Motorcycling – Fun and freedom tempered by increased risk of collision

For enthusiasts, motorcycling is the preferred mode of travel. A sense of freedom, a close connection to the road and nature, and the speed and maneuverability of a motorcycle are all reasons why there has been an increase in motorcycling in Bellingham and Whatcom County. However, given the vulnerability of a motorcyclist to the larger, heavier vehicles sharing the road, the danger in injury or death from a motorcycle accident is significantly greater.

Motorcycle accidents are unique – and auto insurance adjusters try to take advantage

Bellingham accident attorney Bill Coats has handled many motorcycle accident claims in his 20 years of experience. Bill understands the unique laws and regulations related to motorcycling, and he has successfully negotiated with auto insurance adjusters who seek to reduce their liability by suggesting:

  • that if the injured rider wasn’t wearing a helmet, they are partly to blame for the crash;
  • that there were inadequate reflectors and safety features on the motorcycle;
  • that the motorcycle driver was speeding or driving aggressively;
  • that the act of driving a motorcycle itself, given the increased risk of injury, means that the driver should have known of the danger.

For anyone seriously injured in a motorcycle crash, or the family left behind after a motorcyclist is killed in a collision, it is crucial to find legal help from an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Contact Bill Coats at (360) 392-2833 or through this convenient contact form, to get your questions answered.

Attorney Bill Coats knows how to dig deeper into the facts to find fairness for his clients, such as:

  • $200,000 to a motorcyclist deemed at-fault by the police. But on further discovery, Bill found had been hurt because the driver of the van who hit him was the one responsible for the collision. 


If you have been injured, or if a loved one has died in a motorcycle accident, contact Bill Coats Law to get immediate assistance.

The rate of fatality motorcycle accidents is increasing year over year

Recent motorcycle accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) demonstrate the increased danger to motorcycle riders. For example:

  • Motorcycle rider fatalities increased for the third consecutive year in 2012, a 7.1% increase over 2011.
  • 10 times as many riders died not wearing a helmet in states without a universal helmet law than in states with such laws.
  • 1,390 fatality motorcycle accidents in 2012 involved drivers who were alcohol impaired.


Bill Coats handles the legal work so injured motorcyclists can focus on recovery

When you have been seriously injured in an accident, the priority needs to be getting the medical treatment and therapies necessary. Since injuries from motorcycle crashes are often more severe, the recovery time is usually longer, and the medical bills higher.

Bill Coats works closely with the at-fault party’s insurance company, the motorcycle rider’s insurance company, and medical providers to get the bills paid so that the injured person can focus on healing.

Close correlation between fatal motorcycle accidents and alcohol impairment

Drunk and drugged driving can have serious consequences for a motorcyclist who is much more vulnerable to injury or even death. 

Government statistics illustrate the strong connection between fatal crashes and alcohol impairment:

  • Among motorcyclists killed in fatal crashes in 2010, 28% had BACs of 0.08% or higher.
  • Almost half of the alcohol-impaired motorcyclists killed each year are age 40 or older, and motorcyclists ages 40-44 have the highest percentage of deaths with BACs of 0.08% or higher.


Motorcyclists who have some level of alcohol impairment still may have a strong claim and need to speak to an attorney to learn about their rights and options.

Bill Coats Law provides experienced counsel for motorcycle accident victims and their families. Contact us today by calling (360) 392-2833 or by completing this simple contact form. We will get right back to you.

Other passengers, electronic devices, kids in the backseat... all these factors can contribute to distracted driving, which can have lethal consequences for a motorcycle rider. If you or someone you love have been hit by someone who may have been distracted, please contact Bill Coats immediately. 

If you have been in a different type of collision and want specific information about it, please click on the corresponding link below:

Bike accident

Pedestrian accident

Wrongful Death

Car Accident

Drunk Driving

Semi Tractor Trailer and Truck Accidents

Distracted Driving

Personal Injury

Five facts you should know about motorcycle accidents

Riding a motorcycle is a popular hobby—more than 8.6 million motorcycles run on the road. However, accidents do take place, and motorcyclists can unfortunately suffer catastrophic injuries because motorcycles leave them so exposed. If you or a loved one has experienced this in Bellingham, you are most likely reading this because you need help.

Fact 1: Half of Motorcycle-Vehicle Collisions Take Place at Intersections

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Motorcycling and other common summer activities lead to increase in accidents

First, the good news - it's summer. Concerts in the park, boating on Bellingham Bay, biking along Whatcom County's many back country roads, motorcycle rides along Chuckanut Drive and road trips for the whole family. But the bad news is this brings a higher chance of vehicle collisions and other types of accidents. Summer is typically a more dangerous time to be on the roads because teenagers are out of school. In fact, the fatality rate for teen drivers aged 16-19 is four times higher than drivers aged 25-69.

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Thinking of driving your motorcycle 1/4 mile from a dead stop in six seconds? Read this first.

A recent motorcycle wreck in Whatcom County got me thinking about motorcycle safety. It was a young man whose "speed and inexperience" was blamed by investigators for the fatal wreck. It is one of those devastating pieces of news about a fatal vehicle crash we come across about our friends and neighbors some times.

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August is the month to avoid driving - especially for Bellingham motorcyclists

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, August is the most dangerous month to be on the road. Most car accident fatalities occur in August, surprisingly. January clocks in at second place, with its snow and ice, longer nights and one of the bigger drinking holidays falling on Day 1. 

In this post, I want to focus on one of the most dangerous ways to travel: motorcycles. In 2013, 56 out of every 100,000 registered motorcycles were involved in a crash fatality. Fatalities in passenger cars account for 9 out of every 100,000 by comparison. 

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Motorcycle Accident Settles for over $1M at Mediation

Ms. Sholtz, while riding on the back of her husband’s Harley Davidson, was found lying in a ditch by Medic One after a collision with a Volvo, driven by the Defendant, who was ticketed for failure to yield in an intersection (RCW 46.61.400).  Seven surgeries later, including a bone graft to save her leg, Ms. Sholtz continued to require assistance in walking on uneven surfaces.  She will never have full range of motion in her left ankle again.  The case was filed under Cause No. 06-2-10016-4.

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Call Bellingham Attorney Bill Coats Law If You Have Serious Injuries after Motorcycle Crash

If you’re reading this page, you probably know this scenario: You or a loved one has been hurt by a collision while driving a motorcycle. You’re dealing with injuries, and the frustration that comes from mounting medical bills and lack of transportation, along with other losses. You can’t work, and the insurance companies are giving you the run around, or an offer that doesn’t compare to the amount of money you have to pay. While you wish you could just go on with your life and have things back to normal, it looks like you’ve got a lot of recovery ahead.

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Rear End Motorcycle Collisions Happen When You Least Expect It On Bellingham and Whatcom County Roads

These types of collisions usually result in the motorcyclist paying a heavy price for someone else’s mistake. As with any type of motorcycle collision, riders are vulnerable to a host of terrible injuries, such as brain or back injuries that often have long term consequences. If you’ve been injured because someone hit you from behind, call Bill Coats Law today. You may be eligible for compensation far beyond what the insurance companies are offering.

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Attorney Bill Coats Helps Victims of Motorcycle Collisions Caused by Left Turning Vehicles

The vast majority of motorcycle collisions happen at intersections. Imagine that you’re on a motorcycle, turning left when a much bigger, heavier vehicle such as a car or truck comes barreling through and hits you. These kinds of accidents are hard on someone in a fully enclosed vehicle, but can be absolutely devastating to someone on a bike. If the person who hit you did so out of negligence or recklessness, you may be due a substantial payout for your injuries and losses from the at-fault party.

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If Your Motorcycle Accident Resulted in Spinal Cord Injury You Need Bill Coats' Help

Spinal cord injuries are some of the worst kinds that accident victims suffer. Because of the factors present in motorcycle accidents, too often they tragically occur. Motorcyclists simply lack the protection that cars and trucks have. And yet not a day goes by without seeing a motorcycle driver on Bellingham and Whatcom county roads.

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Motorcycle Accidents Can Be Deadly on Bellingham and Whatcom County Roads

Washington has a rich and varied landscape, from gorgeous beaches to some of the most incredible mountains in the country. Bellingham and the environs surrounding it in Whatcom and Skagit Counties is blessed with both land and sea, making it a wonderful place in which to work and play. Many residents enjoy traveling these landscapes by motorcycle. While most every ride is a wonderful way and safe experience, every time bikers get on the road, they are at the mercy of other drivers in vehicles that weight on average four tons.

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