Unfortunately, every year, more and more cyclists are injured or killed by inattentive or, in some cases, hostile drivers. We need to look at ways to protect innocent cyclists from these drivers.
Seattle, WA (PRWEB) October 17, 2011
Even though Seattle is considered a “bicycle friendly city,” a recent string of tragic accidents shows that more can be done to protect the city’s cyclists, Washington personal injury attorney David Brown said today.
According to KCPQ-TV, at least 12 cyclists have been killed in bicycle crashes this year in Washington, with nine of those deaths involving collisions with cars or SUVs. The TV station recently highlighted a “Ghost Bike Memorial,” in which cyclists pedaled through Seattle to call attention to the deaths of three men who had been killed on their bikes in recent weeks.
“I’m proud that Seattle has taken a pro-active approach to bicycle safety and created more than 200 miles of designated bicycle lanes throughout the city,” Brown said. “Unfortunately, every year, more and more cyclists are injured or killed by inattentive or, in some cases, hostile drivers. We need to look at ways to protect innocent cyclists from these drivers.”
Brown’s Washington personal injury law firm, Brett Murphy – Washington’s Injury Lawyers, represents bicycle accident victims and their families throughout Seattle and its surrounding communities. The firm also strongly supports public safety improvements that help to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries involving negligent or reckless drivers.
The Seattle personal injury attorney, who is an avid cyclist, said that “greenways” could provide the safety buffer zone that cyclists need when pedaling to run errands, go to work or exercise.
He pointed to a recent Seattle Times article, describing greenways as “networks of residential roads outfitted with speed bumps, landscaped curbs that make portions of a street narrower or stop signs to give cyclists and pedestrians priority over cars.” The newspaper said that greenways in Seattle’s Wallingford and north Beacon Hill areas currently are in the works.
“As a personal injury lawyer who has seen the devastating consequences of bicycle accidents and car accidents, including the tremendous financial and emotions burdens that are faced by the survivors of those who are killed in crashes, I think it’s important to do everything we can to make our streets safer,” Brown said.
However, Brown said, there will be times when not even the most cutting-edge safety designs will prevent careless drivers from causing collisions with bicyclists. When those accidents occur, Washington law allows cycling accident victims to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other losses, he said.
Brown cautioned, the drivers’ insurance company often will try to shift blame for the collision to the cyclist.
Under Washington’s pure comparative negligence law, an accident victim’s award in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can be diminished in proportion to their degree fault – although it cannot act as a complete bar to recovery.
“Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible in any claim,” Brown said. “It’s possible that an insurance company representative will contact an injured cyclist within days – maybe even with hours – of the accident, and they may use that conversation to support a claim that the cyclist was at fault. That’s why our law firm has always strongly advised against speaking with an insurance company until you have first consulted with an experienced Washington bicycle accident attorney. We know how these companies operate, and we are committed to protecting our clients’ rights.”
About Brett Murphy – Washington’s Injury Lawyers
Brett Murphy – Washington’s Injury Lawyers is a Washington personal injury law firm with offices in Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Bellingham, Mt. Vernon and Vancouver, Washington. The firm represents car accident victims, including those injured in DUI/DWI accidents, and other personal injury victims throughout the state of Washington. The firm’s practice areas also include motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, boating accidents, construction accidents, railroad collisions and aviation crashes. For more information, call the firm at (800) 925-1875 or use its online contact form.