Hester Law Group
Cycling on a busy road can be scary! A diesel engine revving behind you just before an oversized side-view mirror buzzes your left ear is enough to keep any sane cyclist off the road. It is no surprise that even pro triathletes like Andy Potts and Lionel Sanders do 100% of their bike training indoors. However, for us age groupers, isn’t the point of being active to get outside? To get fresh air? To enjoy those few-and-far between days when it’s not 39 degrees and drizzling?
For me, getting outside is essential but I hate riding on busy highways. Thankfully, there are some pretty good, paved trails in our area that provide a safer avenue for riding our road bikes. I love riding the Cushman Trail in Gig Harbor that will take you all the way from Borgen Boulevard across the Narrows bridge. Another great ride is the Foothills Trail which has a 15 mile paved section from Meeker to South Prairie Creek in Pierce County. Of course, our region is blessed with others, like the Interurban and the Burke-Gilman trails.
Unfortunately, however, accidents can still occur on trails. A client of mine was riding her bike on the Foothills Trail with her niece when a maintenance worker was mowing the grass beside the trail. Rather than follow her training and turn off the mower blades when cyclists were nearby, the maintenance worker ignored procedure and caused my client to be pelted by rocks and debris. As she attempted to shield her face my client lost control of her bike and fell – severely slicing open her leg. She needed several stitches and now has a permanent scar on her calf.
We sued Pierce County for the negligence in causing the accident. The trial judge dismissed the case, claiming the county was “immune” because of the recreational nature of the trail. Believing that Pierce County was not immune because the trail also serves an important transportation purpose, similar to a highway, we appealed. Thankfully the Court of Appeals recently found in our favor and our client will get her day in court. If you are interested, you can read the Court of Appeals’ decision here: https://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/index.cfm?fa=opinions.showOpinion&filename=486598MAJ
Myself and the other lawyers at the Hester Law Group are all avid triathletes and cyclists. We love to swim, bike and run outdoors but unfortunately, injuries sometimes occur – even when precautions (like riding on trails) are taken. Almost always the injuries were totally preventable. If you or a loved one is injured by someone else’s negligence, feel free to give us a call. If necessary, we will fight all the way to the Court of Appeals to ensure our clients get their day in court.