Yakima-Pasco-Richland-Kennewick, WA Bicycle Accident Lawyer

The Yakima and Central Washington region is popular with bicyclists but experiences a growing number of accidents

According to Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, in 2012, 726 lost their lives in bicycle/motor vehicle crashes nationally, just under two people every day of the year in the U.S. The death rate from bicycle crashes is high due to the relative lack of protection bicyclists have in an impact with a motor vehicle.

Bicycling Laws in Yakima

Yakima and Tri-Cities traffic-safety laws are designed to allow bicyclists to share the road safely with motor vehicles in an increasingly crowded space.

According to the State of Washington Department of Transportation:

  • Bicycle Helmets - Currently, there is no state law requiring helmet use. However, some cities and counties do require helmets.
  • Riding on the Road - When riding on a roadway, a cyclist has all the rights and responsibilities of a vehicle driver.
  • Roads Closed to Bicycles - Some designated sections of the state's limited access highway system may be closed to bicycles for safety reasons.
  • Children Bicycling - Parents or guardians may not knowingly permit bicycle traffic violations by their ward.
  • Riding Side by Side - Cyclists may ride side by side, but not more than two abreast.
  • Riding at Night - For night bicycle riding, a white front light (not a reflector) visible for 500 feet and a red rear reflector are required. A red rear light may be used in addition to the required reflector.
  • Shoulder vs. Bike Lane - Cyclists may choose to ride on the path, bike lane, shoulder or travel lane as suits their safety needs.

Get information on bicycle crashes from the region's police departments

The Yakima Police Department offers information on accidents, and also provides information on obtaining a police report.  The Pasco Police Department provides collision records here. The Richland Police Deparment site is here. The Kennewick Police Department also offers access to accident reports here.

These departments are good resources for information after a serious bicycle crash.

Washington State's Department of Licensing provides information on traffic laws and licensing and insurance requirements.

Yakima, Pasco, Richland, and Kennewick bicycle crashes have common causes and deadly outcomes

While helmets and proper reflective gear make bicycling safer, riding a bicycle is riskier than driving a car. Maintaining control is more difficult on two wheels, and when collisions happen, bicyclists are at greater risk of serious injury or death because they don't have an enclosed vehicle for protection.

Common causes of bicycle crashes include:

  • Motorist turning across path of cyclist;
  • Cyclist riding into the path of a motor vehicle;
  • Cyclist turning right from a major road and from a minor road;
  • Child cyclist playing or riding too fast.

When someone is injured in a Yakima or Central Washington bicycle accident, what needs to happen next?

In an injury bike crash, it is crucial to get appropriate medical treatment, regardless of the financial cost. The major hospitals in the area include:

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital;

Yakima Regional Medical Center;

Lourdes Medical Center - Pasco;

Kadlec Regional Medical Center - Richland;

Trios Health - Kennewick.

As soon as possible, an injured person should contact their insurance company to find out medical treatment is covered under their insurance policy.

When a bicycle collision is serious or fatal, it is important to find a Yakima bike accident attorney

When a bicycle accident, caused by the negligence of a motorist, results in serious injury or death, the next step is to find an experienced Yakima bicycle accident attorney to start the financial recovery process by launching an insurance claim. Major injury or wrongful death claims are complicated and can be hard to manage without legal help. Having a personal injury lawyer on board is a great relief to injured bicyclists, or to the family left behind when an accident proves fatal.

Since most personal injury lawyers offer a free initial consultation and work on a contingency basis, meaning that there are no up-front costs and all fees are paid when the claim is settled, there is no downside to speaking with an injury attorney right away.

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Bicycle Accident Reports and News from the Yakima-Pasco-Richland-Kennewick, WA Area