Bicycle Accident FAQ

If you suffered an injury in a bicycle accident, you have come to the right place. At the Law Offices of Matthew D. Dubin our attorneys have years of experience handling claims resulting from bicycle accidents. Our clients love us because we understand what they are going through. We listen to their concerns and we always return their calls. We provide compassionate counsel throughout the claims and litigation process and we provide expert and aggressive representation against the insurance companies, which are often determined to blame you for causing the accident or to minimize your damages.

Below are some frequently asked questions about bicycle accidents and legal claims resulting from these dangerous and all too common events. At the bottom of the page, you can request a free consultation to discuss your possible claim, as well as a free informational brochure.

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Should I hire an attorney in my bicycle accident case?

It is important to have an experienced bicycle accident attorney to protect your rights and to make sure the insurance company does not take advantage of you. A Seattle bicycle accident attorney can coordinate with all of the various insurance companies and health care providers, can conduct a comprehensive investigation and can document your injuries to make sure you get the recovery you deserve.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit in a bike accident case?

All cases in Washington are subject to a Statute of Limitations, which requires that a lawsuit be filed within a certain time following the accident. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this period could vary. It is important that you consult with an attorney knowledgeable in bicycle accident cases as soon as possible following the accident.

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Who will pay my medical bills following a bicycle accident?

Insurance coverage following a bicycle accident can get complicated. If the vehicle that hit you has personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, that coverage will pay your medical bills. If the driver did not have PIP coverage, that the bicyclist's own auto insurance or health insurance could provide coverage. An experienced bicycle accident attorney will work with all of the involved insurance companies to make sure the appropriate entity is paying your medical bills. Ultimately, any recovery made from the driver who caused the accident should include medical bills as well as non-economic damages.

Do I need an expert witness for my bike accident case?

While not always necessary, an expert witness can be an important part of establishing liability in a bicycle accident case. Expert witnesses can determine the speed of the vehicles involved and can express opinions on the most likely way the accident happened. They can also provide testimony regarding the rules of the road as applied to bicycles and motor vehicles.

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What if improper repairs or maintenance caused my bicycle accident?

If you brought your bicycle into a shop for repairs or maintenance shortly before your accident, and you believe the work was done improperly, you could have a claim against the person or shop that performed the repairs. However, you would need to prove that the accident was caused by the negligence of the person who did the repairs. In cases like this, prompt investigation could mean the difference between making a recovery and having no case at all.

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What if a pothole or other defect in the roadway caused my bike accident?

While an operator of a bicycle has a duty to pay attention, sometimes defects in the roadway such as potholes are so big or difficult to avoid that the city or other governmental entity may be responsible for the injury. However, there are many complicating factors in claims against governmental entities. If you believe you were injured as a result of a pothole or other road defect, you should contact an attorney immediately.

What if my child was injured or killed while riding a bicycle?

Injuries to children are handled differently than other claims, and it is important that you consult with a Seattle bicycle accident attorney experienced in handling claims for injuries to children. Please see our FAQ regarding injuries to children. If your child was injured while riding a bicycle, a claim could be made against the driver that caused the accident. If the accident results in the death of a child, the family can pursue a wrongful death claim against the driver.

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What if I was partly at fault for my bike accident?

Bicycles are subject to the same rules of the road as motor vehicles. Additionally, bicyclists have a general duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of themselves and others. However, even if you are partly at fault for your bicycle accident, you can still make a recovery for your injuries. Any damages you recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So if your damages are worth $100,000, bout you were 40% at fault, you would still be entitled to recover $60,000.

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What damages can I recover in a bicycle accident case?

Just as with a car accident case, victims of a bicycle accident may recover the cost of their medical bills, lost earnings and other expenses. In addition, a bicycle accident victim may make a recovery for pain, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, damage to family relationships and impaired future earnings. In the case of a death caused by a bicycle accident, the family may recover for the pain and suffering of their family member before his death, as well as loss of emotional support, love affection and care, and in certain cases, loss of economic support.

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Is there anyone else I can make a claim against if I am injured in a bike accident?

Although the most common claim is against the driver that hit you, claims are possible for negligent design or manufacture of the bicycle, negligent service or maintenance on the vehicle that hit you, or even a claim against the city or government agency responsible for designing and maintaining the path or roadway you were riding on.

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Can I sue the driver of a car that hits me while I'm riding my bicycle?

Yes. If the driver was at fault, you can make a claim for your injuries.

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