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By: Capital Injury Law

What Can Bicyclists Do to Make Bicycling Safer?

Bicycling is one of the most popular recreations in our state, but bicycling can also be quite dangerous. If you are injured riding a bicycle because a motorist was negligent, arrange at once to speak with an Olympia bicycle accident lawyer at Capital Injury Law.

What can you do as a bicyclist to reduce the number of bicycle crashes and bicycling injuries in the Olympia area? Safe bicycling is important for several reasons, and not only for your physical safety and health.

When you ride a bicycle in the State of Washington, if a negligent motorist strikes and injures you with a vehicle, any fault of your own for the accident will reduce the compensation amount that you will be entitled to by law.

How Does Pure Comparative Fault Work?

Personal injury claims arising from bicycle accidents in Washington are subject to this state’s “pure” comparative fault rule. Both sides in personal injury cases may qualify for compensation, even if one party was 99 percent responsible for the accident.

What pure comparative fault means is that a State of Washington court will decrease your compensation award proportionately based on your own share of fault for a bicycle accident.

For instance, if your compensation after a bicycle accident is calculated at $5,000, and a jury determines that your share of fault for the accident was 20 percent, your damage award will be lowered to $4,000.

Along with your health and safety, pure comparative fault is a good legal reason why bicyclists should adhere to the traffic rules and ride safely and responsibly.

Take These Safety Recommendations Seriously

Bicycle riders should also adhere to the following basic safety recommendations, and parents should make sure that their minor children also follow these suggestions:

  1. Follow the traffic rules just like car and truck drivers. Stay as close to the curb as is practical and safe.
  2. Your bicycle and equipment should fit you snugly. Use a helmet that is level, comfortable, and snug. Adjust the handlebars and seat until you feel comfortable and in control.
  3. Both hands should be on your handlebars as much as possible. If you’re transporting something, use a basket or backpack. Too much weight on either side makes your bicycle difficult to steer and control.
  4. Check your brakes and tire pressure at least once a week.
  5. If at all possible, don’t ride after sunset. If you must ride a bicycle after dark, have plenty of lights and reflectors. Clothing with bright colors also makes it easier for motorists to see you.
  6. Don’t drink alcohol before bicycling. Impaired bicycling makes a bicycle collision far more likely, and if you were bicycling while intoxicated, you will probably be deemed at-fault in an accident.

Injured While Bicycling? Take These Steps

If a negligent driver injures you while you’re bicycling in the Olympia area, your first meeting with an Olympia bicycle accident lawyer costs nothing, and there is no obligation. A bicycle accident lawyer can help you decide whether to take legal action to recover your compensation.

Bicyclists injured by careless drivers pay no lawyer’s fee to Capital Injury Law until and unless we recover your compensation and win justice on your behalf.

In Lacey, Olympia or anywhere in the state, if a negligent driver injures you while you are bicycling, call Capital Injury Law at once to find out more or to launch the personal injury claim process.

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