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Renton, WA Bicycle v. Pedestrian Accident Resulting in Death of Pedestrian l Kirkland WA Wrongful Death Attorney

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Earlier this week a fairly uncommon fatal Washington Bicycle v. pedestrian accident happened on the Cedar River Trial near Renton, Washington.  An 83 year-old Renton woman suffered fatal head injuries when she was hit by a bicycle that approached from behind her.

Prior to the accident the woman was walking east on the pedestrian / bike trail.  Two bicycles approached from the rear.  The bicycles attempted to pass the woman on her left.  As the bicycles began to pass the woman, she stepped to her left.  One of the bicycles ran into her, knocking both the woman and rider to the ground.  The bike rider was treated on the scene and the woman was taken to Harborview with critical head injuries.  She later died from her traumatic head injury.

The greater Seattle are has many paved pedestrian / bike paths where no motorized vehicles are allowed.  The Cedar River Trial is one and the Burke-Gilman Trial is another.  Because there are no cars, pedestrians and bikes are sometimes lulled into a false sense of greater safety than may exist.  Bicycles can travel at speeds of 20 mph or more on these trials.  A collision with a pedestrian at that speed can cause very serious injuries.

One of the rules normally associated with trials like the Cedar River Trial is the use of a bell or audible statement before passing any pedestrians or another bike.  Bicycles should ring the bell or if without a bell should say "On your left" before passing a pedestrian.  It's unknown whether this happened in this case.  Pedestrians many times are listening to an Ipod while they walk.  It's equally important for pedestrians to keep the music volume low enough so they can hear a bell or "on your left" call from a passing bicycle.  

The failure to use a bell or "on your left" call can lead to potential liability for the bicyclists.  The use of a Ipod or other MP3 type device can lead to contributory fault by the pedestrian.  Cases involving serious injury or death will almost always be reviewed by a lawyer and a lawsuit is very possible.  In this case the family of the woman may have a wrongful death claim to make against the bicyclist depending on the facts unknown at this time.

If a loved one has been taken from you as a result of another person’s negligence you may have a Washington wrongful death claim.  When you have worked through the shock and need answers the experienced Kirkland wrongful death attorneys at Scott McDonald and Associates, 425-822-5700, can answer your question about how to handle an unexpected fatality and death of a family member.  Call for a free consultation.   

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