or when they are required to ride in the center or left part of the lane for safety purposes. Bicyclists are required to obey traffic lights and stop signs, as well as use turn signals. Many bicycle accidents are the result of cyclists failing to follow the rules of the road.
These areas are more confined that roadways, meaning not only is there less time and space to avoid accidents, there is also a higher instance of drivers not seeing bicyclists when backing out or turning.
Don’t delay filing your bicycle accident claim. The state of Washington has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, so your case must be entered into the record prior to the three-year mark following your injury. Contact our Bremerton bicycle accident attorney now to schedule your no-cost claim evaluation.