Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

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Laws Specific to Motorcyclists

Posted Sunday, March 19, 2017 by Chris Thayer

Laws Specific to Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, which is why riders are more likely to suffer injuries or die when involved in an accident. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 4,693 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2015. In fact, motorcycle deaths accounted for 13 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities. There were also 88,000 motorcyclists injured, down from 92,000 in 2014.

Motorcycle Accidents in Seattle

There are unfortunately numerous examples of motorcycle accidents that have resulted in fatalities and serious injuries. Recently, a motorcyclist died in a crash along the Alaskan Way Viaduct, an elevated highway in Seattle.

In August 2016, a motorcyclist was killed when his bike crashed on the 1st Avenue Bridge near State Route 9 in South Seattle. He missed the turn onto an off ramp, crashing into the guardrail and falling to the street below. A witness to the accident said that the man was driving too fast to safely navigate the “treacherous” corner.

In March 2016, two motorcyclists crashed into each other on Airport Way near 8th Avenue South. A man was killed, and a woman sustained life-threatening injuries.

(Note that wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risk of injury in motorcycle accidents. Washington is one of 20 states (and the District of Columbia) that requires all motorcyclists to wear helmets.)

Pedestrians are also in danger of being injured by a motorcyclist. For example, in December 2016 a motorcyclist severely injured a pedestrian in North Seattle. The woman was walking in a designated crosswalk when a motorcycle hit her at full speed. A surveillance video captured the incident, in which the motorcyclist failed to brake and the woman was lifted into the air by the force of the impact.

Special Laws for Motorcyclists

The state of Washington has specific laws designed to keep motorcyclists safe (or as safe as possible). If a driver doesn’t adhere to one of these laws, he or she could injure himself or someone else. Moreover, violating one of these laws might make it harder for a driver injured in an accident to recover damages from another responsible party. (Washington is a comparative fault state. If you are partially at fault for your injuries then any damages awarded to you will be reduced by your percentage of fault.)

Other than the helmet law mentioned above, here are a few other laws specific to motorcyclists:

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. Contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys for a free consultation.