Bicyclist Injured in Bellingham Truck Accident
A bike rider was hospitalized after being hit by a truck in Whatcom County. According to a news report in The Bellingham Herald, the bicycle accident occurred in the 3400 block of Northwest Avenue in Bellingham. Officials say the rider was in the bike lane when a truck turned into him. The severity of his injuries has not been reported but he was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash and if the driver will face a citation.
In Washington, bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles. This means that bicyclists must obey all traffic laws and car drivers must yield to bicyclists just as they would to other drivers. When motorists fail to yield to bicyclists who are safely riding in a bike lane, it must be determined why the driver failed to yield.
Investigators in such cases will typically examine if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They will also investigate if the driver was distracted, fatigued, speeding, or otherwise careless. If negligence was a contributing factor in the collision, then, the driver may face a citation. A driver does not, however, have to be cited for a collision to be held civilly or financially responsible for the injuries and damages caused.
Injured cyclists in Washington have the right to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. A successful injury claim can result in support for:
- Current and future medical bills related to the accident. This includes emergency services, the cost of surgeries, hospitalization, and rehabilitative treatment such as physical therapy.
- Pain and suffering. In cases involving serious injuries, at-fault drivers can be held accountable for the physical pain and mental anguish they have caused.
- Lost wages. If the injuries forced the victim to miss work, support may be available for the lost income.
- Loss of earning potential. In severe cases, the injuries may affect the victim’s ability to work in the future. Therefore, support may be available for future lost earnings and loss of earning potential.
Anyone who has been injured in a bicycle accident would be well advised to contact an experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer to obtain more information regarding their legal rights and options.