Back in 2012, an auto versus bicycle accident involving a former Seattle City Councilwoman made a lot of noise, mostly due to the fact that the then city official only had a $25,000 personal insurance policy.
Now, the city of Seattle is on the hook for a considerable sum as a result of the careless actions of an elected official.
According to the Associated Press and other news organizations, an electrician injured in the accident will be given $400,000 after the city of Seattle reached a settlement with the man. He originally sought $2.5 million in damages.
The man was riding his bicycle on South Ninth Street in Tacoma in May of 2012 when the councilwoman failed to yield the right of way, driving her sport-utility vehicle in front of him, causing him to sustain severe injuries to his leg. At the time of the crash, the Seattle City Attorney’s Officer determined, the councilwoman was on official business, which prompted the city to take partial responsibility for the serious collision.
While this tragic accident could have been prevented, the country’s top bicycling city, according to Zillow, may end up benefitting from the buzz.
According to the Seattle Times, a Washington state appeals court has ruled that cities must ensure all roadways are safe for all types of transportation, including bicycles. The three-judge panel agreed that since cycling is a mode of “ordinary travel,” bicyclists must be properly accommodated. Nevertheless, many of the bike lanes in places like Seattle are still confusing, allowing for cars to invade the bicyclist’s space, increasing the risk of accidents.
The ruling was reached a bicycle rider who was seriously injured while commuting from home to work in Port Orchard filed a lawsuit.
While on Sidney Avenue, the rider hit a patch that had breaks in the concrete, causing her to lose control over the bicycle. Claiming the city had been negligent in maintaining the road, the woman sued the city. While a Superior Court judge accepted the city’s motion to dismiss the case, an appeals court overturned the decision, leading to the three-judge’s ruling that more must be done to keep our cyclists safe.