Struck Cycling by a Careless Driver’s Left Cross, Right Hook or Open Door? Get the Help and Answers You Need
Whether it’s for business or pleasure, bicycling is a popular activity in Washington – particularly in the Seattle area. About 36 percent of the city’s 520,000 residents regularly engage in recreational biking, and between 4,000 to 8,000 commute to work every day. It’s no wonder: Seattle is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the country, and the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan calls for tripling bicycling in the city by 2017.
Yet riding is also becoming more treacherous. As more bicyclists hit the roads, more bicyclists will get hit by motor vehicles – usually because a driver simply wasn’t paying close enough attention, misgauged the bicyclist on the roadway, or was talking on a cell phone. What’s worse, many of our roads, bridges and infrastructure are in disrepair and cause lethal and sometimes fatal riding conditions. Even more disconcerting is that the very bike you are riding can sometimes be defective, with equipment failures causing you to spill at the most inopportune time.
What You Need to Know
If you’ve been in a bike accident, you should protect your legal rights immediately. Follow these guidelines and avoid crucial mistakes:
- DO seek medical treatment for your injuries;
- DO take photographs of any bruises, cuts, scars or any other visible injuries you received;
- DO take photographs, if possible, of the vehicles, intersection, roadway or road conditions that caused your bike accident;
- DO contact our offices for further instruction on the handling of your claim;
- DON’T agree to give a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company;
- DON’T sign paperwork allowing the at-fault driver’s insurance company to get your medical or employment records without first consulting with us;
- DON’T post photos or information about your accident or injuries on social media;
- DON’T allow the at-fault driver’s insurance company to visit your home or to meet with you.
How A Seattle Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help You
When you’re facing high medical bills for injuries caused by another driver’s negligence, Selander O’Brien’s Seattle bicycle accident attorneys can:
- Provide immediate assistance in determining which insurance company should be paying your medical bills and help you get those bills processed and paid;
- Help get your damaged bike paid for and advise you of all of the damages you can recover;
- Investigate all persons and governmental entities (poor roadways, bridges, riding surfaces) who may be responsible for your injuries;
- Determine the value of your claim and assess the fairness of any settlement offers by the insurance company;
- Advise you of the risks and expenses associated with filing a lawsuit, or whether to file a lawsuit;
- Answer any questions or concerns you may have – please don’t hesitate to contact us.
The Three Most Common Types of Bicycling Accidents and How to Avoid Them
About 36 percent of the city’s 520,000 residents regularly engage in recreational biking, and between 4,000 to 8,000 commute to work every day, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation. Watch out for the Left Cross, the Right Hook and the Open Door.
Our Experience and Commitment
As an active cyclist, STP veteran and Cascade Bicycle Club member, Ken Selander, Jr. knows how enjoyable a bike ride can be. Ken also knows the very real dangers that Washington cyclists face and the types of injuries caused by a car-bike collisions. Having successfully represented countless bicyclists, Ken offers skilled representation in your claim with insurance companies. Each case is handled on an individual basis, and your questions and concerns will be responded to promptly. Please contact us for a confidential and free evaluation of your case from an experienced Seattle bicycle accident attorney.
How do I pay for your services?
Our firm handles bike accident cases on what is called a contingency fee basis: earning our attorney’s fee is contingent upon obtaining a favorable settlement or verdict. The fees charged are a percentage of the settlement or verdict that is obtained. In most bike accident cases our fee is 33% of the recovery, but in complex bicycle cases (roadway design, products liability) our fee is usually 40%. This fee agreement is different from a traditional hourly fee charged by attorneys who keep track of their time and charge you at their hourly rate. With an hourly fee attorney you must also pay for the attorney’s time as the case proceeds. We are paid at the conclusion of the case and do not charge you along the way. We also advance the costs of pursuing the case (paying for experts, depositions or other case related expenses for which you are responsible) and are repaid when we collect from the negligent party. The costs we advance are separate from the attorney’s fees we charge. To see a copy of our fee agreement or to have any of your questions answered, please contact us.
How do I know if I need an attorney?
Most personal injury cases are better resolved with the help of an attorney. If you are involved in a case where a small amount of money is being pursued, you may be better off representing yourself in settlement negotiations or in small claims court. With serious and catastrophic injuries, an attorney is recommended to capture all of your losses and to create greater value for your claim. At the very least, you should have an attorney consultation to assess your claim, to understand your options, and to explain the claims process. We offer free consultations, so please don't hesitate to contact us.
How are my medical bills paid?
If a motorist is at fault for your accident and they possess Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or medical pay insurance coverage, that coverage will generally pay your bills. If they don’t have PIP insurance coverage and you do under your own automobile insurance, your PIP coverage should pay your bills. If neither you nor the at fault driver has PIP insurance, hopefully you have health insurance to cover your bills.
How much money will I recover?
Every case is unique, and we will give you an honest evaluation of your claim once we have reviewed all the necessary information to fully assess your case. The assessment process requires collecting all of your medical records and other pertinent information, as well as meeting with you personally to understand your pain and suffering or “general damages”. Personal injury claims entitle you to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, lost income earning potential, pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, as well other potential compensations.
How long will the claim process take?
We will move as quickly as possible to resolve your claim and bring an end to this process. The time periods to settle claims do vary and there is no set answer as to how long your claim process will take since your settlement may depend upon your injuries and recovery, or the court in which we have filed a lawsuit. In King County, for example, cases are set for trial roughly 18 months after a lawsuit is filed with the court. Most cases settle without a trial or hearing, bringing closure sooner than the trial date.