Seattle Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you suffered serious injury or your loved one was killed as a result of someone else’s negligence while riding a bike in the Seattle area, The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee is ready to help. Bike accidents can result in devastating injuries, and, the cyclist is typically the one who suffers the most because bicyclists are not afforded any of the protection inherent to motor vehicles.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee has seen firsthand the kinds of injuries that cyclists suffer when they are struck by a vehicle. You could be dealing with pain and suffering, mounting medical bills, lengthy rehabilitation, and an inability to work. We have the skill and the resources to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee represents individuals injured in bicycle accidents in Seattle and many other surrounding communities. Call (206) 899-5415 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.

Do I Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?

Some people injured in bicycle accidents believe that they were clearly victims and expect insurance companies for negligent drivers to quickly compensate them. Those people may be in for a rude awakening when an insurer instead questions whether the bicyclist may have been the one at fault for a crash.

You should always be aware of this possibility because it is exactly the angle the insurance company is going to take, even when their initial conversations with you indicate that they intend to be helpful. No insurance company is ever on your side in these types of cases, and you should simply avoid saying anything to an insurer until you have legal representation.

Some insurance companies or their claims adjusters will ask you to provide a recorded statement in which you supposedly just recall what happened during your accident. You will likely be asked questions that are designed to get you to make damaging statements that later hurt your injury claim.

In other cases, insurance companies will propose a lump-sum settlement to resolve your case, and an agent will usually remind you that accepting the offer will allow you to keep more money for yourself. Do not be fooled. You are only being offered a fraction of what you are entitled, and you will need an attorney to recover a more appropriate amount.

Why Choose The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee to Handle My Case?

The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee is prepared to fight to get you every dollar of compensation that you need and deserve. Jeffrey R. Caffee has been named one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers every year since 2013.

Mr. Caffee is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, and the King County Bar Association. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Saint Leo University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame Law School, and was honored by The International Academy of Trial Lawyers in 2009 with an Award for Advocacy for distinguished achievement in the art and science of advocacy.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee understands the financial stress many people are facing after bicycle accidents. We handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, so you will not have to pay anything until you receive a monetary award.

Our firm is committed to helping clients obtain a fair and full settlement. When a satisfactory settlement is not possible, then we will file a lawsuit to try your case in court.

Types of Bicycle Accident Cases We Handle

Washington has no statewide law requiring bicyclists to wear helmets, but some cities and counties do require helmets. Aberdeen, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Bremerton, DuPont, Eatonville, Fircrest, Gig Harbor, Kent, King County, Lynnwood, Lakewood, Milton, Pierce County, Port Angeles, Port Orchard, Puyallup, Renton, Spokane, Steilacoom, Tacoma, University Place, Vancouver, and all military installations require helmets for bicyclists of all ages, while Orting requires those under 17 and Poulsbo requires bicyclists under 18 to wear helmets.

While helmets help reduce the chances of serious head injuries, they cannot protect a person’s entire body. Injuries bicyclists can suffer may include but are not limited to:

  • Paralysis
  • Road rash
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Sprains
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Muscle strains
  • Neck injuries
  • Nerve damage

When a bicyclist is killed in an accident, their family members can usually file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. Some of the most common causes of crashes involving motor vehicles include but are not limited to:

  • Distracted driving accidents
  • Sideswipe accidents
  • Right-turn or left-turn accidents
  • Head-on collisions
  • Failure to yield accidents
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Intersection accidents

Some bike accidents are entirely isolated incidents independent of other vehicles. Such crashes are commonly attributed to the bicyclist’s negligence when there might have actually been something wrong with the bike.

If you rented a bike that was not properly cared for, the rental company could be liable for your injuries. If your bike malfunctioned because it was not properly repaired, your maintenance company could be liable. If your crash was caused by a defective part, the manufacturer could be liable.

Seattle Bicycle Accident Statistics

The 2015 Annual Collision Data Summary reported that 1,427 bicyclists were involved in collisions in 2015. The accidents resulted in 14 fatalities, 107 serious injuries, and 1,295 minor injuries.

While 38.8 percent of motor vehicle drivers and 30.7 percent of occupants died or were injured in collisions, an astonishing 96.8 percent of bicyclists died or were seriously injured.

Among all bicycle accidents, the five most common nonmotorist contributing circumstances were:

  • Inattention or driver distractions — 252 cases
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way to a motor vehicle — 198 cases
  • Disregard signal — 46 cases
  • Disregard stop sign or red light— 36 cases
  • Headlight violation — 36 cases

Of the nonmotorist contributing factors, the most common cause of fatal collisions was attributed to driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs with seven cases, while inattention or driver distractions were the leading cause of serious injuries with 27 cases and minor injuries with 204 cases. Failure to yield the right-of-way to a motor vehicle was the leading cause of property damage collisions with 18 cases.

Contact a Seattle Bicycle Accident Attorney Today

If you sustained serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident in Seattle or another nearby area of Washington, do not wait to seek legal representation for assistance navigating the claims process. Make sure you contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee as soon as possible.

Our team of experienced bicycle accident attorneys understands the inherent challenges of bicycle injuries and how to overcome them, so we can help you obtain every dollar the insurance company owes you. Our lawyer can answer all of your legal questions when you call (206) 899-5415 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

FAQs

Frequently
Asked
Questions

When you have been involved in any kind of bicycle crash, your first action should always be to seek medical attention. You should do this even when you do not believe you were hurt. Some injuries involve delayed symptoms, and you do not want to have your injuries questioned because of any delays in treatment. You should also be sure to contact the local law enforcement agency and file a police report on your accident. Take as many pictures as you can of the scene of your accident. Get photographs of every person and vehicle involved as well as any other items that you believe may have been a factor from different distances and angles. If anyone saw your crash, get their of contact information in case they are needed as witnesses. When you cannot take these measures on your own, try to get someone else you know to do it for you. Resist the temptation to talk about your accident with anybody, even friends and family, and avoid writing anything about a crash on social media. Make sure an attorney is the first person you discuss your case with so they can tell you what is safe to talk about.

A person has three years from the date of a bike accident to file an injury claim under Revised Code of Washington § 4.16.080. The same three-year limit also applies to wrongful death cases, but the limitations period will begin on the date of a bicyclist’s death, which may be much later than the date of their accident. Washington state law does allow for the statute of limitations to be tolled (or delayed) in certain circumstances. For example, for victims 1) who are under 18 years of age, 2) who are “incompetent or disabled to such a degree that he or she cannot understand the nature of the proceedings,” 3) or who are imprisoned on a criminal charge may be able to have their limitations period tolled until they turn 18, become mentally competent, or are released from prison under Revised Code of Washington § 4.16.190. Additionally, the limitations period can also be delayed when a defendant leaves the state or is concealed within it under Revised Code of Washington § 4.16.180, so the period in which they are evading justice will not be counted against the limitations period.

Yes. Washington is considered a pure comparative fault state when it comes to negligence actions, which means that a person can recover damages regardless of their own degree of fault for an accident. Only 11 other states use pure comparative fault. While a plaintiff’s own negligence cannot prohibit them from recovering damages, it can be used to reduce the damages they actually receive. For example, a person who is awarded $100,000 in a bicycle accident case but found to have been 80 percent at fault will have their damages reduced by $80,000 and ultimately receive $20,000.

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The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee has years of experience handling all manner of injury cases. Our Seattle bicycle accident attorneys care about you and want to help you through the overwhelming challenges that you face as a victim of another person's negligence. Our firm is available at The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee.