Our San Francisco bicycle accident lawyers understand that biking is more popular than ever, becoming a favored pastime, form of exercise, and commuting method. In fact, during the pandemic, the number of bike commuters has increased significantly.
Unfortunately, due to the rise in bicycle riding popularity, accidents are a far more frequent occurrence than previous years. A 2020 article from the U.S. News and World Report showed that bicycle-based fatalities reached a 25-year high in California.
To help curb that sudden rise in bicyclist injury and fatalities, the San Francisco bicycle accident attorneys here at Cutter Law P.C. want you to stay safe on the road. Yet, if you do wind up injured due to a bicycle accident, then don’t fret. Our lawyers are here to represent you and your interests in a court of law. Contact our attorneys for a no-obligation consultation today.
Reasons To Hire A San Francisco Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve suffered an injury due to a bicycle accident caused by the actions of another, then you should always contact one of our attorneys. Even if you aren’t sure you have a case, give us a call for a no-obligation consultation anyway. You might be entitled to compensation and not realize it yet.
However, while we recommend you contact us if you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, there are a few factors that can help win your case. Those factors include:
- Negligent Motor Vehicle Driver: If the driver of the motor vehicle that caused your accident was negligent in any way, then you have a strong case.
- Faulty Bicycle: If your bicycle failed, then you likely have a strong case. Examples of a faulty bicycle include sudden brake failures, your chain breaking, and more.
- Failed Public Upkeep: If the city, county, or other public entity failed at maintaining a safe roadway for bicycles, then you likely have a strong case. It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure safe public roadways for all types of vehicles.
Recent Appeal For Williams V. County Of Sonoma Case Shows Degrading State Of Bicycle Safety In California
Speaking of failed public upkeep, a recent appeal in a California court shows exactly that. In the Williams V. County Of Sonoma case, the defendant, Williams, was with a friend on a 30-mile bike ride when they (Williams) collided with a large pothole. Williams, who was traveling at least 25 miles-per-hour, was unable to avoid it, and they crashed, suffering several injuries. The pothole in question wasn’t unknown, either. It had been reported to authorities six weeks before Williams’ accident.
Williams sued the County under Gov. Code 835 for the dangerous condition of public property. The trial jury allocated 70 percent of the fault to Sonoma County and 30 percent to Williams. Williams was awarded $1.3 million in damages.
The verdict of Williams V. County of Sonoma confirmed that “the County owed a duty to other foreseeable users of the road to repair the pothole, the policy reasons underlying the primary assumption of risk doctrine support the conclusion that the County owes a duty not to increase the inherent risks of long-distance, recreational cycling” (Justia).
Learning The Local Bicycle Riding Laws Can Help You Avoid Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle laws change from city to city and county to county throughout California. So, make sure you’re well aware of your local bicycle laws and regulations. Following them might save your life. Here are some of the local bicycle laws and safety tips from the Kern County Sheriff’s Department:
- According to the California Vehicle Code (yes, bicycles are considered a vehicle in California), any person riding a bicycle under the age of 18 must wear a helmet at all times.
- Obey all traffic signs, traffic signal lights, and posted road rules. Remember, bicycles are a vehicle.
- Do not ride on the sidewalk, ever.
- Ride in the designated bicycle safety lane (if there is one).
- Always ride in the safe direction as flowing traffic. Do not ride in the opposite direction under any circumstances.
- Do not carry another person on your handlebars.
- Don’t skitch (attach yourself to a moving vehicle while riding your bicycle).
- Always give the right of way to cars and pedestrians, no matter what.
- Keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
- When riding near others, always ride in a single file line.
- Your bicycle must have a headlight, and it must be on at all times, even during the day.
For more information on the list above, check out the Kern County Sheriff Department’s page on the subject. It has tons of useful bicycle safety information for you.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Bicycle Accidents In San Francisco?
The fact of the matter is that bicycle accidents vary in severity and often the factors in play that aren’t as prevalent in car-on-caAccordinget, according to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Ad,) states that 96% of bicycle riders killed in 2017 involved single-vehicle crashes–accidents that occurred between a bicycle and one other vehicle. Some of the common causes of those accidents include:
- Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of all vehicle accidents, including those with bicycles. Examples of distracted driving include driving with your hands or eyes off the road and using a cell phone while driving.
- Reckless Driving: Any form of aggressive or unsafe driving constitutes reckless driving, and reckless driving is a leading cause of fatal car and bicycle accidents. Examples of reckless driving include speeding, racing, tailgating, and failing to signal (unsafe lane changes).
- Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs Or Alcohol: One of the leading causes of all car and bicycle accidents is driving either vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Never drive drunk, high, spun, or in any other altered state of mind other than stone-cold sober. It just might save your life or the life of someone else.
- Road Hazards: Road hazards affect all drivers on the road and are a significant source of fatal motor vehicle and bicycle accidents.
Contact Our San Francisco Bicycle Accident Attorneys Today!
Free consultation: Our team of San Francisco bicycle accident lawyers is always standing by to take your case. If you have been injured in a biking accident, learn about your legal options from an attorney at Cutter Law P.C. Call 888-285-3333, or fill out our online contact form today!