Seattle Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Bicycles are a popular choice for exercise and leisure in the Seattle area, and many people love riding their bikes to and from work as an environmentally responsible alternative to driving. However, bicycle crashes can happen and cause serious injuries.  If a driver or another party causes an injury to you or a loved one while riding a bicycle in the Seattle area, the Seattle bicycle accident attorneys at Washington Injury Law can help you determine your options for legal recourse. Contact Washington Injury Law today to schedule a free consultation with a Seattle bicycle accident attorney and learn more about how our firm in Washington state can help.

Seattle Bicycle Accident Resources

Why Choose Washington Injury Law?

When you need a Seattle bicycle accident attorney for a bicycle accident claim, it is crucial to find one with the experience necessary to navigate you to a successful result.

  • Washington Injury Law offers a full range of legal services for bicycle accidents and other personal injuries in the Seattle area.
  • Our Seattle personal injury attorneys have extensive experience with bicycle accident claims and know how to approach these cases to maximize your recovery.
  • Our Seattle bicycle accident lawyers take every case with a contingency fee agreement, meaning we only collect legal fees after we win your case and charge no up-front fees for any legal services.

Your bicycle accident attorney in Seattle will be a major deciding factor in the quality of your recovery after a serious accident.

Is there a Statute of Limitation for Bicycle Accident Claims in Washington?

In Washington state, most personal injury claims, including bicycle accidents, have a standard time limit of 3 years. It’s important for people injured in a serious bicycle accident to contact a Seattle bicycle accident attorney as soon as they can start working towards getting the compensation they deserve. It’s also critical to keep all records of interaction with police and documentation of medical treatment for a strong claim.

What are the Most Common Causes of a Bicycle Accident in Seattle?

Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers in Washington. With few exceptions, bicycles may travel in the road and “take the lane” as necessary, and nearby drivers must yield as they would for any other vehicle. Bicyclists should remain in bike lanes wherever possible and avoid traveling side-by-side in a bike lane adjacent to lanes of other traffic.

However, even when a bicyclist follows all of the laws of the roadway, accidents can still occur. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents in and around Seattle include the following:

  • Vehicle intersections. Accidents frequently occur when vehicles fail to yield, cutting off or running stoplights near cyclists, stemming from either aggression or distraction.
  • Dooring incidents. Cyclists face risks from parked vehicles when doors are opened unexpectedly in their path, leading to potential collisions.
  • Road conditions. Poorly maintained roads and overlooked road defects significantly contribute to cycling accidents, warranting claims for improved safety measures.
  • Road debris. Obstacles on the road can force cyclists to fall or swerve, risking collisions with others.
  • Animal interference. Aggressive animal encounters can divert or halt a cyclist’s journey, impacting their safety.
  • Negligent cyclists/pedestrians. Collisions caused by inattentive cyclists or pedestrians account for numerous yearly accidents.
  • Defective bicycles. Manufacturing flaws in bicycles pose serious risks, potentially leading to product liability cases for affected cyclists.

Data from the Washington Department of Transportation indicates that there were more than 1,000 total bicycle accident injuries across the state during the most recent reporting year, and many of these injuries were severe.

Does Washington Law Require Me to Wear a Helmet While Riding my Bicycle?

Currently, there are no official laws requiring helmet use in bike accidents in Washington state. However, there are some cities and counties in Washington that do require helmets. Even if helmet use is not required, it’s important to wear one to avoid sustaining a life-changing brain injury should there be a bike accident. 

According to, the average bicyclist will have a bike accident every 4,500 miles, with head injuries accounting for nearly 75% of deaths in bicycle accidents. Most helmets are made of EPS foam and a plastic shell. The plastic shell holds the foam together during the initial impact, while also helping the helmet skid across the sidewalk or pavement to avoid any jerking of the neck during a bike accident.

A Roadway Defect Caused My Bicycle Accident… Do I Have a Claim?

It depends. You will need to prove that someone’s negligence was the cause for the roadway defect (ie: pothole, crack, drainage ditch, uneven surface). If the defect was caused naturally, you will need to have proof that the party responsible should have been aware of the issue and had adequate time to fix it.

There may be several possible liable parties should a roadway defect cause a bicycle accident. This can include government entities, construction companies, and even private property owners, depending on where the incident occurred. A thorough investigation into the bicycle accident will be needed, including an investigation into the ownership of the exact area where the collision occurred.

We do want to note that filing a claim against a government entity is more challenging in Washington. There are separate processes involved in filing these claims, including specific filing deadlines. We encourage you to reach out to an attorney as promptly as possible for assistance with a road defect claim.

What To Do After A Bike Accident in Seattle

  • It is important that bike riders do not apologize or claim responsibility. Even if you think you caused the accident, it’s important to discuss events with the other person involved in the accident and law enforcement before automatically claiming fault.
  • Contact law enforcement and emergency services if necessary. Do not leave the scene of the accident until you clear it with the authorities.
  • Exchange important information such as the driver’s name, phone number and insurance information. Also, speak to people who witnessed the collision and get their information as well.
  • Get treatment for injuries as soon as possible.

How to Determine Fault in a Seattle Bicycle Accident

Determining fault after a bicycle accident occurs involves gathering as much evidence as possible, but this is not always easy. Much of the evidence used to determine liability is obtained the day the incident occurs, and this can include:

  • Photographs of injuries, property damage, traffic and weather conditions, debris and skid marks, and more
  • Statements from any eyewitnesses to the incident, including other drivers and passengers, as well as any bystanders who may have stopped
  • Video surveillance footage from cameras on nearby businesses, homes, or inside of vehicles
  • The police report filled out by the responding law enforcement official

The role of an investigation into the incident is to prove that the other party’s actions were not only negligent but that they contributed directly or indirectly to the injuries. In some cases, the evidence will not clearly indicate which party or parties caused the incident. An attorney may need to enlist assistance from an experienced accident reconstruction expert to help with this part of the process.

Common Bicycle Accident Injuries

Getting into a bike accident in Seattle can leave the victim with many serious injuries, including:

How Will a Seattle Bicycle Accident Attorney Help?

The Seattle bicycle accident lawyer at Washington Injury Law will carefully review the details of your bicycle accident claim to help you identify the liable parties and assess the full extent of your damages. Your bicycle accident attorney can handle correspondence and negotiations with insurance carriers on your behalf, limiting the chance of push back against a legitimate claim and ensuring you receive an appropriate amount of coverage. A Seattle bicycle accident lawyer can also represent you in court and coordinate expert witness testimony to support your claim in front of a jury if necessary.

Is a Bicycle Accident in Seattle Case a Civil or Criminal Case?

Your bicycle accident claim will be a case in civil court. But if the other person involved in the accident has violated the law with a pending criminal case against this person, evidence from that criminal case may help in your civil suit.

Will a Bicycle Accident Claim Go to Trial in Seattle?

Not usually. Most bicycle accident cases are settled out-of-court. An experienced Seattle bicycle accident attorney will seek the best way to resolve your case and get you the maximum amount of compensation possible.

How Do I Recover Compensation for a Seattle Bicycle Accident Claim?

There may be various routes to recovering compensation after a bicycle accident occurs in Seattle. If another driver caused the collision, an insurance claim may be appropriate, but a bicyclist may need to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against another party.

By working with a trusted bicycle accident lawyer, you will have an advocate by your side ready to handle every aspect of the claim so you can recover the compensation needed. This includes both economic and non-economic damages, such as the following:

An injured bicyclist can claim compensation for any and all damages resulting from another party’s negligence.

  • Medical expenses, both immediate and future, may form the bulk of an injured claimant’s economic damages. A plaintiff can claim compensation for hospital bills, rehabilitation, prescription costs, and any costs for necessary ongoing or long-term care.
  • Plaintiffs may also sue for lost income if their injuries prevent them from working during recovery or if they cause permanent disabilities that interfere with their ability to work.
  • A plaintiff may also claim compensation for property damages, such as the cost of repairing or replacing his or her damaged bike.
  • Plaintiffs receive pain and suffering compensation for the physical pain and psychological damage suffered from their accidents.

In the event the insurance carrier of the at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement, or if the policy is not sufficient enough to pay for all of the bicycle accident victim’s expenses, a personal injury lawsuit filed in civil court may be appropriate. This places the claim into the civil court system and starts the discovery process. It is not uncommon for a claim to settle after a lawsuit gets filed but before it goes all the way to a jury trial. However, your lawyer should fully prepare to take the case to trial if needed to ensure you receive fair treatment throughout the process.

Speak to a Seattle Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today

Securing compensation for your bicycle accident claim starts with hiring the right bicycle accident attorneys in Seattle to represent your interests and fight for your recovery. Contact Washington Injury Law today to schedule a case evaluation with an attorney and learn more about your options for legal recourse.