1. We specialize in bicycle accident cases
The attorneys at Bay Area Bicycle Law focus their practice on bicycle-related injuries. Years of advocacy for bicycle victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills, knowledge base and familiarity to handle bicycle accident cases to the utmost level of professional expertise. Since bicycle accident-related injuries present unique legal issues that oftentimes render them completely different from conventional auto accidents or accidents involving other types of vehicles, BABL’s collective expertise in bicycle cases is imperative in helping clients achieve the most favorable settlements possible.
2. General personal injury attorneys lack the expertise and familiarity necessary for bicycle-related cases
Unfortunately, many of the attorneys in Northern California who advertise as “specialists” in bicycle-accident cases are actually general personal-injury practitioners who are not as closely familiar with the laws and policies unique to bicycle accident matters as the attorneys at BABL. There are many important details that differ between bicycle collisions and other types of traffic cases. For example, insurance coverage is different for cyclists; the laws regarding traffic collisions apply very differently when a bicycle is involved; and the injuries/medical issues commonly faced by someone injured while riding a bicycle are very different than those faced by someone who is injured while within a motor vehicle. In fact, certain laws simply don’t apply at all when a bicyclist rather than a motorist is injured.
Familiarity with all these details counts: according to the American Bar Association, the number one most common type of error alleged in legal malpractice claims against attorneys in the U.S. is “Failure to Know or Properly Apply the Law.” The attorneys at BABL take pride in their comprehensive understanding of bicycle-accident law, keeping up with legal developments affecting cyclists statewide, and zealously advocating on behalf of our injured victims for a cause we believe in.
3. Both bicycle riding and bicycle accidents are on the rise
Cycling, both recreationally and as a healthy form of alternative commuting, has dramatically increased in popularity over the past few years. Nationwide, the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S has jumped 62 percent from 2000 to 2013. Additionally, bicycles make up 3.2% of all trips to work in 2009, up from 1.9% in 2003.
More specifically, in San Francisco bicycle popularity is at an all-time high. The city’s Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) reports show that the number of cyclists at 33 locations had increased 58% from the 2006 baseline counts and an estimated 128,000 trips are made by bicycle per day – 6% of San Francisco’s total trips!
Bicycle culture is thriving in the Bay Area. In San Francisco, the array of bicycle clubs in San Francisco organize cyclist advocating events such as Sunday Streets, Bike to Work Day, Critical Mass, SF Bike Party, Tour De Fat, Winterfest, the Bicycle Film Festival, and Pedalfest. Thousands of people participate in these events.
Unsurprisingly, this upsurge in the number of cyclists riding in California streets has resulted in the dramatic rise of bicycle-related accidents. Statewide, 338 people died while riding bicycles between 2010-2012, the highest bicycle fatality rate of any state. During this period of time, California’s cyclist death toll increased by 23% (compared to the national average of 16% during the same time frame). In contrast, motor vehicle fatalities increased by only 1% nationwide. Finally, while cyclist fatalities account for about 2% of deaths involving motor vehicles nationally, they account for more than 4% in California.
For all these reasons, the huge surge in popularity of cycling and the correlating rise of bicycle accidents makes it crucial to seek BABL’s skilled expertise over a generic personal injury practice. Many seasoned personal injury attorneys have little experience handling bike cases and have not kept up to date with current bicycle laws and trends. The attorneys at BABL are closely familiar with the expansion of cyclist culture in Northern California and are the best equipped to handle any bicycle accident case.