Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

seattle bicycle accident lawyerAn unidentified male pedestrian was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with life threatening head injuries after he was hit by a bicyclist in a Seattle crosswalk this morning.

The pedestrian-bicycle accident occurred near E. Madison Street and McGilvra Boulevard East in Madison Park around 11am. It appears that the bicyclist was headed down hill when the pedestrian was struck.

The injured pedestrian was described as a well-dressed man in his 40’s.

The bicyclist suffered scrapes and bruises in the accident and was taken to Harborview as well.

The Seattle Police Department is currently investigating the accident.

While car-bicycle accidents are more common place than bicycle-pedestrian accidents, just a month ago, we wrote about a bicyclist who was convicted of felony vehicular manslaughter after striking and killing an elderly pedestrian in a San Francisco street. In that case, the bicyclist, Chris Bucchere, showed reckless disregard as he ran through a light.

In 2010, an 83-year-old Renton woman was struck by a bicyclist on the Cedar River trail and suffered a head injury and later died at the hospital. It was determined that the pedestrian had stepped in front of the bicyclist in that accident.

The message boards at KOMO news lit up after this accident was reported today. Many people writing on the boards felt that bicyclists flout the law. Bicyclists are bound to the same rules of the road as motor vehicles and are required to stop at lights, stop for pedestrians and ride with the flow of traffic the same as cars and trucks.
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kirkland bicycle accident lawyerIn a landmark bicycle-pedestrian accident case, a 37-year-old bicyclist, Chris Bucchere, has pleaded guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter after riding his bicycle recklessly and striking a an elderly pedestrian as he crossed a San Francisco street along with his wife. (FoxNews.com July 23, 2013: http://tinyurl.com/mmfzgxj).

This case may be the first in the nation, and the certainly the first for San Francisco, of a bicyclist pleading to felony manslaughter.

Bucchere reportedly had flagrantly disobeyed several laws as he rode his bicycle including running several red lights.

Sutchi Hui, was struck in a crosswalk and died several days after the accident from a traumatic brain injury.

It appears that Bucchere is going to escape any jail times and instead be sentenced to 3 years probation and 1000 community service hours. He had claimed that he ran through the intersection on a yellow light and that he was unable to stop in time. However, another bicyclist apparently stopped at the intersection that Bucchere ran through. Read “Bicyclist faces felony vehicular homicide charges after fatal accident

San Franciso District Attorney George Gascón was pleased with the vehicular manslaughter conviction saying, ” I think it was important to get a felony conviction because the conduct warranted it. On the other hand, he is a first-time offender, and we want to give him a chance for rehabilitation and redemption.”

Many people writing in on newspaper forums were irate at what they said was slap on the wrist for Bucchere, who is a software engineer. Some people called for a jail sentence because of Bucchere’s reckless conduct and that he should be held accountable in the same manner that drivers of cars are.

In most cases of bicycle accidents that we read about, it is the bicyclist who is injured. However, bicyclists do hit pedestrians. In 2010, an 83-year-old woman from Renton was struck by a bicyclist as she walked on the Cedar River Trail. In this accident, the woman struck her head and died later at a hospital. In active bicycling communities like San Francisco, several pedestrians are struck and killed by bicyclists every year.

Washington state vehicle code RCW 46.61 provides that bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. And must follow prevailing speed limits and stop at signals and signs.
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A bicyclist was taken to Harborview Medical Center’s trauma unit after he was hit by a car on Thursday around 1pm.

The bicycle accident occurred on Lake Washington Boulevard South in the 2000 block.

Kyle Moore of the Seattle Fire Department said that the man had serious injuries to his ribs but is expected to recover.

This accident comes occurred but two weeks after Lance David, another bicyclist, was killed on May 1st when he ran into a semi truck on as he rode his bicycle on East Marginal Way South. East Marginal Way South is known for irregular and rough pavement and rail road tracks which are definitely hazards to bicyclists.

These two accidents bring to light the dangers inherent in riding a bicycle. A bicycle is no match for a motor vehicle or large truck that weighs up to a ton more. Bicyclists are at risk of injury such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries as a result of a bicycle accident.

For safety’s sake, bicyclists should wear a properly fitted helmet. Other safety precautions include increasing ones visibility with reflective and flashing lights and wearing bright colored clothing.

Bicyclists should also carefully plan their routes. Let’s face it, Seattle and surrounding cities often do not have the infrastructure such as bike lanes and protected lanes for bicyclists so care should be exercised in finding the safest route when one is a bicycle commuter.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident that was not your fault, you are advised to seek the counsel of an experienced bicycle accident lawyer. The Farber Law Group, a Bellevue based law firm specializing in injury law, can advise you of your rights.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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bellevue bicycle accident lawyerIn reviewing settled cases, we came across the case of Gonzalez v. Bertacchi which was filed in Cook Co. Cir. Court in January of this year. In this case, Carmen Gonzalez, 49, suffered a broken leg which required surgery when she was hit by a car while crossing a crosswalk on her bicycle.

The accident happened when Michael Bertacchi, driving an SUV, was making a right hand turn on a red light.

Gonzalez’s leg injury was quite serious and she was left with a limp and has lingering pain when going about her daily life. She filed a negligence lawsuit against Bertacchi seeking compensation for her medical costs — which totaled around $61,600 — and other damages.

The two parties settled before the lawsuit went to trial for $600,000.

In Washington state, vehicle code RCW 46.61.235 requires drivers to stop at crosswalks to allow bicyclists and pedestrians to cross. Unfortunately, we have seen far too many accidents in which a driver making a right hand turn on red.

Often times in a crosswalk accident, distraction on the driver’s part is factor in the accident. Sometimes, the driver is using a cell phone or eating. When a driver is making right hand turn, they must provide a proper lookout but it is far too common that the driver looks to the left than at the crosswalk or corner.

When a pedestrian is hit by a car, damages are often catastrophic. Sometimes the pedestrian is killed or, as in this case, the victim never fully recovers to the good health they enjoyed before the accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, you would be well advised to seek the counsel of an attorney who specializes in injury law. The Farber Law Group has been representing seriously injured people for more than 30 years. We work hard to obtain compensation for the victim including compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and for pain and suffering.
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Debra G. Peterson, 57, has been arrested for the hit and run accident that killed bicyclist Steven E. Waterman, 51, and injured Daniel G. McKay, 51, around 8:15pm on Saturday night near Maple Falls.

Peterson faces felony charges of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and hit-and run in the bicycle accident.

The Washington State Patrol reports that Peterson struck the men while driving in the 8000 block of Kendall Road. The road does is described as a two-lane road with a narrow shoulder.

Based on reports, Peterson allegedly stopped at the accident scene but then left and went home where she was later found and arrested.

Vehicular Assault and Homicide

The courts take driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs very seriously. In fact, over the past 12 months the Washington state legislature increased penalties for someone who is involved in a motor vehicle accident and either kill or seriously injures another.

If a person is convicted of killing someone while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, their minimum sentencing ranges is 78 months.

Felony Hit and Run

Peterson may face additional penalties for hit-and-run. After a car accident that results in an injury or death, a driver must stop their vehicle and provide reasonable assistance to injured persons and must stay at the accident scene until medical aid has been received and information such as name, address and insurance company be provided to authorities. Even if a person is involved in an accident that was not their fault, they must stay at the accident scene and help the injured person. Helping an injured person is not considered evidence of liability.

Leaving the scene of a fatal accident is a class B felony and leaving the scene of an accident where someone is injured in a class C felony. Both crimes are criminal offenses and are punished by jail time, fines and the driver will have a criminal record.

A driver who is convicted of a class B felony faces a maximum prison term of not more than 10 years and a fine of not more than $20,000.
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Today, a bicyclist in his 30’s was hit by a motorist at Yale Avenue North and Fairview Ave N. in Seattle who then left the accident scene, according to the Seattle Bike Blog. Thankfully, the bicyclist was not too seriously injured but this type of hit-and-run accident has become a far too common occurrence in Seattle, Bellevue and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

For many years, fatal car accidents have been decreasing and, in 2011, fatal motor vehicle accident deaths were at their lowest level since 1949. Despite this positive trend, bicycle, motorcycle and trucking-related fatal accidents have been increasing.

In 2011, the number of fatal bicycle accidents increased by 8.7% and the number of occupants killed in trucking-related accidents increased by 20% in 2011.

Fatal Bicycle Accidents

More people are commuting on bicycles to work and for pleasure and so the increase in fatal bicycle accidents should be of no surprise, especially as many cities have done little to address the traffic infrastructure to provide bicyclists safe lanes to ride in.

Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

In 2011, fatal motorcycle accidents increased by 2.1 percent, marking the 13th time in the last 14 years that motorcycle rider deaths have risen.
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2nd Seattle dump truck-bicycle accident in November

An unidentified 25-year-old woman has been injured in a Seattle bicycle accident when she was hit by a dump truck and dragged down the street.

The bicycle accident occurred at the intersection of Pike and Boren this morning just before 9am.

The injured woman has been taken to the Level I trauma center at Harborview Medical center.

This is the second bicycle accident involving a dump truck in Seattle this month. On November 13, a bicyclist was hit by a tandem dump truck at Howell and Yale.

According to the Seattle Bike Blog, this intersection was the scene of a bicycle accident fatality on May 29.

Earlier in November, an 88-year-old man died after being hit by a dump truck in Seattle.

The question that needs to be asked is, “Should double-trailers be banned from Seattle city streets?” It seems like these large trucks are not safe for bicycles and pedestrians.
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A 49-year-old bicyclist is in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after a collision with a dump truck at the Interstate 5 on ramp at Yale Avenue and Howell Street at 8:30am this morning according to the Seattle Bike Blog.

The Seattle Police Department is searching for the driver of a blue and grey tandem dump truck that they say ran over the cyclist and left the bicycle accident scene. They are asking anyone with knowledge of the accident or the dump truck to call them at 9-1-1.

Police are not sure if this was a hit-and run accident or if the driver was unaware that a bicyclist was hit.

Driving a big rig tractor-trailer requires a skilled operator. Maneuvering a tandem trailer rig through city streets takes a lot of skill and keen concentration. Drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license and should be trained to watch for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Big rig trucks with trailers are dangerous vehicles and the bicyclists and pedestrians are especially vulnerable around them on city street. Earlier this month, an 88-year-old pedestrian was struck and later died after he was hit by a dump truck as he crossed 2nd Avenue West and Mercer street in downtown Seattle.
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A study conducted by Georgia Health Sciences University has shown that a bicycle helmet safety and brain injury prevention educational programs increased the likelihood that a child would wear a bicycle helmet, thus preventing brain injury.

The study included 120 children between the ages of 5 to 18 who participated in an educational program. After the program, participants increased their bicycle helmet usage by 72.5% in the month following.

bellevue bicycle accident attorneyEducational programs like this one may be the key to increasing helmet usage and keeping children safe.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a bicycle helmet costing as little as $15 can reduce the risk of severe brain damage from a head injury by up to 88%. The CDC estimates that nearly 153,000 children suffer head injuries every year while bicycling.

Seattle Children’s hospital reports that bicycle accidents are the second leading cause of serious injury in school-age children. In the Seattle area, an average of two bicyclists are killed in bicycle accidents every year and more than 200 people are seriously injured.

Bicycle helmet usage among teenagers is almost non existent and only 25% of children between the ages of 4 and 15 wear a helmet.

Seattle, Tacoma, Bremerton and Bellevue as well as King County residents require the use of a helmet while riding a bicycle.

Local Bicycle and Snowboard Helmet Giveaways

Every year, Children’s hospital provides free ski and snowboard helmets for children between the ages of 4 and 18. To find out the dates, times and locations of these community events, check the Seattle Children’s Hospital web-site.
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Police are investigating the death of Kelsey Rennebohm, 28, formerly of Seattle, who was killed in a bicycle accident involving a Boston metro bus. Rennebohm was a graduate student pursuing a counseling psychology master’s degree at Boston College.

The Boston Herald reported that the stretch of roadway on Huntington Avenue where Rennebohm was hit and killed is a particularly dangerous roadway with three other cyclist deaths on the roadway in the past few years.

Every year, there are upwards of 50,000 bicyclists injured according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With bicycle ridership increasing over the past couple of years, this number may grow unless cities make their roads more bicycle friendly. Bicyclists must also do their part to remain visible and safe.

Bicycle Safety Tips
Seattle Bicycle accident attorneyBicycles are some of most high-risk vehicles on the road. Bicyclists must take extra. Here are some bicycle safety tips:

  • Night-time driving — avoid night time driving. Since bicycles have a slim profile, they are often not visible, especially after dark.
  • Riding near restaurants and bars — bicyclists need to be especially cautious around restaurants and bars so as not to be hit by a drunk driver.
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road — A lot of bicylists feel they are safer by riding against traffic. This practice is actually more dangerous because cars and trucks to not expect to come upon a bicyclist.
  • Riding at lane’s edge — many bicyclists ride along the side of the road to give way to car, trucks and buses. This is actually a mistake because it makes the bicyclist vulnerable to being hit by mirrors or side-swiped by a passing vehicle. It is recommended that, if there is not a bicycle lane, the cyclist take the middle of the lane to be seen.
  • Helmet — bicyclists should wear protective headgear. Since the majority of serious injuries and fatalities are brain injuries, a helmet can save a debilitating brain injury or death. A recent New York City study found that 97% of the cyclists killed in that city were not wearing a helmet at the time.
  • Reflective gear — cyclists should wear reflective and bright clothing to be seen.

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