Bicycle Stoplight Accidents
Bicycle accidents, should they occur, often take place at stoplights in Seattle, Kirkland, Bellingham, and Olympia as well as throughout Washington State. These accidents can be very serious and lead to some life-altering, if not life-ending, injuries that you will need time to recover from.
In Seattle and Kirkland especially, many bicyclists share the same car lanes as drivers of cars, who don’t often see the bicycles that are sharing the road with them. This can lead to a dangerous combination that often lead to people being injured while on a bicycle.Common Reasons for Bicycle Stoplight Accidents
Any number of bad things can happen to lead to people being injured while on their bicycle when they are stopped at a stoplight or a stop sign. One of the main reasons for injuries is that the bicyclist is in the same lane of travel as other cars who are on the road with the bicycle and the size discrepancy between the two can lead to serious injuries. These are the most common accidents that take place at stoplights:
- Left hand turns
- Drunk drivers
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Illegal U-turns
Often times, however, the most common reason is that a driver simply does not pay attention to the road ahead of them and crashes into a bicyclist who is waiting patiently for the light to turn green or for the traffic to clear so the bicyclists can proceed through the intersection.Common Bicycle Accident Stoplight Injuries
- Broken bones
- Hip injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
After being in a bicycle stoplight accident, you might be wondering how your medical bills will be paid and how you will receive a settlement, if at all. The answer to this is complicated and can depend on a number of factors. First, it is important to understand whether the driver who hit you had PIP (personal injury protection).
This form of insurance will pay for your medical bills. If the driver did not, then your own health insurance should pay your bills. You also need to determine whether the driver had liability insurance. 25% of all Washington State drivers do not. If the driver who struck you did not have car insurance, then you have to decide whether you want to pursue this driver’s personal assets or to see if you can make a UIM claim (uninsured motorist claim) through your own car insurance, but you need to see if you have this kind of car insurance.
Not everyone has this kind of car insurance policy. Another factor to be aware of is if your health insurance, or if the at-fault driver’s insurance company paid your medical bills, either of them is allowed to recover a portion of the medical bills they paid at the time of settlement through a process called subrogation. Call us if you have questions about how subrogation works.How The Jackman Law Firm can Help After a Bicycle Stoplight Accident
Being struck by a car, truck, SUV or van while you are at a stoplight can be physically devastating, but it can also be emotionally and financially devastating as well. It is helpful to understand what you are allowed to receive legally for your claim. While there is no promise that you will receive any of these categories of damages, these are damages that are at least possible to recover:
- Money for medical bills
- Money for future medical bills
- Money for lost wages
- Money for future lost wages
- Money for out of pocket expenses
- Money for pain and suffering
- Money for loss of consortium
While these damages are also possible to receive, there is no promise you’ll receive these in large part because sometimes the at-fault driver’s car, truck, or SUV insurance company will argue that you were somehow at fault for the accident, even if you are simply sitting patiently at a stoplight waiting for the light to turn green. If this is the case, you need an attorney who can fight for you to make sure your claim is going in the right direction.
If negotiations fall apart with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, which they might, then the Jackman Law Firm has the ability, resources, and experience to take your case to trial and obtain a large verdict for your damages. We have a tremendous track record of successfully negotiating with insurance companies, but every case is unique and sometimes you have to go to trial.
If you have questions or concerns about your damages or how we can best position your case for success, feel free to call us for a free consultation.