Tragedy struck a Seattle resident, David Hynes, who was celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans earlier this month when he was killed on his bicycle by a suspected drunk driver. The driver hit nine bicyclists riding in a lane designated for bicyclists over a five-block span. Two bicyclists were killed and seven sustained serious injuries.
The driver was charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter and a slew of other charges related to the injured victims as well as hit and run and reckless driving. The good news is that the driver is facing serious criminal charges and should be punished for his crimes, but Seattle bicycle accident attorneys know that criminal convictions do not help compensate the injured bicycle victims and their families. Fortunately, there are civil remedies available when innocent bicyclists suffer injuries and damages caused by someone else’s wrongful conduct.
Wrongful death and survivorship actions
David Hynes was recently married and his new wife is now facing life without the man she thought she was going to spend the rest of her life with. Although nothing can bring back a loved one who suffered fatal injuries, in Washington, when someone dies due to another person’s fault, certain close family members may have a wrongful death cause of action to recover for some of the losses they have suffered. A survivorship action is another Washington legal remedy that may be brought by the deceased’s estate under certain wrongful death circumstances to recover for injuries and damages suffered by the deceased prior to his or her death.
Riding safely (and legally) in Seattle
Seattle bicycle accident attorneys know how vulnerable bicyclists are on the road and fortunately for Seattle residents, they do have options when it comes to where they are permitted to ride on our city streets and sidewalks. Riding a bicycle is dangerous, but knowing where you are permitted to ride may help you make riding decisions that will help to keep you safer during your commute.
- In Washington, unless otherwise legislated by local ordinance, bicyclists may ride on the sidewalks and in crosswalks.
- In Seattle, bicyclists may ride on sidewalks so long as they are able to do so in a careful and prudent manner and they must yield to pedestrians. It is important to check on this in other municipalities because they may have different laws regarding bicycles on the sidewalk.
- Bicyclists may ride in the street unless specifically prohibited from doing so.
- When it comes to electric bicycles, Washington law provides that absent local ordinances stating otherwise, e-bikes that pedal-assist or can be motor-propelled up to 20 miles per hour are permitted on sidewalks. E-bicycles that max out higher than 20 miles per hour are not permitted on public sidewalks.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact a Seattle bicycle accident attorney at Russell & Hill, PLLC for a free consultation at 800-529-0842. They will review the facts of your accident and discuss potential financial recovery options.