Biking is a large part of the Vancouver Community and we know how to represent you if an accident occurs.
Bicyclists have the right to share the road with automobiles. However, many drivers fail to take the proper precautions when driving and fail to notice the bicyclists around them. When a bicycle is involved in an accident, severe injuries, pain, and even death are often the result. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, here is what you should know about your case.
The Most Dangerous Part of the Ride for Cyclists
Fortunately, most bicycle accidents do not involve a car. Only 11% of bicycle accidents involve a collision with a car, but of those accidents, 45% take place at an intersection. These accidents often involve a car speeding through an intersection and failing to notice the bicycle already crossing the street. Another common source of bicycle accidents is when a car is turns left through an intersection and fails to notice the bicycle traveling straight through the intersection from the opposite direction.
Avoiding Accidents While on a Bicycle
No amount of economic compensation can ever truly restore what you’ve lost after an accident. Pain from injuries can often last years or even a lifetime. The best course of action is to avoid an accident in the first place when at all possible.
Here are some good ways to avoid being in a bicycle accident:
- Follow the rules of the road. Obeying road laws helps prevent accidents and ensures that if you are injured you will be eligible to receive full compensation.
- Wear bright, reflective clothing. In most accidents involving a car and a bicycle, the driver of the car will protest that they never saw the bicycle. Increasing your visibility can drastically reduce your chances of being in an accident.
- Ride defensively. Assume the drivers around you do not see you and may turn or maneuver suddenly at any time. Always be on the lookout for cars and do not assume that they will avoid hitting you.
Recovering Damages After an Accident
Washington state, including Vancouver, follows comparative negligence after an accident. This means that even if you were partially responsible for the accident you were in, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries. The amount of compensation you are awarded will be reduced by the amount you are found to have contributed to the accident.
Steps to Take After Your Accident
After a collision with a car, you should always contact the police and wait for them to arrive. It is not uncommon for some injuries to appear hours after an accident, so even if you appear to be uninjured, your injuries may surface later. Keep conversation with the driver to a minimum, keep all statements confined to the facts involved, and do not provide any speculation regarding who is at fault for the accident or the state of your injuries. Document the scene as much as possible, along with any injuries you may have suffered.
It may well be a good idea to get an attorney involved early on. Even if the insurance company initially appears to be cooperative, this can change once the full extent of your injuries becomes clear. An attorney can help you assess the merits of your case and guide you in the actions to take next.
Please call NW Injury Law Center at (360) 695-1624 if you have any questions or would like to speak with us regarding a bike accident or injury.