Riding a bike is both a great form of exercise and a useful form of transportation. In recent years, biking has become increasingly popular in Northern California. Unfortunately for cyclists, motor vehicles currently present a very serious safety threat. Far too many drivers simply fail to notice and safely share the road with bikes. According to data provided by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, more than 800 cyclists are killed in accidents in the United States each year. Many tens of thousands more injured cyclist suffer very debilitating injuries. If you’ve been injured in a collision, bike accident lawyers can help.
At Wakeford Gelini, our San Francisco bike accident lawyers are committed to fighting for the legal rights and financial interests of injured bike accident victims. We work aggressively to ensure that injured San Francisco bicyclists are able to maximize their compensation. If you or a loved one was hurt in a bike collision in the Bay Area, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm for free legal guidance.
Featured Case Results
BICYCLIST REAR-ENDED BY CAR
Our client suffered a coccyx injury after being thrown from her bicycle when a car swerved into the bike lane and rear-ended her on her bicycle. The case resolved during litigation at mediation with a settlement of $150,000.
BICYCLIST DOORED BY CAR
Our client was ejected from her bicycle when a driver opened a door in front of her just as she was passing his car, causing her to suffer knee injury requiring arthroscopy. Case resulted in policy limits settlement with the responsible party for $100,000.
What Should You Do After a Bicycle Collision in San Francisco?
The immediate aftermath of a bicycle collision can be chaotic. If you were injured in a crash, there are certain steps that you need to take that will ensure that you best protect your health and wellbeing and that you fully preserve your legal rights. It is crucial that bike accident victims know what to do after a crash.
To start, injured victims should seek medical attention. An emergency situation always requires a trip to the nearest hospital. Further, seemingly mild or moderate injuries should receive a comprehensive medical evaluation without delay. You should never take any chances with a bike accident, as you may be more seriously hurt than you realize.
San Francisco bicycle accident victims should also be sure that they report the crash to law enforcement. California drivers have a legal duty to report all pedestrian/bicycle collisions that result in injuries. The injured victim should be sure that they have received the contact, vehicle, and insurance information from the responsible driver. It is also a good practice to try to get photographs of the crash and contact information from any witnesses. Gathering evidence is extremely important. You may need this evidence to bring a legal claim in the future.
Finally, injured bicyclists should never admit partial fault for the accident or make any statements to representatives from the driver’s insurance company. The insurance company is fundamentally interested in protecting its own financial interests. Injured victims should always deal with insurance adjusters directly through experienced San Francisco bike accident lawyers.
Who is Liable for a Bicycle Crash in California?
California is a comparative negligence jurisdiction. This has several different and extremely important implications for Bay Area bicycle accident victims. First, in a bicycle accident claim, the victim must prove that defendant was ‘at fault’ for their injuries. In general, fault is established through proving negligence. What constitutes negligence can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the bike accident. Though, as a general rule, if a driver caused your bicycle accident through their reckless or careless conduct, they can likely be held legally liable for your crash.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, California bicycle accident injury claims are brought against drivers. However, other parties could potentially be held liable as well. Ultimately, the injured victims must be able to prove, with evidence, that the defendant’s negligence actually contributed to their injuries. Some of the most common examples of negligence that our San Francisco bike accident lawyers have seen include:
- Running red lights;
- Running stop signs;
- Failure to yield;
- Unsafe merges;
- Speeding on neighborhood streets;
- Dangerous lane changes;
- ‘Buzzing’ a bicyclist;
- Opening a door quickly while parked;
- Dangerously maneuvering through a bike path;
- Distracted driving;
- Talking on a cell phone or texting while driving;
- Drunk driving; and
- Drugged driving.
How Long Do You Have to File a Bicycle Accident Injury Claim?
If you were hurt in a bike accident in San Francisco, you only have limited time to preserve your ability to recover compensation. Under California state law (Cal. Code Civ. Pro § 335.1), most personal injury claims must be filed within two years of the date of the collision. This deadline applies to bike accident claims. If your personal injury claim is not filed before the statutory deadline expires, it may simply be automatically dismissed.
With bike accident injury lawsuits, there is no reason to wait to take action. These claims must always be thoroughly investigated. To make sure that your claim is filed properly and that you can get access to all relevant evidence, you should consult with experienced San Francisco bike accident lawyers immediately after your crash.
What Compensation is Available for Bike Accident Victims?
Unfortunately, when a bicycle accident occurs, the injured cyclist may sustain truly catastrophic injuries. Under California state law, injured cyclists are entitled to recover financial compensation for the full value of their losses. In most cases, bike accident claims are defended by big insurance providers, and these companies work aggressively to limit settlement payouts, at times even denying valid claims outright. At Wakeford Gelini, our San Francisco bicycle collision lawyers have the skills and legal experience needed to help victims maximize their recovery. You may be entitled to financial relief for:
- Property damage;
- Emergency room fees;
- Medical bills and related expenses;
- Physical therapy costs;
- Long-term disability coverage;
- Lost wages;
- Reduced earning potential;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement;
- Reduced quality of life; or
- Wrongful death damages.
Contact Our San Francisco Bike Accident Lawyers Today
At Wakeford Gelini, our Bay Area personal injury lawyers have extensive experience handling bicycle accident claims. If you or a loved one was injured in a bike collision in Northern California, we are ready to fight aggressively to help you get the full and fair financial compensation you deserve.
To arrange a free, no obligation review of your bicycle accident injury claims, please contact us at (415) 578-3510. From our office in Corte Madera, we represent injured victims throughout Marin County, including in Belvedere, Fairfax, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Ross, and San Rafael.