Fatal Bicycle Accidents and Wrongful Death Claims in California

If a loved one was lost in a bicycle accident in San Francisco or anywhere in Northern California, contact us for a free consultation.

We are caring, compassionate attorneys. While we can not take the pain away from the loss of a loved one, we can and will help you work through some of the issues involved with this loss.

Bay Area Bicycle Law is the only personal injury law firm in Northern California to specialize exclusively in representing injured bicyclists and their families.

While people are still in shock, insurers begin working to minimize claims. For this reason, it is important to get in touch with an attorney quickly after the loss of a loved one.

Our Promise

No sum of money is going to bring your loved one back into your life. He or she brought you companionship and affection and provided for some or all of your family’s financial needs. Your sudden loss and grief can be overwhelming and interfere with the steps that you must take to protect the best interests of you and your family. Should we enter into a retainer agreement, we’ll move efficiently and effectively to investigate all of the facts and parties involved in the accident so that we might identify all parties who might be held liable. We’ll carefully listen to you to learn the roles that the decedent played in your family. By listening, we can determine the complete nature and extent of your damages. Then we’ll work with every insurance company connected with your loss so that we might maximize the compensation that you receive due to your loved one’s untimely death. If necessary, we’ll try your wrongful death case to verdict in front of a judge and 12 jurors.

Wrongful Death Actions

Wrongful death lawsuits are often brought when the carelessness and negligence of somebody else causes the death of a person. The survivors and the personal representative of the decedent’s estate are allowed to bring a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages suffered as a result of the untimely death of the decedent. Depending on the nature of the damages, they’re to be divided by the survivors or payable to the decedent’s estate. Damages might include but aren’t limited to the following:

  • Medical bills before death
  • Loss of income that would have been provided to survivors
  • Psychological pain and suffering of the survivors from the loss
  • Loss of companionship, guidance and consortium
  • Funeral and burial costs

Fatal Bicycle Accident Statistics

As per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the number of bicyclists killed in collisions involving bicycles and cars on public roads in 2015 rose by 12.2 percent to 818 from the prior year. In 2014, 729 bicyclists died in such accidents on public roadways. In the last decade, more than 8,000 bicyclists have died in collisions with motorists. The average age of those who died in these accidents was 45, but about 33 percent of all bicyclist road fatalities involve riders up to 20 years old. About 70 percent of all fatalities occurred in urban areas with more than 60 percent of them occurring at locations without intersections. Evening hours between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. were the most dangerous hours for bicyclists.

Some Common Bicycle Accident Scenarios

Regardless of where a fatal bicycle accident occurs, they’re often the result of the carelessness and negligence of drivers of motor vehicles. The general rule in California is that bicyclists have the same rights on the roadway as motorists, but given the narrow profile that bicycles present on the road, many motorists either fail to see them, don’t see them until it’s too late or simply forget about them after seeing them. Some common scenarios in fatal bicycle accidents involve motorists who:

  • Turn left across traffic and crash into a bicyclist
  • Turn right and into the path of a bicyclist
  • Overtake bicyclists and rear-end or sideswipe them
  • Open car doors into an oncoming bicyclist

The Statute of Limitations

You must act quickly to protect any rights that you might have in a wrongful death lawsuit. Evidence can disappear or be tampered with and witnesses can vanish. The general rule in California is that you have two years from the date of the accident or death to file a wrongful death action. If a public entity is involved, a claim must be filed within six months. These are strict rules, and there are very few exceptions.

Contact Bay Area Bicycle Law

Years of advocacy for injured cyclists have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills to handle bicycle accidents cases with the level of professional expertise.

We’re compassionate, and we understand what you’re experiencing with your loss. Work through the grief long enough to contact us to arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation. The California legislature has set short time limits on bringing claims and wrongful death lawsuits, especially if a governmental entity was involved. If we’re retained, no legal fees are even due unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. Bicyclists have the same rights on the road as drivers of motor vehicles. We are the only firm in Northern California to specialize exclusively in representing bicyclists, and we’re here to help your family in your time of need. Our goal is to maximize the compensation that you deserve for the wrongful death of your loved one. Contact us as soon as you can, and we can discuss your options on how to proceed.

Get in Touch

Call us today for a free, confidential, no obligations, consultation.