Bob Anderton
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Bike Lawyer

Jan 19, 2016 Bob Anderton commented on Distracted Pedestrians Are Not the Same As Distracted Drivers.
Thank you for writing about the continued effort to blame victims that spans back to the invention of term "jaywalker" in the early nineteen hundreds.

As a lawyer who represents pedestrians and bicyclists I wish "lark" were correct that "drivers are ALWAYS held accountable if a pedestrian or cyclist is hit by a moving vehicle no matter what." That is simply not the law in the US. Injured people have to prove that a driver was negligent in causing a collision. Too often pedestrians and bicyclists lose their memory in a crash and, without a witness, they may lose their claim as well.

We need a presumption of civil liability for drivers who collide with pedestrians and bicyclists. This would provide the motivation that drivers need to pay attention and avoid collisions. Drivers are the ones with the most power to prevent collisions and the most protection in the event of a collision. The law should favor the vulnerable so that our streets can be safer for everyone.

If this (and other ideas for pedestrian and bicyclists safety interest you, consider attending Cascade Bicycle Club's Big Ideas Festival on Saturday, January 23, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. It's at Magnuson Park, 7787 62nd NE, Seattle, WA 98115.

RSVP here:…
Nov 26, 2014 Bob Anderton commented on The Morning News: What Happened When Council Member Sally Clark Hit a Bicyclist.
My office does not represent this bicyclist, but this news report is based on a mandatory claim form filed with the city. The amount claimed has no connection to the amount, if any, that will ultimately be awarded or agreed on.

One problem is that our streets are insufficiently safe such that good people like councilmember Clark can seriously injure a bicyclist. Another problem is that, despite mandatory insurance for motor vehicles, many people don't have insurance or don't have enough. More here:…
Nov 19, 2013 Bob Anderton commented on This Cyclist Is Looking for the Driver Who "Doored" Him.
@31 and 27 - Motorcycle insurance is a good idea, but it's not required in Washington. Bicyclists who have renters or homeowners insurance are covered for their negligence on bikes. It's just that other people aren't often injured by bicyclists.

UIM or uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance is also not required in Washington but it's very helpful for car-owning bicyclists to have because there are plenty of people who drive without the required insurance, and the minimum required is not much... $25,000... less than a short stay at Harborview...
Nov 19, 2013 Bob Anderton commented on This Cyclist Is Looking for the Driver Who "Doored" Him.
The problem is that many people (including far too many police) are not familiar with the rules of the road as they apply to bikes. Here is a quick overview:…

There may be other options in the event that the dooring driver is not found. Crime Victim's Compensation may apply and, if the doored bicyclist has car insurance with UIM, his own insurance should cover him. My office provides free consultations and we are all too familiar with this situation.

Nov 18, 2013 Bob Anderton commented on Who Loves This German Town That Got Rid of All Traffic Lights?.
From the perspective of a bike lawyer, I don't like it. What happens when there is a collision? Sharrows are bad enough in that they don't have a legal affect. We need to clarify the rules of the road, not throw out the rule book.

I am not familiar with German laws, but if it is like much of Europe, motorists who hit bicyclists or pedestrians are automatically at fault. Motorists there are better at avoiding bicyclists and pedestrians... why might that be?
Oct 2, 2013 Bob Anderton commented on Coffee and Mars Hill.
I had been puzzled by the bound and embossed novella-like invitation I received for this place. I thought it might have been another Starbucks spinoff. Apparently not.
Jun 6, 2013 Bob Anderton commented on Why I Ride Fearfully Even With a Helmet.
This wasn't supposed to happen... after the SLUT the City planned to build a cycle track for the streetcar on Broadway.…

But Seattle is better at planning than doing... hopefully some day we will do things in the correct order too.

Jun 5, 2013 Bob Anderton commented on Why I Ride Fearlessly Without A Helmet.
As a helmet-wearing lawyer who represents injured bicyclists (with and without helmets) I think a helmet is worth wearing... but it's better not to get hit than to have a helmet with very limited protection.

There is at least some evidence that drivers give less room when passing helmeted bicyclists than they do to those without.…

Other ways to achieve this effect while wearing a helmet include appearing to be female and wobbling on your bike. Statistics can be deceiving. Lest one think that wobbly unhelmeted women never get hit by cars, that is not the take-away here.
May 28, 2013 Bob Anderton commented on Bless My Bicycle, for It Has Sinned.
Thanks for the blessings. Please also share the road with us, whether or not you think we should be blessed. It's the law, whether or not you think it should be.…
Mar 11, 2013 Bob Anderton commented on Seattle Ranked 10th in Nation for Horrible Commute Times.
@3. The drive from West Seattle to downtown is a nightmare, but the bike ride along Alki is a joy. We even have a passenger ferry. Not so for Lynnwood.