Bicycle Accidents

San Francisco Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Injured in a Bay Area Bicycle Accident?

Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn understands the importance of feeling safe and protected when riding your bike around the city. Some of our attorneys commute by bicycle ourselves, and we are proud supporters of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

We have even been included on the coalition’s list of "bicycle-friendly lawyers."

If you have suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident, you may be able to recover compensation for medical treatment, pain and suffering, lost wages, property damage, and more.

We will work to identify all liable parties and help you achieve the results you deserve.

Our San Francisco bicycle accident attorneys accept these cases on a contingency-fee basis, which means there are no fees unless we win your case and no risk to getting started.

To date, we have recovered more than $500 million for accident victims.

Call our San Francisco bicycle accident attorneys today at (415) 940-7176 for your free consultation.

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Who Can Sue for a Bicycle Accident?

The general rule of thumb is that whoever caused the crash is responsible for any and all resulting damages. This means that, if you were injured in a bicycle crash that was no fault of your own, you may pursue financial compensation by suing the at-fault party.

The same is true if your loved one was killed in a preventable crash, as long as that crash wasn’t their fault.

At Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn, we have recovered compensation for Bay Area bicyclists injured in accidents involving:

  • Right-side obstruction
  • Sudden right turn
  • Unsafe left turn
  • Opening doors
  • Rear-end collisions

If you need legal advice after your bike was hit by a car, truck, motorcyclist, or another bike, we are right here to help. From start to finish, we’ll handle the brunt of the work.

The first step, however, will be determining the cause of the crash—and exactly who is responsible for it.

Who Is Liable for My Injuries?

Negligent Drivers, Truckers, and Other Motorists

There are many ways in which a negligent party may cause a bicycle accident.

Often, that negligent party is a driver or trucker who does not see the small frame of a bicycle approaching or, simply, who doesn’t want to yield to a bicyclist.

Common types of driver negligence that lead to bicycle accidents include:

  • Driving under the influence
  • Giving into road rage
  • Running red lights and stop signs
  • Failing to check blind spots for bicyclists
  • Attempting unsafe merges and turns
  • Attempting to pass a bicyclist with limited space
  • Tailgating a bicyclist or driving too close to them
  • Texting and driving, or other forms of distracted driving

Public and Private Entities

There are some cases in which a negligent company, corporation, or even government entity may be completely or partially responsible for a crash.

Examples of this include when a bicycle accident can be traced back to:

  • Poor street lighting
  • Poorly maintained roads/streets
  • A lack of bike lanes
  • Defective or unsafe guardrails
  • A city bus, train, or cable car (Muni buses or Muni Metro)

Many bicycle accident cases involve more than one at-fault party.

For these cases, injured bikers will need to name all liable parties in their claim to recover full compensation. Note that liable parties only need to compensate a victim for the damages they caused.

Can a Bicyclist Be at Fault for an Accident?

It is rare for a bicyclist to be at fault for an accident, as they have the right of way in most situations.

That said, if a bicyclist was under the influence, distracted, or acting recklessly and violating traffic laws, the law may consider them to be at fault.

However, it is common for bicyclists to overestimate their share of fault. You can still recover compensation if the other party (or parties) is mostly to blame.

How Much Is My Bicycle Accident Case Worth?

Bicycle accident victims may recover compensation for all the damages they have suffered. The exact amount of compensation will vary by case.

You may be entitled to compensation for damages that include:

  • Emergency medical care
  • Doctor’s visits and follow-up care
  • Property damage, such as to your bike
  • Missed income
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

Whatever compensation you need, we are ready to pursue the maximum amount available.

Per our "no recovery, no fee" policy, our bicycle accident lawyers in San Francisco will charge you nothing upfront and nothing out of pocket. We only get paid if you do.

What to Do After a Bike Crash

A bicycle accident is startling by nature. You had a destination and plans—and an accident was not one of them. You need to recognize the changed circumstances. A lot of people want to bounce up, say “I’m fine,” and return to the plan. The shock that comes from the accident can numb you to its severity.

We recommend you take the following steps if you’ve been involved in a bike accident. If you end up okay, you may not need all the data you’ve gathered, but if you aren’t, you will have it available.

  • Tell the other involved parties to wait: Have them wait and give a statement to the police. If they refuse or try to flee, get their plate number, vehicle make and model, and a description of the driver.
  • Call 911: The police need to come take a statement, and you might need an ambulance or paramedic. If you are injured badly enough that you can’t do this yourself, ask someone to do it for you.
  • Get contact information: You should get the driver’s contact information, insurance information, driver’s license number, and date of birth. You should also get the incident number from the police officer and ask witnesses for their contact information, including an email address or business card. Usually, a friendly witness will be willing to assist you in gathering this information if you cannot do it yourself.
  • Doored? Remind the officer to cite the driver: Surprisingly, many officers are unfamiliar with California Vehicle Code Section 22517, which states that a driver cannot open a door on the side of moving traffic unless it is safe to do so. If the driver is cited for their actions, this will help you with the insurance adjuster later. Adjusters frequently try to put some of the blame for dooring incidents on the cyclist.
  • Document the incident: Get pictures of your injuries and the damage to your bike. Ask any witnesses to write down what they saw and give you a copy. Make sure to request a copy of the incident report, as well.
  • Contact a lawyer before speaking to the insurance company: Speaking to a bicycle accident lawyer at our firm won't cost you anything. You may find that you don’t need a lawyer to resolve your case, but there’s a peace of mind that comes with discussing your case. An attorney can help address your concerns and prevent you from the potential pitfalls that come with dealing with an insurance company.

Advocating for the Bay Area Bicycling Community

If you have been injured or bereaved as a result of a devastating bicycle accident in the Bay Area, turn to Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn for representation you can count on.

We have over 150 years of combined experience representing injured bicyclists and their families.

We often handle cases involving serious injuries, such as:

We ride ourselves, and we take pride in helping the Bay Area bicycling community.

Contact our San Francisco bicycle accident lawyers online or call (415) 940-7176 for a no-cost, no-risk evaluation.

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