The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we spend our days. With kids home from school, and many adults ordered to stay at or work from home, more people are going outside for exercise and to help relieve stress.
Because of this, our community outdoor spaces have become crowded with pedestrians, cyclists, kids, and pets. Paths such as the Centennial Trail in Snohomish County, King County’s Burke-Gilman Trail, the Interurban Trail between Seattle and Everett, and Spokane’s Appleway and Ben Burr Trails have become filled with cyclists, runners, walkers, strollers, children, and people with pets on leashes that may not know proper bike path and trail safety rules. Unfortunately this is a recipe for disaster, as collisions and dog bites are increasing and causing serious harm to cyclists and pedestrians alike.
Many people are simply not aware that state, county, and city codes establish laws to which cyclists and pedestrians must adhere in order to keep the public safe from the harm caused by collisions or by their pets. When a bicyclist or pedestrian breaks these laws, or otherwise acts unreasonably or in an unsafe manner, they are legally liable for the harm they cause to others as a result of their unsafe or negligent actions. In other words, the person who caused the injury will have to compensate the injured person for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other claims allowed by law.
Often, homeowners and renters insurance policies will cover the losses caused by the at-fault party. This is true in many situations, such as when a cyclist slams his bike into a pedestrian, or a pet runs into a cyclist causing the cyclist to crash. Furthermore, dog bite injuries increase when our pathways and parks are full of people walking their pets, and homeowners and rental insurance will typically cover these claims as well.
The attorneys at Russell & Hill, PLLC, are experienced in handling injury cases for people who have been hurt while trying to enjoy our parks, trails, bike paths, and other open spaces. Dog bites, bike collisions, and other injuries that happen in crowded public spaces can be covered by insurance and compensable by law, so please call the attorneys at Russell & Hill for a free consultation at 800-529-0842 if you or a loved one has suffered an injury.
In addition to our experience litigating these types of injuries, Russell & Hill has a unique insight on cycling. Our partner attorney and lead litigator, Brandon Batchelor, is an avid cyclist. He has ridden all around the Pacific Northwest on roads and trails. He has been a ride leader with the Cascade Bicycle Club and has an understanding of the safety issues for cyclists and pedestrians on our local trails, as well as sidewalks and roadways.