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Bellevue Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcyclists are much more likely to suffer serious and fatal injuries in auto accidents than typical motorists are. Lack of protection from crash forces heightens the risk for traumatic injuries to the head, brain, spinal cord, and internal organs. If a reckless or careless driver should have prevented your recent motorcycle accident in Bellevue, you could have a case against that person.
If you need help filing your Bellevue motorcycle accident claim, contact the lawyers at Colburn Law. We’re available 24/7 to answer your questions about personal injury laws, filing deadlines, and the value of your case. We’re here to answer all the questions you may have about the claims process. Our Bellevue personal injury lawyers want your family to obtain justice and full recovery. After a harmful motorcycle accident crash in Bellevue, contact us to see how we can help.
Who or What Causes Bellevue Motorcycle Accidents?
Statewide, 2,208 motorcyclists were involved in harmful traffic collisions in 2015. These collisions cost 73 motorcyclists their lives and caused 402 serious non-fatal injuries. At Colburn Law, we believe just one motorcyclist death is too many. Unfortunately, negligent and careless drivers continue to cause motorcycle-vehicle collisions every day. The most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Bellevue are as follows:
- Driver distraction or failure to pay attention
- Drunk or drowsy driving
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Speeding and red-light running
- Drivers breaking roadway rules
- Dangerous roadways or hazards such as potholes
- Malfunctioning auto equipment
Making a left turn without watching for oncoming motorcycles, misjudging the speed or distance of the motorcycle, or texting and driving are all common acts of driver negligence that could cost a motorcyclist his or her life. The moment you suspect someone else caused your crash out of neglect to fulfill accepted standards of care, discuss your options with an attorney. You could be eligible for compensation.
How to Handle an Insurance Claim in Bellevue
Washington is a fault-based state. Call the insurance company of the at-fault driver to file a claim. Many insurance companies have prejudices against motorcyclists that could interfere with your ability to recover damages. If you feel an insurance company is wrongfully denying your claim, contact a lawyer. In the meantime, don’t admit fault during conversations with the insurance company. Wait until you speak to a lawyer to continue communications with insurance claim adjusters.
What Damages Can You Obtain in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
Seriously injured motorcyclists can benefit from filing claims against at-fault drivers or other parties. While an auto insurance claim could result in payment for medical bills and property repairs, accident victims could obtain recovery for their pain and suffering through a lawsuit in Washington. This damage type could translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars for motorcyclists with severe or permanent injuries. You could recover the following losses with a personal injury claim:
- Past and future medical treatment costs
- Lost income and ability to earn
- Pain and suffering
- Property repairs
- Punitive damages
If you lost a loved one in a Bellevue car accident, you could be eligible for additional wrongful death damages. These may include mental anguish, funeral/burial costs, and loss of consortium. At Colburn Law, our lawyers have secured outstanding results for past clients in Washington. We know how to fight for full compensation during insurance settlement negotiations and/or a personal injury trial. We’ll create a legal strategy that’s ideal for you.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Washington Motorcycle Accident Claims?
After a motorcycle accident, you have three main pathways to collect compensation for your injuries in Washington: you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you can file a claim with your own insurance company, or you can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.
All Washington personal injury lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitations, or a state law that sets a deadline by which you must file your claim. If you wait too long to file your claim, the court will likely refuse to hear your case and you will lose your chances at securing the compensation you need to recover.
For motorcycle accident cases and all other personal injury claims, you have three years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit. There may be certain exceptions that apply to your case, but in many motorcycle cases, these exceptions do not always apply.
Why is the Statute of Limitations Important?
While the statute of limitations may seem like it is limiting access to necessary funds for motorcycle accident victims, this law protects both the defendant and the victim. The statute of limitations is extremely important for a number of reasons.
- Witnesses are extremely important for motorcycle accident cases since they can provide an outside perspective on how the collision occurred. Filing your claim within the statute of limitations ensures that witnesses are still available to give testimony and that their memories of the crash are still fresh.
- To build a strong motorcycle personal injury case, you need to present strong evidence that proves the other driver is at-fault for your injuries. The longer you wait to file your claim, the higher the chances that this evidence will disappear or be too damaged to present in court.
- Waiting a long time to file your claim can cast suspicion on the validity of your injuries. Regardless of your intentions or the circumstances surrounding the delay, the at-fault party’s attorney could use this information as a way to discredit your claim.
For best results, contact Colburn Law as soon as possible after your accident. Our firm will work closely with you to determine your best legal options, filing the paperwork in a timely, error-free manner to ensure you meet the statute of limitations.
What Happens if You Get Hit by an Uninsured Driver?
Washington state operates on a fault insurance basis. This means that the person who is responsible for causing a motorcycle accident must pay for the damages that the other people involved in the crash suffered. Washington requires all automobile drivers to carry certain amounts of insurance coverage to cover this obligation.
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person per accident the policyholder causes
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident the policyholder causes
- $10,000 for property damage per at-fault accident
In addition, all motorcyclists in Washington must carry a minimum of $25,000 in liability insurance coverage. However, $25,000 does not go far in covering damages following an accident. To cover your bases, it is best to purchase at least the minimum amounts of coverage required for automobiles — or higher amounts, if you can afford to do so.
If you are in a motorcycle accident with a driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries, you can lose your chance at claiming compensation. To protect yourself against these situations, invest in uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for your motorcycle insurance policy.
Without uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, there are limited options for collecting compensatory damages. You could file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, but without an insurance company to pay for your damages, the chances of collecting a settlement at the conclusion of your case are slim.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage allows you to file a claim with your own insurance company to receive the compensation you need. If you are unsure what your legal options are following a motorcycle accident with an uninsured driver, schedule your free consultation with Colburn Law today.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycles do not offer the same level of protection as a motor vehicle, leaving the motorcyclists vulnerable to the outside environment and contact with other vehicles, the road, street signs, and more. Because of this vulnerability, motorcycle accidents can result in severe injury and even death. Some of the most common injuries in motorcycle collisions include the following.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Even if you are wearing a helmet at the time of your crash, you could still be at risk for a TBI and resulting brain damage during a motorcycle accident. Helmet use does reduce your risk of death as a result of these injuries, but a violent impact can bypass this protection and cause long-lasting damage.
- Road Rash: One injury that is more common in motorcycle accidents than motor vehicle accidents is road rash. Since motorcyclists are not inside of a car, it is easy to fly off of a bike and come in contact with the road, leading to severe and painful skin injury. Severe cases of road rash require extensive treatment.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Another life-changing injury that can occur during a motorcycle crash, spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis, loss of function, and the need for lifelong medical care and physical therapy. You could suffer a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury or even spinal stenosis following a motorcycle crash.
- Amputations: Motorcycle accidents can lead to the loss or mangling of the extremities, as well as the development of infections in these injuries. You could lose a limb at the accident scene, or the medical team treating you may decide to amputate a limb at the hospital. Amputations can lead to lifelong changes and treatment.
- Fractures and Broken Bones: Fractures in your arms, legs, shoulders, and pelvis are common in motorcycle accidents. Since you do not have protection from external factors while riding a motorcycle, you can easily collide with objects or fall off the bike in a way that leads to a broken bone.
- Rider’s Arm: This is another serious injury that is unique to motorcycle accidents. Rider’s arm occurs when you suffer nerve damage or paralysis in the arm that collides with the ground when you fall off of a motorcycle during an accident. Despite its name, rider’s arm can also occur in the legs.
- Facial Injuries: Disfigurement, broken facial bones, tooth damage, lacerations, and abrasions are very common in motorcycle accidents. You may fall or jolt off your bike at high speeds, and your face may collide with the road on impact. Facial injuries can result in expensive medical treatment and lengthy recovery times.
- Internal Injuries: Like car crashes, your internal organs could be at risk during a motorcycle accident. You can suffer injuries to your ribs or your chest, which can impact vital organs such as your lungs and heart. Injuries to these organs require prompt medical attention.
Because of the severity of motorcycle accident injuries, you may require expensive and lifelong medical treatment, lengthy recovery time, physical therapy, and disability accommodations to reach maximum medical improvement. Because of this necessary treatment, you may lose your wages, be unable to perform your work, and find yourself with thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim against the at-fault driver can help you recover from these damages. Contact Colburn Law today to discuss your options for compensation.
2019 Washington State Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle collisions are common in Washington state, often leading to both minor and severe injuries and even death. The Washington Department of Transportation provides the following statistics regarding motorcycle accidents in 2019.
- Approximately 1,989 motorcycle-involved crashes occurred in Washington in 2019.
- 91 of these 1,989 crashes resulted in a fatal injury.
- 399 crashes resulted in suspected serious injury.
- 539 accidents resulted in suspected minor injury.
- 602 crashes resulted in possible injury.
- 358 crashes resulted in no apparent injury.
The Department of Transportation also provides statistics for Bellevue motorcycle accidents specifically. In 2019, 26 motorcycle crashes occurred on Bellevue roads, resulting in the following outcomes.
- 1 crash resulted in a suspected serious injury.
- 6 crashes resulted in suspected minor injury.
- 14 accidents ended in possible injury.
- 5 crashes resulted in no apparent injury.
While the rates of motorcycle crashes in Bellevue are much lower than the statewide statistics, 519 of the 1,989 accidents that occurred in Washington during 2019 happened in King County. According to the Department of Transportation, these crashes resulted in the following injuries.
- 20 crashes resulted in a fatal injury.
- 86 accidents ended in suspected serious injury.
- 150 crashes resulted in suspected minor injury.
- 169 accidents resulted in possible injury.
- 94 crashes ended in no apparent injury.
While the majority of these crashes may not result in serious or fatal injuries, motorcycle crashes can lead to significant physical, financial, and emotional damage. In these situations, it is vital that you take the steps necessary to collect compensation for your damages through a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim.
Request a Free Consultation
Colburn Law represents clients on a contingency-fee-basis. This means you won’t have to pay attorney’s fees unless we win a settlement or judgment on your behalf. Initial consultations with our attorneys are free and no-obligation. We genuinely want to help motorcyclists of Bellevue review and protect their rights after serious car accidents. Let us review your case at no cost today. Contact us online or call 206-919-3215 to discuss your motorcycle collision today.
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Greg guided me through a stressful process involving a car accident and the insurance company. Not only did he put me at ease, but he was truly an advocate for me and my family. I am truly thankful for his help, and would highly recommend him to any of my friends or family.
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