It all depends. It depends on the specific facts and circumstances. It depends on the type of insurance that’s at stake, and how much there is and how much you’re injured. In Washington, if you use your own auto insurance, your PIP insurance to pay your medical bills, and you hire an attorney, that insurance company is not entitled to full reimbursement because they have to discount and pay part of your attorney’s fees. Sometimes health insurance has to be reimbursed, but they have to discount it as well. It’s really a complex situation that really requires an attorney who understands insurance law, who has dealt with insurance law to be able to navigate it and sort through it, but that’s what an attorney is there for. They’re supposed to do that. That’s part of the service they provide.
Yes, you can. Fortunately in Washington the way the court looks at it is they measure each parties wrongdoing, or each parties negligence. Even if you are at fault for part of it, or even if you did something wrong, you can still file a claim and then the jury sorts it out depending on who is more at fault. Again, in Washington we’re really fortunate because even if you’re 5% at fault, you still can recover for your injuries. It’s always wise to talk to a lawyer and find out if the particular facts of your case work in order to file a lawsuit.
Yes you can and you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to find out how your particular facts and circumstances work in with Washington law. We’re really fortunate in Washington because the law holds drivers and other bicyclists too and pedestrians responsible. They have certain responsibilities that apply to you and when they fail to meet those duties and they’re not careful enough and you get injured, you do have a claim and you can file a lawsuit.
Many cities have requirements that you do wear a helmet. You need to check and see what your particular city says, the city where you’re riding, of course. It’s also a good idea to wear a helmet. Please wear a helmet because it reduces your injuries, and it makes your claim better. The problem is if you’re not wearing a helmet, and you happen to be in a place where you’re not required, and you’re injured, and the case goes to trial, a jury is always going to look at that. They’re going to wonder a little bit about why you didn’t wear a helmet, and maybe your injuries are going to be worse. The answer is maybe. Maybe you have to wear a helmet, maybe you don’t, but I think you should always wear a helmet, please. It makes your case better, and it protects your head.