Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

Despite the fact that two pedestrians have been struck and killed by bicyclists in the past month in New York City, a study of three busy intersections found nearly 80% of bicyclists are still running red lights.

According to the New York Post, a bicyclist was seen riding through a red light at the same Central Park intersection where a Connecticut woman was struck and killed just a week ago. See Bicyclist behavior in the news after pedestrian struck and killed.

New York Police have been ticketing bicyclists at the rate of 608 this year but still, bad behavior still remains. Said one cyclist about red lights, “I treat them like they’re stop signs. Why would I just sit there at a red light?”

Bicyclists In Seattle

Bicycle commuting is on the rise in Seattle and Seattle has several initiatives to make streets safer and friendlier to bicyclists and pedestrians. Bicyclists need to be aware of the danger posed to them by street hazards and by automobiles and the hazard they post to pedestrians.

Frequent Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Bicyclists are required to obey the same laws as motorists in Washington state. Accidents tend to happen when either the bicyclist or the driver breaks a fuel. Common causes of bicycle accidents include:

  • Bicyclist riding against traffic, facing traffic rather than in the same direction as traffic.
  • Bicyclist failure to stop at a stop sign or red light.
  • Bicyclist jumping a red light.
  • Bicyclist darting between moving or stopped vehicles or bicyclist darting between pedestrians.
  • Bicyclist riding on sidewalks and striking passengers.
  • Bicyclists speeding in areas where people are walking.
  • Driver turning in front of a bicyclist.
  • Driver running a red light or stop sign.
  • Driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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One of the hazards of riding a bicycle are road hazards. Because bicycles have relatively thin tiers, changes in road surfaces, debris in the road, sewer grates, railroad tracks and potholes can all cause a bicycle accident and result in serious injury.

When a bicycle accident is caused by a known road hazard, the governmental entity responsible for that road may be liable for injuries suffered by the accident victim.

In Oakland, California, the City Council has agreed to pay a $3.25 million bicycle accident settlement to a bicyclist, Dulcey Bower, who suffered “severe injuries to her face, head, jaw, teeth” when her bicycle hit a pothole. The city council agreed to the settlement after evidence was provided that the city had received prior complaints about the potholes and ruts on the street and had failed to fix thm
In 2010 inWashington State, the Department of Transportation awarded Mickey Gendler, an $8 million settlement after a bicycle crash on the Montlake Bridge caused a Gendler to suffer a spinal cord injury which left him as a quadriplegic. In this case, the Gendler claimed that the DOT was because of a inch-wide gap in section of metal grating on the bridge that had caused a previous accident.

Pothole Accidents

In the case of a pothole accident, the governmental entity may be liable for a bicycle accident caused by the hazard if the entity was aware of the problem and the pothole was caused by shoddy road fixes or long-term wear and tear. If the pothole was only present for a short duration, the public entity may not be liable.

Sewer Grate Accidents

Sewer grates can pose a serious danger to bicyclists. If the sewer grates were installed in the same direction as traffic, bicycle tires can get stuck between the grates. Most governmental entities install sewer grates in the other direction, cover them with crosshatches or change their shapes so that bicycle tires do not become ensnared. I grates were improperly installed, there may be a case for negligence.

Railroad Track Accidents

Bicycle wheels can bet caught in the space between railroad tracks and the roadway if they cross the road at an angle or curve. In cases where railroad tracks are not in use, the public entity should remove or cover the tracks. If they remain present, bicyclist should be warned with a sign and a bicycle bath could be built.

Determining Negligence

In determining negligence for a bicycle accident caused by a road hazard, the plaintiff need provide documentation that the governmental entity responsible for a particular section of road was aware of the danger and employed measures to eliminate the danger. In cases against governmental agencies, it is advised that a knowledgeable personal injury law firm be engaged.
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bellevue bicycle accident lawyerThe popularity of bicycle commuting has been on the rise in the Pacific Northwest. Bicycling for pleasure also remains one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities, especially in the summer. Bicycle commuters cite avoiding traffic, health and saving money are the top reasons they choose to commute to work on bicycle. However, Herbert Farber, a Bellevue injury attorney wants to remind bicyclists that they should be sure to wear a helmet, choose a safe traffic route and follow rules of the road so as not to be involved in a car-bicycle accident. However, many bicycle accidents are not the cyclist’s fault but the fault of a negligent driver.

Take for example a serious car-bicycle accident that recently occurred in Seattle. On June 25, Brandon Blake was seriously injured when he struck an SUV that made a left turn in front of him on Dexter in Seattle. Blake suffered a head injury, broken ribs, a bruised lung, fractured ribs and facial fractures in the accident. Fortunately, he is expected to fully recover but faces multiple surgeries.

The intersection where Blake was injured was but a block away from where Mike Wang was hit and killed only two years ago.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is studying changes to Dexter to make it safer for bicyclists but the fact of the matter that driver inattention and failure to obey existing traffic laws such as failure to yield pose dangers to bicyclists.

Bicyclists in Seattle, Bellevue and other metropolitan areas are advised to always keep these safety tips in mind to avoid an accident.

  • Always wear a helmet. Helmets can reduce ahead or brain injury by 85 or 85% according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Ensure your brakes are in good working condition.
  • Be aware of motorists’ blind spot and make sure you are seen.
  • Ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Use hand signals.
  • Wear bright colored clothing.
  • Use reflective lighting and clothing after dark.

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Joseph Tucker, 29, a bicyclist who was injured when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while he rode his bicycle on a San Francisco street has settle his injury accident lawsuit against the driver of the van who hit him and the company for whom the driver worked for.

Tucker suffered facial and dental injuries when he was knocked off of his bicycle. He required surgery which required wiring of his jaw and he also required prosthetic dental work. His injuries caused him to miss approximately two months of work.

Tucker filed a negligent driving lawsuit against two drivers and the company they worked for, Lorrie’s Travel & Tours, Inc. Tucker was able to file suit against Lorrie’s Travel & Tours based upon the legal doctrine of Respondeat superior which finds that an employer can be held responsible for the actions of an employee for actions performed in the course of their employment.

Tucker received a $8,500 settlement from Abecendario and a $250,000 award from Lorrie’s Travel.
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Timmy Nguyen, 23 and a Gonzaga University law student, faces serious charges of hit-and-run and vehicular assault in the Spokane car-bicycle accident that critically injured a 2-year-old girl.

According to charges, Nguyen allegedly was driving his car under the influence of alcohol when he crossed into the other traffic lane and ran over a bicycle trailer carrying the toddler. Witnesses said that Nguyen was speeding at the time of the accident. Nguyen left the accident scene but was followed to his apartment by witnesses who called police. He apparently was belligerent when confronted.

The child, Danika L. Packard, suffered multiple injuries in the accident including a skull fracture and a fractured wrist. She is intensive care at a Spokane hospital. A sheriff’s representative credits the bicycle helmet, which she was wearing at the time of the accident, with saving her life.

Thankfully, Danika or the other members of her family were not killed in the hit-and-run accident and one shudders when one thinks of how defenseless the family was against a person who was driving aggressively and drunk.

Vehicular Assault & Hit and Run

The charges that Nguyen faces are very serious. Hit and run, vehicle code RCW 46.52.020 is a felony in Washington state and the consequences can be serious including a prison sentence and fines and loss of a driver’s license.

Washington state law requires that every driver involved in an accident involved in an injury accident to stay at the accident scene until name, address, insurance company, insurance policy number and vehicle license number provided. Additionally, one must offer to provide reasonable assistance to the injured.

Vehicular Assault charges can result from causing serious injuries to a person in a motor vehicle accident while driving recklessly, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher) or driving without regard to the safety of others. If convicted, Nguyen faces from 3 to 9 months in prison.
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Prosecutors in San Francisco plan to charge Chris Bucchere, 36, with vehicular manslaughter after he was involved in a bicycle vs. pedestrian accident in which Sutchi Hui, 71, was killed. If convicted Bucchere faces up to six years in prison.

Prosecutors allege that Bucchere was driving at least 10 miles per hour above the 25 mph posed speed limit when he struck Hui with his bicycle. Hui suffered multiple injuries including a skull fracture, broken jaw, arm and leg.
seattle bicycle accident attorney
Witnesses report seeing Bucchere running several red lights and stop signs as well as speeding prior to the accident. Another bicyclist apparently stopped at the intersection while Bucchere ran through it.

An e-mail that has circulated throughout the media quoted Bucchere as writing after the accident:

“I was already way too committed to stop. … I couldn’t see a line through the crowd and I couldn’t stop, so I laid it down and just plowed through the crowded crosswalk in the least-populated place I could find.”

Bucchere claims he rode through the intersection on a yellow light.

Is a Charge of Vehicular Homicide Appropriate?

Vehicular homicide can be charged if a motorist was found to be operating a vehicle with reckless disregard to the safety of others. If the prosecutors can show that Bucchere was speeding and running red lights, they may very well be able to prove reckless disregard.

This was the third fatal bicycle accident involving a pedestrian in San Francisco this year.

In Washington state, bicyclists have the same and rights and responsibilities as the drivers of cars and trucks according to vehicle code RCW 46.61.755. Bicyclists who violate traffic laws — including speeding and running stop signs — will be cited.
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seattle injury accident lawyerIn a 7-2 decision, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that accident reports compiled by the Washington State Patrol (WSP)are public records and should be available by request.

The state sought to withhold records from the public arguing that a federal state shielded the records because they were in a Department of Transportation database.

Justice Mary E. Fairhurst wrote for the majority that that citizens of Washington had been allowed to access location-specific reports up until 2003 and that the state was unfairly prohibiting the access of the records.

Paul F. Stewart, 52, was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia with critical injuries after he was injured in an Olympia bicycle accident.

The Olympian, in an article written by Rolf Boone, reported that Stewart was riding on Meridian Road Northeast at 46th Avenue around 11am, when he was struck from behind by a Ford Expedition driven by Samalaulu C. Punimata, 22, of Lacey.

Police are investigating the bicycle accident but the article says that charges are pending. It’s unclear whether alcohol or drugs were involved or if Punimata was distracted by a cell phone. The section of Meridian Road where the bicycle accident occurred has a speed limit of 60mph.

If it is determined that Punimata was speeding, distracted or under the influence, he could face serious charges including Vehicular Assault.

Stewart’s bicycle accident is one that bicyclist’s fear most, getting hit behind. Even when a bicyclist is doing everything right, there is no way to avoid a hit-from-behind accident. In these types of accidents, bicyclists are thrown from the bicycle, sometimes out into traffic , and they can suffer blunt force trauma injuries or head injuries. Stewart was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident which hopefully went a long way in protecting his head.
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If you have some kind of accident, such as a car accident, workplace accident, or even if you slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may suddenly find yourself trying to learn all you can about personal injury law.

Personal injury law covers personal accidents and damages that can be awarded when claims are made.

While you can file a personal injury claim for any type of accident, there are some things you should understand about personal injury law and how you can win your case.

For starters, accidents do happen, but sometimes they are just that-accidents, meaning no one is to blame. In these cases you probably won’t get far in the way of a personal injury claim.

If you file a claim and expect to be compensated for damages, you need to be able to clearly demonstrate that the party you are filing the claim against could have prevented the accident. For example, if you are walking down the street and fall on the sidewalk in front of someone’s house because you simply weren’t paying attention to where you were going, you are probably going to have a hard time getting a settlement from the homeowner. If, however you fall because the homeowner failed to remove a branch, or ice, or something else from the sidewalk and you fall, that homeowner may be responsible for your accident and may have to pay your medical bills or any other costs associated with the accident.

While this may seem like simple logic, personal injury law is a complex, and sometimes controversial topic. Many politicians feel that the amount of damages one can receive in a personal injury claim should be capped to a certain amount. Different accidents require different things however. Maybe you not only have medical bills from an accident, but you also can’t return to work due to a hospital stay. You lose money by not working, should the responsible party not be held liable for these damages as well?

Personal injury law is hard to navigate, and for that reason, if you feel like you need to file a personal injury claim, you should immediately contact a lawyer for advice. The lawyer can tell you what they think your chances are of a settlement and what the next step should be. You should get compensated if you have an accident that is not your fault, and a lawyer can help make that happen.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured due to construction accidents, motor vehicle accidents and slip trip and fall accidents.

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The family of Kevin Black, a University of Washington researcher who was killed in a 2009 Ballard bicycle accident, has been awarded a $1.5 million wrongful death settlement against the owner of the van that hit Black reports the Seattle

Black was a 39-year-old father of two, when he collided with a van that had gone into the designated bicycle lane when attempting to make a u-turn. Black was unable to stop in time and ran into the rear of the van. Black died a short time later at Harborview Medical Center.

Black’s family settled with Ambient Control Co., the owner of the van. The driver of the van was not charged in the accident and he said that he had not seen Black.

Washington’s wrongful death statute allows the family of a person who was killed as the result of negligence recover damages in a civil action against the person or entity whose negligent or wrongful act caused their loved one’s death. Wrongful death lawsuits are often brought on behalf of those who have died in motor vehicle accidents, work-related accidents and criminal acts.

In this case, the Black’s daughters will receive 2/3 of the settlement while their attorney will receive 1/3 for fees.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We are a personal injury law firm and we represent bicycle and car accident victims and their families.


$1.5 million settlement in Ballard bicycle crash that killed UW researcher
Crash that killed By Levi Pulkkinen Posted 05/31/11
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