MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEE NEGLIGENCE

Last month a bus v. bike accident on Bainbridge Island last month left a bicyclist badly injured. Authorities have determined that the Kitsap Transit bus driver was at fault for the accident:

Kitsap Transit bus driver is to blame for the early November accident that left a 52-year-old bicyclist with serious injuries after he was hit while biking alongside Highway 305, according to Bainbridge Island police.

The bicyclist, a 52-year-old Poulsbo man, was approaching NE Adas Will Lane just south of Agate Pass Bridge when he was hit by a Kitsap Transit bus just before 6 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3. His injuries were so severe — three broken vertebrae in his back, a broken pelvis, two broken ribs, internal injuries and abrasions — that he was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Bainbridge police investigated the accident and determined that the driver of the bus, a 55-year-old Poulsbo man, was at fault. He was cited for “improper passing on the left.”

Because the bus driver was acting within the scope of his employment, the bicyclist can seek damages from Kitsap County.

Before filing suit the bicyclist will need to submit a tort claim form.  This is one of several potential procedural traps when seeking damages from a municipality.

It will be important for the bicyclist to get an experienced attorney involved early in the case.

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