Spokane Lawyers | Spokane Bicycle Accident Attorneys

Spokane Bicycle Accident Attorneys

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    Bicycle Accident - Paukert & Troppmann

    Spokane Bicycle Accident Attorneys

    Do you need legal help?

    Serving Residents in Washington and Idaho

    Contact us for a legal consultation.


      Helping You Through Your Legal Problems

      Our Spokane, WA attorney's are here to guide you. Reach out today if you need legal help.

      Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.
       

      - Christine Weaver

      I have worked with Paukert and Troppmann now for nearly 15 years. This is a professional and successful legal team. I highly recommend this proficient legal group and encourage you to explore how they can support you.
       

      - Herzog Family Center

      Client Testimonials

      Learn what the community has to say about our law firm and the people who are a part of it.

      Read more reviews ➜

      Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.
       

      - Christine Weaver

      I have worked with Paukert and Troppmann now for nearly 15 years. This is a professional and successful legal team. I highly recommend this proficient legal group and encourage you to explore how they can support you.
       

      - Herzog Family Center

      Read more reviews ➜

      Client Testimonials

      Learn what the community has to say about our law firm and the people who are a part of it.

      Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.
       

      - Christine Weaver

      I have worked with Paukert and Troppmann now for nearly 15 years. This is a professional and successful legal team. I highly recommend this proficient legal group and encourage you to explore how they can support you.
       

      - Herzog Family Center

      Client Testimonials

      Learn what the community has to say about our law firm and the people who are a part of it.

      Read more reviews ➜

      Download our free injury guide!

      Learn what you should and shouldn't be doing for your personal injury case. 

      Download our free injury guide!

      Learn what you should and shouldn't be doing for your personal injury case. 

      Spokane Bicycle Accident Attorneys

      When people get injured in a bicycle crash, it’s not uncommon for people to assume the cyclist is at fault. In most cases, however, bicycle accidents are caused by a person behind the wheel of a car.

      If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’ve been seriously injured as a bicyclist. You’re probably in pain. You’ve probably already missed work and may be facing enough missed time to worry about paying your bills. You are probably searching for someone you can trust to help you with a bicycle accident claim.

      We are here to help. We offer free legal advice. Call our Spokane bicycle accident attorneys today.

      Don’t let fear that you’ll need money up-front prevent you from getting get the answers you need. Call us any time for a free legal consultation to discuss a possible claim.

      The Facts About Bicycle Accidents

      The following statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can help you be alert to ways you can avoid bicycle accidents.

      Know the Statistics About Bicycle Accident Injury and Fatality

      • 75 % of bicycle accidents happen in the City of Spokane, with 20% occurring in Spokane Valley, according to the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) website.
      • The site also points out that in Spokane, collisions in general take place between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m, with their peak at 5:00 p.m.
      • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the majority of accidents involving bicyclist deaths involve males seven times more than females
      • A seven-year study by the SRHD determined four out of five cyclists injured in Spokane were were male
      • Alcohol was a factor in 25% of bike accident fatalities in 2020, according to the NHTSA
      • Most bicycle accidents take place between May and August, with a peak in July, according to the SRHD
      • According to the SRHD, when cyclists are the ones at-fault in bicycle collisions, it is often for not ceding right-of-way to an automobile driver or because the cyclist is traveling on the wrong Side of the road
      • When a cyclist causes an accident because they failed to yield right-of-way to a pedestrian, the cyclist can expect a $261 penalty
      • Bike helmets prevent 52-60% of bicycle-related deaths due to head-injury. They also credited with preventing 68-85% of non-fatal injuries to the head. Helmets also protect from 65% of injury to upper and middle facial injury, according to safekids.org
      • Safe Kids goes on to say that nationally, almost 630 children per day are injured in bicycle-related accidents

      Guarding Against Bicycle Crashes

      While cyclists cannot control how cars behave on the road, they can behave safely themselves while sharing the road with cars. In fact, in every state, bicyclists are responsible for following the same rules of the road as those in motor vehicles. Below are some points to help you remain as safe as possible while traveling by bicycle.

      Don’t Skip the Helmet

      As you may have guessed, wearing a helmet is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself in the event of a bicycle accident. It’s also vital to take the time to establish the right fit. 

      Since sizes very from one helmet manufacturer to another, it’s helpful to look at the guide on the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute (BHSI) website on how to properly fit your bike helmet to your head. The BHSI website has extensive information about helmet safety, including a video on proper helmet fit.

      Tips for Bicycle Safety

      • Always wear your helmet
      • Make sure your bike is the right size to fit your body
      • Make sure your bicycle is in proper working order (especially regarding brakes and tires)
      • Don’t forget the reflective clothing when riding at night, as well as reflectors on your bike and a light in front
      • During the day make sure you’re wearing bright clothing
      • Only one person should occupy the space of each bicycle seat per bike — don’t double up, and don’t ride on the handlebars
      • Keep both of your hands on the handlebars when not signaling to turn. When signaling to turn, do so using one hand, as necessary to let those around you know your next move.
      • Carry any belongings strapped to a rack on the back of the bike or in a backpack.
      • Make sure any lose clothing or shoelaces are tucked away from the bike chain
      • Consider your route ahead of time. Go with the less-congested roadways and slower speed limits
      • Take the bike path or bike lane that’s away from automobiles entirely whenever available. Note that this does not mean you should ride on the sidewalks. It’s important to adhere to the rules of your state
      • Dress appropriately for the weather

      How to Be a Defensive Bike Rider

      Keep in mind these defensive driving tactics to help keep you save on the road:

      • Obey traffic rules: follow traffic signals, road markings, and street signs the same way an automobile would
      • Assume other drivers cannot see you and drive accordingly. The more predictably you drive, the easier it will be for others on the road to avoid an accident with you. This includes driving in the lane designated for bicyclists and looking over your shoulder before you turn or change lanes.
      • Keep looking out ahead to where you’re going, looking for dangers and roadblocks, like potholes, grates, and train crossings.
      • Keep your eyes and ears on the road. Avoid listening to music or any other audio entertainment that will keep you from listening to the sounds around you.
      • No texting — you must avoid all distractions, whether to eyes, ears, or hands. Focus on a safe ride
      • Always drive moving in the same direction as the flow of traffic
      • Avoid riding on the sidewalk if possible. If you’re forced to do so, this should be a temporary option. Get back into the flow of traffic in the road designated for bicyclists as soon as possible. This will prevent motorists from being surprised when you jump back into traffic at the end of a curb. You can also assume people backing out of driveways won’t expect a bike to zip past on the sidewalk. Again, drive as though no one else on the road can see you. Someone who doesn’t know you’re there will have a delayed reaction to your sudden appearance.
      • Whether you’re riding in the bicycle lane or on the sidewalk, always watch for cars about to turn or backing out of driveways
      • Your Spokane bicycle accident attorneys have the skill and experience to identify all at-fault parties involved in your claim. Making sure all responsible parties are included in your claim is vital to making sure you receive compensation for all the damages you’ve suffered in the bicycle accident.
      • Always be prepared to stop to wait for the light and the pedestrian crossing signs when crossing the street.
      • Consider taking a safety class for bicyclists through your local recreation department, bike shop, or school. The more you know about how to navigate while riding with others on the road, the more confident you’ll feel.

      Check out the NHTSA website for more information on bike safety

      What Should You Do After a Bicycle Accident?

      Keep in mind, for each of the items you are recommended to do comes with the caution, “If you are able.” Your health and safety come first. The most important thing you need at this time is to receive help from emergency medical services (EMS). If you are not capable of collecting information or evidence right after the accident, you may be able to call a loved one to the scene to help with this. Either way, when our Spokane bicycle accident attorneys handle your claim, they’ll do a thorough investigation of your accident, in addition to the one conducted by the police.

      • Do call EMS for help
      • Do Gather contact information from the other party involved, including name, address, phone number, and email
      • Do gather the driver’s license plate number and insurance information to help you with an insurance claim
      • Do provide a statement to law enforcement when they arrive, and take some photographs or video of the accident scene
      • Do Not admit fault or guilt to anyone at the accident scene
      • Do Not speak to the other person’s insurance company

      Can a Spokane Bicycle Accident Attorney Help Me?

      For many people, bicycling is preferable to driving a car, for both the enjoyment, exercise, and economy of travel it offers. It’s important to remember, however, that others on the road often fail to heed the rules when it comes to watching out for cyclists, causing accident and injury.

      People who do get injured in a bicycle accident can pursue compensation through a personal injury attorney, just as they would if they’d been driving a car, truck, or motorcycle. People who lose a loved one in a bicycle accident fatality can pursue compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. In either type of claim, retaining an attorney with expertise in personal injury law and a successful trial record will give you the best chance for the justice you deserve.

      A Spokane Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Protect the Value of Your Claim

      Having an attorney can save you from accidentally damaging your claim during communications with the insurance company.

      When you file an accident claim, the insurance company for the at-fault party is going to call and ask to record your statement. The insurance adjuster may act as if they are calling out of concern and to help move your claim along. In truth, however, the insurance company is hoping to get you to say something they can use to damage the value of your claim. The best thing to do when the insurance company calls is turn over all communications to your Spokane bicycle accident attorneys.

      Having an attorney handling your claim can also protect the claim’s value by preventing you from accidentally accepting a lowball settlement offer.

      The insurance company is trying to save money. If they see you don’t have an attorney, they know you aren’t likely to succeed in suing them if they fail to make an acceptable settlement offer. This can result in the insurance company delaying and denying your claim in hopes you’ll give up and go away or accept a small offer.

      Your Spokane bicycle accident attorneys know all the methods the insurance company is likely to use to try to save money. Your attorney will be able to guide you as to which offers are far too low to waste your time on and which ones are worth considering.

      When you hand over communications to your attorney, they can take care of your claim and preserve its value while you focus on recovering. Being able to put your energy into healing without worrying about your claim is one of the biggest benefits of having an attorney fight for compensation on your behalf.

      Mistakes to Avoid in a Bicycle Accident Case

      When you’ve been seriously hurt in a bicycle accident, you can help to preserve the value of your claim by avoiding some common mistakes.

      Get Proof at the Scene, When Possible

      As mentioned above, if possible, take some photos or video of the accident scene on your phone while you wait for medical help. If your injuries prevent this but you can speak to a friend or loved one on the phone, you may be able to have them come to the scene and take photos or video for you. Having this is helpful in making an accident claim. It’s also a good idea to get the contact information of any witnesses present.

      Don’t Skip the Medical Exam

      Though it may seem impossible to be injured a bicycle collision and not know it, it can happen. The high levels of stress hormones surging through your system during traumatic events is your body’s way of trying to protect itself, but this can also mask pain and injury.

      A medical exam will protect your life, identifying any internal injuries you are not aware of right after the accident. It will also safeguard a bicycle accident insurance claim by providing evidence of how you were injured and when. The more closely the time of your exam lines up with that of the accident, the better the proof that the accident caused your injuries.

      You may find it hard to believe, but without a doctor’s exam right after your accident, you may face challenges from the insurance company about when and how you were injured. If you let too much time pass before getting examined, the insurance company may suggest you could have been hurt after the accident and are now connecting the two events in an attempt to get an “easy” pay day. It’s insulting and frustrating, but without proof of injury right at the time of the accident, you run the risk of your claim being denied.

      The longer you wait, the tougher it will be to prove the accident caused your injuries the longer you wait. Always remember the insurance company will be guarding themselves from potential fraud; the more proof you can present to them, the stronger your claim.

      Don’t give a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company

      This one is mentioned above, but it’s worth repeating that it’s in the best interest of preserving your claim that you allow your bicycle accident attorney to field questions from the insurance company. It truly is best to let them handle communications, because your lawyer knows what not to say to prevent the insurance company from dropping the value of your claim. 

      Don’t Put Off Hiring an Attorney

      The obvious reason to hire an attorney as soon as you can is to make sure you don’t miss the filing deadline for your claim. Long before you need to worry about that deadline, however, you need to remember that every day you wait to find an attorney, you risk the chance that evidence and witnesses will become impossible to find.

      Accident scenes get cleared away and witnesses may move on. Give your attorney the best chance to put together a strong claim by getting started as soon as you are reasonably able to.

      If your injuries prevent you from being able to look for an attorney, consider asking for help from a loved one who can read reviews on the websites of local bicycle injury attorneys. They can also check ratings on law firm directories like avvo.com and lawyer.com.  They’ll want to look for a personal injury trial lawyer with a successful track record of winning bicycle accident claims.

      Hiring the Wrong Attorney

      It’s important to search for a personal injury trial attorney who has a successful record handling bicycle accident claims because there are many areas of specialization within the law, and not all attorneys handle personal injury claims regularly. Your brother’s business contracts lawyer might be amazing, but he may not be familiar with the statutes, regulations, and precedents of personal injury law. It’s best to look for someone who handles personal injury claims on a regular basis.

      In addition, it’s vital to hire a trial attorney. Not every attorney is comfortable in the courtroom. A well-known trial lawyer may be able to keep your claim out of court entirely, as their reputation for success in the courtroom can get the insurance company to reconsider offering a fair settlement. And should your case need to move into the courtroom, you’ll know your attorney is ready and able to get you the compensation you deserve.

      Spokane Bicycle Accident Client Story

      Please read the client story below for an overview of your bicycle accident claim. Client names and details have been changed to maintain the privacy of our client, but the information is still helpful. After you’ve finished, please give us a call so we can talk about the circumstances of your specific claim.

      If you’d seen Maureen Glenn and her mother Donna emerging from Shari’s Cafe and Pies on a perfect Wednesday evening in Spokane not too long ago, you’d have thought they’d just had a fight or gotten awful news. Their eyes were red, and tears streamed down both of their faces. But a second look would reveal the truth. They were laughing. Mascara be darned, bent at the waist, gasping for air, laughing.

      Maureen and Donna were like that. They’d survived what Donna good-naturedly refers to as “the Dark Ages,” of their relationship, back when Maureen was a moody teenager. They’d made it through the fear, resentment, and sorrow of Donna’s divorce from Maureen’s father, Tim. While here were many dark days, the two women were simply too stubborn to give up on each other, hanging in there like ticks on a hound. Luckily, they emerged on the other side as best friends.

      They finish each other’s sentences. They check in daily via text — Maureen insists, now that her fiercely independent mother is living alone and approaching 80. Their friends and family could finish the sentence for them, “If I don’t hear from you by 11 a.m. …”

      “I’ll kick your door down,” Donna would finish, rolling her green eyes in mock indignation. “I know, I know. I don’t need rescuing, for goodness sakes. Sheesh.”

      Six months before that perfect evening in June, the two had instituted what they called “Wednesday Party Night.” They met every Wednesday for dinner, pie, and coffee at Shari’s and caught up on their week. Between Maureen and her husband’s busy jobs and two teenagers, and all of Donna’s friends, hobbies, and now signing up for online dating sites, there was always plenty to talk about.

      As they emerged from their “party” full and happy that evening, Donna offered to drive her daughter home.

      “I can throw your bike in the back of my jeep, no problem, Mo, she offered.”

      “I know, Mom, but you know I love to ride. It’s still plenty light out; it’s an hour yet to sunset. Besides, I need to work off all those pie calories!”

      “Well, to take a page from your own book and text me when you get home, or —

      “I’ll kick your door down!” They finished in unison, cracking up again. They hugged tight and parted.

      As Donna pulled onto North Division, she could see her daughter heading south in the bike lane up ahead, approaching the intersection at East Hastings. Donna pulled to a stop in the left turn lane, absently watching Maureen cross the intersection. Watched as the car behind Maureen, also heading south, suddenly lurched west, its driver apparently changing her mind about going straight and instead making an illegal right turn for the inside lane.

      Directly into her daughter.

      Maureen was thrown with her bike, landing in a tangle like a rag doll across its bent frame. Donna began to scream.

      Spokane Bicycle Accident Attorney Breean Lawrence Beggs met Maureen and her mom Donna less than three weeks and one operation later in her hospital room. Maureen was in good spirits, considering that at best it would be weeks before she’d find out if she’d ever walk again. She had damage to her lower vertebrae and swelling in her spine had caused paralysis from the waist down.

      Maureen gave Attorney Beggs a polite smile when he arrived, but it was clear she was wary of spending money on an attorney. Donna was also polite but clearly emotionally exhausted sitting beside her injured daughter.

      How much does it cost to hire an attorney?

      As Attorney Beggs sat own, Maureen said, “It’s clear from what we’ve read about your firm online that Paukert and Troppmann have a long, successful record in personal injury. I’d better find out how much would it cost to retain the firm before we get too far into this process.”

      Attorney Beggs assured Maureen this is a question they get all the time. “Please don’t worry about up-front costs,” he said. “Our firm works on a contingency fee model. That means we cover all expenses in your case from start to finish — the investigation, research, administrative costs, even litigation, if necessary, all of it is covered by the firm until your case is resolved. When your claim is wrapped up, we only receive compensation if we achieve a successful resolution to your claim.”

      “So even if we end up in litigation?” Maureen repeated, wanting to hear it again.

      “Yes, even if we end up in the courtroom, we cover your case expenses,” Beggs confirmed.

      What is my bicycle accident claim worth?

      “Well, I guess I can’t ask for a better set up than that,” said Maureen, patting her mom’s hand. “Can you please give me an idea of what a claim like this is worth?”

      Attorney Beggs explained that there really is no way to reliably ballpark a claim without first doing an investigation and clearly identifying damages.

      “While it’s true your claim falls into the category of personal injury, and more specifically, bicycle injury, each claim is unique. The value of your claim is going to depend on the details of your accident investigation and your damages — all the ways your life was, is, and will be negatively impacted because of the accident.

      “The accident investigation will tell us how you came to be injured, what injuries you’ve sustained, and who was responsible for those injuries.

      “Your damages will be determined after we reach what is called ‘maximum medical improvement.’ This term is another way of referring to ‘the highest level of health you are capable of reaching after your injuries,’” said Beggs. “Some people can recover back their pre-accident level of health. Some can’t.”

      “And if I can’t recover back to my former level of health?” Maureen asked. Her somber eyes told Beggs she’d spent a fair amount of time worrying about the possibility.

      “If that’s the case, then the highest level of health you are able of recovering to will become your maximum medical improvement,” Beggs answered. “We’ll need you to be finished with surgeries and your doctors will need to have a clear idea of what the future holds regarding your injuries before they can declare you to have arrived at maximum medical improvement.

      “When you get there, we’ll know what your damages are, both economic and non-economic. That is when we can tell you the value of your claim,” said Attorney Beggs.

      Maureen’s shoulders slumped. It was clear her calm veneer was starting to waver. Her mom gently wiped the tears from her cheeks as they began to rain onto her blanket.

      “I’m sorry,” offered Attorney Beggs compassionately. “I know it sounds like a long road. It’s better to think of this in terms of a marathon rather than a sprint. And of course, you’re not going to be stuck in one place for your entire recovery, though it may seem like it now. You’ll make incremental progress. Try to take comfort in the small ‘wins’ along the way.

      “So, take this a step at a time. Focus on your recovery, follow doctor’s orders, and we’ll do the rest,” said Beggs.

      How long does a bicycle accident claim take?

      Maureen nodded, struggling to regain her composure as frustration, anger, and sorrow chased themselves across her face in rapid succession. Donna picked up the conversation for her.

      “How long do you expect Maureen’s claim to take?” She asked.

      “That’s a fair question,” said Attorney Beggs, “And one we get all the time, too.

      “As with your case value, I can’t pull that information out of thin air right at the start and give you an accurate answer. But I can tell you the factors that Maureen’s timeline will depend on.

      “The first thing her case timeline will depend on is how long it takes Maureen to reach maximum medical improvement. As you may have guessed, we can’t request compensation for Maureen’s damages until we know what those damages are. We’ll need to wait until she reaches maximum medical improvement, because that’s when we’ll know her damages.

      “Once we know your damages, Maureen, we’ll send a demand letter to the insurance company. After that, the timeline of your claim will depend on how the insurance company responds to our request for compensation.

      “If they are open to full and fair compensation, we’ll be able to finish up your claim without delay. If, however, they refuse to discuss an adequate settlement amount, we’ll sue them. Naturally, your timeline may be a bit longer if we need to go to trial.

      “Please don’t let the possibility of going to trial worry you, though,” said Attorney Beggs. “Our firm has an excellent reputation, both for negotiating settlements and for winning at trial. The insurance company will most likely know who we are. Should you decide to retain us, discovering that we are handling your claim may be the incentive the insurance company needs to produce a solid settlement offer.

      “If this doesn’t turn out to be the case, we are more than capable of fighting for your rights in court. I assure you, I and my personal injury colleagues at Paukert and Troppmann are quite at home in front of a jury. So, either settlement or trial, we’ll be ready. That’s why we’ll always recommend that no matter whom you chose to represent you in your claim, you go with a personal injury trial attorney.

      Maureen and Donna were satisfied with the answers they received during Maureen’s free legal consultation. Maureen retained Paukert and Troppmann, and Attorney Beggs got her over six times the amount the insurance company initially offered.

      Call Our Spokane Bicycle Accident Attorneys Today

      We hope the information on this page given you a better picture of your bicycle accident claim. Since no two cases are identical, we urge you to call us to schedule your free legal consultation. Our Spokane bicycle accident attorneys will steadfastly pursue the compensation you deserve so you focus on recovery.

      Client Reviews

      Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.

      Christine Weaver

      Read More Reviews