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

Crashes Involving a Single Motorcyclist Still Can Be Good Personal Injury Claims

There is a lot of bias out there about motorcyclists that can come into the picture after a collision. Some motorcyclists do ride recklessly, or don’t wear the proper gear to protect themselves, which results in more extreme injuries in case of a crash. But this does not apply to everyone. Even if you were involved in a crash that involved no other vehicles, you still have rights to fair and full compensation for your injuries and losses.

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Attorney Bill Coats Represents Accident Victims from Broadside Collisions on a Motorcycle

It might be hard to imagine, but broadside collisions on a motorcycle don’t tend to result in the catastrophic injuries that head-on or rollover crashes incur. However, motorcycles do not have the same protection of a vehicle surrounding them on all sides. Even a tap from a car can result in the motorcycle driver losing control, hitting another object such as a car or truck, and getting into a bad wreck that leaves the other driver unscathed. Typically it is the other driver who is at fault in these kinds of broadside collisions, which makes recouping losses more straightforward.

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Brain Injuries from Motorcycle Crashes Are Not Uncommon on Whatcom County Roads

Motorcycles offer a sense of freedom and excitement to those who love to drive them. While it takes a different level of skill and type of license that’s different from cars and trucks, many motorcyclists use it as a primary way of transportation, or as a fun way to explore our beautiful state of Washington. Many weekend days, rain or shine, you’ll find motorcycles chugging along Chuckanut Drive or throughout Whatcom County’s country roads. However, the freedom and unencumbered feeling of riding make it more dangerous than other motor vehicles.

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When do you call a lawyer?

It’s one of the hardest times in life – after a debilitating accident. No one wants to be in this situation, but what if you are? You don’t have to go it alone. Because when you have to call the insurance company, to try to get your bills covered just as your policy should be designed to do, it can feel like David phoning up Goliath to try to make a deal.

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What to do after a car accident

It’s not too hard to imagine. You’re driving along on another beautiful sunny Bellingham day, and bam! Someone runs into you, or – we know it can happen – you run into someone else. Immediately the adrenaline and emotions run high, and it can be hard to know what to do next.

So what do you do if you are in an accident? Whether you are driving close to home in Bellingham, Whatcom County or beyond, these are the steps to follow.

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David was driving home from work on his motorcycle when he collided with a van. The accident resulted in a broken leg. The police determined that David was the at-fault driver and gave him a citation because he had rear-ended the van in front of him. But Bellingham motorcycle accident attorney Bill Coats found out that was only one side of the story. David explained that he was on a one way street with three lanes.