Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

chris-becker-781-copy-300x200Not every accident on the road involves a car or truck. Some collisions are between pedestrians and cyclists, particularly in cities where biking to and from work is common. San Francisco sees its fair share of pedestrian-cyclist collisions, which can lead to significant injuries for everyone involved. In September, a 24-year-old man on a bike collided with a teenage girl on Market Street. The girl was knocked unconscious and taken to a local hospital. The full extent of her injuries is unknown.

When individuals are injured in vehicle accidents, most know what to do next. Get a copy of the police report and file an insurance claim. If the accident is complex, the person calls an attorney. But what happens after a pedestrian-cyclist accident? If you were injured in this type of collision and you believe the other person was at fault, the best thing for you to do is contact our experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyers at Brod Law Firm. We will determine whether an insurance policy applies to your situation or whether you should move forward with a personal injury suit.

Possible Insurance Coverage

alice-achterhof-74928-300x200On February 8, a long-time Berkeley resident was killed in a bicycle-vehicle accident on Sacramento Street south of Hopkins Street at around 7 in the morning, Berkeleyside reported. Motorists stopped to help and call 911, and the Berkeley Police and Fire Departments arrived quickly. A motorist attempted CPR prior to the arrival of paramedics, but the cyclist was not responsive and died from the accident. The Berkeley Police Department Fatal Accident Investigation Team is investigating the crash, and the driver who collided with the cyclist was fully cooperating. Investigators had not identified the primary cause of the collision as of the day following the accident and it is unknown whether any charges will be filed.

Bicycle accidents like this can hit a community and family hard. Unfortunately, they are not rare. Thousands of individuals are seriously injured or lose their lives during vehicle-bicycle collisions every year. If you were injured in a bike accident or lost a loved one in a crash, do not hesitate to seek legal advice. At Brod Law Firm, we can explain your legal rights and next best steps.

Bicycle Accidents Plague California

800px-Bryce_Lewis_memorialBicycling has been increasing in popularity, both as a mode of transportation and as a recreational activity. Along with more bicycles on the road comes an increased incidence of serious accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, IIHS HLDI, more than 700 people died as a result of bicycle accidents in the U.S. in 2014. Although this number is lower than the deaths that occurred in 2013, it still remains a relatively large number and a cause for concern.

Bicycle Fatality Statistics

The IIHS HLDI has been keeping data on bicycle accidents since 1975. According to the IIHS HLDI statistics, most of the bicycle fatalities, about 80%, occurred to riders who were not wearing helmets. The majority of accidents occurred in urban areas, and most of them happened in the hours between 6pm and 9pm. There has been an increase in the number of deaths of adults over the age of 20 and a decrease in children’s deaths over the last 40 years.

768px-BikecultureincopenhagenAcross the country and around the world, more and more cities (such as Paris and Los Angeles, just to name two) are looking for ways to become more “bike friendly.” This is a trend that our Oakland bicycle accident law firm applauds and encourages. A city that encourages more bicyclists to take to the road can experience several benefits: Less wear and tear on roadways (which reduces the amount of money that must be spent to repair roadways), less congestion on roads that may not have been built to accommodate today’s volume of traffic, and less carbon emissions, not to mention a population that is generally healthier.

Two Ways to Encourage More Bicyclists

Traditionally, when a city decides to become more friendly to bicyclists the city creates new infrastructure specifically designed for bicyclists, like designated roadways. Some jurisdictions even create laws like California’s three-foot passing rule in an attempt to show bicyclists that they are welcome in the town. However, a new technique has been proposed to encourage more people to ride their bicycles in California and elsewhere: Permit them to disregard certain traffic laws.

Oakland bicycle accident attorney Greg Brod has spent years advocating for bicyclists in court and as a member of multiple Bay Area bicycle associations.  In addition to helping injured bicycle riders obtain just compensation, he supports efforts to ensure bicycling is a safe and feasible transportation option for people in Oakland and throughout Northern California.  Bicycling is almost an ideal form of transportation, allowing people to travel farther and faster than they can on foot while saving money, protecting the environment, and obtaining the physical exercise that we all need.  Attorney Brod knows that ensuring bicycle safety as well as pedestrian safety helps ensure the safety of everyone who travels Bay Area roads.

Group Making Bicycling a Great Option in Albany

A group in Albany, California is working to make bicycling a convenient and safe option for residents and visitors to their town.  According to the Oakland Tribune, pedestrian and bicyclist advocacy group Albany Strollers & Rollers has installed a public air pump for riders.  The pump, along with a pump stop rack to hold the bike while the rider inflates the tires, is located near the California Bank & Trust at the corner of Solano and Santa Fe Avenues.  Input from the city, the group’s members, and the Solano Avenue Association was used to determine the location.  The group is also responsible for the colorful bike racks found in the city.  A representative told the paper that the pump was funded by a grant from Grizzly Peak Cyclists and money raised by offering bicycle “valet parking” during the Solano Stroll.

One of the advantages of living in a city is the plethora of transportation options available, a stark contrast to many rural or suburban areas where driving is often the only realistic option.  Many visitors and residents of the Bay Area rely on San Francisco’s Municipal Railway (“Muni”).  Unfortunately, Muni accidents involving bicyclists and other non-passengers are an under-recognized danger.  As a San Francisco Muni Lawyer, Attorney Greg Brod fights for people injured by Muni vehicles, bringing an understanding of the unique factual and legal contours of these cases to each representation.

Fatal Muni Bicycle Accident in San Francisco on Sunday

bikeghost2A Muni accident left a bicyclist dead on Sunday afternoon.  CBS’s San Francisco affiliate reports that a 48-year-old cyclist fell between two Muni buses travelling on the 500 block of Market Street shortly before 3:30 PM.  The rider ended up pinned underneath a tire of one of the buses and died as a result of his injuries.  A police spokeswoman indicated that officers will review surveillance videos and speak to witnesses in order to determine what happened and who was at fault.  Muni officials said the bus driver involved in the crash will be tested for drugs and alcohol and Muni will cooperate in the police investigation.  In a separate event, a female rider suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries when she was struck by a truck at 4:01 PM near the intersection of The Embarcadero and Chestnut.

Bicycling can provide a sense of freedom to people of all ages.  For the young, bikes expand the world, affording their rider a sense of independence.  For adults, riding evokes that feeling and also provides freedom from the expenses and hassles associated with driving, especially in urban areas.  Sadly, this freedom is sharply limited by the reality of bicycle fatalities.  Our San Jose bicycle accident law firm was saddened to learn of two deadly bicycle accidents separated by only three days and a seven mile stretch of road.

Three Days, Seven Miles, Two Fatal Bicycle Accidents

According to a report in The Los Altos Town Crier,  63-year-old Palo Alto resident Eric Palmquist was hit by a car while riding a bicycle on Friday July 10.  He died six days later.  Police believe he was riding west on El Camino Real when he was struck by a Honda Civic travelling north on San Antonio Road.  Palmquist was thrown onto the pavement and suffered a fatal head injury.  He was not wearing a helmet.  The driver of the Civic was not hurt and is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

One of the many things we love about San Francisco is the range of transportation options available to residents. While most commuters probably drive for some or all of their daily commute, plenty of opt for public transit and/or their own two feet. Others swap four wheels for two and commute by bicycle. We are proud to serve as a San Francisco bicycle accident law firm and to protect the rights of those injured in car versus bicycle collisions. In many, if not most, cases, these accidents are caused by an inattentive driver. We absolutely encourage drivers to make sharing the road safely a goal every time they drive. Even though fault tends to rest primarily with the car driver, we also encourage bicycle riders to follow smart commuting practices in order to keep themselves and others safe.

Chronicle Looks at the Most Hazardous Areas for Bicyclists On Wednesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reviewed a study looking at bicycle-vs.-car accidents in the city. The article notes that the city sees 75,000 bicyclists each year, a figure that works out to one in ten people in the city. Bicycling is a healthy commuting option, but sadly accidents involving cars and bicycles leave someone injured or dead, on average, once a day.

bikeghost2.jpgThe Chronicle discusses information gathered by Zendrive, a driving safety blog that collected ten years’ worth of information using sensors in more than one thousand driver’s phones to map out the areas in San Francisco where a bicyclist-vs.-driver crash is most likely. Given that they are among the most popular routes, it is not surprising that downtown, the Mission, SoMa, and the Panhandle/Lower Haight area saw the most accidents. Driving offenses were particularly common in SoMa and the 19th Avenue corridor where drivers often speed and pull out their cell phones to pass the time when they are frustrated by unexpected traffic. For more details on the accident hot spots, see the Zendrive website.

At the Brod Law Firm, we are strong supporters of Northern California’s bicycle riders. Attorney Greg Brod is a member of both the San Francisco and Marin County Bicycle Coalitions and our team has San Francisco bicycle injury law firm helped many injured riders recover compensation from those who put them at undue risk. While we are dedicated to pursuing those whose negligent decisions harm (or even kill) riders, we also urge riders to make every effort to keep themselves safe in the event of a crash. One step every rider should take is wearing a bicycle helmet for every two-wheeled trip.

Riders Split Over Helmet Requirement for Adult Bicycle Riders

bikepack.jpgThis weekend’s San Francisco Chronicle reported on a conflict among California riders regarding a potential change in the state’s helmet laws. Currently the law requires minors to wear bicycle helmets but State Senator Carol Liu has introduced a bill that would require adult riders to don a helmet or face a $25 fine. If approved, the legislation would make California the first state to require helmet use by riders over age 18. The pending bill would also require the use of reflective clothing at night.

Bicycling can be a fun hobby, an alternative to the gym for the fitness-minded, a wallet and environment friendly commuting method, or a combination of the above. While it is usually health-positive, bicycle accidents can range in severity from simple bumps and bruises to a fatal crash. We have written numerous posts addressing the dangers posed by drivers on auto-pilot who fail to pay attention to travelers on two wheels instead of four. This danger is real and is probably the source of the majority of serious bicycle collisions. It is not, however, the only threat to riders. Bike-on-bike collisions are dangerous on their own and can also be the first incident in a chain reaction that includes a motor vehicle crash. In some bike versus bike cases, according to our Oakland bicycle accident lawyer, an injury lawsuit may be appropriate.

Rider Killed During Group Bicycle Ride in Livermore

A Saturday morning bicycle ride turned tragic, claiming a rider’s life in the Livermore area last weekend. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that fifty to sixty cyclists were riding east on Highland Road near Manning Road. Two riders collided and a third, an unidentified cyclist riding towards the middle of the group, attempted to avoid the crash by crossing over the double-yellow lines into the opposing lane of traffic. In this attempt, the third rider, identified by other cyclists as Dublin resident and high school administrator Herman Shum, was thrown from his bike and landed in the road. At the same moment, a westbound truck driver noticed the collision and braked while veering to avoid the incident. Tragically, this happened at the very moment Shum fell and the truck hit the cyclist who was later pronounced dead at the scene. In addition to the fatality, one rider suffered major injuries and one incurred minor injuries. CHP Officer Eric Anderson told reporters that both crashes, the bike-bike and truck-bike collisions, are under investigation. Police do not believe alcohol or drug use was a factor.