Riding a bicycle, whether done for fun or the myriad health benefits that come with it, should be an enjoyable experience. Sadly, due to drivers’ negligence, that is not always the case. There are a few things you should know if you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a bicycle accident, but primary among them is that you need to consider hiring an experienced trial attorney who will work diligently to make this daunting process easier and help you get the compensation you deserve.
With the increasing number of bicycle accidents in and around Washington, you need to be sure to protect yourself. If you have an accident, it’s most likely the fault of a driver who failed to see you just prior to the collision. In bicycle accidents in Washington, across the country, and around the world, one big risk that comes when riding a bike is the lack of physical protection – and it can have far-reaching and long-lasting repercussions, the severity of which cannot be overstated.
When the rider of a bicycle falls on the road or trails, they may have injuries, but usually protective gear such as helmets do a fairly good job of shielding the rider from more serious injuries. When it’s just a rider versus the ground, consequences aren’t as dire as they are when a rider is hit by a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds, and is many times the size of the person. For that reason, bicycle versus vehicle accidents are a far more grave situation, one that should lead you to consider hiring a reputable, knowledgeable, experienced trial attorney.
Take the Proper Precautions
If you ride a bicycle, either rarely or regularly, you should wear protective gear in order to protect yourself in the event of a fall or collision; other precautions may include:
Make sure you’re riding the right size bike for your body height; riding one that is either too large or too small will make it dramatically more difficult to control, especially when you have to think fast and maneuver quickly, when you’re trying to avoid having an accident.
Wear protective gear that fits you. For example, your helmet should properly fit and be adjusted to your head so that it doesn’t slide forward or backward. If the helmet does not fit correctly, you could suffer serious, life-threatening injuries in an accident.
Avoid riding your bicycle anytime it’s dark outside; dawn and dusk are typically regarded as the most difficult times to see other hazards in the road, so be aware that if you’re driving anytime between dusk and dawn, it will be harder for drivers to see you. Take extra precautions during those times, including having reflective and flashing lights on the back and front of your bicycle.
Driving defensively isn’t limited to vehicles. As a bicyclist, you should constantly scan the area around you and the road in front of you, watching for cars, potholes, and other road hazards. Additionally, when you encounter a vehicle, don’t just assume that they see you – on the contrary – assume that they don’t see you before you make an attempt to cross their path.
Why Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?
Just like car accidents, bicycle accidents can happen at any time due to driver negligence or for any number of reasons, such as:
- The driver may have used alcohol or drugs shortly before making the decision to irresponsibly get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
- Speeding, inattention to the road ahead (and other moving things and road hazards), and failure to obey posted road signs and signals constitutes.
- Distractions are a big source of negligent driving; distractions can come from cell phones, radios, navigation systems, vehicle passengers, and people or signs and billboards on the side of the road. Many drivers regularly drive with plenty of distractions, and it’s not difficult to see why.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, call (425) 635-2000 to speak with one of the attorneys with R Martin Law Group. You can tell the attorney your story and they will explain the rights and options you have as a victim of a negligent driver. Together, you can decide in which direction you would most prefer to go; that is, if you’d like to file a lawsuit or if you’re willing to try to negotiate a settlement with the driver. If you decide to negotiate a settlement with the driver, we can help you determine a reasonable sum that will cover the expenses arising from your accident.
If the driver was at fault, you may be entitled to reimbursement of your medical bills, prescription medication, and the cost to repair or replace your bicycle; your compensation may also includes allowances for anticipated future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any lost wages. Call today to find out more about the compensation you deserve.