SAN FRANCISCO BICYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Every year, thousands of people throughout the state of California are injured in accidents involving an automobile while traveling by bike. Although there are numerous laws in place to protect people traveling outside of vehicles, we continue to see them being harmed in accidents involving vehicles at an alarming rate.
Bicyclists have areas designated for their use throughout San Francisco and most of the Bay Area. These areas are designed to be safe and effective places for them to travel to and from their destinations. When other motorists who are sharing the roads fail to see the cyclists, it can lead to catastrophic accidents.
Bike accidents happen every day, and bicyclists are the most vulnerable riders on the road. Due to the lack of protective gear offered to our cyclists, they are more prone to sustain severe injuries. Unlike motor vehicles, bicycles can’t withstand the impact of a collision.
In 2019, San Francisco ranked 4th as the most dangerous city for bicycle riders. San Francisco reported 25 traffic fatalities, 8% of which are bicycle collision fatalities.
In the event of a bicycle accident, most insurance companies will try to downplay the injured cyclist’s damages. They do this to spend less money on the victim’s compensation. More often than not, they can also deny a bicycle accident claim.
An experienced bike accident lawyer at Halavanau Law Office can help you out of this situation. He can handle the rigorous negotiation and haggling with an insurance company. Our San Francisco bicycle accident lawyer has the skills, knowledge, experience, and resources necessary to be successful with the complexities associated with these types of serious legal claims to help accident victims maximize the compensation they can receive in their bicycle accident claims. Contact our personal injury legal team in San Francisco as soon as possible to see how we can help you.
HOW CAN OUR SAN FRANCISCO BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAW OFFICE HELP YOU
At Halavanau Law Office, we offer only the best quality of service for our clients. Our San Francisco bicycle accident attorney has years of proven experience and is able to maximize our client’s settlement.
Our team at Halavanau Law Office understands the hardship every bicycle accident victim goes through. Our legal team is dedicated to helping our clients receive the maximum compensation they deserve. Our law office upholds our attorney-client relationship, which is why our clients can expect the best treatment from us.
We fight on behalf of injured bicyclists throughout the San Francisco Bay Area to ensure they have the strongest case to demonstrate the damages they have endured were caused by the negligence of the person operating the motor vehicle. Our team starts early on by building the most solid case for all of our clients. Some of the tasks we perform for our clients include but are certainly not limited to the following:
- Investigating the scene of the accident
- Gathering strong evidence in support of a victim’s claim
- Gathering documents from doctors, police, financial experts, and medical experts that detail what occurred and what is required moving forward
- Work with experts who can recreate the accident to uncover critical details in support of a victim’s claim
- Aggressively negotiate full and fair settlements to ensure our clients are able to move forward in the best position possible
- Provide trusted and aggressive legal representation at trial whenever necessary
If you are a victim of a bicycle accident, you need to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney with years of proven experience. Our ultimate goal is to help victims and their families move to focus on recovery and let us handle the complexities associated with these types of complicated San Francisco Bay Area personal injury claims.
If you sustained injuries in a bicycle accident as a result of a driver’s reckless or negligent actions, contact our law firm at your earliest convenience to explore legal options available for you.
WHAT ARE THE LEADING CAUSES OF SAN FRANCISCO BICYCLE ACCIDENTS?
Bicycle accidents happen for several reasons. One of the most common reasons would be negligent driving. Negligent motorists are one of the main contributors to roadway accidents. Lack of due care and attention while driving can lead to unwanted collisions.
Roadway hazards such as potholes and broken patches of the road pose a risk to the safety of both bicycle riders and motor vehicle drivers. Other dangerous road conditions a driver might face are uneven roads and sharp curves. Avoid going through defective streets as much as possible.
Inclement weather could lessen the road’s visibility. Riding a bicycle in bad weather conditions is a disaster waiting to happen. The road will be more slippery, which increases the likelihood of a bicycle crash. The best way to prevent accidents brought by bad weather is to wait for it to pass.
Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents in San Francisco include but are not limited to the following:
- Distracted driving
- Poor road conditions
- Unsafe lane changes
- Dooring (drivers who open their doors into bicycle lanes)
- Poor bike maintenance/not making required repairs
- Defective or inadequate safety equipment
- Alcohol intoxication/drug impairment
MOST COMMON INJURIES THAT BIKE CRASH VICTIMS SUSTAIN
Bicycle accident injuries most often reported are caused by the heavy trauma from the collision. Some of these are serious injuries requiring long-term medical treatment. It is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible when you are involved in a bicycle crash.
Listed below are the injuries associated with bike crashes:
- Traumatic brain injuries: A Traumatic brain injury is a severe condition. Not only do these injuries often result in overwhelming pain and suffering, but they lead to permanent disabilities in some cases. Victims who suffer traumatic brain injuries are often forced to go through extensive therapy and spend months or even years in recovery.
- Head injuries: A blunt force trauma can also cause head injuries. A head injury can often be severe, especially when there is a crack in the victim’s skull. An injured cyclist will feel light-headed and sensitive to light.
- Fractures or Broken Bones: Skull fractures, broken collar bones, rib breaks, and breaks or sprains to the knees, hips, ankles, feet, arms, wrists, and pelvis can require surgery and therapy. These injuries are painful and debilitating and hinder victims’ abilities to perform various tasks with ease.
- Contusion: Contusion is a painful discoloration of the skin caused by blunt trauma. A contusion is a mild injury that an emergency respondent can treat easily. Still, sometimes it requires a longer healing time.
- Deep cut or lacerations: This happens when a victim comes in contact with sharp debris. Deep cuts can lead to excessive blood loss. A victim should be treated immediately to determine if they need a blood transfusion from their blood loss. Many victims are left with permanent scarring and emotional damages due to these injuries.
- Back and Neck Injuries: Victims involved in bicycle accidents are at a heightened risk for sustaining herniated, ruptured, or slipped discs in accidents. Some victims suffer neck injuries, which can cause overwhelming pain and disability.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries are extremely painful and complicated to deal with. Many victims who sustain spinal cord injuries are left with some degree of paralysis. Some victims remain permanently disabled while others are able to recover to some extent through therapy. Spinal cord injuries require extensive and costly medical treatment, which can be life-long.
- Limb Loss/Amputations: The loss of a limb is particularly devastating. These life-changing injuries require a complete adjustment for victims. Many victims have to learn how to walk again or perform various tasks due to their new limitations.
- Internal Organ Damages: Many victims harmed in these accidents sustain ruptured livers or spleens, lung punctures, internal bleeding kidney damages, and other injuries that require extensive medical treatment.
Bicycle accident victims should be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible. This may prevent the severe progression of their injuries.
COMPENSATION AVAILABLE TO BIKE COLLISION VICTIMS
Victims who are injured in bicycle accidents often face overwhelming financial burdens when trying to move forward. Depending on the extent of injuries, victims can often expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars for the medical treatment they will need to recover from their injuries.
Injured cyclists have the legal right to recover compensation for their damages if their injuries were caused by someone’s negligence. In a bicycle accident case, a victim can receive compensation for both monetary and non-monetary losses.
Working with a San Francisco personal injury attorney from Halavanau Law Office will ensure victims who are injured in accidents recover the maximum amount of compensation available. We strive to help victims maximize their recoveries so they are in the best position possible to move forward after enduring severe and life-altering injuries.
Some of the damages our team helps victims collect after collisions include compensation for the following:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Lost wages due to taking time off to recover
- Lost earning capacity for victims forced out of work indefinitely
- Disability benefits for victims permanently injured
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Other than monetary and non-monetary loss, a victim can also demand punitive damages from the at-fault party. Punitive damages are awarded to the defendant as a punishment for the accident he caused. One of the examples would be injuries sustained as a result of a drunk driver’s recklessness.
Working with an aggressive and competent personal injury attorney in San Francisco will ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation available for your claim. Call for a free, no-obligation consultation with a skilled personal injury to see if you have the right to pursue a claim.
PROVING LIABILITY IN MY BIKE ACCIDENT IN SAN FRANCISCO
To prove liability in a bicycle accident, a victim must provide proof that the driver at fault is guilty of negligence. A victim can use photographic evidence of the accident. If the victim could document video footage before the accident occurs, they can also submit that as evidence.
Witness testimonies can also be used to prove negligence. It will be helpful if you can obtain a witness’s contact information. It will be easier for your counsel to obtain testimonies from them when proving the at-fault driver’s negligence.
Gathering evidence can be an arduous task, especially if you don’t know what evidence you need. An experienced San Francisco bike crash lawyer can help you look for helpful proof you can use in your bicycle accident injury case. A skilled bicycle injury lawyer will help you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.
STEPS YOU SHOULD TAKE AFTER A BICYCLE ACCIDENT
Bicycle accidents happen at the most unexpected time. The best protection a victim can do is to be prepared. They need to know what they need to do after the accident.
If you ever find yourself in the middle of this situation, here’s what you can do:
- Remain calm and don’t panic. Call the emergency response team as soon as possible. You and the other rider need to be treated if you received injuries from the accident.
- Call the attention of the authority. You need to report to the police what happened. They would need to create a police report for your accident. You can request a copy of this report, which you can use to prove the negligence of the party at fault.
- Take photographic evidence of the scene if you can. Video footage and photographic proof are valuable pieces of evidence you can use to build your personal injury claim stronger.
- Gather information from the other driver. Get their name and contact information, so you know who can be held liable for your injuries. If possible, ask for their insurance information.
SAN FRANCISCO BICYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported a total number of 134 fatal crashes involving bicyclists in 2019. The list below shows the number of fatal bicycle accident cases from the year 2015-2019:
- 2015: 138 fatal accidents;
- 2016: 154 fatal accidents;
- 2017: 146 fatal accidents;
- 2018: 166 fatal accidents;
- 2019: 134 fatal accidents;
U.S. News also reported in their article the number of bike accident cases by California county. Listed below are the top five counties with the most reported cases of bike accidents from the year 2016-2018:
- Los Angeles: 106 cases
- Sacramento: 47 cases
- Orange: 32 cases
- San Bernardino: 27 cases
- San Joaquin: 26 cases
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CALIFORNIA BIKING LAWS
The state of California has established laws to promote and protect bicycle riders’ safety. Listed below are some of the laws enacted by the state to protect the cyclists:
- California Vehicle Code 21200: CVC 21200 states that all bicyclists have the same responsibilities as any motor vehicle driver. This means that they share the rights and regulations of a regular car driver. On the other hand, it also means that they share the same punishment for any roadway crimes committed.
- California Vehicle Code 21650: All bicycle riders should drive in the same direction as the traffic. Bicyclists can use their bikes on the sidewalk, according to this law.
- California Vehicle Code 21202: Bicyclists are recommended to stay in the right lane or as close to the right side curb as possible.
- California Vehicle Code 21208: Bicyclists should utilize any existing bike lanes. They can only exit the bike lane once they determine that it is safe to join the main road.
- California Vehicle Code 21954: Since bicycles are allowed to use the sidewalk, they should exercise due care not to hit any pedestrians.
- California Vehicle Code 21455: Bicyclists are not allowed to ride within the path of a crosswalk. The crosswalk is meant only for pedestrians.
- California Vehicle Code 21201: Section (a) states that a bicycle cannot operate with a defective brake. Section (c) states that bicyclists cannot ride on a highway if they cannot properly maneuver and stop his bike. Section (d) of the same code states that a bicycle cannot operate on the highway at dark. When riding at night, a bike must have a white light that can be seen from a distance of 300 feet.
- California Vehicle Code 21212: All cyclists under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet. Although cyclists aged 18 and above are not required to wear a helmet, a cyclist should still consider it as a safety precaution.
SAN FRANCISCO BIKE ACCIDENT FAQs
A bicycle accident lawyer can make or break your situation. An experienced bike injury lawyer has the skill set to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer. The lawyer can help you gather the necessary evidence to prove your claim.
A skilled lawyer will work hard to help you process your case without any issues as much as possible. The lawyer will focus on the legal issues while allowing an injured person to focus on recovery from the injuries.
Vehicle drivers are not allowed to drive in a bike lane. However, they can only enter the bike lane if they are making a parking maneuver. They are also entitled to use the bike lane when they are entering or to leave the roadway.
Yes. A victim can still file for a personal injury claim even if they are partially at fault. The state of California follows a comparative negligence law. This means that the victim can still receive compensation for their damage even if they are partially at fault for causing their own injuries. Still, the court will deduct the percentage of their contribution to the accident from their compensation.
The state of California imposes a two-year statute of limitation for bicycle accidents. This means that a victim can file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the accident. However, this rule would vary if a public entity is involved.
If a public entity is involved, a victim can only file for a claim within six months from the date of the accident. If their claim request is denied, they can only file a lawsuit within six months from the date of denial. These laws vary and each county or agency may have its own requirements in submitting the claims. Thus, it is important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to evaluate your claim and statute of limitations.
The majority of bicycle accidents settle out of the court. But, a victim can still go to court if the insurance company refuses to give them fair compensation for their damages.
CONTACT OUR EXPERIENCED BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
If you or your loved one is involved in a bicycle accident and you are having a hard time with the at-fault driver, call us now, and we will help you resolve this issue. Our team at Halavanau Law Office fights to help victims protect their legal rights after suffering injuries in bike accidents caused by the negligent actions of others. We advocate on behalf of accident victims in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area to ensure they are able to hold wrongdoers responsible and obtain the justice and compensation they deserve.
If you sustained injuries in an accident, or your loved one lost their life, due to the negligence or reckless action of another person, contact our top San Francisco personal injury law firm today at (415) 494-8535 to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation at your earliest convenience to see what legal options are available for you.
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