The Damages Bicycle Accident Victims in Seattle Can Recover

Seattle is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the U.S. However, between 2017 and 2021, it was reported that the rate of bicycle accidents in Seattle rose by 15%. The reasons for these accidents vary. In most cases, other parties (not the cyclist) are the cause of the accident.

Even though the government in the city of Seattle has put up measures, such as separate bike lanes, to reduce bicycle accidents, these accidents have not been eliminated. Remember, a Seattle bicycle accident lawyer can help you if you have been hurt in a bicycle accident. The attorney will help you take legal action and get compensation for the damages you have sustained.

Documentation of your losses and collecting evidence are very important to winning your case. With proper evidence, you can tell your story with proof. This will help you secure the highest compensation for the damages you’ve encountered.

The lawyer you hire will help you gather the evidence you need. They might have to check businesses and homes around the scene of the accident and request surveillance footage if available. They might even go further to recreate the events of the fateful day.

You can also expect your attorney to partner with medical professionals. The medical professionals will shed light on the injury damage you’ve suffered (if you sustained wounds) and the cost of treatment. All these will be taken into consideration by the attorney to enable them to file a claim for all the damages.

The Damages You Can Recover

If you’re wondering what damages you can recover when you’re involved in a bicycle accident, then let’s tell you. You need to understand that the circumstances and facts of your case will determine your compensation. Your lawyer will also review certain Washington laws to determine the amount you’ll receive. With that said, here are the two main categories of damages you can recover:

Economic and Non-economic Damages

This is the case where you survived the accident. The type of damage you recover depends on the outcome of the accident. You’ll get economic damages to compensate you for financial costs that are directly related to the accident. Economic damages cover things such as:

  • Long-term care costs
  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy
  • Home modifications and medical devices
  • Lost employment opportunity or income
  • Lost wages

Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, compensate you for emotional and mental injuries. These are the damages that don’t have a monetary value and can’t be accurately quantified. The peculiarity of your circumstances determines how much compensation you get for this type of damage. These damages include:

  • Loss of companionship or consortium. You can check out this article to find out what loss of consortium is all about.
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced quality of life

The problem with noneconomic losses is that they are hard to compute. The lawyer will either use the per-diem method or the multiplier method.

Wrongful Death and Punitive Damage

If a family member died as a result of a bicycle accident, relatives of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim according to state law. With this claim, the family can seek compensation from the liable parties.

In cases where the victim has died due to the negligence of the at-fault party, punitive damage is a possibility. Punitive damages are awarded not to compensate the victim but to punish the wrongdoer. The point of punitive damage is to deter the at-fault party and others from engaging in negligent behaviors in the future.

If you are planning to file for punitive damages, you’ll need the services of a very experienced Seattle bicycle accident lawyer. Only they have the necessary knowledge to secure punitive damages for the victim.