Traveling by bicycle should theoretically be just as safe—if not more so—than traveling by car. Unfortunately, it is all too common for reckless or careless drivers to cause debilitating injuries to bicyclists through accidents that, with proper care and consideration, could have been entirely avoided.
If you were hurt in a collision with a negligent driver, speak with an Auburn bicycle accident lawyer about the possibility of civil litigation. With a seasoned personal injury attorney’s support, you could have much better chances of holding the driver who struck you financially liable for every form of harm their irresponsible actions caused.
How Negligence Causes Bicycle Wrecks
Bicycle crashes involving motor vehicles are especially common on two-lane roads where cyclists share space with cars, at intersections, and anywhere where a bike lane is not physically separated from motorized traffic lanes. No matter where they occur, though, all accidents of this nature that can justify civil litigation have one crucial thing in common: negligence by at least one party involved.
Negligence is a combination of four elements:
- The existence of a “duty” to act responsibly
- A reckless or careless violation of said duty by the person to whom it applied
- Direct causation of an accident through that breach
- Direct causation of physical injury through that accident to someone the negligent person owed their duty to
Motor vehicle drivers have a duty to follow traffic laws, look out for nearby vehicles and people, and act like a reasonable person on the road. Anyone who strikes and hurts a bicyclist because they were speeding, ran a light, or simply were not paying attention may be considered negligent.
Importantly, though, other third parties may be partially or even primarily to blame for a bike crash through negligence of their own. For example, a bicycle manufacturer that used flawed parts, a municipal entity that did not properly maintain bike lanes, or even the bicyclist themselves if they acted in a way that unnecessarily worsened their injuries. A capable Auburn bike crash attorney could help identify at-fault parties involved in a particular wreck and take action against them accordingly.
Recovering Compensation Through a Civil Claim
A comprehensive lawsuit or settlement following a bicycle collision should account for both past and future losses suffered by the plaintiff, including both economic and non-economic forms of harm like:
- Medical bills, including future care costs
- Lost work income, including lost future earning capacity
- Bike repair/replacement and other personal property loss
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and psychological distress
- Lost consortium
- Lost quality of life
Even if this type of incident causes lifelong harm, though, injured cyclists generally have three years after being hurt to begin filing suit, in accordance with Revised Code of Washington §4.16.080. Support from a knowledgeable bicycle injury lawyer in Auburn could be key to building a strong claim within this strict deadline.
Talk to an Auburn Bicycle Accident Attorney About Your Legal Options
Bicycle wrecks cause life-altering harm in the state of Washington every day, and many of those accidents only happened because of someone’s misconduct. Fortunately, situations like this can often serve as grounds for financial recovery through comprehensive civil litigation.
An Auburn bicycle accident lawyer could be a crucial ally from beginning to end of your unique legal proceedings. Learn more by calling today.