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Seattle bicycle accident lawyer

Seattle Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Legal advocacy from our Seattle-area bicycle accident attorneys after a bike accident that wasn’t your fault

As seasoned advocates for justice, we understand that the joy and freedom of cycling can sometimes be destroyed by unforeseen incidents. Whether you're a passionate cyclist seeking guidance or an individual who has experienced the unfortunate consequences of a bicycle accident, our team of experienced Seattle bicycle accident lawyers is here to provide you with the expertise and support needed to navigate the complexities of the legal system. We are committed to securing the rights of cyclists and ensuring fair compensation for their injuries, and we stand ready to advocate on your behalf.

Free Case Evaluation

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call 206-677-5941 now or fill out the form above to receive a free, confidential consultation.

How often do bicycle accidents happen?

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports:

The number of preventable deaths from bicycle transportation incidents decreased 2.5% in 2021 but have increased 37% in the last 10 years (from 900 in 2012 to 1,230 in 2021). At the same time, the number of preventable nonfatal injuries has declined 44%, from 532,212 in 2011 to 299,944 in 2021.

Bicycle-related deaths peak in the warmer months, starting in July, and they remain high through October. In 2021, most deaths occurred in September (149) and the fewest in February (60).

They also note, “Of the 1,230 bicyclist deaths in 2021, 853 died in motor-vehicle crashes and 377 in other incidents, according to National Center for Health Statistics mortality data. Males accounted for 88% of all bicycle deaths, over eight times the fatalities for females.”

What are common Seattle bicycle accident injuries?

Bicycle accidents can result in a range of injuries, from minor scrapes and bruises to serious, life-threatening conditions. The severity of the injuries depends on various factors like the speed of the cyclist, the type of collision, and whether protective gear was worn. However, some injuries are more common than others:

  • Head injuries. Brain injuries are the leading cause of fatalities in bicycle accidents, accounting for over 60% of deaths. These can range from concussions and skull fractures to more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) with long-term consequences. Wearing a properly fitted helmet can significantly reduce the risk and severity of head injuries.
  • Fractures. Broken bones are common in bicycle accidents, with the collarbone, wrists, hands, ankles, and legs being particularly vulnerable. Falls and collisions with vehicles are the most frequent causes.
  • Soft tissue injuries. Road rash, bruises, and cuts are often sustained during falls or scrapes against rough surfaces. While usually not life-threatening, they can be painful and require proper cleaning and wound care to prevent infection.
  • Spinal injuries. Though less common, bicycle accidents can cause spinal cord injuries, potentially leading to paralysis and other permanent disabilities.
  • Internal injuries. In severe crashes, internal bleeding in organs like the lungs, spleen, or liver can occur. Immediate medical attention is crucial in such cases.
  • Facial and dental injuries. Broken jaws, noses, cheekbones, and teeth can occur from impacts with the ground or handlebars.

What are common causes of Seattle bicycle accidents?

The causes of bicycle accidents can be diverse, but some are more prevalent than others. Here's a breakdown of the common culprits.

Collisions with motor vehicles

  • Distracted driving: Phone use, eating, or adjusting music in the car can significantly reduce driver awareness, leading to collisions with cyclists.
  • Failing to yield right of way: Motorists failing to yield at intersections, when turning, or opening car doors when parked can put cyclists in danger.
  • Unsafe passing: Not providing enough space while passing a cyclist, particularly in narrow lanes or on shoulders, can cause accidents.
  • Speeding: Excessive speed increases the risk of both collisions and the severity of injuries if they occur.
  • Blind spots: Large vehicles like trucks and buses have larger blind spots, making it more difficult for drivers to see cyclists in certain positions.

Cyclist errors

  • Improper lane positioning: Riding too close to parked cars, in the middle of traffic lanes, or swerving unpredictably can increase the risk of collisions.
  • Ignoring traffic signals and signs: Running red lights, stop signs, or riding against traffic flow puts cyclists in danger.
  • Distracted cycling: Using phones, headphones, or other devices while riding can divert attention from traffic and the road environment.
  • Riding under the influence: Alcohol or drugs can impair judgment and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Mechanical failure: Bike malfunctions like brake problems or tire blowouts can lead to loss of control and crashes.

Environmental factors

  • Poor road conditions: Potholes, debris, uneven surfaces, or lack of proper cycling infrastructure can create hazards for cyclists.
  • Adverse weather: Rain, snow, ice, or strong winds can affect visibility and traction, making riding more challenging and dangerous.
  • Low visibility: Riding at night or in twilight hours without proper lighting can make cyclists harder to see for motorists.

Cyclists can also take preventative measures to reducing the risk of Seattle bicycle accidents. These include:

  • Wearing a helmet and other protective gear
  • Following traffic laws and rules of the road
  • Staying alert and aware of your surroundings
  • Maintaining your bike in good condition
  • Being visible to other road users
  • Advocating for better cycling infrastructure and safer roads

Who is liable for my Seattle bicycle accident?

Determining liability in a bicycle accident involves a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding the incident. Liability can vary based on factors such as negligence, traffic laws, and the specific details of the accident. Here are some common scenarios:

  • Motor vehicle driver negligence. If a motor vehicle driver's negligence—such as distracted driving, speeding, or failure to yield—caused the accident, they may be held liable. This could involve filing a claim against the driver's insurance.
  • Cyclist negligence. In some cases, a cyclist's actions may contribute to the accident. For instance, running a red light or failing to signal can affect liability. However, under Washington’s comparative negligence laws, you may still be able to collect compensation even if you are partially at fault for the accident.
  • Unsafe road conditions. If the accident resulted from poorly maintained roads, defective traffic signals, or other hazardous conditions, the entity responsible for road maintenance (often a municipality or government agency) may be held liable.
  • Manufacturer defects. If a bicycle or its components were defectively manufactured or designed, the manufacturer or distributor could be held responsible for resulting injuries.
  • Third-party liability. In some cases, a third party, such as a pedestrian, another cyclist, or even a property owner, may contribute to the accident. Liability may be shared among multiple parties.

Our Seattle bicycle accident attorneys will help you gather evidence, such as witness statements, photographs, and police reports, to support your case. Consulting with an attorney experienced in personal injury law, specifically bicycle accidents, can help you navigate the legal process and determine the best course of action based on the unique circumstances of your case.

Do you have a Seattle bicycle accident attorney near me?

Smith McBroom is located at 16400 Southcenter Parkway, Suite #210, Seattle, Washington, 98188. We’re right off I-5 and I-405, near Southcenter Mall. There is a bus stop near our office, and we offer free on-site parking.

Dedicated Seattle-area bicycle accident lawyers working for you

If you've experienced a bicycle accident, don't face the legal complexities alone. Our seasoned team of Seattle bicycle accident attorneys at Smith McBroom is here to advocate for your rights and guide you through every step of the legal process. Your well-being is our priority, and we are committed to securing the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Time is of the essence, so reach out today for a free consultation. Let us be your dedicated advocates, fighting for justice and ensuring that you receive the support you need to move forward. Call our Tukwila-based offices or fill out our contact form today to schedule a meeting with one of our lawyers.