Washington State is considered one of the most bike-friendly states in the nation. However, the state’s elite status in this regard does not mean that bicyclists here are immune from serious injury accidents. Bicycle accidents can result in traumatic or even fatal injuries. Anyone who has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence would be well advised to obtain more information regarding his or her legal rights and options.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), the 677 people were killed in 2011, accounting for 2 percent of all traffic accident deaths. During that same year:
- About 9 percent of the fatally injured bicyclists were bike riders 14 years old or younger.
- Approximately 30 percent of all fatally injured cyclists were killed during rush hour traffic between 4 p.m. and 7:59 p.m.
- Alcohol was a contributing factor in more than 37 percent of all fatal bike versus car collisions.
According to the Washington Department of Transportation (WDOT), 11 bicyclists were killed, 112 were seriously injured and 1,137 suffered minor injuries in Washington bicycle accidents in the year 2011. Between 2009 and 2011, 3,938 bicyclists were involved in accidents statewide resulting in 26 fatalities, 339 serious injuries and 3,404 minor injuries.
Tips to Stay Safe While Riding in Washington
Many Washington bicycle accidents result from driver error, but there are steps you can take as a cyclist to reduce your chances of suffering an injury:
- Always obey traffic control devices.
- Never enter an intersection without first making sure drivers can see you.
- Increase your visibility by wearing bright clothes and by using a reflector and headlamp.
- Ride on the far right side of the street with traffic.
- Never ride for too long in a blind spot alongside the rear of a vehicle.
- Use extra care around driveways, alleys and parking lots.
- Always wear a bicycle helmet.
Get the Support You Need
You can file a personal injury claim against the driver or negligent individual or entity responsible for causing your injuries. Determining fault and liability is often a complicated process, but it is an important part of getting fair compensation for your losses. Injured cyclists have the right to pursue financial support for all of the damages they have suffered. You can hold a careless driver accountable for your hospitalization costs, medical expenses, time away from work and non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.
The experienced Washington bicycle accident attorneys at The Bernard Law Group have a long and successful track record helping victims and their families obtain fair and full compensation for their significant losses. Dealing with insurance companies, defense lawyers and paperwork after an injury accident can be frustrating and exhausting. Please contact our law office at 1-800-418-8282 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.