Biker JusticeBiker Justice Biker Justice


Top Washington Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Get the Washington State Motorcycle Legal Help You Demand, So You Can Ride Hard.

Washington is known for it’s gorgeous scenery, which makes it an epic location for a great ride. Unfortunately, Washington State is also know for this stat:

Motorcycles only comprise 3% of the road users in Washington State, but accounted for 15% of all fatalities and 19% of serious injuries in collisions between 2013 and 2017.

Motorcycle accidents are very different than a car or truck accident because of the fact that many people automatically assume the person on the motorcycle is at fault when there is no basis for that assumption. That automatic bias is why you NEED to be sure you find an EXPERIENCED Motorcycle Accident Attorney who isn’t afraid to fight the insurance companies to get you the support and justice you deserve. There is no one with the kind of experience as our featured Washington State Attorney!

Jim Bendell

Jim Bendell

The Bendell Law Firm
1810 E Schneidmiller Ave. Suite 140
Post Falls, ID 83854

Telephone number 208-981-0555

View profile Start your case review

Motorcycle Law FAQ in Washington

The Most Commonly Asked Questions from Riders Like You.

Do I have to wear a helmet on my motorcycle in Washington?

What should I do after a motorcycle accident in Washington?

How long do I have to file a claim for a motorcycle accident in Washington?

What kind of insurance do I need to ride my motorcycle in Washington?

What happens if I was partially at fault for a motorcycle accident in Washington?

Can I have custom handlebars on my motorcycle in Washington?

Can I bring my kid with me on my motorcycle in Washington?

What does my motorcycle need to be street legal in Washington?

Do I need a special license to ride my motorcycle in Washington?

Do I need to register my Motorcycle to ride in Washington?

Yes. Washington State is one of the states where helmets are required in order to ride your motorcycle legally. 

According to the RCW 46.37.530, the following requirements must be met for your helmet to be considered a proper motorcycle helmet in the State of Washington.

  • Neck or chin strap
  • Hard outer shell
  • Padding adjacent to or inside of the outer shell
  • Must meet standards set by the Department of Transportation

Even in states where it is not legally required to ride, it is generally a good practice to wear them anyway. Studies suggest that wearing a helmet significantly reduces the risk of serious and fatal head injuries, reducing the risk of death by as much as 42 percent. Riders without helmets are also three times as likely to suffer from traumatic brain injuries in the case of an accident.

- James Bendell, Washington State Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

⏶ Back to Top

The first thing to do after a motorcycle accident is to call 911 for medical assistance for those who need it. 

Internal injuries from an accident might not be immediately apparent, and you might not be able to tell how bad something is while you’re still in shock, so it’s generally a good idea to get checked out even if you don’t think you’ve suffered from anything serious. This ensures that you get the treatment you need, and also produces medical records proving that your injuries stemmed from the accident and not some event that occurred between the accident and when you received care.

If you’re in a condition to do so, you’ll want to exchange contact information with the other driver and any eyewitnesses. Photograph the scene as best you can, such as the state of both vehicles and any skid marks or other collateral damage.

You will want to get a copy of the police report, though this can be done after you have received your immediate medical care. Report the incident to your insurance, but do not offer a statement or agree to requests from your insurance before speaking to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer.

- James Bendell, Washington State Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

⏶ Back to Top

In the State of Washington, the time you have to file a claim for a personal injury is three years, starting at the time of the accident.

This might seem like a long time, but recovery from your injuries can take longer than you might expect. Additionally, the time it takes to properly investigate your case and negotiate with insurance, yours or those of the other party, can be longer than expected, too. A stubborn insurance provider might try to stall for time to pressure you into accepting an offer that’s less than you deserve or argue that your injuries were not as severe as they really were.

The longer you put off these important steps, the more difficult it might be to gather the evidence to prove that the other driver was responsible for your injuries. This is why it’s best to get in touch with a professional Motorcycle Injury Lawyer as soon as possible after your accident so that they can begin the process of investigating your accident and negotiating with your insurance while you focus on your recovery.

- James Bendell, Washington State Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

⏶ Back to Top

As of an update to the law in 2019, motorcyclists are now required to carry liability insurance just like other drivers.

The minimum liability insurance to legally ride your motorcycle in Washington is as follows:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury of a single person in an accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury of 2 or more people in an accident
  • $10,000 for the damage of others’ property during an accident

While these are minimum values, motorcycle accidents tend to be more severe than other motor accidents. Additionally, the minimum level of insurance offers no protection if you are involved in an accident with a driver who is uninsured or underinsured. As motorcyclists can often suffer serious injuries from even relatively minor accidents, it is generally a good idea to research your options and invest in some level of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection.

- James Bendell, Washington State Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

⏶ Back to Top

Washington is what is referred to as a “pure comparative negligence” State. What this means is that if you are injured in an accident, you may be able to receive compensation despite being partially at fault for the accident. 

The amount of compensation you receive is influenced by the amount of fault you are considered to have for an accident. For example, if you were found to be 10% at fault for an accident, and your damages from the accident were found to be worth $100,000, you would be able to receive up to $90,000 on a successful recovery. 

Because there is not a hard limit on the degree of fault that you can still receive compensation, there is a chance that you, through your insurance, may be required to pay as well if the other party was also injured if you were also found to be partially at fault. This is another reason why it can be important to contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer as soon as possible after your accident so that they can investigate the accident before evidence that might prove the other party’s responsibility disappears.

- James Bendell, Washington State Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

⏶ Back to Top

In the State of Washington, your handlebars can’t go higher than 30’, about 2.5 feet, over the seat of your saddle. 

Other than the height restriction, at the time of writing, there don’t seem to be other restrictions specified for motorcycle handlebars, though this may change, so it’s a good idea to check to see if any recent laws have altered the regulations. For the time being, if they stay within the height range allowed for handlebars, you’re pretty free to get creative with it as long as your motorcycle can be handled safely.

- James Bendell, Washington State Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

⏶ Back to Top

The minimum age for motorcycle passengers in Washington is five years old. If your children aren’t at least five yet, they’ll have to stay home if you’re taking a ride on your motorcycle.

Introducing friends and family to the joys of the road can be a great bonding experience, but it is important to make sure that everyone involved stays safe. With any passengers, your passenger must also have their own separate seat or be riding in a seat designed to carry more than one person. Your motorcycle should also have footpegs or a bucket seat with a seatbelt for each passenger the motorcycle is designed to carry, according to RCW 46.61.610.

- James Bendell, Washington State Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

⏶ Back to Top

The baseline requirements for your motorcycle to be legal to ride in Washington are roughly as follows:

  • Two mirrors
  • Turn signal
  • Windshield (or eye protection such as goggles or a face shield)
  • Brakes, front, and rear.
  • Muffler, in good working order, cannot be modified or bypassed.
  • Headlights, bright enough to make people or vehicles visible at 150 feet
  • Taillights, visible from 1000 feet, must illuminate registration plates to be legible from 50 feet.
  • Handlebars less than 30’ above the seat

There are occasional exceptions to certain requirements, such as those on mirrors and front brakes on certain older motorcycles. If you’re unsure if your motorcycle qualifies, it is a good idea to do some additional research first to make sure your specific case is legal before taking your bike on the road.

A fairly well compiled list of requirements is maintained in this pdf you can refer to as necessary.

- James Bendell, Washington State Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

⏶ Back to Top

In order to ride in Washington, a motorcycle license endorsement is required for riders of all ages. In order to receive your motorcycle endorsement, you will need:

  • A valid Washington State driver’s license
  • To take the motorcycle safety course
  • To pass the motorcycle knowledge test
  • To pass the motorcycle riding skills test
  • To be at least 16 years of age
  • Your parent or guardian’s signature of consent, in under the age of 18

There is a separate endorsement for three-wheeled motorcycles or motorcycles with a sidecar. 

The individual costs of the motorcycle safety course are dependent on the individual school, so it’s a good idea to look into a few to find the one that best suits your needs.

- James Bendell, Washington State Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

⏶ Back to Top

A Motorcycle must be registered with the Department of Licensing in order to be driven legally in the State of Washington. Fortunately, registration is a fairly straightforward process. You’ll need:

  • Proof of ownership
  • Your driver’s license
  • Your motorcycle displaying a valid license plate

The exact fees are subject to change, but the overall process is quite simple. If your plates are missing or damaged, you can also get them replaced for about $20 as of the time of this writing. With your plates and licensing out of the way, you’ll be ready to ride in our beautiful state.

To find some of the best rides in Washington state you can poke around on

- James Bendell, Washington State Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

⏶ Back to Top