bicycle

Kennewick Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Tough advocacy for cyclists and families in WA

Cyclists enjoy riding around Kennewick for many reasons. There are great views. It’s a wonderful way to get exercise. The whole family can join in the ride. Riding a bike is good for the environment and an inexpensive form of transportation. Bike riding is also dangerous. One bump, one moment’s loss of concentration, or one slick patch of road or sidewalk can cause a driver to lose control. Worse, most car drivers don’t respect the rights of bicyclists. When a car crashes into a cyclist, the bike rider is likely to die or suffer catastrophic injuries.

At Telaré Law, our attorneys are trial lawyers. We prepare each personal injury claim and each wrongful death claim for court. It’s our strong track record of success trying cases that persuades many insurance companies to make fair and just settlement offers. We work with investigators, question witnesses and defendants, and thoroughly prepare all the evidence necessary to prove a negligent driver is liable. Our Kennewick bicycle accident lawyers work with your doctors if you suffer a catastrophic injury. We explain what rights family members have when a Southeast Washington bicycle accident kills a loved one.

How dangerous are bicycle accidents?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 846 bicycle riders were killed in traffic accidents in 2019. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children (5-14 years) and adolescents (15-19 years) account for more than one-third of all bicycle-related injuries that result in the rider being treated in an emergency room. Most bicycle fatalities occur in urban areas and non-intersection locations.

Unlike occupants of cars and trucks, a bicycle provides no protection for the rider. Riders who are struck by cars will usually be crunched by the car or fly off their bicycle. The best way to avoid injuries or deaths is to avoid the accident in the first place. The best way to ensure drivers avoid accidents is to hold them accountable for the injuries and deaths they do cause.

What types of bicycle accident cases do you handle?

We handle every type of bicycle accident that causes serious injuries or death. Bicycle accidents happen when car, truck, and motorcycle drivers:

  • Strike a bicycle rider who is riding on the shoulder of a road
  • Rear-end a bicycle rider or strike the bicycle rider while trying to pass the rider
  • Strike a rider in a head-on crash or a broadside collision
  • Run through an intersection when a bicycle rider is crossing the intersection
  • Collide with a bicycle rider in a parking lot
  • Open a door into traffic or into a bike lane and hit the cyclist (“dooring” accidents)
  • Act negligently for other reasons depending on the road layout and the location of the bicycle rider

We also handle bike accident claims that do not involve drivers. If bike lanes are poorly designed and/or maintained, the city may be liable. If your injuries are the result of a defective bike part or helmet, the manufacturer could be accountable.

Why do bicycle accidents happen in Kennewick?

Many cars strike bicycle riders because the car driver does not respect the right of the bicycle rider to share the road with a car. Even when car drivers respect the right of the bicycle rider, they may often fail to appreciate the speed of the bicycle rider, and when the bicycle rider is going to turn.

Other common reasons why cars strike bicycles include:

  • Driver intoxication
  • Driver distraction
  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield
  • Driving too fast for weather conditions, such as ice, snow, rain, fog, sun, and other conditions

What laws govern bicycle riding in Washington?

Washington Bikes lists numerous rules that apply to bicycle riders. Some of these rules are:

  • Bicycles and pedestrians must follow the traffic laws.
  • Bicycles can’t ride on some limited-access highways.
  • Bicycles are forbidden on certain roads.
  • Bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as car drivers.
  • Bicycles are not required to use a shoulder or bike lane.
  • Bicycles can and should use turn lanes.
  • Riders must have at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
  • At night, bikes must have white light on front and a red reflector on the back.

There are additional rules for electric bikes.

According to the Washington Department of Transportation:

  • Parents or guardians may not knowingly permit bicycle traffic violations by their ward (RCW 46.61.700).
  • Bicyclists may ride side by side, but not more than two abreast (RCW 46.61.770).

There is no state law requiring that riders use helmets. Some cities and counties do require helmets, though Kennewick is not one of them.

Safety tips for bicycle riders in Kennewick

The Washington Department of Transportation has numerous bicycle safety tips, including:

  • Never ride against traffic.
  • Follow the lane markings.
  • Don’t pass on the right.
  • Keep both hands ready to brake.
  • Never ride with headphones.
  • Dress for the weather.
  • Use hand signals.
  • When traffic is slow, ride in the middle of the lane.
  • Don’t assume drivers see you. Make eye contact with drivers.
  • Use your mirrors.
  • Watch for road hazards.
  • Inspect your bicycle and keep it in good condition.

Bicycle riders should take steps to help drivers see them and appreciate their right to be on the road. Common safety precautions include wearing bright clothing, using bicycle reflectors and clothing reflectors, riding on the shoulder of the road or the sidewalk, and using your lights. Generally, nighttime driving is much more dangerous than riding a bicycle during the day; wearing the right clothing may offer some additional protections.

Who is liable for a bicycle accident in Kennewick?

At Telaré Law, we file claims against all responsible parties. The possible defendants when a car accident causes your injuries include:

  • The driver of the car
  • The owners of the car if they are different from a driver
  • The Washington Department of Transportation or other state agencies if poor road design or faulty maintenance caused the accident

In some cases, the driver may also be charged criminally for causing the accident.

Who pays for your damages after a bicycle accident?

When a bicycle accident happens, victims can file a personal injury claim. Damages in a personal injury claim include medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and property damage. If a rider suffers head trauma, burn injuries, spinal cord damage, multiple fractures, or other catastrophic injuries, the damage award needs to compensate the victim for the rest of his/her life. When the rider is a child, these financial burdens can be even more significant.

If a loved one died, we file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the family members.

When a driver is responsible for a bicycle accident, the driver’s liability insurance policy should pay for the damages. If your losses were the result of someone else’s negligence – a manufacturer, for example, or another third-party – then that entity’s insurance should cover your damages. In some cases, multiple parties will be responsible for covering the costs associated with your injury.

Do you have a bicycle accident lawyer near me?

Telaré Law maintains an office in Kennewick at 819 South Auburn St. We also have an office in Richland. Our lawyers meet with bicycle accident victims at their homes or a hospital if the victim is immobile.

Talk with a seasoned Kennewick bicycle accident lawyer today

Team Telaré understands your fears and concerns. We’ve been fighting for personal injury victims in Southeast Washington for 25 years. Our lawyers are respected by former clients, insurance companies, and defense lawyers for our ability to argue claims before a jury. We work aggressively to prove the defendants were liable and to show just how traumatic and life-changing your injuries are. We understand how devastating it is when a loved one dies due to negligence.

To discuss your rights and get answers to all your questions, call the Kennewick injury lawyers of Telaré Law at 509-737-8500 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment. We represent bicycle accident victims and families on a contingency fee basis. We represent accident victims who live in Kennewick, Richland, Pasco, Walla Walla, Pullman, Othello, Moses Lake, Ritzville, and all Southeast Washington.