How to Preserve Evidence After a Seattle Bicycle Accident

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Written By Charlotte Miller

Immediately after a bicycle accident, your immediate concern should revolve around getting medical attention and making sure you’re safe. It’s after these two factors are addressed that you need to look into preserving the evidence you’re going to need if you’re considering legal action for your injuries or damages. Seattle streets are busy, combine the bustling traffic with their scenic bike lanes and you’re not going to be completely immune to accidents. Almost 40% of the city’s residents bike regularly to work or for fun. The success of your legal endeavors not only hinges on the framework of Washington state law but also on the quality and quantity of your evidence. Here’s how to make sure that your rights are protected by getting the right evidence after your bike accident.

Washington State Law and Accidents

The state of Washington operates under a comparative fault system. What does this mean? This means that after any accident, your compensation will be partially determined by your percentage of fault. The party involved in the accident will have their actions analyzed when it comes to determining fault. In this case, even if you were 99% at fault for the accident you can still receive compensation. What does this mean for cyclists? It means you need to document evidence thoroughly so that you can establish the other parties involved and their liability accurately.

Remember, while riding on the road in Washington state as a bicyclist you have all the rights and responsibilities of a motor vehicle driver. You could be found at fault as much as the motor vehicle driver.

Steps to Take Immediately Post-Accident

  1. Consider your safety first: Make sure that you’re out of danger. If you’re injured, seek out the necessary medical attention. Your health is the most important thing. in addition, any medical records will serve as critical evidence in your case.
  2. Contact the proper authorities: You need to report the accident to your local Seattle Police Department. The proper police report is another important piece of evidence. This would provide an impartial account of the accident.
  3. Exchange information: You need to get the contact and insurance information of every party involved. If there are witnesses, their accounts of the accident can be invaluable as they’re considered less biased. If you can’t get their statements at least get their contact details with a minimum of a name and phone number.
  4. Document the scene: If you have a smartphone or camera take photos and videos of the accident scene. Make sure to get imaging of all vehicles involved, any skid marks, the road conditions, traffic science, and any injuries. Photos and videos provide evidence to help reconstruct the accident accurately.

Collect Your Evidence

  1. Medical Records: You need to keep a detailed record of all medical treatments you receive, reports, and receipts that are related to your injuries from the accident. Part of your compensation claim will be the impact that the accident has had on their health and finances therefore, you need to document the impact of the accident on your health and finances.
  2. Repair Records: If your bicycle was damaged cover the only entity I professional repair estimate. If you’ve already gotten your bicycle repaired, make sure to keep the receipts.
  3. Witness Statements: Written statements from any witnesses to the accident should be taken as soon as possible after the accident. Human memory fades so securing these accounts early can provide far more objective perspectives and details on the event.
  4. Photographic Evidence: You’ve already gotten pictures of the immediate aftermath. Now you should document your injuries over time to show their progression and how they impacted your life.
  5. Legal Documentation: Make sure to keep an account of all communication related to the accident. This includes any emails and correspondence with the insurance companies. Any of these documents can contain admissions of fault or offers of settlement that could be significant to your case.

Do’s and Don’ts After a Bicycle Accident

DO consider hiring a personal injury attorney who specializes in bike accidents. Personal injury cases are complex in the first place. Now you’re throwing in an extra complication of a motor vehicle versus a pedestrian accident. Personal injury law in Seattle has a lot of twists and turns that the everyday person isn’t going to know how to navigate. You may be able to reach a settlement for yourself, but there’s no guarantee that it will be the fair and just compensation that you deserve. A legal professional could help guide you through the process of collecting and preserving that necessary evidence to make sure that your rights are protected.

DON’T post to social media. Believe it or not, your social media presence could also impact your case. Think about what you post online about your accident. Discussing your accident publicly or your injuries can be detrimental especially if the content you post online contradicts your claims. Is the advisable to limit your social media activity and/or enhancing your privacy settings during ongoing legal matters.

DO watch your timeline. The state of Washington has a statute of limitations on personal injury claims and this includes bike accidents. This means you have a limited time from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. Preserving your evidence quickly helps to make sure you don’t miss that critical deadline. You only have three years from the date of your accident to file your claim. Seeking legal representation from skilled  bicycle accident lawyers who understand these time constraints and can assist you promptly is crucial to ensuring your rights are protected.


A bicycle accident is not only disorienting but it’s traumatic. Preserving the evidence of your accident is a critical step towards making sure that your rights are honored and securing just compensation for your injuries and damages. By following the steps outlined above and seeking professional legal guidance you’re on the road again after a nasty accident. You can rest assured that you’ll get through the aftermath of your accident with confidence, knowing you’ve taken all the necessary measures to protect your interests and get the compensation you deserve.

Categories Law