Motorcycle Accidents

Bellevue Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Bellevue for Motorcycle Accident Victims

While riding a motorcycle can be a favorite activity for some motorcycle riding is a risky form of transportation, especially when combined with factors such as lack of helmet use, speeding, impairment, and lack of endorsement. While safety related to passenger vehicle collisions has steadily improved over the years, Motorcycles offer no protection to the rider in the event of a collision and riders are more susceptible to serious injuries in collisions. Motorcycles only comprise 3% of the road users in Washington State but accounted for 15% of all fatalities and 19% of serious injuries in collisions between 2013 and 2017. About 1 in 5 motorcycle collisions result in serious injury or death and on average 75 riders die every year in collisions on Washington roads. Additionally, motorcycle collisions, more often than passenger collisions, involve liability issues. 

Being struck by a moving vehicle is significantly traumatic. While there are several things that should be done quickly if you have been in a car accident, such as obtaining their insurance and driver’s license information, taking photos, and contacting your insurer, the most important thing is the health and wellbeing of all of those involved in the collision. If you are experiencing any physical or psychological symptoms following being struck by a motor vehicle, it is strongly encouraged that you present to a medical provider for evaluation and any recommended treatment.

If you have been in a motorcycle accident and have any legal related questions, please feel free to reach out to Charles McNeese and Adam Trotsky for a free phone, video, or in-person consultation. We look forward to answering any of your questions.

Understanding the Insurance Aspect

Washington State requires all drivers to maintain liability insurance to operate a vehicle.  While there are numerous types of car insurance, Washington drivers are required to carry a minimum of $25,000/per person and $50,000/per accident of liability insurance to cover victims of their negligence while operating a vehicle.  Washington State also requires that an insurer offer their insured drivers the opportunity to purchase both Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists and Personal Injury Protection coverage, and must produce written rejection of both coverages, otherwise this coverage will be provided to their insured, irrespective of if the premiums paid included these types of coverage.  

Uninsured Motorists coverage stands in the shoes of the insurance for an uninsured at fault driver

Underinsured Motorists coverage is excess coverage for an injured party if their claim is valued in excess of the at-fault party’s liability insurance limits

Personal Injury Protection coverage will cover necessary, related, and reasonable medical expenses incurred due to injuries suffered in a car accident, up to the policy limit, which is a minimum of $10,000 in Washington State

Another important car insurance coverage is rental car coverage; if you don’t have rental car coverage, the at-fault parties’ coverage should provide a rental car or a rental car stipend for the time you are unable to use your vehicle.  A recent case in Washington has decided that a victim of a car accident, who will be without their car due to its inability to operate or due to repairs, is entitled to either a rental car of comparable value or a stipend based on this amount.

The Two Big Questions

There are two primary questions regarding car accident claims.

Who is At-Fault?

If the claimant can show the collision was at least partially the fault of the other driver or drivers, there is a claim for damages. 

What are the Damages? 

If there is fault to be apportioned to another driver, the next question is what are the damages. In personal injury claims, there are two primary areas of damages: 

1) Special Damages are damages that a specific number can be put on, such as lost earnings, loss of future earnings, property damage, and medical bills

2) General Damages relate more to pain and suffering, including psychological and emotional damages

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