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Washington is a rather bike-friendly state, which means that many residents cycle around town for fun, fitness, or to get to work. Cyclists are entitled to the same protections and rights that cars enjoy, but drivers often do not respect these rights. This can lead to unnecessary crashes and severe injuries.

Thankfully, if you were hit by a car while cycling carefully, a Tacoma bicycle accident lawyer could help you seek monetary damages from the negligent parties. Compensation could help you pay your medical bills and support your family while you are recovering from the crash, as our skilled injury attorneys could explain.

What Are a Cyclist’s Rights and Obligations?

Although drivers are sometimes hostile to bicycle riders on the roads, the law affirms that cyclists have as much right to be there as any other vehicle. For example, the Revised Code of Washington §46.61.770 establishes that, while bicyclists are usually required to ride as far to the right as possible, certain exceptions and safety threats might allow them to take advantage of a normal traffic lane.

Meanwhile, anyone riding a bike must follow specific safety precautions. For instance, all cyclists must wear helmets regardless of age. Anyone cycling at night must have a white light mounted on the front of the bicycle and a red reflector on the back. When on the road, a group of bicyclists can only ride two people abreast.

Following these traffic laws and recognizing one’s rights is a crucial part of a case since a negligent defendant could use any breach of the law to establish a plaintiff’s carelessness. Thankfully, in a bike accident case, a tenacious attorney in Tacoma could help demonstrate that a cyclist was following all the relevant traffic laws.

Bicycle Accidents Are Caused by Negligence

Unfortunately, most bicycle accidents are caused by another driver’s negligence. When drivers are distracted, inattentive, impatient, or hostile, they might cause a crash that leaves a careful cyclist severely injured. Common examples of reckless driving include but are not limited to:

  • A distracted driver not seeing a cyclist
  • An impaired driver losing control of their vehicle
  • Passing too closely and crowding cyclists off the road
  • Failing to check blind spots and impeding cyclist’s path
  • Not respecting a cyclist’s right-of-way

However, drivers are not the only ones whose negligence causes bike crashes. Local governments often neglect road maintenance which creates unexpected hazards. Potholes, damaged guardrails, insufficient road markers, faulty drainage, and other maintenance issues could result in a cycling accident. Regardless of the specific cause of the bicycle wreck, a seasoned Tacoma lawyer could analyze available evidence and help prove that another party’s negligence is to blame.

Financial Compensation in Bike Accident Cases

Cyclists often suffer severe injuries in collisions with cars. Fractures and road rash are common, while spinal cord wounds or traumatic brain damage can also leave a biker in severe pain.

Thankfully, when an injured cyclist can prove that another party’s negligence caused the accident, they can usually collect monetary damages that reimburse for required medical care or any lost income. In the case of a catastrophic injury that requires ongoing treatment, financial compensation could cover the cost current and future therapy sessions. If the injury prevents the cyclist from returning to work, damages could even compensate for reduced earning capacity.

Finally, damages also usually compensate the intangible effects of an injury. For instance, a bike rider could receive compensation for their pain, emotional trauma, and reduced quality of life. The procedure for determining the value of this compensation is complex, but an experienced cycling accident attorney in Tacoma could help a plaintiff obtain the maximum award possible under the circumstances.

Pursue your Claim with a Tacoma Bicycle Accident Attorney

After being injured in a bicycle accident, you are likely in pain and dealing with significant stress. However, it is important to remember that you have options for seeking justice and monetary damages. A Tacoma bicycle accident lawyer could handle the process of securing a financial recovery while you work on regaining your health. Call today to get started.