Have you been injured in a bicycling accident? You're not alone. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Traffic Safety Facts there were 726 bicyclist deaths, and 49,000 bicyclist injuries in 2012. Many of these injuries happen when the driver of a vehicle fails to pay attention, and of course — a bicyclist has a lot less protection than those driving a car.
Our firm has successfully handled many bicycle cases, which often involve in-depth legal issues. We have an experienced team of attorneys available to you that understand bicycle related issues in both Washington and Oregon. If you or a loved one was injured while riding a bicycle, it may benefit you to talk with one of our attorneys.
Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorneys You Can Trust
Our lawyers have extensive experience at taking legal action for a broad range of personal injury victims — including those hurt in car accidents, pedestrian, bicycle and commercial trucking accidents as well as in motorcycle wrecks.
Consider the following regarding bicycle safety:
- Cities have constructed bike lanes and promote increased bicycle traffic;
- Often, bicycle accidents involve children;
- Head injuries account for a large share of injuries, and while helmets are not required at a state level in Washington, many municipalities, including the City of Vancouver, do have laws requiring use of helmets. As a rule, all persons under 16 must wear a bicycle helmet when riding a bicycle in Oregon;
- Increase in bicyclist injuries between 2001 and 2011: 8.9 percent (Pedestrian and Bike Information Center);
- The total cost of bicyclist injury and death is over $4 billion per year (National Safety Council).
Some Motor Vehicle Operators Don't Follow the Law
Motor vehicle operators must equate a bicycle with a motor vehicle, observe the same laws, and act accordingly. For example, a driver sharing the right lane with a bicyclist who is planning to turn right at an intersection must yield to the bicyclist. A driver may not drive in a designated bike lane unless he or she has immediate intentions to turn off the road. There are many traffic laws concerning bicycles and a driver may not claim ignorance of the laws in defense of claims brought by an injured bicyclist.
Oregon Washington Laws Have Some Similarities and Differences
Did you know that in Washington, when riding on a roadway, a cyclist has all the rights (and responsibilities) of a vehicle driver (RCW 46.61.755)? Oregon has some particular laws for bicyclists including the requirement that a motorist yield to a bicyclist on a sidewalk. According to ORS 811.055, “the driver of a motor vehicle commits the offense of failure to yield the right of way to a bicyclist on a sidewalk if the driver does not yield the right of way to any bicyclist on a sidewalk.”
Other types of negligence, such as product liability, defective products and negligent manufacturing or assembly, can also cause bicycle accidents and injuries.
Experience and Resources to Prove the Costs of Your Disabling Injuries
Our attorneys have unique experience handling cases that straddle Washington and Oregon — where one party may be driving a vehicle licensed and insured in one state, that strikes a bicyclist in the other state. We have successfully resolved a number of cases in both states involving bicycle accidents, and our firm has the advantage of being able to cover initial costs of litigation prior to receiving insurance payouts. Plus, we operate as a collaborative team with several decades of combined experience.
Beyond these advantages and our understanding of the causes of bicycle accidents, we have access to an extensive network of qualified experts capable of demonstrating the often-lifelong impact and costs of serious bicycle injuries. When building the best case requires many doctors, vocational rehabilitation specialists, and life care planners or economists, we know who to call.
If you are the victim in a Washington or Oregon bicycle accident, we are available to help. Our firm covers cases in both Washington state and Oregon. Please call 360-695-4244 for a free consultation or send us an e-mail and we will get in touch with you promptly.