Bicycle Accident Injury Lawyers

Bicycle Injury Lawyers

As bicycling becomes more popular as a means of transportation in Seattle, Tacoma, Burlington, Spokane, Vancouver, Wenatchee, Port Orchard, the Tri-Cities, Bellingham and cities around our state, it is no surprise that bicycle injuries give rise to many of the personal injury claims we see in the Pacific Northwest. GLP Attorneys’ bicycle injury lawyers specialize in bike rider related injury law and offer high quality legal services for injured victims of bicycle collisions in Seattle, Tacoma, Burlington, Spokane, Vancouver, Wenatchee,  Port Orchard, the Tri-Cities, and Bellingham– let our bike injury lawyers help in your case today.

Understanding Bicycle Injury Negligence In Washington State, a bicycle is a legal road vehicle, just like an automobile. This means that bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers. Washington State Courts look to a number of factors in determining whether a driver or cyclist was negligent in causing an automobile collision with a bicycle. Some examples of these factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Driving or cycling at a speed too fast for road or traffic conditions

• Driving or cycling under the influence of drugs or alcohol

• Distracted driving or cycling, including texting while driving/cycling

• Disobeying traffic signs or signals

• Failing to properly signal while turning

• Following your bicycle too closely

• Generally failing to follow the Rules of the Road in all bicycle accident injury cases it is essential that measures be taken immediately to preserve evidence, investigate any facts in question, and enable physicians or other experts to thoroughly evaluate any injuries from the bicycle accident injury promptly.

It is therefore important to talk to a qualified bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you know your rights, and to make sure your potential claims are addressed properly in a bicycle accident injury case.

Getting a Qualified Bicycle Injury Lawyer – Personal injury law cases from a bicycle injury can be complex, and it is important that you understand the variety of different liability and insurance coverage issues that may apply to your case. If you think that someone was at fault in causing a collision that you, a family member or friend were involved in, you should have the facts of your claim reviewed by an attorney as soon as possible. The good news is that you’re able to have an experienced attorney evaluate your claim for free by contacting GLP Attorneys. One of our 32 attorneys will be able to tell you whether someone was negligent or reckless in causing harm to you, and whether you might be able to collect damages under Washington law. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, please call 800.273.5005 or email our attorneys at attorneys@glpattorneys.com.

Understanding How Your Medical Bills Get Paid – The most immediate concern most people have after being involved in a bicycle accident, is making sure any injuries are treated, and getting medical treatment paid. There are a variety of resources for getting bills paid for any medical treatment you may need related to a bicycle accident.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance – The best insurance for payment of medical expenses in full is personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. PIP is optional insurance coverage that is added to an automobile insurance policy. In the event of a collision, regardless of who is at fault, PIP will help pay for medical expenses, wage loss, and loss of essential services. The minimum amount of PIP medical expense coverage in Washington is $10,000.00. Policies can be purchased that provide coverage of $25,000.00, $35,000.00, or even more. PIP in Washington is not mandatory. Although car owners do not have to buy PIP, their insurance company must offer the coverage. RCW 48.22.085 provides that no new automobile liability insurance policy or renewal of an existing policy may be issued unless PIP coverage is offered as an optional coverage. The law states that a named insured may reject, in writing, PIP coverage. The insurance carrier is not required to include PIP coverage in any supplemental, renewal, or replacement policy unless a named insured subsequently requests such coverage in writing. PIP also helps in that you avoid deductibles, co-pays, and limited referral networks, and in most cases should cover medical bills in full, as they are incurred. When PIP is available, health care providers should promptly submit records and bills to the PIP insurance carrier, be available to answer questions from the PIP adjuster, and make sure all submitted records are legible, organized, and properly coded. You can learn more about PIP coverage in Washington by visiting the Washington State Insurance Commissioner’s website. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle collision, you may have two layers of PIP available to you. If the driver of the automobile that hit you has PIP, you are eligible to use the PIP benefits under their automobile policy. Once that PIP benefit has been exhausted, you may also use your own PIP coverage, if you have it, on your own automobile insurance policy.

Health Insurance Coverage – Many times, the minimum PIP coverage of $10,000.00 exhausts before you reach maximum medical improvement and get released from care by your primary doctor. This is especially true where you are taken by ambulance from the collision scene to a hospital for emergency care. Other times, you may have no PIP coverage available. In either situation, the primary insurance for immediate payment of medical expenses is any available health insurance. Most Washington health plans will cover chiropractic care, massage therapy, physical therapy, and acupuncture pursuant to WAC 284-43. Billing health insurance is subject to the terms of any contract that the health care provider has with the particular health plan. This means that there may be limitations on the number of treatment visits and covered conditions. You may need to obtain referrals for care, and deductibles and co-payments will apply.

No PIP or Health Insurance Coverage – Liability Insurance Only – If you do not have PIP coverage or health insurance that will cover your medical bills, you can seek medical care and ask that the health care provider “hold” their bills through use of a medical lien against any future settlement with the person that caused your injury. A medical lien can be filed when there is a third-party responsible for your injuries, and when you have outstanding medical bills because PIP coverage exhausted, or there was no PIP or health insurance available. In such cases, a health care provider can hold your medical bills for payment from any settlement with the at-fault party’s liability insurance carrier. Medical liens are governed by RCW 60.44. By asking any health care provider to file a medical lien, the provider has the right to enforce the lien against any final settlement of your claims with the insurance company for the at-fault party. You should monitor how much you owe for the treatment you are receiving so that you are not surprised by a big outstanding bill that might make settlement of your claim difficult.