Riding a bicycle on Tacoma’s public roads comes with many advantages and drawbacks. On the one hand, riding a bike is an excellent form of exercise, saves money on gas, and decreases pollution. On the other hand, sharing the road with motor vehicles is always hazardous. Even if you stay in bike lanes and follow every applicable rule of the road, the poor decisions of others can still result in life-changing accidents.
People who suffer injuries in these collisions have the right to demand compensation for their losses. However, this is only possible if you can prove that another driver’s actions were the source of the crash. A Tacoma bicycle accident lawyer is ready to take the lead in gathering the evidence necessary to prove another party’s negligence. A personal injury attorney at our firm could also work with you to understand how the event has changed your life and demand proper payments from at-fault drivers and insurance companies.
Assigning Blame Following a Bike Crash
A person’s chosen mode of transportation has little to do with the processes that courts will use to assign blame following a crash. Bike riders have the same obligations and rights while on Tacoma’s roads as all other travelers. This includes the requirement to stop at red lights, signal all turns, and drive the correct way on one-way roads. At the same time, other drivers must treat bike riders in the same way as they would people in motor vehicles. As a result, bicyclists always carry the responsibility of proving fault for a wreck.
Cases that Center Around Violations of the Law
The most direct way to prove fault for a bike crash is to show that a driver was in violation of a traffic law in the time leading up to the collision. Prominent examples include speeding, tailgating, and texting while driving. A Tacoma bike accident attorney could uncover if a police officer issued a ticket following a wreck and if a traffic court case resulted in a conviction. A conviction could be used as powerful evidence of the other driver’s fault for a crash in an injury claim.
Cases that Rely Upon a Theory of Simple Carelessness
Even if a police officer does not issue a ticket following a wreck with a bike rider, this does not mean that the driver is not to blame for the incident. All accidents in Tacoma are someone’s fault, and the Revised Code of Washington § 4.22.005 requires courts to assign blame to one or all parties involved. If a court assigns a portion of blame to an injured bike rider, that rider cannot collect full compensation. A diligent attorney could work to build a compelling case against a negligent driver to pursue the most comprehensive financial award possible for an injured party.
How Long Does a Bike Rider Have to Seek Recoverable Damages?
Motorists who are to blame for a bike crash must provide compensation to cover the full extent of a victim’s losses. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and payments for reductions in a person’s quality of life.
Even though recovery may be possible in every bike wreck case, it is not guaranteed. There is still a strict time limit that people pursuing compensation must meet. R.C.W. § 4.16.080 sets this time limit at three years from the date of the collision. Speaking with a Tacoma bike crash lawyer as soon as possible could help an injured person avoid losing out on the damages they deserve.
Get in Touch with a Tacoma Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
People who have suffered injuries in bike collisions must act quickly to protect their legal rights. This includes performing a full investigation into the crash, measuring how that event has changed their lives, and demanding that negligent drivers and their insurance companies provide proper compensation. With so much to do so quickly, it is understandable to feel overwhelmed or intimidated.
Thankfully, a Tacoma bike accident lawyer is ready to provide assistance. From day one, they could obtain evidence concerning the incident, protect your case from insurance companies, and press to preserve your legal right to fair compensation. Call now to schedule an initial consultation.