Bicycle Accidents

There is no doubt that more and more people are riding bicycles than ever before.  As gasoline prices continue to skyrocket and parking spaces disappear or become ever more expensive people are turning to bicycles to save money and improve their health. Unfortunately, when a bicycle and a car collide it is the bicyclist that finishes second - every time.  The result is injuries that may be catastrophic, permanent or both. As a bicyclist I know what the risks are riding the streets of San Francisco and our other urban areas.

Motorist cannot always see us.  Some are simply not looking for us.  And cycling to and from work during our morning and evening rush hours are the most dangerous time of day for someone on a bicycle.  Be sure to wear a helmet and gloves and have as many lights on as you can especially when riding at dusk or in the dark. You want to minimize the chances of not being seen or being hurt.

Nevertheless, should you be injured while riding your bike you want to know that someone can arrange for you to get the best medical care and treatment as soon as possible and that you will receive the kind of compensation that will make you whole.  You deserve to be awarded the damages for your pain and suffering and for the income loss you have sustained.

If the carrier will not settle out of court then you can be sure that we will take your case to trial.

Bicycle accidents can result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Lawsuits to recover damages for injuries in bicycle accidents with automobiles involve many of the same issues as any auto accident lawsuit. Liability for bike accident injuries often comes down to negligence -- whether the car driver's negligence caused the cyclist's injuries, and whether any negligence by the cyclist caused or contributed to the accident.

Cyclists and drivers are obligated to obey the rules of the road. These rules include traffic laws, as well as the duty to exercise ordinary care in regards to one's own safety and that of others on the roadways. Like other vehicle accident lawsuits, bicycle accident lawsuits are governed by state law, and often informed by state and local traffic laws.

When a cyclist sues to recover damages for injuries suffered in an accident with an automobile, the outcome often depends on two questions:

  • Did negligence (or recklessness) on the part of the driver cause the accident and resulting injuries to the bicyclist?
  • Did any negligence of the bicyclist cause or contribute to the accident?
Negligence by a driver can take many forms. For example, speeding, running a stop sign, and drifting into a bike lane all constitute driver negligence, or even recklessness if done with knowing disregard for the safety of others.

Accident lawsuits come down to facts specific to the individual case, and often the ability of the plaintiff to prove negligence through eyewitness testimony or other evidence. In car accident cases, however, behaviors which constitute traffic violations can constitute "negligence per se." This means that if a driver was cited for a violation such as speeding at the time of the accident, evidence of the speeding violation counts as evidence of negligence. The burden then shifts to the defendant to prove that he or she didn’t cause the plaintiff's injuries.

Whether a cyclist sues a driver, or a cyclist is sued for causing someone else injury, cyclist negligence can determine the outcome of the lawsuit. Examples of biker negligence include riding the wrong way on a one-way street, running a stop sign, and turning abruptly into traffic.

Negligent cyclists may be unable to recover damages for injuries they suffer in accidents involving cars. Such negligence is called contributory or comparative negligence, meaning that the cyclist's negligence, at least in part, caused the accident to happen, and thus caused at least some of the cyclist's injuries. If a cyclist rode negligently, and that negligence caused injury to someone else, the cyclist may be held liable for that person's injuries.

Bicycle accident lawsuits often come down to whether the driver or the cyclist negligently caused or contributed to the accident. This negligence determination can be a complex and require in-depth analysis.

If you or a loved one has been in a bike accident, contact our office today at (415) 395-9000