Seattle Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
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Experienced Seattle Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Serving Motorcycle Accident Victims Throughout Washington State
When you or someone you love has been in a motorcycle accident, you don't have to handle the resulting financial burdens alone. At Lehmbecker Law, our team of Seattle motorcycle accident attorneys is ready to help you obtain the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
Over the past 35 years, we have earned the reputation as a top motorcycle accident firm in Seattle and have helped numerous clients pursue their insurance claims. Call today for a free consultation and learn how we can help you get relief.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents in Seattle We Handle
The following types of motorcycle accidents represent the most common types of crashes motorcycle accident victims face on the road:
- Left-Turn Accidents: Inattentive drivers and lack of visibility are common causes of accidents resulting from left turns. In some cases, lack of knowledge of right-of-way rules and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol may also play a role in accidents of this nature.
- Rear-End Accidents: These types of accidents occur when a driver is following too closely behind a motorcycle rider, leaving them little to no time to stop if the motorcyclist suddenly comes to a halt. These accidents also occur during incidents of road rage and aggressive driving.
- T-Bone Accidents: These accidents happen when a driver hits a motorcyclist from the side or vice versa. They are common at intersections and typically occur due to a failure to obey traffic signs, signals, and rules. They also occur when a driver fails to check properly before executing a turn.
- Head-On Collisions: Head-on collisions are typically the unfortunate result of drivers operating their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They also tend to frequently happen when motorists make risky or illegal attempts at overtaking other vehicles on the road.
- Sideswipe Accidents: Sideswipe accidents often take place when a driver fails to properly ensure that it is safe to enter or merge into another lane of traffic. This usually involves serious injuries for riders who are often thrown into other vehicles or objects or ejected from their bikes.
- Being Thrown from a Bike: Without restraints, motorcyclists are often thrown from their motorcycles during a wreck. And although they may be wearing helmets and extensive protective clothing, the resulting injuries are typically serious and life-altering. Sadly, fatalities are common in accidents where the rider is thrown from their bike.
- Hit a Fixed Object: Sometimes, motorcycle accidents can occur with objects other than vehicles. For example, an unsecured load from a truck that has fallen onto the highway could cause this type of accident, as could construction equipment and debris that is negligently placed.
The Seattle Area Is a Popular Place for Motorcyclists
It is no wonder that Seattle and King County are popular areas for motorcyclists. There are many scenic roadways for riders to enjoy, such as:
- Highway 101 as it loops around the Olympic Peninsula;
- I-5 out of Seattle leading into the Cascade Loop;
- The Leavenworth Day Ride;
- The spectacular Mt. Rainier makes for one of the most popular long motorcycle trips;
- Highway 14 and other routes that follow along the Columbia Gorge.
These beautiful routes attract thousands upon thousands of riders on a regular basis. But sadly, accidents do occur. And when they do, Lehmbecker Law is ready to help.
Common Motorcycle-Related Injuries and Motorcycle Accident Claims
Without the protective shell that cars and trucks offer, motorcyclists face higher risks of accidents and serious injuries than most others in traffic. Protective equipment and clothing go a long way in mitigating the severity of motorcycle injuries, but they can only provide so much protection against the extreme forces generated in a motorcycle accident.
Some of the more common injuries that motorcycle accident victims face during an accident include:
- Biker's arm, which occurs when a biker is thrown from their bike and lands on their arm;
- Burns caused by contact with hot motor parts or due to a fire;
- Crushed and broken bones, are perhaps among the most common injuries;
- Degloving, which occurs when the top layers of skin and tissue are removed;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) caused by violent head impacts;
- Neck injuries due to head impacts or twisting injuries;
- Road rash caused by sliding across the pavement;
- Spinal cord injuries, which can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis;
- Amputations caused by exposure to extreme forces and impacts;
- Internal injuries and organ damage;
- Traffic fatalities.
Frequently, motorcycle accident victims experience more than one type of injury, which severely exacerbates their overall post-accident condition and leads to extended recovery periods.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you are likely to face significant losses in a variety of ways. You should meet with a Seattle motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your options for compensation.
Washington Laws Specific to Motorcyclists
Although motorcyclists must follow many of the same laws that apply to motorists, they must also be aware of and comply with various other laws that apply only to motorcycle riders. By learning and complying with these motorcycle regulations, motorcyclists can reduce their risk of accidents and avoid expensive penalties levied by law enforcement.
Some of the fundamental laws that motorcycle riders in Washington State must comply with include:
- Obtaining a motorcycle endorsement by taking a knowledge and riding test or completing a motorcycle rider course;
- Registering their motorcycle with the Washington State Department of Licensing;
- Using a helmet approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation at all times;
- Possessing the required motorcycle equipment, such as mirrors, horns, and lights;
- Possessing a passenger seat and footrests when transporting passengers;
- Having a maximum handlebar height of 30 inches above the rider's seat;
- Having either a windshield, goggles or an approved face shield;
- Avoid lane splitting, which is not permissible in the state of Washington.
When it comes to obtaining a motorcycle endorsement, it is important to note that there are two types: two-wheeled and three-wheeled. The state mandates distinct training, education, and testing for each.
Failing to follow even one motorcycle law can be quite costly for motorcycle riders, as well as dangerous. For example, the penalty for operating a motorcycle without the proper endorsements can cost violators at least hundreds of dollars.
Motorcycle riders should also be aware that during the late summer, the state increases its motorcycle safety patrols in King County each year in an effort to reduce the number of motorcycle accident victims.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Washington
Motorcycle accidents are not uncommon, but they are often avoidable. By looking at some of their common causes, you can see that the negligence of motorists frequently underpins these causes:
- Speeding: Speeding means less time to react and more severe injuries;
- DUI: Driving while under the influence results in deadly driver error;
- Unsafe Lane Changes: Negligent motorists often clip motorcycle riders when changing lanes recklessly;
- Opening Car Doors: Opening car doors without checking for approaching motorcyclists can cause a serious accident;
- Left-Turns: Negligent motorists often fail to yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists or fail to see them when executing a left turn;
- Dangerous Road Conditions: Snow, ice, gravel, leaves, and potholes increase crashes.
Negligence is avoidable by simply taking the proper precautions while driving. If someone else's negligence led to your crash, whatever the circumstances, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and losses.
Liability in Seattle Motorcycle Crash Claims
After a motorcycle accident, the question of liability is important to consider because the party liable for the accident will be required to compensate the victim. The process of determining who is liable begins by analyzing the facts of the case through the lens of personal injury liability law.
All drivers have a duty of care to others on the road. This duty requires them to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. If they violate this duty, which usually means they were negligent in some way, the negligent driver can potentially be held liable for the resulting injuries and losses.
However, violating the duty alone does not result in liability. In order to hold a person liable for a motorcycle accident, it must also be shown that the violation of a duty of care actually caused the accident. It must also be shown that the accident resulted in harm or losses. Without losses, you cannot recover compensation.
Damages include the compensable losses that a victim faces after a wreck, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contributory Fault in Washington
It is important to know that Washington state follows the doctrine of contributory fault, which holds that the liability of an accident may be spread out among the parties involved in the crash. When determining the extent of a party's liability, a percentage of fault is typically attributed to each driver.
This percentage ultimately determines how much of the victim's losses a party is responsible for. If the motorcycle accident victim is deemed to share fault, their compensation will be reduced according to their assigned percentage of fault.
For example, if a motorcycle accident victim suffers $50,000 in damages and is found to have contributed 10% to the accident, their award could be reduced by 10% to $40,000. Likewise, if the victim is found to have contributed 100% to the accident, they may be unable to seek compensation.
Pursuing Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Claims
How much compensation you are entitled to depends on the nature of your injuries. Additionally, the determination of fault in your case will also play a role.
As a motorcycle accident victim, the compensation you may be entitled to may cover:
- Present and future medical bills for treatment and care;
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering and other intangible losses;
- Damage to property.
Also key in determining your extent of compensation is the experience and skill of the Seattle motorcycle accident lawyer you choose.
Why Choose Lehmbecker Law Firm for Your Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Lehmbecker Law is a plaintiff's firm that always fights for the maximum compensation for our clients. When you choose our firm to represent you, you get a firm with:
We understand the deep losses that motorcycle riders face after an accident. For every client we represent, we take the time meticulously document all of the harm they have suffered and fight to get them the compensation they deserve.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Lehmbecker Law Today
Motorcycle accident shouldn't ruin your ride. Call our skilled attorneys for a free consultation today!
Get Immediate Help for Motorcycle Crash Injuries from a Seattle Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
To learn about the compensation you may be entitled to, contact a dedicated Seattle motorcycle accident lawyer from Lehmbecker Law today.
Over three decades of fighting for injury victims
A track record of recovering multiple millions of dollars;
A team of attorneys and support staff with a passion for injury victims' rights
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Seattle Motorcycle Accident Attorney
An experienced Seattle motorcycle accident lawyer is ready to meet with you and review your case for free. Call today to schedule an appointment.