Top Bicycle Accident Lawyer Bill Coats – office in Bellingham serving Whatcom County

Bicycle Accidents Are Becoming More Common in Bellingham and Whatcom County

Bill Coats has handled many bicycle accident claims, and while the circumstances of each are different, then all have something in common – the injuries are almost always more serious than ones from other types of accidents. Bicyclists are more vulnerable to injury and death since they travel with little physical protection. Since they are harder for drivers to see on the road, and since bicyclists have to often share a lane with the larger, heavier vehicles, when a crash happens, it is often life threatening.

Cycling Is Great Exercise for Health – But Comes With The Risk of Serious Injury

The number of bike commuters and people who ride for exercise and recreation is growing, and city roads are struggling to handle the increased bike traffic. The City of Bellingham provides this valuable data on the current bike trail system, and the current regulations related to bicycling. While access to safe bike trails and lanes is growing, we still see too many bicycle accidents, many resulting in serious injuries and even death.

The Connection Between Bicycle Crashes and Alcohol

Alcohol usage—either for the driver of a motor vehicle or the cyclist—was reported in more than 37% of the traffic crashes that resulted in cyclist fatalities in 2012. In 32% of the crashes, either the driver or the bicyclist had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. This is an incredibly high percentage, and combined with the relative vulnerability of a cyclist, results in serious or deadly crashes with unfortunate frequency.

How Frequent are Bike Accidents, and What are The Common Causes?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), In 2012, 726 cyclists were killed, and an additional 49,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Bicycle deaths accounted for 2% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities, and cyclists counted as 2% of the people injured in traffic crashes during the year. Read more NHTSA data at this link.

Common causes of bicycle accidents include:

  • Accidents at stop signs where the bicyclist fails to yield to oncoming traffic;
  • Accidents at stop signs where the motorist fails to yield to the bicyclist with the right of way;
  • Vehicles that turn left in front of a bicyclist traveling in the opposite direction;
  • Vehicles that turn right into the path of a cyclist traveling in the same direction.

Regardless of how the accident happened, an injured cyclist often needs extensive medical treatment to recover. Learn how medical care is paid for after a collision by contacting Bill Coats.

If You’ve Been Seriously Injured in a Bicycle Crash


Personal injury attorney Bill Coats has extensive experience helping bicycle accident clients. Bill understands the specific laws that affect bicycle accident claims, and he is skilled at dealing with insurance companies who seek to minimize an accident claim or blame the victim for the crash, to reduce a settlement payout.

If you have questions or wonder what to do after a bike accident, call Bill Coats at Bellingham: 360-303-0601, for a free, no obligation consultation or complete our contact form.

Local Resources for Biking Safety


Bill Coats Has A Track Record Of Securing Full Settlements For His Bicycle Accident Clients

Bill’s experience managing bicycle accident claims goes back 20 years – he’s handled cases including:

$1.1M for a veterinarian injured in a high school kids’ prank when he was bicycling to his clinic to care for a sick dog.

$260,000 for a bike commuter whose leg was broken when a commercial vehicle cuts of her off at a traffic light.

$200,000 to a graduate student who needed surgery after an unyielding car runs into him.

The Mount Baker Bike Club is a favorite resource for tips on safety while bike riding through Whatcom County. They are a club of bicycle enthusiasts who promote bike safety: ‘roadies, racers, commuters, cruisers, tandemers, recreational riders, mountain bikers, cyclocrossers, recumbent-riders, fitness lovers and advocates’ have experience sharing the road throughout the county. These experienced bikers understand the hazards of riding and how to best avoid accidents. The club is located in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington.

The Whatcom County Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan incorporates community recommendations for improving pedestrian and other modes of eco-friendly travel. This effort, documented annually ‘helps to ensure that bicycling and walking remain safe, popular, enjoyable, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly means of transportation for Whatcom County’s future.’

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a bicycle crash and need information about your options, contact Bill Coats today for a free no-obligation consultation at 360-303-0601 or by completing our easy contact form.

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