February 10, 2010

Bicyclist Injured in Bainbridge Island Accident

A 35-year-old man was recently hospitalized with injuries he sustained in a Washington bicycle accident. According to a news report, the bicyclist was headed east on a road in Bainbridge Island when a driver pulled out in front of the bike and caused the collision. The bicyclist was transported to a Seattle hospital with serious injuries. However, officials said that his injuries were not life-threatening. The bicyclist was wearing proper reflective gear and had lights on his bicycle; however, the car's driver apparently told officials that he was not able to see the bicyclist. The Kitsap County prosecutor's office is reviewing the case to determine whether any charges should be filed.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 698 bicyclists died in 2007 nationwide and about 43,000 were injured. Bicycle accidents often occur because motorists are not actively looking for smaller vehicles such as bicycles or motorcyclists when they attempt a turn on the roadway or come out of a parking lot. As a bicycle accident victim, if you have been injured by a negligent driver, you could seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost earnings, cost of hospitalization, physical therapy and other related damages.

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October 16, 2009

Cyclists Want Tougher Driving Laws in Seattle

Last February, a 39 year old father was killed when he was hit by a car while riding his bike to work.

His widow says, "…I don't want it to happen again." Speaking at a crowded bicycle summit at Seattle City Hall on Wednesday night in support of tougher laws against dangerous drivers, she said, "The person behind the wheel was negligent; their behavior was the cause of someone's death. Why are they allowed to get behind the wheel of a car?"

A Seattle city ordinance that made it a misdemeanor to kill or injure someone in a traffic accident was overturned by the state Court of Appeals in August of this year.

As a result, drivers involved in deadly crashes can only be charged with felony vehicular homicide, and the charge only applies if they were drunk, on drugs or acting recklessly at the time of the crash.

KOMOnews.com reports that according to statistics, some 500 people are killed or badly injured in traffic accidents in Washington state every year. But many of the offenders can't be charged with any type of felony, and instead are just given traffic tickets.

One man at the summit said, "It just seems like you can break a whole lot of laws at the same time and you're still not being reckless in the legal sense."

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September 3, 2009

Seattle Traffic Law Denied Relating to Bicyclists' Death

A recent article from seattletimes.nwsource.com discusses the recent conclusion that a Seattle ordinance created in 2005 that criminalizes certain traffic violations resulting in injury or death of an individual is in fact invalid due to its conflict with state law. Specifically in question is whether or not failing to yield the right-of-way is a violation in which a person could be held criminally responsible for. That is, the article mentions a man that failed to yield the right of way to a bicyclist. The bicyclist was consequently struck by the man’s vehicle, and died from brain injury sustained during the crash. The driver of the vehicle, having a previously unblemished driving record, was at first not prosecuted, then was charged with misdemeanor assault based on local city ordinance, and then eventually had the charges dropped once the ordinance’s inconsistency with state law was realized, ultimately deeming the man’s charges as being unenforceable and, therefore, reversed.

There are 60 traffic-related crimes in Washington in which vehicular homicide and assault, racing, reckless endangerment of roadway workers, and driving while intoxicated are included. Failing to yield the right-of-way is not a criminal traffic offense. It goes without saying that this realization represents both relief and anger to citizens. On the one hand, some believe that negligent drivers that cause imposing catastrophic injuries, especially those that take another person’s life, should not only be held civilly responsible for their actions, but criminally responsible as well, even if their actions result from failing to yield the right-of-way. On the other hand, criminal charges are extremely serious, and some feel that the harsh consequences are too intense for a person, one that has already made a mistake and is now forced to have to live with the results of reckless, negligent driving, to have to endure.

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August 5, 2009

A Car and Bicyclist Collide On Street in Ballard

A bicyclist and a small passenger car collided at about 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the intersection of 14th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 58th Street in Ballard. The cyclist sustained minor injuries in the bike accident in Washington.

According to a local news source, the 14th Avenue Northwest Visioning Project has been working on improvements to the street for the past several years. Curb bulbs and a rain garden were installed at the same intersection of the accident last winter.

Seattle police spokesperson Mark Jamieson said that in the case of last night's collision, the bicyclist was at fault because he failed to yield to the vehicle.

“The cyclist did sustain some minor injuries, an injured knee and maybe had a hurt hand or finger,”Jamieson said. “He was checked out of the hospital as a precaution."

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July 29, 2009

Fatal Crash Fault of 15-Year-Old Driver

According to the San Juan County sheriff's office, a 15-year-old was driving a speeding car that hit a group of bicycle riders and a jogger. The jogger was killed, and a 7-year-old girl was badly injured.

Sheriff Bill Cumming said that the driver and a 17-year-old passenger had been doing some work on a 1974 Chevrolet Nova. On Sunday afternoon, they took it out for a drive on Lopez Island.

The teenage driver lost control of the vehicle and hit the pedestrians and a group of bicyclists at about 2:40 p.m. on Lopez Sound Road. A 26-year-old jogger from Abbotsford, British Columbia died at the scene of the car crash in Washington.

The 7-year-old girl who was on the bicycle had severe injuries and was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

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July 6, 2009

Seattle Fatal Bike Accident on Highway 99

According to KOMOnews.com, a 35-year-old Seattle man was killed Wednesday night in a bicycle accident in Seattle on Highway 99.

Apparently, the bicyclist collided with a car a little after 10pm in the southbound lanes of Highway 99 near the Dexter Avenue exit. The driver of the car is suspected of driving under the influence at the time of the accident and was taken to the hospital with injuries.

If it is determined that the driver was in fact under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, he or she could be charged with Vehicular Homicide, RCW 46.61.520. This Washington State statute provides that if a person succumbs to injuries as a result of negligent operation of a motor vehicle, the driver can be charged.

Additionally, the family of the person killed as a result of vehicular homicide can bring a suit for Seattle wrongful death against the person charged with vehicular homicide.

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May 26, 2009

Seattle Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settled by Family of Cyclist

The website seattletimes.com reported in an article on April 28, 2009 that the family of Bryce Lewis, 19 who was killed when a dump truck struck the bike she was riding, has settled out of court. The family attorney stated that parents Marc and Laura Paolicelli of Colorado, agreed to an unrevealed sum of money from Nelson & Sons Construction of Woodinville.

According to Police Reports, Lewis and friend Caleb Hall were riding in a bike lane on Eastlake Avenue East near the University Bridge in 2007 when a dump truck owned by Nelson & Sons and driven by David McClane made a right turn without warning the riders. Apparently unaware he had hit anything, McClane kept driving for a short period before stopping.

Months after the tragic bike accident in Washington, a large group of bicyclists carried out a wheeled demonstration along the streets of Seattle in memory of Lewis and to call on city officials to take more actions to ensure bike safety, particularly in the Eastlake neighborhood.

Christensen said, “Nelson & Sons stepped forward and did the right thing and the family was satisfied by their gestures.”

Accidents involving trucks account for over 130,000 injuries in the United States. There are 5,000 deaths each year and close to 35% of the injuries are catastrophic. Trucks over 10,000 pounds (semis and tractor-trailer) represent only 3% of all registered vehicles but are responsible for over 25% of vehicle related deaths.

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March 30, 2009

Seattle Bike Accident Kills U. Washington Researcher

The seattletimes.com website reported in an account on February 6, 2009 that Kevin Black, 39, was struck by a vehicle while riding his bike and died from his injuries. Black was a University of Washington molecular neurobiologist. Black’s research looked at molecules that create electrical signals in the brain. According to police reports, Black was on 24th Avenue Northwest near Northwest 64th street in north Ballard when the bicycle accident in Washington occurred. Black then attempted to pass a van on its left side when the van turned striking Black. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center where he later died.

Bryan Black, brother, said, "He was the most incredible human being you'd ever want to know."

Words of kindness and admiration were shared between friends and family at a vigil at the site of the accident. Black was a father of two daughters ages 13 and 10.

Bryan Black was on his brother’s bike, and led a procession of 30 or more bicyclists who made a short memorial ride.

Every six hours a bicyclist is fatally injured in America. Head injuries account for seventy-five percent of all serious injuries and deaths from bicycle accidents. Negligent drivers are a major factor in bicycle accidents. If a driver makes a turn, pulls out of a driveway or alley, or opens a car door without being observant, they are putting bicyclists in danger. Injuries sustained to bicyclists may be fatal because of the lack of protection that a bicycle provides. There is no competition between a bicycle and a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds. Drivers must be held accountable for the injuries that they cause when a car accident in Seattle occurs.

If you have been involved in a serious bicycle accident in Washington, the Bernard Law Group can help you during this most difficult time. Please call 1-800-418-8282 for a free consultation with on of our top Seattle personal injury attorneys.

February 11, 2009

Snohomish County Reaches $300,000 Settlement With Injured Bicyclist

A report states that a $300,000 settlement was reached between Snohomish County and a bicyclist injured in a traffic accident that occurred three years ago. The Washington trucking accident involved a 31-year old man and a public-works employee who hit the bicyclist with his public utility truck.

The accident left the man with two broken elbows. He was subsequently unable to continue his job at a lumber yard and is looking to train for another form of employment.

At Bernard Law Group, we handle personal injury lawsuits that are the results of auto accidents in Washington State every day.

If you are seriously injured in an accident, or someone you know is injured or possibly even killed, call the skilled Washington auto accident attorneys at Bernard Law Group at 1-800-418-8282. We can help you immediately. All e-mail and form submissions will be responded to by a qualified and knowledgeable member of our firm within 24 hours. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we promise to respond immediately.

February 3, 2009

Washington Bike Accident Victim Sues State

Washington State is being sued by a man who was paralyzed in a bicycle crash on the Montlake Bridge. The man hopes to force the Transportation Department and the State Patrol to turn over records about similar accidents for a lawsuit in which he is seeking money for his injuries.

According to a report from the Seattle Post Intelligencer, the agencies refuse to give up the records if the information would be used to sue for damages. Information from an assistant attorney general, Rene Tomisser, is that releasing information for a civil suit jeopardizes federal highway safety funds.

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December 12, 2008

Renton Car Crash Leaves Bicyclist Dead

A bicyclist was hit by a driver this morning in the Skyway neighborhood. According to King County sheriff's Deputies, the cyclist was killed.

Sgt. John Urquhart said that the accident happened on South 130th Street and Renton Avenue South around 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning. The driver was a man in his 70s, and the male cyclist died at the scene. There was no further information available about the driver or the victim.

Urquhart also said that police are investigating how the fatal Renton car crash happened. The road will remain closed for several hours, he added.

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September 26, 2008

Fatal Bicycle Accident in Sumner Involving Dump Truck

Valley Regional Fire Authority reported today that a 22-year-old man was killed this morning in a fatal pedestrian accident with a dump truck in Sumner after he fell from his bicycle. The bicyclist died at the scene from his injuries.

Shortly before 7:30 am, the man and a friend were riding bicycles westbound in the 14200 block of Eighth Street East. The bicyclist hit a patch of grass on the gravel shoulder. He then lost control of his bike and fell onto the roadway, into the path of the dump truck that was hauling gravel. Though the man was wearing a helmet, his injuries were fatal. The second bicyclist, who was riding in front of him, was not injured.

No information about the case has been released by the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office.

At Bernard Law Group, we handle personal injury lawsuits that are the results of auto accidents in Washington State every day. Call our attorneys at 1-800-418-8282. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are seriously injured in an accident, or someone you know is injured or possibly even killed, call the Seattle truck accident attorneys at Bernard Law Group, 1-800-418-8282. We can help you immediately. All e-mail and form submissions will be responded to by a qualified and knowledgeable member of our firm within 24 hours. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we promise to respond immediately.

September 9, 2008

Hit-and-Run in Puyallup Leaves Bicyclist Dead

Monday evening in Puyallup, an unidentified driver of a Cadillac hit and killed a 50 year old man who was riding his bike. Police are asking for help identifying the driver. The victim of the fatal Puyallup bicycle accident has yet to be identified as well.

Puyallup police said that the cyclist was struck in the 2600 block of East Main Avenue. The car then fled eastbound on East Main at 8:10 p.m.

Witnesses said the man was driving recklessly before the collision, police said.

According to Puyallup police, the driver was described by witnesses as a white male in his 20s, driving a silver, late-model Cadillac, possibly an STS model. Police also said that the car had a red logo on the rear, possibly identifying the model. It also had a loud, modified exhaust. The vehicle likely had broken glass and bumper damage on its front end.

If you are seriously injured in an accident, or someone you know is injured or possibly even killed, call the Seattle car accident lawyers at Bernard Law Group, 1-800-418-8282. We can help you immediately. All e-mail and form submissions will be responded to by a qualified and knowledgeable member of our firm within 24 hours. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we promise to respond immediately.

January 17, 2008

Storm Drains Pose Danger to Cyclists

A cyclist who was injured in a Seattle bicycling accident near the Washington Park Arboretum claims he knows what caused the 2004 crash: his bike tire got stuck in a drainage grate with slots parallel to the roadway.

According to an estimate by Seattle Public Utilities officials, there are between 70,000 and 80,000 grates throughout the city. Some have vertical slots. Others, including all replacements, have designs that make it unlikely bike tires can get stuck.

But because SPU employees don't know the locations of the grates with wide parallel slots, and they don't have a precise timetable to repair them, some cyclists are demanding action.

"We're trying to figure out the most economical way of combining a street drain inventory with our existing work plans for this summer," said SPU spokesman Andy Ryan last week. "We want people to be safe."

But, said Ryan, a replacement plan needs to keep ratepayers in mind.

A new grate costs about $500, and "that doesn't include labor costs or additional costs if drain work is needed," he said.

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