Who May be Liable for a Bike Accident? Seeking Full Compensation for Cyclists Against All Those Liable
If you are reading this page, the chances are that you or a family member has been injured in a bicycling accident, or that a loved one has been killed in a cycling accident. If this is the case, you may be interested in learning more about all of the potential defendants in a cycling crash and how we are tenacious in thoroughly investigating bicycle accidents so that we can identify and hold accountable all of those who may be legally liable.
Holding the Driver, Employers, and Ride-Share Companies Accountable
In most bicycle crashes involving the negligent conduct of a driver, the driver will be first (and often foremost) at fault for causing the crash. In a lawsuit against the driver, we will want to sue the driver, and to also put the driver’s insurance carrier on notice of the lawsuit. If the driver has valid insurance, typically the insurance company will be the primary entity that assumes control of the defense on behalf of the driver.
In some cases, drivers cause cycling accidents in the course of their employment. They may be working as a UPS or delivery driver, or driving for a company or governmental entity in some other capacity. Depending upon the circumstances of the driver and company, both the company and the driver will likely be liable for the crash. Usually, both the driver and the company will also be carrying insurance that will apply in such instance.
Additionally, the driver causing the crash may also be an Uber driver or a Lyft driver “on the clock” when the crash occurs. Uber requires that drivers carry insurance, and it also carries supplemental insurance to cover drivers. If the crash occurs “while the app is on” but the driver is not driving a customer (or has not accepted a ride for a customer), the insurance coverage is lower. If the driver is driving a customer (or has accepted a customer ride and is driving to pick up the customer), the insurance is much higher (currently at least $1 million per accident).
If the driver who caused the crash is driving on behalf of the state, local, or the federal government (such as mail carrier), there are special rules, procedures, and filings that must be followed to seek damages in addition to filing a lawsuit. We are familiar these matters, and we can undertake all necessary matters required.
Defective Roadway Conditions and Roadway Designs – Holding Municipalities Accountable
Many bicycle crashes are the result of defective roadway conditions and roadway designs. Defective roadways conditions can include manholes, drains, cracks, and similar matters that can cause a cyclist’s tire to become trapped, resulting in a bicyclist being thrown.
Defective road design matters can include not properly making bike lanes wide enough, not marking lanes properly, or having lanes improperly intersect with vehicle lanes.
Other defective roadway conditions or design matters can include inadequate nighttime lighting in downtown areas, or other areas that are heavily-trafficked by cyclists. It is incumbent upon municipalities to ensure that proper lighting is put in such areas to keep cyclists safe, and thereafter to make sure that the lighting is working properly.
When defective roadway design or improper maintenance plays a role in a cycling crash, municipalities can be held liable to the extent of their role in causing a crash.
Bars and Restaurants that Over Serve Intoxicated Patrons
As with vehicle crashes, bars and restaurants that over serve intoxicated patrons can also be held accountable if such patrons then drive drunk and cause injury or death under what is known as “dram shop” liability. If a client is injured by a drunk driver, we will want to thoroughly investigate to determine whether a potential dram shop case exists.
Learn more about “Washington Dram Shop Liability”
Construction Companies and Others
Sometimes, construction companies and others are negligent and can be legally liable in a cycling crash. We investigate crashes to determine whether any such other parties may be at fault, and if so, we demand full compensation for our clients.